On the Level: What’s a Workbench Worth?


By Christopher Schwarz
Page: 8

From the February 2011 issue #188
Buy this issue now

In 2005, I loaned my French workbench to a friend to use in his booth at a woodworking show. As I rolled the 350-pound behemoth onto the show’s floor, I heard a couple wolf whistles (really?), then one of the show’s vendors stopped me.

“How much for the bench,” he asked. I didn’t know what to say, and I just looked confused. “Would you take $5,000?”

When I recovered my wits I declined the too generous offer and kept rolling forward. Though I’ve built more workbenches than I can keep track of, I’ve never sold a one. Instead, I give them away to friends and family.

My dad has my “Power-tool Workbench” that I built in 2002. My best friend has my Nicholson workbench from my book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.” And so on. When I completed the massive handtool workbench on the cover of the August 2010 issue (“The Return of Roubo,” #184), I already had someone in mind as I chopped every mortise and sawed the enormous sliding dovetails.


From the February 2011 issue #188
Buy this issue now

COMMENT