Farewell to this Workshop


Last night I swept out my shop in Fort Mitchell, rescued a few boards of old-growth yellow pine I’d forgotten about and took out the trash for the last time.

I built the shop 18 years ago, when Lucy was pregnant with Katy (who is leaving for college in 12 days). It was the first shop where I had a window, an outside door and – eventually – wooden floors.

This is where I built all the projects for “The Joiner & Cabinet-Maker,” “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” “Campaign Furniture,” and “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” Not to mention hundreds of other projects for magazine articles and commissions for customers.

Typing this out, I think I’m supposed to feel sad by leaving this space behind. The truth is, I simply wonder what will become of the space when the new owners move in this week. I left the wood rack in place. Plus the clamp rack. All it needs is a workbench and maybe a box for some tools….

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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25 Responses to Farewell to this Workshop

  1. Chris, you have left this part of the world, much better than you found it. The mark of a good man!


    • Joel Q Stitzlein says:

      I can’t tell you how many previous apartments and houses I’ve lived in where I left behind some kind of workbench/workshop area that I built or improved in the basement or garage. Nothing fancy, just plywood and 2×4’s, but I sure hope at least some of them have inspired someone to at least tinker with a project.


  2. Elaine A Higgins says:

    Potentiality. Our finite, mortal lives are nothing if not the potential for growth, change, movement. Best wishes on your newest venture and to any craftsman who may subsequently inhabit this space.


  3. mike says:

    Probably a yoga studio or safe space for a young millennial couple 🙂


  4. John Koenig says:

    One of the biggest reasons I pursued woodworking was because the guy I bought my house from had a shop and left his bench and peg board. Hope yours inspires similarly!


  5. It’s probably something more mundane, but it looks like you also left a double bit axe. Were you felling trees in there on weekends?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m appalled that your daughter won’t need a clamp rack in her dorm room.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Justin says:

    Oh, to have a window, or an external door, or both….pure bliss. Luxuries that I will not know or enjoy for many years to come. The only thing better than this shop is LAP HQ. But, this is a good space. Hopefully the new owners will discover woodworking or other passions in it.


  8. Rachael Boyd says:

    I have left a couple shops in my life, some I didn’t like and some I didn’t want to leave. so I do understand.


  9. Adam Haughey says:

    And it doesn’t seem like that long ago when you were giving the wood whisperer a tour..


  10. Patrick says:

    There’s a lot of good mojo in that space. I hope it inspires the new owner.


  11. neitsdelf says:

    Add a soffit and a ceiling and that place would be good for … anything.


  12. mcpoeo says:

    I hope that it does continue as a creative woodworking space, but we need to accept the fact that most people might see it as something else, like a TV room or a place to dance. I think that we should deliberately carry our dreams with us.



  13. Anthony Zaffuto says:

    It’s now only a house-where you move will now become your home.


  14. Eric R says:

    I’m in that club as well, having been the owner of more then one shop.
    I liked my previous shop better then my current one, but didn’t realize it until it was too late.
    The Mo-Jo you’ve infused that room with will undoubtedly make the new owner a better woodworker just by being in it.
    (And as well as you’ve attached that wood rack, I can see why you left it…) 😉


  15. Pascal Teste says:

    18 years, that’s a good chunk of your woodworker/writer’s life! Hopefully the new owners know what you do and will respect the space for its historical value.


  16. Steve C says:

    To me it would be sad to move out of a shop. I’ve never done it, just a couple of converted garages I called a shop. My present shop, which I consider a real shop, I hope to *not* ever have to move out of it.


  17. Kerry doyle says:

    It looks much bigger now that it’s empty, doesn’t it?


  18. I’m still dreaming of a shop with a window… last house purchase was between one with a 47’x13.4’x24′ RV garage, or current house with “a nice backyard.”

    If I could have had the first house, I’d have a plane right now. For realz.


  19. DJ says:

    Farewell HVAC system…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. antinonymous says:

    That room should be entered onto the National Register of Historic Workshops so that its enduring history is preserved forever.


  21. Mike Hamilton says:

    If there are children, there might eventually be glitter…….


  22. Joe says:

    Lots of memories in that home and shop no doubt. Of course, you are going from a basement shop to a home with a first story shop and a machine tool shed. I suspect that takes some of the edge off of it.


  23. Brian says:

    If you’ve still got time, hang a framed picture of the shop in the middle of a project on the wall to show the new owner the history and the possibilities.


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