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Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz

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Updated: 2 hours 30 min ago

How to Make Money Making Posters!

6 hours 25 min ago


Every week a customer suggests we sell posters, postcards, calendars, stationary or sketchbooks that feature a piece of artwork or photograph from one of our Lost Art Press products.

It’s flattering, but we decline. During my tenure in publishing, I’ve studied this market and have concluded that this is how you make money on posters that do not feature kittens, human flesh or dumb motivational sayings.

  1. Select the most popular images from your publishing business; scale and clean the images so they will reproduce well on heavy coated paper stock.
  2. Find a press that can hold the line screen appropriate for a quality reproduction job.
  3. Purchase 2,000 posters so you can reduce the unit cost and charge less than $20 for the poster – a key price point.
  4. Sell 200.
  5. Warehouse the 1,800, running up a monthly fee to store them until your profit is gone and someone decides to pulp them.
  6. Sell a kidney.
  7. Profit!

Rather than lose another internal organ, let’s try this. Last night I made a high-resolution scan of one of the pages from this post on furniture styles. I scanned it at the maximum resolution we can handle, cleaned it up in Photoshop for about two hours and scaled it so it would print nicely at 18” x 24” – a common and inexpensive ($13) poster size at Staples.

You can download the high-resolution file here (it’s more than 50mb):

You have our permission to take it to a printer and have them make you a poster for your own use. If 50 people send me a photo of this poster on the wall of their shop, I’ll do another one for free. We lose less money this way.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Downloads
Categories: Hand Tools

‘To Make as Perfectly as Possible’ Named one of the ‘50 Books of the Year’

11 hours 52 min ago


The deluxe edition of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry” has been named one of the “50 Books of the Year” for 2013 by the Design Observer, in association with AIGA and Designers & Books.

Wesley Tanner at work on his bench during the French Oak Roubo Project.

Wesley Tanner at work on his bench during the French Oak Roubo Project.

Designed by Wesley Tanner, “To Make as Perfectly as Possible” is the most beautiful modern book I have ever held, much less worked on. Wesley, a fine woodworker himself, did justice to the immense years-long translating job by Don Williams, Michele Pagan and Philippe Lafargue.

You can see all of the winners of the competition here.

This “50 Books” competition is the oldest continuously operating graphic design competition in the United States, starting in 1922.

Please join me in congratulating Wesley on his prestigious award.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. We have about two dozen copies of the deluxe edition for sale in our store. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

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

Materials & Tools for the Knockdown Nicholson Workbench

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 1:58pm


I’m teaching two classes in building the Knockdown Nicholson Workbench in 2015 (details on the locations to come) and needed to prepare a list of materials and tools for the students. Because I received an S+ in “Sharing” in kindergarten, I am also posting it here.


  1. Ductile mounting plates for 3/8” x 16 threaded rod. You need 16. Available from McMaster-Carr.
  2. High-strength steel cap screws, 3/8” x 16 thread. You need 16. Available from McMaster-Carr.
  3. Plain steel 3/8” flat washers. You need at least 16. Buy a pack of 100 from McMaster-Carr.
  4. Plain steel split lock washers, 3/8”. You need at least 16. Buy a pack of 100 from McMaster-Carr.
  5. No. 10 x 1” slot-head screws (for attaching the mounting plates). You need at least 32. Buy a pack of 100 from McMaster-Carr.
  6. No. 8 x 2-1/2” wood screws to assemble the ends. A box of 50 should be fine. Here’s a link to the square-drive ones from McMaster-Carr.
  7. No. 8 x 1-1/4” wood screws for attaching the interior apron bracing. You’ll need about 20. You can also buy these from McMaster-Carr.
  8. Gramercy Holdfasts. One pair. Available from Tools for Working Wood.

For a 6’ or 8’ bench, I recommend you buy four 2x12s that are 16’ long. Buy yellow pine or douglas fir, whatever is available in your area. Buy the clearest, straightest stock in the pile. (And if there’s another 2×12 there that looks good, grab it too.) This will allow you some waste and to cut around knots, shakes, pitch and ugly. Note that this does not include the shelf – add a 2×12 x 16’ if you want a shelf. Yes, you will have leftover wood.

You will also need 1×10 material for the interior apron bracing. For a 6’ bench you can get one 1×10 x 8’. For an 8’-long bench, get two.

You’ll need basic marking and measuring tools, plus screwdrivers, a handsaw, a cordless drill, chisels and a block plane. Here are some of the specialty tools that will make your life easier. Plus:

  1. 9/16” socket set to assemble and disassemble the bench.
  2. 3/4” WoodOwl Nailchipper bit. Get yours at Traditional Woodworker.
  3. Forstner bit. You’ll need 1-1/8” for the counterbores.
  4. Brad points. Bring your set. Bench building is a lot about drilling holes.
  5. Tapered countersink bits. The Snappy set from Woodcraft is good.
  6. A pair of sawbenches or sawhorses to work on. (Barring that, a couple of 5-gallon buckets).

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Woodworking Classes, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Speaking of Gothic

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:28pm


One of the reasons I first became consumed by woodworking was the American Art & Crafts movement. Though I rarely build Arts & Crafts pieces anymore, I fell in love with the joinery and the oak about 1990 when a neighbor let me sit in his Morris chair.

I started collecting pieces, but there was only so much antique furniture you can buy on a $16,600 annual salary at a newspaper.

So I started building it.

The Arts & Crafts style was my gateway into the craft, and I’ll always be grateful for it opening the door into other furniture styles, especially Welsh chairs and the real early stuff I’m building now for “The Furniture of Necessity.” Some of these pieces remind me of looking under rocks at Wildcat Mountain Lake in Arkansas. If the creepy guys in the bathrooms didn’t get you, the copperheads might.

Like this aumbry I’m building this week. Some of it is so unfamiliar it’s just weird and difficult to see the pitfalls ahead. Like mortising into the edge of 12”-wide oak. That’s an odd feeling. And then discovering that the mortises graze the crease mouldings on the stiles. I didn’t see that coming.

Other stuff is just new territory for me. Cutting the crease moulding on the top rail felt weird – it was going to terminate abruptly on the stiles. Yet when the joints went together, the shop lights were off and it looked good – like a moulded apron between table legs.

Tomorrow I start the pierced carvings on the stiles. I’m not looking forward to doing it in dry oak, but that’s what I’ve got.

— Christopher Schwarz

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

Furniture Styles: From Gothic to the 20th Century

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 6:30am


After reading Charles H. Hayward’s writings during his tenure as editor of The Woodworker, I think he was of two minds about furniture. While the magazine was filled with plans for up-to-date pieces that would look at home on the set of “Mad Men,” Hayward also took pains to educate readers about old work.

One of the ways he did this was by drawing pieces from the collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and all of those drawings will be featured in our upcoming book on The Woodworker magazine.

He also published one-page drawings that showed how a particular form of furniture – tables, beds, chairs – changed during the centuries.

Today we offer a free download of seven of these pages compiled in one pdf. You can download it using the link below.


One of the things you can see from the pdf is why we are so keen on publishing this book. The acid-based paper that these are printed on is deteriorating rapidly.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker, Downloads
Categories: Hand Tools

This is Where we Fight about ‘Fishtails’

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 1:04pm


Here is joint I have not encountered yet. I suppose they are technically dovetails, but I think the construction looks more like tails of fish.

Paul Windle-Taylor of Brittany, France, discovered them at the back of the bottom drawer of an ornate carved Breton armoire made in about 1908 as wedding present by the father of the bride.

“As with much of this rural working, the external work is of fine quality but the intrinsic build is massive,” Paul wrote. “I was struck by the assumed bomb-proofness of the work. This is one drawer back that will not come off!”

What is awesome about this crazy joint is that it does not require glue to stay together. C’est bon!

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Techniques
Categories: Hand Tools

Petition for a Tree Substitute

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 7:00am

skinnycowOK, please stop calling the hide-glue manufacturers and demanding cruelty-free hide glue. The post on liposuction glue was a joke.

I have received a couple of angry e-mails from industry representatives who are trying to set me straight about my misinformation on how liposuction from cows could make hide glue. Apparently I didn’t do any research on fats….

I love hide glue. If you want cruelty-free glue, use yellow glue, which kills only baby vinyls and fetal acetates.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 20

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

A Petition for Cruelty-free Hide Glue

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 5:16am


Last weekend while lecturing about hide glue to the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association, one of the members mentioned a disadvantage of my favorite adhesive that I’d never considered.

“I bet the vegans don’t like your glue,” he said.

The statement stopped me dead in my tracks. He was right.

And that is why I am asking for your help to petition both Old Brown Glue and Franklin International (makers of Titebond Hide Glue) to change their manufacturing processes to make and market only “cruelty-free” products.

While I fully recognize you cannot make hide glue without animal by-products, these can be harvested in an ethical manner by using animals that have died of old age or in collisions with automobiles. Another alternative is to adopt the methods employed by the “No-kill Mutton Tallow” industry, namely liposuction.

I am certain that woodworkers would be willing to pay a premium for a glue that sticks well and also results in slimmer, more attractive livestock.


— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Question About ‘The Book of Plates’

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:53pm

lap-roubo-pressmark-1Jason writes: I have a question for you about your announcement of “The Book of Plates.” I have already purchased the first installment that Lost Art Press has published on marquetry, and I plan to get the one on furniture when it comes out. My question is this: Is there more information that can be gleaned from “Plates?” Or would having Roubo 1 & 2 have the same information?

Keep up the good work! I look forward to Roubo 2 and the Studley book (yeah, for French fitting).

Answer: “The Book of Plates” includes all the plates from all of Roubo’s books, which includes architectural woodwork, furniture making, carriage building, marquetry and garden woodwork. So far, we have published most of Roubo’s writing on marquetry. The second book (due early next year) will cover most of his writing on furniture and woodworking tools.

We hope to publish the other books in Roubo’s series, but these translations take many years of effort.

So the primary reason we decided to publish “The Book of Plates” now was so everyone could own the complete set of plates from the entire 18th-century opus.

The second reason is we wanted to ensure that Roubo’s plates could be enjoyed at full size at an affordable price and on quality paper. We printed them at full size in the deluxe edition, but the standard edition has them in reduced size. With “The Book of Plates,” you can easily see all the detail at the scale that Roubo intended. Plus, if you own Roubo in the standard edition or the pdf download, having the book of plates handy in front of you is a great way to absorb the text.

— Christopher Schwarz

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

Install a Half-mortise Chest Lock

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:48am


Last weekend at the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association I didn’t have time to install the chest lock on the campaign-style officer’s trunk I built for the organization’s fall seminar.

And so I promised I would post directions from “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker.”

I’m always happy to revisit this particular book because it was such a fun project. Joel Moskowitz at Tools for Working Wood unearthed a very rare copy of this 1830 book that we reprinted. Joel wrote a nice introductory section to the book about woodworking during that period. Then I built the three projects shown in the book.

The pages in the pdf below are what I wrote about installing a chest lock, which is based on the excellent instructions in the original 1830 text.


— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. Later this week I will post the other thing I promised to share with the club: A video of how to install corner guards and L-brackets on campaign pieces.

Filed under: Downloads, The Joiner & Cabinet Maker
Categories: Hand Tools

Kitchen Table Workbench from The Woodworker

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:29am


There are many ways to get around not having a dedicated workbench. Here are a few:

  1. Some Victorian-era books recommend using a chest of drawers as a bench. Work on the top, store your tools in the top drawers and use the lower drawer to collect shavings.
  2. Last year I built the “Milkman’s Workbench,” a copy of a European commercial bench for the benchless woodworker.
  3. Build a knockdown bench, like the Nicholson-style bench I built this summer using framing lumber.

In 20th-century magazines, one common project was a workbench that was designed to affix to your kitchen table, and here is one from The Woodworker magazine. This version is secured to the table with two clamps that are embedded in the tool tray. Plus it offers an adjustable planing stop.

You can download the article with the link below:

Bench_top for the Kitchen

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. If someone sees a cute glue pot like the one shown in the drawing above, you can sell it to Megan Fitzpatrick, who has a thing for petite glue pots.

Filed under: Historical Images, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Inside Roubo’s ‘The Book of Plates’

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:57am


This week we will put the finishing touches on “l’Art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” and send it to the printer.

It is astonishing to look at all 383 plates (or 382, depending on how you count them). From a woodworker’s perspective, the plates are enjoyable to stare at for hours. André Roubo drew the majority of them himself, so the drawings show the details that a woodworker wants.

(Many times it’s easy to tell when an artist had no woodworking training – the small bits are slightly wrong. Not so with Roubo. Even the screw threads are drawn correctly.)

We have created “The Book of Plates” so everyone can enjoy Roubo’s plates as he intended – printed full-size and on beautiful paper. No matter how you read the text – on your computer screen, in one of our books or even in a translation in a different language – there is nothing like seeing the plates in full-size and at a resolution approaching the 18th-century originals.

In addition to the plates, this new book will contain the first English-language translation of André Roubo’s table of contents for “l’art du Menuisier.” This document is 10 pages long and is a guide to what is shown in the 383 plates. This document has been a guiding light in the translation of these massive woodworking books.

“l’Art du menuisier: The Book of Plates” will feature all of the plates printed full-size on #100 Mohawk Superfine paper, which is manufactured in Upstate New York. After being printed in Michigan, the pages will be sewn and hardbound. This will be a permanent book, even if your dog takes a liking to it.

The book will be $100 and will be available in November. We will offer this book to our retailers, though it is up to each retailer to decide to carry the book.

We hope you will enjoy the book (and we hope a lot of you enjoy the book – we just wrote a check to the printer for more than the value of my first house).

— Christopher Schwarz

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

Wooden Spoons in The Woodworker Magazine

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:14am


Now that spoon carving has supplanted pen turning as the latest woodworking craze (and it’s about time), you might enjoy this article from The Woodworker magazine, which was likely written and illustrated by Charles H. Hayward.

Hayward had excellent contacts among British museums, especially the Victoria and Albert Museum. So the magazine is peppered with his drawings of early work, including this collection of interesting wooden spoons.

I’ve not been bitten by the spoon-carving bug, likely because of a psychic scar.

During my first few months at Popular Woodworking in 1996, one of the other editors was carving Celtic love spoons; I decided I would like to learn to make one, too. After half a day of work on my love spoon, I showed it to him to get some feedback and tips.

“Oh wow,” he said, holding my spoon. “I really am a good carver. Your spoon sucks. You’re fired.”

He gave the spoon back to me and walked away. I threw my spoon in the garbage.

You can download the one-page article in pdf format using the link below.


— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Historical Images
Categories: Hand Tools

Still Spots Available in the San Diego Presentation

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 5:17pm


Got two days free in Southern California? Wanna see a guy make a campaign trunk by hand?

There are still seats available in my two-day presentation for the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association seminar this Saturday and Sunday.

I’m building a dovetailed campaign trunk from start to finish – including all the hardware – and talking about a wide variety of hand-tool topics, everything from sharpening to hand joinery to not bleeding on the wood.

The seminar is Saturday and Sunday at Francis Parker School, 6501 Linda Vista Rd. San Diego, CA 92111. The seminar starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. You can still register here online.

All attendees receive a copy of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” (signed in thumb blood) and the book’s companion DVD.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Woodworking Classes
Categories: Hand Tools

Charles Hayward, Coffins & a Tribute

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 5:05pm


While scanning more than 350 old magazines edited by Charles Hayward, we kept running into articles that were made us pause because they were so interesting, yet we didn’t have a place for them in our forthcoming book.

We clipped them anyway, and I’ll be posting many of them here for you to enjoy.

Today is an article from the fantastic series called “The Old School,” which ran in The Woodworker between the wars. Each “Old School” column was a first-person account of work in a hand-tool shop at a different trade. This particular column was on making coffins.

You can download a pdf of the article using the link below.


Also, reader Jeff Hanes sent me this link to a film by craftsman Jeremy Broun about Hayward’s influence on him as a craftsman and illustrator. It is well worth watching.

Tomorrow I am off to San Diego to teach a two-day seminar at the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association. I have take the smart extremely stupid step of packing all of my tools and the wood for my project in my checked luggage. Along with my undies and minty floss.

Well, it couldn’t be worse than my performance in Detroit!

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker, Downloads
Categories: Hand Tools

‘By Hand & Eye’ Animations

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:59am

BHAE_detail2_500_IMG_7428Here you can download the geometry animations discussed in “By Hand & Eye” by George Walker and Jim Tolpin. There are a variety of ways to download them to your computer or watch them.

  1. Download the following .zip file. After it lands in your “Downloads” folder, double-click it and it will extract itself. You will have a folder with three documents. Double-click on “By Hand & Eye Animations.html.” That will open your default web browser and you will see all the animations.


  2. Follow this link to a Dropbox folder where the three files discuss in No. 1 will be located. Download those. Double-click on “By Hand & Eye Animations.html” to get started.
  3. Visit Jim Tolpin’s YouTube channel. Scroll down and you’ll see all the animations there.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: By Hand & Eye, Downloads
Categories: Hand Tools

Lost Art Press Contributing Editors

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 3:54am


While I’m the public face of Lost Art Press, this company wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for a network of independent woodworkers, writers, editors, designers, indexers, researchers and proofreaders. Every book we publish is vetted by a team of people – some paid and some volunteers – who clean and refine our authors’ work.

Our network of assistants has gotten large enough that I am compelled to offer the following people the official title of “contributing editor.”

Before I list these people, I have to call out John Hoffman, who owns half of Lost Art Press. Without him, we wouldn’t have a new website, we wouldn’t have a smooth accounting system and we wouldn’t be able to ship books as efficiently as we do. John’s labor is the thankless donkey work that keeps this business going. He’s also been expanding his efforts this year into the editorial realm, which we’ll be discussing in the coming months.

But whether you know John or not, this business would not exist without him. And it’s important for me to mention that at every opportunity.

So here are the Lost Art Press contributing editors, in no particular order:

Suzanne Ellison. While we call her the “saucy indexer,” Suzanne is more than a writer of indices. She provides proofing, endless research and nudges (she is currently nudging me into Danish Modern). For example, when I started researching campaign furniture, Suzanne started her own independent investigation into the style. Without her help, I think my book would still be in the works. She also is willing to endless do-gooder donkey work: Right now she is transcribing the entire “The Naked Woodworker” DVD for customers who are deaf. She is doing this for no money (though I’ve promised her a dinner and wine).

We hope to have Suzanne write a book for us on Gillows of Lancaster, one of the most important and under-appreciated furniture makers of Great Britain.

Jeff Burks. Jeff’s research is fantastic. He finds images, articles and references that elude me and other people who plumb the history of the craft. His research on patents is impressive. And he has compiled some amazing original-source material on topics that needs to be published.

He has a sharp eye when it comes to woodworking imagery – paintings, drawings and sculpture in particular.

He also goes on hiatus at times. He’s a professional woodworker and sometimes his work becomes all-consuming. So for those of you who ask: “What happened to Jeff Burks?” My answer is: I don’t know. Let’s hope he’ll come back soon and return to posting regularly on the Lost Art Press blog.

Megan Fitzpatrick. Since we started this company, Megan has edited every one of our books. Some of them she edited for free – to help improve the product. On other books, such as Roy Underhill’s forthcoming novel, she has done more work than anyone besides the author. She even sneaks into the backend of our blog at times and fixes typos.

Though she technically works for a competing publishing house, we have found a way to make that relationship work. I promise not to publish any books on plunge routers; she vows to never publish translations of ancient French texts. All good.

Linda Watts. Though Linda is a book designer, she also has the sharp eye of an editor. Whenever she completes a design, she also gives us a list of errors and typos she finds. Linda has been in the woodworking publishing field longer than anyone in my circle of friends – she started at Shopsmith and designed its magazine “Hands On!” when I was in high school. My relationship with Linda is the longest (and best) that I’ve ever had with a designer.

There are lots of other people who helps us out on individual projects, but the four people above are involved in some way with almost everything we do. They are the reason that a lot of our books are interesting, fun to read and beautiful to behold.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. In a future post I’ll discuss the Lost Art Press mules – people who are the arms and legs of this company. These are the people who help move mountains of books or scan piles of pages.

Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

The Genius of Charles Hayward. Coming Soon

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 7:07pm


This project is difficult to talk about – mostly because it is like trying to describe in a phone conversation all the objects you could find in a Sears store.

Since the day that John Hoffman and I started Lost Art Press, one of our goals was to republish (legally) the work of Charles Hayward, the editor of The Woodworker magazine for three decades and my personal woodworking hero.

Hayward was a traditionally trained British craftsman, a professional woodworker, a talented writer and a near-genius illustrator. And he worked like a dog.

After much tribulation, we secured the rights to publish Hayward’s work in The Woodworker between 1937 and 1967. That was the easy part. During the last five years, a large team of people have been dissecting this huge amount of data, scanning it, proofing it and organizing it so it is a comprehensive look at Hayward’s writings on hand tools.

The result will be a huge – easily more than 500 pages – large-scale book that will cover all aspects of the craft, including every word that Hayward wrote on joinery, plus tools, turning, carving, finishing and traditional design.

Today was a major milestone for the project. John, Tim Henrickson and I made a final sweep through the 360 magazine issues to make sure we didn’t miss anything on joinery. The good news is that we didn’t find much that we had missed. By the end of this month, all this stuff will go to the page designer, Linda Watts.


To give you the tiniest taste of what is to come, download this one-page information graphic that Hayward drew on remouthing a plane. It’s only one page and yet describes something that could take a writer many pages to do equally well.


We do not have a release date for this book yet, except: As soon as humanly possible.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 19

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools


by Dr. Radut