Roubo’s Folding Bookstand


A woodwright translates (and channels) the 18th-century French Master.
By Roy Underhill
Page: 34-37

From the February 2011 issue #188
Buy this issue now

Translating André Roubo’s instructions from the 18th-century French is a delight, for he speaks to you as if he’s just stopped by your bench. The level of detail assures you that this is something he has done himself, and the money-saving tips remind you of his early days as a poor apprentice. Even the way he often leaves out the first thing you should know until the very last gives you the sense of a mind overflowing with knowledge.

This little bookstand from plate No. 331 of “L’Art du Menuisier” will give you a quick dip into the torrent of his genius. It’s a modest but appropriate introduction to the man, because books truly bookended his life story – as we’ll see when we first walk a few miles in the boots of Monsieur Roubo.

Video: Watch select episodes of “The Woodwright’s Shop” online.
School: Discover Roy’s “The Woodwright’s School.”
In Our Store: The eight benches in Roubo’s shop are pictured in Plate 11, which we offer as a poster suitable for framing.
In Our Store: “The Woodwright’s Guide: Working Wood with Wedge & Edge” and other books and articles by Roy.
Blog Post: “Use a SketchUp Model to ‘Get It’
Blog Post: “Another Way to Do It”


From the February 2011 issue #188
Buy this issue now