Four (no Five!) Books on Press

After a long dry spell – the last book we sent to press was in December – we now have four books on press. (Actually, we have five books if you count the somewhat-cursed edition of Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises” that has been on press for six months. More on that below.)

Today we finished our work on two books and won’t see them again until a semi backs up to the warehouse in 11 weeks. You can sign up to be notified when any of these books arrive in the warehouse on this page.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

“The Belligerent Finisher” by John Porritt. This is our first book devoted to finishing, and it is a doozie. Porritt, a furniture conservator and chairmaker, shows many of the tricks he uses to add subtle (and beautiful) wear and age to a new piece. Porritt is not attempting to show you how to make fakes. He is trying to show you something deeper – how to add color and texture to a piece so its form matches its finish. Most of his processes use simple and common tools (a chainmail pot scrubber, a deer antler, a handheld propane torch, washing powder). The book walks you through all the steps for two backstools. Then there’s a gallery that shows how you can mix and match these techniques on other pieces. The book should arrive in our warehouse in September.

“Sharpen This” by Christopher Schwarz. I think of this book as a piece of historical fiction. What if someone wrote a book about how to sharpen, and that person wasn’t making sharpening equipment. And the internet didn’t exist. This is a pocket-book-sized treatise that boils down everything I know about sharpening media, steel and technique to give the reader a clear understanding of sharpening. The book embraces all the sharpening systems. But it focuses on how to work with a minimum amount of expensive gear. And how to work fast. This is a book I never wanted to write. But after teaching so many beginners who were so horribly confused, I decided to just lay it all out there. The book should arrive in our warehouse in September.

“Euclid’s Door” by George Walker and Jim Tolpin. Geometry lovers rejoice. Jim and George are back with a new book about how to make your own insanely accurate woodworking layout tools using simple hand tools and geometry that blew our minds. Honestly, both Megan and I had to step into the shop to confirm some of the geometric constructions really worked (they do). If you have been resisting geometry and whole-number ratios, this book will show you how to apply it directly to tools that you will use for the rest of your life. Really good stuff – and the book is entirely hand-illustrated by Barb Walker and Keith Mitchell. The book should arrive in our warehouse in late August.

The Stick Chair Journal No. 1. A crazy experiment. Can we make a beautiful journal about vernacular chairs and have it be slightly more successful than our money-losing posters? The first issue has techniques you can use, a tool review, folklore about a cursed chair and complete plans for a new vernacular chair design, which you are free to build and sell if you like. When you buy the journal you will also receive a download of the full-size patterns for the chair. The Journal should arrive in our warehouse in late August.

You can sign up to be notified when these books arrive in our store. It’s a simple process, and it is 100 percent not marketing. We are not trying to trick you into signing up for ads or some worthless newsletter. It’s a notification service that costs a lot of money to use. But we encourage you to please use it to make your life easier. 

Oh, and about that cursed edition of Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises.” That has been at the printer since December. Then the plant shut down because of COVID. Then it shut down because of ransomware. Then they printed one of the signatures with a missing page and had to redo the signature. The whole situation is almost laughable.

The plant told me they would ship those books on June 24. I’m not holding my breath.

— Christopher Schwarz


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