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Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz

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Updated: 2 hours 50 min ago

New in the Store: ‘Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!’

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 5:05am

CalvinCobb_Jacket6Roy Underhill’s woodworking novel – “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” – is now available for pre-publication ordering in the Lost Art Press store. The book will begin shipping on Nov. 10, and we are offering free shipping on all orders placed before Nov. 29, 2014.

The hardbound book is $29. The ePub version is $14. You can purchase both the hardbound version and the ePub for $36. If you order the ePub, you will receive your download immediately (in other words, you can begin reading the book today).

Go here to order the book. Or read on for more information on this unusual woodworking book.

What is That?
The first time I heard Roy had written a woodworking novel was when I visited his school in Pittsboro, N.C. Stuck to the corkboard above the school’s coffeemaker was a book cover that looked like something from the 1930s. The cover featured a redhead holding a handsaw, plus a dude holding a handplane and an armload of cash.

“What’s that?” I asked Roy.

“That’s the cover to my novel,” he replied.

Now Roy has a reputation for practical jokery. So rather than swallowing that piece of stink bait I just said something like, “Uhh….”

During the next few years of working with Roy, the topic of his novel came up several times, and I eventually asked him, “Is that real?”

He said it was, and that he even had a manuscript to prove it. Under a little duress, he found a battered, marked-up copy in his office. He explained that he had spent several years writing and polishing “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” but had set it aside when he didn’t get much interest from the big publishers.

I asked if I could borrow the manuscript. And that was what launched this multi-year project.

I know it’s a bit crazy to publish a woodworking novel with measured drawings. But this book is a jewel – well-written, fast-paced and simply funny. And with lots of juicy woodworking parts (and, yes, measured drawings for four projects). You can read the book’s plot description in our store, so I won’t repeat it here.

But allow me to answer a few questions that people have asked me about this book.

Will I learn any woodworking techniques?
Maybe? There are a few good descriptions of work in the novel, but the point of the book isn’t to help you cut a better tenon. It’s to entertain you and perhaps think a bit differently about your world.

Is it appropriate for kids?
Let’s just say that I’m not the best parent. I would let my 13-year-old read this book – no problem. I’d say it’s PG-13 for mild language and adult situations. It’s not “Dick & Jane,” nor is it “50 Shades of Wood.” I’d also say that if you are easily offended by stuff on television, then Lost Art Press books and this blog are not written for you.

Measured drawings, really?
Really. They are key to the plot. Really.

Roy writes fiction?
Yes, and very well. And to make sure this book has all the polish of novel from a major publisher, we hired Megan Fitzpatrick, a veritable fiction maven, to edit Roy’s book. We are all very proud of the result.

So if you like a good story, like Roy’s show or just like redheads riding motorcycles, we think you’ll enjoy “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!

And now I have to think of something crazier to do than publishing a woodworking novel….

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!
Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 26

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 4:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Tool Donations for the Baby Anarchists

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 5:47am


Thanks to everyone who has sent tools and money for the 18 new hand-tool woodworkers I’ll be teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking next year.

Your tax-deductible donations have already paid for five (almost six) of the students. And the donated tools are piling up on my workbench in the sunroom. I haven’t counted everything yet (and I still have three boxes to open today). But I can say that we are set on mallets and coping saws – more on that point at a future date.

If you haven’t heard about this heavily discounted course that I’m teaching in the United States and England in 2015, go here. If you are interested in donating tools or money to the effort, you can read about that here.

I have had a lot of questions about the class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in particular because it has not opened for registration yet. Registration for the general public begins on Dec. 1. If you wish to read the course description and get information on registering, fill out the contact form here and opt in for the school’s newsletter. They’ll send you the 2015 schedule and registration information.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Woodworking Classes
Categories: Hand Tools

Why I Want ‘The Book of Plates’

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 1:00pm

Whenever woodworkers come to my house, two things happen. We drink beer and we gaze longingly at my 18th-century copies of A.-J. Roubo’s ‘l’Art du Menuisier.”

I assure you that we keep the beer far away from the books.

I’ve owned many copies of Roubo, from the trade paperbacks all the way up to this beautiful first edition. And it is the detail and size of these original plates that grab your eye and cause you to press your face to the page.

“Why did he draw that tool in that way?” is a common question.

With many old woodworking books, the answer is, “He didn’t draw it that way. Some illustrator did.” But in this case, Roubo himself drew most all of the plates. Nothing is unintentional – I can say this because I know many of these plates by heart and have been editing our upcoming translation, which will be published next year.

With “The Book of Plates,” we wanted to capture that same experience of examining the 18th-century original by giving you the plates at the same size they were drawn in the 1700s. We wanted to offer the extreme detail from the original. Oh, and the paper is the nicest stuff available.

To give you a feel for that experience, I made this short video tour of two plates in the book – one on trying planes and one on measuring tools. The book shown in the video is my first edition – “The Book of Plates” is still on press. I apologize in advance for how many times I say “cool.” I recommend you turn that quirk of mine into a drinking game.

We are now accepting pre-publication orders for “The Book of Plates.” Order soon to ensure delivery by Christmas. The book ships starting Nov. 20.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Saw/Why you Should Follow David Savage

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 7:18am


“I teach people to see using a motorbike analogy. ‘Imagine you are riding a nice powerful bike, the sun is shining and you are driving along this winding country lane your partner is on the back and you are going quite quick but safe. You approach a series of shallow S-bends you flick the bike left and right with no conscious movement of your body. Sawing down a line is like that.’ Hold that saw handle light like a child’s hand, don’t rush the stroke, don’t press down, just do it. Watch yourself uncritically, your body will adjust your stance to achieve your goal if you allow it. The moment we get tense, the second we seek to control, it goes to hell. Like raising a child.”

— David Savage

David’s e-mail newsletter is one of the things I most look forward to in the morning. As a writer, David is willing to take risks and go places I wouldn’t dare. As a woodworker, he kicks all of our butts. Sign up for his newsletter by going to his home page at http://www.finefurnituremaker.com/. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a box where you can sign up. Highly recommended.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites, Saws
Categories: Hand Tools

In Defense of the ‘Notched Batten’

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 9:54am


When Richard Maguire posted his fantastic entry on using a notched batten to hold work in place on the bench, he was eviscerated by a certain segment of the woodworking populace because Richard said it was an old technique and yet he did not offer up footnotes and cites.

Today I’m going to set the record straight on that.

But first, a little begging. If you haven’t tried using a notched batten, stop reading. Close your laptop and go down to the shop. Make a notched batten and try it out. The notched batten is the difference between needing an end vise and not needing an end vise.

And now back to our regularly scheduled exoneration. Today while editing one of the translated sections for “Roubo on Furniture” (due in early 2015), I came across this passage:

To trim [set right] the planks on their edges, you hold them along the length of the bench with holdfasts, or even when they are too short, you hold them at one end with a holdfast, and the other with a planing stop [figure 17], which is itself held on the workbench with a holdfast, and which you close against the end of the plank with strikes of the mallet. The planing stop is a piece of hard wood, at the end of which is made a triangular notch, in which enters the end of the planks, see figure 19.

Fig17Yup. It is the notched batten, albeit a little shorter than the one currently on my bench. Curious, I went back to the original French to take apart some of the words. Roubo calls the device a le pied de biche, which in modern French comes out as “crowbar.” But more literally is “doe’s foot,” which is much more evocative. Fig. 19, by the way, shows a board being planed on its face, not just its edge.

So now we have a name for it. We have a solid 18th-century account of its use and a drawing.

And so I say to Richard’s critics: Shut it.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Kaare Klint’s Safari Chair Drawings in the Danish National Art Library

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 8:05am


There’s little doubt that Kaare Klint’s “Safari Chair” was directly inspired by Roorkee chairs built during the late Victorian era.

The chairs are so close in dimension that I use the same leather patterns when building an 1898 Roorkee chair or a 1930s Klint chair. As a builder, the only significant differences between the chairs are in the leg turnings and the way the arm straps are attached.

This observation isn’t to denigrate Kaare’s genius as a designer. Only to point out a close connection between campaign furniture and Danish modern.


This weekend I was delighted to receive some images of construction drawings of a Klint chair that were executed in 1933 by Rigmor Andersen, a student of Klint’s and life-long supporter of his work. These ink and pencil drawings are on display at the Danish National Art Library. The photos were taken by woodworker Jared Fortney during a recent visit to the library.

(If you are near Copenhagen, Fortney says you should get there immediately to see the current exhibit on Hans Wegner that features more than 150 Danish chairs.)

The three-view drawing shows a lot of good details. First is that the stretchers are indeed cigar-shaped and 1-1/4” in diameter in the center. Also interesting: The two back pieces are double-tapered. I actually haven’t noticed this on Klint chairs to date. So I’ll try that on my next one.


Because this drawing is scaled, it’s easy to see exactly where the transitions occur in the turnings. And lastly, the seat construction shown in the drawing in one I haven’t encountered before in the wild. The seat material wraps around the front stretcher and is sewn. At the rear, the material wraps around a dowel and is sewn. Then there are four grommets in the seat. Leather belting attaches the grommets to the rear stretcher.


This arrangement saves some material and makes the belting easy to replace. On a fair number of vintage Safari chairs the belting has snapped or rotted.

All of the images in this blog post are as high a resolution as possible from the photos. I also processed and sharpened the images to make the details more readable. So download them and print them out to get the maximum detail.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Campaign Furniture, Historical Images
Categories: Hand Tools

Short Notes on Lost Art Press Stuff

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:58am


Here are a few quick updates on things you might care about.

  1. “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” by Roy Underhill will ship from the printer on Nov. 10. So we’ll be getting that out in plenty of time for Christmas (whew). As I mentioned yesterday, the “Book of Plates” is a wee bit delayed at the bindery. So if you want that book for Christmas, please place your order as soon as possible.
  2. Sweatshirts are back in stock, except for the XXLs. Those will be in stock next week. As to sizes, take a look at the charts provided by American Apparel for the sweatshirt here. Some people are reporting they fit a bit snug. I haven’t found that to be the case, and I’m on my second washing.
  3. George Walker, one of the authors of “By Hand & Eye” is teaching a class at The Woodworkers Club in Rockville, Md., on Nov. 3-4. And there are a few openings. Want to be a better designer? Talk to George. Details here.
  4. Peter Galbert is depleting the world’s supply of pencils with his new book. If you want a peek at the illustrations, follow him on Instagram here.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: By Hand & Eye, Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!, Chairmaking by Peter Galbert, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

Design Under Duress

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 5:09am


Building a project in front of an audience is one thing. Designing it and building it on the fly is enough to drive me to drink.

Earlier this year I did a two-day seminar for the Alabama Woodworkers Guild where I designed and built a six-board chest. While I usually do a lot work beforehand for classes, I was in the final stages of editing “Campaign Furniture” and was a bit task-saturated. Here was my prep work for that class: I threw some boards and tools into my truck and drove south.

Luckily, I’ve built a lot of six-board chests, and the resulting piece turned out well. In fact, I like this particular chest so much that I’m using it in “Furniture of Necessity.” As a result, I had to create a SketchUp drawing and cutting list after building the project.

As I was drawing the chest yesterday, I was amused to see that I had fallen into using some typical ratios while designing the project, even though I didn’t use dividers or a tape measure. I just looked, marked and cut. It really was “By Hand & Eye.

The elevation of the case is 3:5, one of my favorite ratios. And the ends of the carcase – minus the legs – are 1:1, which is what I almost always use for my tool chests.

While these ratios make the chest’s appearance simple, they complicate the cutting list. If you have ever developed a cutting list from an antique piece of furniture, you probably asked yourself: “Why did they use these odd measurements?” You can chalk up the weird measurements to wood movement or the metric system, or you can realize that perhaps they weren’t measuring as much as we measure.

Here, for example, is the cutting list for the chest as built:

Six-board Chest Cutting List, Furniture of Necessity

No.    Name        T  x  W  x  L
1    Lid        3/4  x  14-3/4  x  35-1/8
2    Battens    3/4  x  1-5/8  x  14-3/4
2    Front/back    3/4  x  14-1/4  x  33-3/8
2    Ends        3/4  x  14-1/4  x 19-1/4
1    Bottom        3/4  x  12-7/8  x  32-3/8
1    Moulding    5/8  x  1-1/4  x  33-3/8
4    Feet        5/8  x  5  x  7-3/8

Yeah, I know. This cutting list could be simplified to use some rounder numbers. Or you could make this metal leap: There is no difference between hitting 35-1/8” or 35” or 35-7/64”. They are all numbers that are available to us.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Furniture of Necessity
Categories: Hand Tools

New in the Store: ‘The Book of Plates’

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:30am

BOP_1000To ensure you can receive “l’Art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” in time for Christmas, we are taking pre-publication orders for this book and offering free domestic shipping until Nov. 19, 2014.

“The Book of Plates” goes on press tomorrow, Oct. 24, but because the book is oversized, the pages have to be trucked to a separate bindery, which is experiencing delays. Because of this unforeseen event, the book will not ship to our warehouse until Nov. 19.

To make sure all Christmas orders go out as quickly as possible, we are now taking orders for the “Book of Plates.” This will give us time to prepare all the shipping labels and custom boxes for the books beforehand. All orders will be shipped in the order they are received.

Pre-publication orders will receive free domestic shipping. After Nov. 19, shipping will increase to approximately $10.

You can place your order here.

If you haven’t heard about the “Book of Plates,” here are the details:

“The Book of Plates” contains every single gorgeous illustration from all of the volumes of André-Jacob Roubo’s “l’Art du Menuisier,” the most important woodworking book of the 18th century. All the plates are printed full size on #100 Mohawk Superfine paper – the best paper available today.

The book itself is 472 pages long and measures 10” wide, 14-1/4” tall and 2” thick – a sizable chunk. It will ship in a custom-made box. The price is $100.

As with all Lost Art Press books, “The Book of Plates” is produced entirely in the United States. It is hardbound, casebound, with sewn signatures and a cloth cover. The book is designed to outlast us all. The plates were scanned from 18th-century originals at the highest resolution available and are printed at a linescreen that will produce the maximum detail possible for the paper and press technology.

“The Book of Plates” is an intoxicating look at 18th-century work, everything from furniture to architectural woodwork, carriage-making, marquetry and garden woodwork. Roubo’s volumes are still the legal standard when it comes to the craft of woodworking in most of the world.

Even if you never buy one of our translations of Roubo’s text, “The Book of Plates” will inspire you (for many years we owned two copies of Roubo with only a passing knowledge of French). And if you read Roubo in the original French, German or one of our English translations, having the full-size plates in front of you makes a huge difference.

In addition to containing all 383 plates from “l’Art du menuisier,” we have included the first English translation of the table of contents for the books, which serve as a guide to the plates. This table of contents is 11 pages long and is a roadmap to the contents of every plate. There also are short essays from Don Williams, our partner in translating the text, and Christopher Schwarz, the publisher.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

Hooded Sweatshirts Back in Stock

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:26am


Lost Art Press sweatshirts with the hand-lettered logo are back in stock and ready to ship immediately.

These midweight American Apparel sweatshirts are available in sizes small to XXL. The price is $45 (XXLs are $1 more). Some customers have reported the sweatshirts are a bit snug. So before you order, check out this sizing chart for this particular sweatshirt. If in doubt, order one size larger than you typically wear.

In my personal experience, American Apparel sweatshirts loosen up over time, becoming a little more baggy than when new (just like me!).

We’re going to keep this sweatshirt in stock as best we can through the winter months. Order early, however, to avoid delays and disappointment.

See the sweatshirt in the store here.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Products We Sell
Categories: Hand Tools

An Aumbry for ‘The Furniture of Necessity’

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:01pm


I am finally – finally – getting my butt in gear on “The Furniture of Necessity,” building the projects for my next book.

The most recent project has been this aumbry. What’s an aumbry? If you don’t follow my blog at Popular Woodworking Magazine, here’s the shorthand. An aumbry is an early case piece used to store food, books or anything of value.

You might argue that aumbries are only for holding the sacrament in a church, but you’ll have to talk to Victor Chinnery about that. (See also: Misnomers, Bible Boxes.) My interest in the aumbry stems from the fact that the form evolved into many pieces that we use today: bookcases, cupboards, armoires and the lowly kitchen cabinet.

Oh, and aumbries are dang fun to build.


In essence, an aumbry is nailed together and features some gothic tracery on the front. The tracery is not merely decorative. It allows air to circulate inside the carcase.

The piercings were covered with cloth on the inside of the case to keep the bugs away. My guess (and the guess of others) is that the cloth would have been undyed linen, which is made from flax.

ross_hinges_IMG_0107 ross_lock_interior_IMG_0106 ross_lock_front_IMG_0103

This aumbry was made from off-the-rack quartered and rift oak. The finish is boiled linseed oil, a wee bit of varnish and brown wax. The hardware is from blacksmith Peter Ross. If you are going to build one of these for yourself, you might want to drop Peter a line now to get in line for the lock, H-hinges and nails needed to build the piece.

All the hardware is secured by clenched wrought nails. It’s a fun way to install hardware (if you like driving while blindfolded).


I haven’t installed the linen yet; I’m waiting until after a photo shoot next week. While I wait, I’ve been sketching up the drawings for the plate for this project and other plates in “The Furniture of Necessity.” The engraver is going to make these look very nice. So ignore my pixels.

The next project for “The Furniture of Necessity:” Welsh chairs. I can’t wait.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Furniture of Necessity, Projects
Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 25

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Friday: A Tantalizing Peek at the Studley Tool Chest

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:40pm


Most of the verbiage I’ve read about the H.O. Studley tool chest has been misleading, candy-coated or just silly. I can say this because I’ve spent the last five years embedded with Don Williams, the author of our forthcoming book “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley.”

Thanks to the scholarship of Don and his research assistants, we now have a clear(er) picture of Studley and the history of his chest and workbench.

For the first look at some of the real Studley story, I recommend you check out Matt Vanderlist’s blog at “Matt’s Basement Workbench” this coming Friday. Matt was kind enough to do a Skype interview with Don and Narayan Nayar, the photographer on the project.

They chatted with Matt last week while sitting in front of the chest and discussed some of the questions many woodworkers ask: Who was Studley? Why did he build the chest? And what will become of it?

Matt will publish the full 30-minute interview on his blog for free this Friday. Those who support Matt as a Patreon will also get a (very) cool segment we did on the workbench with Narayan manning the camera.

Go there on Friday!

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

Suzanne Ellison’s ‘L’art du corbeau’

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 4:53am


If we planned to market “L’art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” to a second genus, it would likely be to the Corvus of the world – the crows. Not only do these birds appreciate shiny objects, but they have been observed both using and making tools (unlike some members of online forums).

Suzanne “Saucy Indexer” Ellison has been spending her free time transforming pre-press proofs of “The Book of Plates” into an art project. Here are her latest images.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Personal Favorites, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
Categories: Hand Tools

Where H.O. Studley Shopped

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 10:15am


While a fair number of tools in the H.O. Studley chest were custom-made – most likely by Studley himself – there are a significant number of off-the-rack tools in the chest as well. Lots of Starrett stuff, Brown & Sharpe, Stanley and Buck Bros.

Based on two of the backsaws in the chest, we know that Studley bought them from Chandler & Barber, a well-known ironmonger in Boston that supplied tools for work in metal, iron, wood and leather. The company also was renowned for supplying tools for schools teaching Sloyd and the North Bennet Street school.


In fact, there is a lot written about Chandler & Barber that our researchers have uncovered, but what we don’t have is a Chandler & Barber catalog from the early 20th century. We haven’t turned up a full catalog of the hardware company’s wares that relate to woodworking tools. We’ve got some pages and snippets, but not a full catalog.

If you have a catalog in your collection and would like to help our last bit of research for “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley,” could you please send a message to Don Williams?

(Yes, we know that Chandler & Barber didn’t manufacture the saws and that they are private label from another maker.)

In the meantime, enjoy these shots of the blade etches on two of Studley’s backsaws and a photo of the display cases at Chandler & Barber’s store on Summer Street in Boston.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. And if you have a photo of Don Williams speaking during the first Roubo Society dinner at Woodworking in America in Covington, Ky., we would love a copy!


Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

On the Importance of the Studley Tool Chest

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:38pm


During the last five years, I’ve had more than my share of intimate contact with the famous H.O. Studley tool cabinet. And so wherever I travel I get asked this question: “What’s it like?”

So I lie.

“I hate it,” I say. And then I talk about how stressful it is to unload and load all the 245 tools from such a precious artifact without dropping them or harming the chest.

The truth is, my encounters with the chest have changed both me and my woodworking. (And I’m sure that Don Williams, the book’s author and team leader, and Narayan Nayar, the photographer, would concur.)


The chest mocks us. It is a piece of craftsmanship and design that is virtually faultless, no matter how close you get to it. It’s an experience you don’t get from looking at the poster of the chest or a picture on a screen. It is something that is best experienced in person.

If you start with your eye about 2” from the chest you can see that the interior surfaces are exquisite. The inlay is seamless. The grain has no defects.

As you step back, you can see how each grouping of tools is organized. They are stepped and scaled in an orderly fashion, some of them looking a bit like a military formation.


You step back again. And again. Until it is at the back of the room. At no point does it become imperfect.

We are finishing up our shooting and filming of the chest (and Studley’s workbench) this week for the forthcoming book “Virtuoso.” I promise the book will be incredible on every level we can manage. But what I also recommend that you – as a craftsman – make a pilgrimage to see the chest in person in May 2015 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Details at www.studleytoolchestexhibit.com/.

It will humble you, as it has me. And it will inspire you to be a better woodworker or toolmaker. The only reason not to go is if you are already a better woodworker than H.O. Studley.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Uncategorized, Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 24

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

My Final Visit to Studley’s Chest (And Your First One)

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:49am


In about 90 minutes I leave the real world to enter the shadowy territory of H.O. Studley. His tool cabinet and workbench are under the kind curation of a man who wishes to remain anonymous. And so we turn off all the location services on our smart devices.

During this final visit, we will shoot a video about the chest, including a time-lapse film of us unloading it. And we will finish all the extra still photos we need for Don Williams’ forthcoming book, “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley.”

Don is almost finished with his manuscript. I have read his first draft, and Don has uncovered a lot of information on Studley himself and the interesting journey of the chest from Quincy, Mass., to the wall of a collector’s Batcave.

The photos, by Narayan Nayar, are of museum quality.

The book will be released in March 2015, just in time for the (perhaps final) public exhibit of the chest and workbench that coincides with the Handworks event in the Amana Colonies, May 15-16, 2015. Don’t miss Handworks. Seriously. You will kick yourself if you do. Nothing else embodies the ideas of hand-tool woodworking that we hold dear at Lost Art Press. It’s not a commercial thing. There are no guys selling router bits. No Sham-wows. Just lots of people who love handwork having a good time. Admission is free.

The Studley exhibit will be held at the Masonic lodge in nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The exhibit is being funded entirely out of Don Williams’ pocket with some volunteer help. There is no corporate or museum money behind him. This is, frankly, a huge risk on Don’s part.


When Don visited here recently I asked him about the exhibit and if he would cancel it if he didn’t sell enough tickets. He replied, “No.” After I asked the obvious follow-up, “Why?” here’s the answer I received.

“Because it has to be done. This might be the only chance for people to ever see these objects. And,” he added, ”I said that I would do it.”

If you are thinking about attending or just want to support this kind of quixotic endeavor, buy your tickets at http://www.studleytoolchestexhibit.com/. Tickets are only $25.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

More Sweatshirts on the Way

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:47am


The new Lost Art Press sweatshirts are selling faster than we anticipated. We are sold out of size “medium” and are almost out of XXL. But don’t fear, small one (or very large one), we are ordering more today.

We will keep this item in stock through all the cold months in 2014 and 2015.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Products We Sell
Categories: Hand Tools


by Dr. Radut