Charles (Chuck) Bender began woodworking (seriously, prior to that it was just a hobby) at the age of 12 in his parents’ basement making pieces of furniture for friends and family. He studied under Werner Duerr at the Central Chester County Vocational Technical School (now called the Center for the Arts and Technology in Chester County, PA) throughout high school. Werner taught his high school program exactly like his apprenticeship in Germany. The students were taught to blend hand tool use with power tool use. Chuck teaches that same philosophy today.
After graduation from high school, Chuck began working for other cabinet makers in order to hone his skills. After having spent nearly ten years working with Irion Company Furnituremakers, and having worked his way to heading up their chair and casework production, Chuck decided to branch off on his own. Since 1991 Chuck has been building a reputation for making the highest quality 18th Century furniture in the country. His work can be seen in museums, private collections and at some of the finest juried craft shows in the country.
In 2007 Chuck added the title “woodworking mentor” to his list of accomplishments by starting the Acanthus Workshop. He’s received numerous woodworking awards throughout his career and has appeared in local and national magazines, newspapers and even appeared on several episodes of the nationally syndicated PBS show: Rough Cut Woodworking With Tommy MacDonald. Also in 2007, he began sharing his knowledge publicly by writing for Popular Woodworking Magazine and joined the editorial team in 2013. He has taught skill and project driven classes at woodworking shows and clubs across the country. Chuck was a presenter at the Woodworking in America Conference numerous times. In 2010, he’s added a new line of instructional DVD’s which will be available through this website. In 2014, with Bob Lang and Glen Huey, he helped form 360 WoodWorking – a new concept in woodworking education.