Chris Schwarz's Blog

Robert Baker, 1954-2010

Bob Baker, a furniture and tool restorer and excellent planemaker, died unexpectedly last week.

I had the pleasure of meeting Bob in February of 2006 when we hosted a gathering in Cincinnati for many of the best planemakers and gave each of them the opportunity to present their work to one another, and to talk about planes, planemaking and toolmaking in general. Bob was high on that list of “best planemakers.” In the picture at left, he’s presenting two of his planes to the rest of the group.

I met him only that one day, but as I look back through the pictures of the event, I remember a kind and genuine man who had a grin on his face almost the entire time. Kari Hultman, who knew him better than did I, has written more about Bob on her blog, The Village Carpenter, and there are some touching comments below her post that I hope you’ll take the time to read.

Chris wrote a story about about our “planemakers'” event for the August 2006 issue, which features some of Bob’s work. You can link to it here

– Megan Fitzpatrick

3 thoughts on “Robert Baker, 1954-2010

  1. John Walkowiak

    Bob was an incredible craftsman whom I was proud to call a friend. He was always welcoming and willing to share his knowledge, and always had a smile on his face. His work in wood and metal was second to none. His hallmark was being able to match any surface or texture and would make the repairs invisible in his restoration work. He was known as the godfather to modern infill planemakers. On top of all this he was a gentleman and an all around great guy. He will be greatly missed by those who appreciate tools – old and new- around the word. If you would like to post a comment in a Guest Book for his family, please follow this link
    http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/seacoastonline/guestbook.aspx?n=robert-baker&pid=144086427

  2. Chris Vesper

    Well what to say?

    He was amongst the most talented, highly skilled, knowledgeable, intuitive and dedicated craftsman you could ever find working in both metals and timber.

    I was fortunate enough to meet Bob in his workshop about 20 months ago and spend a few precious hours there. From the second the door opened I knew I was in a special place where amazing things happened.

    He will be missed by those that knew him and his work.

    Chris Vesper.

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