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Texas Fine Woods
4326 East Main
Uvalde, TX 78801



Robert Hensarling
Mesquite Chair Artisan

Frequently Asked Questions About  4 Day Seminars

What style of rocker do you demonstrate building for the 4 day class? What wood do you use?

I build the Texas Classic for the seminar. I normally use Mesquite wood so that I can also explain how to handle this sometimes fussy wood. It’s not a soft “friendly” wood like walnut. You have to get the joints perfect when using Mesquite, where as with Walnut you can force the parts together because of the softness and flexibility of the wood.

In addition, I show and discuss my Heritage rocker (Plans are offered for it at the seminar), and I go into detail on how I build dining chairs (no drawn out plans for the dining chairs yet, but I give enough notes to get you started).

What do I need to bring to the seminar?

You should bring a dust mask, eye protection, and ear protection.  Also you may want to take notes, so a pencil and paper are suggested.  Cameras are welcomed also.  Some students have video taped the entire session.  All I ask is that the photos and tapes not be distributed, in other words, do whatever you wish for your own use.

Depending on the time of year, plan to dress according to the seasonal climate.  We’ve worn everything from shorts to jackets.  Watch the Weather Channel starting a few days before you leave for Uvalde, Texas for an idea of the Texas weather for the seminar you re attending.

Feel free to bring photos of your projects to share with the class.  You’ll make friends here, and everyone likes to see the work of others.

How many students do you have in each seminar?

I normally limit the maximum number to eight, however sometimes this varies due to special circumstances.

I‘ve attended one of your past seminars, can I sit in on a future one?

You bet!  In fact, I always enjoy having former students attend.  There is no charge for past students.  I may have to have you sit towards the back of the class however, so that the new students will be able to see and hear everything that Robert is saying and doing.

Can I bring my spouse, and is there an additional charge for them?

Spouses are welcomed at no charge.  Due to space limitations, I may need to seat the person towards the rear of the group.  I encourage the attendance of spouses! 

Will I be able to ask questions during the session?

Absolutely!  Years ago, I adopted a no secrets policy at my shop.  Ask anything you wish.  If I can t answer the question, I ll try to find the answer before you leave.

Do you have breaks during the day?

I have breaks quite often during the day. Everyone likes to stand and stretch now and then, and it gives students a chance to get coffee, use the facilities, look closely at the work being done, etc. 

Where do we go to eat?

There are many good restaurants in Uvalde. I’ll list the most popular for you during the morning of the first day.  Also, I like to give you a full 2 hours for lunch. This gives you a chance to eat, then to your motel and rest.  Lunch is normally from 11:30 to 1:30.

How long do we meet each day?

A normal day starts at about 8:15, and concludes at around 5:00. This can vary however depending on the amount of questions I need to field during the day.  I have a certain point I need to be at each day, so that the next day will be in sequence.  This is for glued up items to cure overnight, so that I can work with them the next day.

Do we meet for a full day on the last day ?

Normally, we re finished with the course by about 11:00 AM on the last day. I do this so that students can have ample time to travel home.

Is there any ” Hands On” experience at the seminar?

No, there isn’t. Because of the time I need to fully show, explain, and actually make all of the joints used in my rocker, the entire 4 days pretty much just a watch and learn experience. On day 3 however I usually let each student shape and sand a joint, for practice.

Is prior woodworking experience necessary to attend?

No, you’ll learn a lot about woodworking jointery, shaping, and finishing even if you’ve not done much woodworking. Also, even if you re an accomplished woodworker, the innovative techniques and ideas you’ll learn at the seminar are more than worth the money.

Will I be able to build my own rocker after I leave the seminar?

You will have the knowledge, and the manual, in order to build a chair. However, not knowing the level of woodworking that each student has, I can’t positively 100% say that everyone can definitely build a chair. However, of all the students I’ve taught, no one so far has had any difficulty in using my construction techniques.

What types of people attend your seminars?

I’ve had men and ladies from all over the United States and Canada come to the seminars.  I’ve had woodworkers, teachers, professors, laborers, physicians, business people, police officers, computer experts, airline pilots, retirees from all walks of life, just to name a very few. Most come to learn how to build a rocking chair for themselves, or for members of their families. Some have built rockers and offered them for sale at trade and art shows. Some have even won first place ribbons with the Texas Classic rocker. The seminar isn’t for those wanting to mass-produce rockers for sale, because of the construction of each rocker, mass-production isn’t feasible

Can I buy a set of plans, and not attend a seminar?

No, the plans, templates, and other hand-outs are a part of the seminar.  Also, I feel that it is necessary for the students to see how the different components are jointed and shaped.

 How long will it take for me to build a rocker after I attend the seminar?

That’s a tough one to answer.  It depends on your woodworking ability, and the amount of equipment you have that’s used in the construction of the chair.  Although you’ll see me build a rocker in 4 days, it normally takes me several weeks to build a chair start to finish. There is a lot of shaping and sanding to be done after the rocker is jointed and epoxied together.

What tools are needed to build the rocker?

Overall, the usual shop tools found in most home shops will suffice. There are some items that I suggest you buy for ease of certain procedures, but these are not expensive. There are no special made route bits used, in fact just about every tool I use can be obtained in most of the woodworking catalogs.

Will you provide us with a list of tools and supplies we need?

Yes, it’s part of the plans set. In fact, I even list part numbers, and telephone numbers of suppliers for your convenience.

Can I conduct a rocking chair seminar using your plans?

No, the plans are copyrighted, and are not for use or distribution to others. 


Woodworking is inherently dangerous.
All participants are required to sign a liability release form before each seminar commences.