Farewell to this Workshop

greenbriar_workshop_IMG_3174

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!

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    • 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.

      Like

  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.

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  3. mike says:

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

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  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!

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  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.

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  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.

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  9. Adam Haughey says:

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

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  10. Patrick says:

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

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  11. neitsdelf says:

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

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  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.

    Michael

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  13. Anthony Zaffuto says:

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

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  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…) 😉

    Like

  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.

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  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.

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  17. Kerry doyle says:

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

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  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.

    Like

  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.

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  21. Mike Hamilton says:

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

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  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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

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