A Whale of a Time!

by | Sep 23, 2013 | 15 comments

After all the preparation it feels odd today for another EuropeanWoodworking Show to be all over and done with. It’s was an exceptionally busy year this year and that combined with my solitary life led to me find myself behind our banner with a good few panic attacks! But of course it’s been fantastic meeting back up with familiar faces and being introduced to many new.

All the excitement wares us out and after spending today reorganizing the workshop I’m still feeling fit to drop. But I had to write quickly this evening to say what a terrific experience it was to get to spend some long hours chatting with Christopher Schwarz. Chris of course is a great workbench fanatic so naturally I was excited to hear he would be over for the show. You might expect  we’d be able to find the odd point to discuss about workbenches between us but you probably don’t realise just how much there is be said!

A pub is a great place and filling it with many enthusiastic woodworkers just makes it better. I’ve probably drunk more pints than days I’ve lived but few have ever come as enjoyable as this years experience. Whilst the majority of the topics are wood based we also enjoy a good chat on the usual stuff… book binding, Swedish swearing, whales foreskins!? , and the efficiency of modern diesel engines…

But then Chris loaded up his porn… this was some real twisted stuff!  After reams and reams of photos I got the feeling that people were becoming unsure about us. Perhaps being this obsessed about workbenches just isn’t socially acceptable? For me though it was a real eye opener and has refueled my workbench passion. I’m now definitely back in research mode.

Anyway I’m incredibly grateful for what Chris shared with me and without saying too much just yet, it’s really fired me up for a new project. I’ve just had a quick check through what we’ve got and I reckon this ought to do it…Oak log

Chris has kindly written an entry about us over on his blog and I almost fell off my chair! Not in a month of Sunday’s could we have expected such generosity. I’ve got to point you over there to have a read! Chris’ Post

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About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Ken

    HaHa very nice Richard. Pleased all went well, and you all had a great time.


    Ken 😉

  2. Ian Elley

    Good to meet you and your good lady on Saturday if only briefly, hope the show went well, it was certainly busy, and if I hear of another film needing extras to be Zombies like I was last time ill let you know !!!

    • Richard

      Brilliant story with the zombies… kept me chuckling the whole show!

  3. Paul Chapman

    Hi Richard, it was really nice to meet up with you and Helen again for a natter and a play with your benches. Glad you had a good time.

    • Richard

      Thanks Paul, it was a pleasure as usual. Jez (our dog) enjoyed his recognition in the video, he’ll definitely be back!

  4. Alistair

    Hi Richard, must have been a great experience for you both! Two Workbench fanatics from either side of the pond comparing notes.

    Fantastic. Keep up the good work!


  5. Mark

    I found out about your site from Chris Schwarz’s blog and I am so glad I did. I have enjoyed your posts and especially your videos.

    I plan to build a couple of wall cupboards and I have your plan, as well as one each from Chris Schwarz and Glen Huey. So, as soon as I recuperate from eye surgery, I get to work.

    Now, if I could only have a Little John shipped to me in the US.


  6. Rob Stoakley

    Glad you had a good show Richard…good to meet up again for a natter. Hope you discussed with DJ on Sunday the issue we talked about at length on Sat.

    • Richard

      I’m pleased you were able to come along. We got to have a good chat with Derek on Sunday and are also looking forward to seeing some plans of his coming together.

  7. Mark Armstrong

    Hi Richard& Helen, good to see you and many others in the flesh. I also got book signed by Chris Schwarz fascinating guy.
    i was there on Saturday with my old West Ham football shirt on. I never really spoke to you as such but you was talking to someone about your tool chest and you said what my bog job well all had a little chuckle.
    Very impressed by your benches excellent quality.
    I wish I had a workshop I would love one of your benches.
    I only have my shed I can hardly swing a mouse let alone a cat. Probably more to do with that it is full up to the rafters with suff half of it not mine but other half’s. 🙁

  8. Mr Ronald Carl Dennis

    Dear Richard & Helen –

    Please tell me exactly (or approximately) the size of that log you plan to use!

    • Richard

      Hi Ronald, I think the log’s exactly 26″ in diameter by approximately 6′ long. There’s nothing too specific required for the project I have planned though.

  9. JH

    ok… fired up for a new project, and then that picture of a big hunk of wood… I smell another roubo bench coming!

  10. Sue

    Lovely to meet you both on Saturday. I really enjoyed the show and it was great to see so many Maguire benches in the flesh (and the tool chest looked great too. Looking forward to seeing what happens to the log!

  11. Barry Lowis

    It was great to meet you both last Saturday. all the best Barry


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