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toolbox 99.99% done.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 1:35am
I am done with upgrading the toolbox woodworking wise. The last 0.01% left is to paint the dust shield banding I put on. I will also paint the rest of the tool exterior again. After it has been painted I'll put on a couple coats of satin poly. That will make it easier to clean the dust off of it. I'm looking forward to filling it with tools for Miles.

done right

These are the dovetails I expect of myself each and everytime I do them. On the times I fail to meet this standard, I have to use epoxy.

top edge flushed and cleaned up

till fits and slides easily R/L and L/R
Now the woodworking is done.

small gap
Both tills are up against the handles on the big till leaving this space.  There really isn't enough room to reach down beneath and take tools out. The space will allow moving either till toward the middle and lifting it out. You can then place the till onto the other one and have access to the bottom till.

the determining factor
This 12" steel ruler drove the size of this till.

the way I wanted the rule to go
The ID of the toolbox is  12"  so there wasn't any way I could have made a till to fit the ruler this way.

got his herd of planes in the box
I'm glad for this. The planes are a lot safer now in the toolbox then living on the dump table under a towel.

it's temporary home
This doesn't have many tools in it and it is heavy. I am not sure the handles I have on it will be able to handle picking it up fully loaded. Something I'll have to keep an eye on.

first temporary home
I keep the vacuum cleaner here and my standup to use dustpan and brush so it got ruled out. Eventually the toolbox will be stowed underneath the table on the left. I've got to clean that space out and find a new home for the crappola I have there now.

is it ok to change your mind on tools
I have used this marking since I went whole hog into hand tool woodworking about 6 years ago. It took me a while to get used to it and there haven't been any instances where I couldn't use it. One frustration I have with it is sharpening it. You have to keep this wicked sharp at all times in order to get optimum performance out of it. Sharpening a spear point, free hand, is not that easy for me to do.

Lee Valley throw away
 This marking knife is actually pretty good. I have sharpened it so much I changed the spear point profile. It is like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps on going. It's a spear point and that means hard to sharpen, especially so being a small one. That and wishing the plastic was wood is killing this one. Although lately I have been using this one much more than the big spear point.

old time marking knife
I bought this from the Best of Things and it took me a long time to fettle the business end. I used it for a while and set it aside. It's been promoted again to head of the class. This is, or will be Miles marking knife but I'm going to give it a try again in the interim.

back is flat and shiny
this is what I've come around to again
I like this broad flat surface to run the knife against something. It was originally why I bought it but I was turned off by it's small size. I have since gotten use to small size marking knives by using the Lee Valley throw away.

cleanly incised line and easy to see

clean and neat line too
Of the three marking knife, this was the easiest one to make a line with. It is sharp right now and I know when to sharpen because it will drag when making a line. All three make the same incised line but the old time marking gauge is the only the didn't leave any fuzz on the exit. The LV knife left the biggest one because it must have picked up a burr.

my squares are getting chewed up
This is another reason why I want to try using the old time marking knife (again). I am hoping that it's broader contact area will stop me from doing this. With the spear point knives I tend to tilt the knife and catch this edge.

I also have a Lee Valley spear point marking knife with a wooden handle I forgot to snap a pic of. The business end of that has a broader, shorter profile than my big knife. I tried that for a few days and put it away. I didn't like that one at all.  I will try to do all my marking with the old knife for now and see what shakes out with it.

one of Miles panel saws
This saw has a few kinks in it. I am sending this out to have the saw plate straightened and filed for a rip cut.

Miles saws
L to R, the kinked crosscut, crosscut, and a dull rip with no set.

11 TPI
This is the small rip saw and it is the only one that has the TPI stamped on it. All three saws have no etch at all that I can make out.

I like the hang on this saw
This will get filed for 7 TPI rip. I think that the teeth may have to be punched for that.

getting an idea for the saw till size
It looks like a 25-26" ID will do for the length.

as is it is 6"
Wiggle room and some kind of holder will add a couple of more inches to the width ID.

until I make the saw till
shipping box
I could not find a cardboard box that approximated the size of the saw. I am making a custom one out of scraps.

screwed the corners
I will glue and screw the bottom on and just screw the top. Once the bottom has been glued and screwed, I'll remove the screws from the corners.

glued and cooking
I'll finish this tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus, Cumulonimbus clouds classified as?
answer - Low Level Clouds (0 to 1.25 miles)

M&T Shop Building: Raising the Bents Day Two

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:07pm


This morning the crew gathered at 7:00 and devised a plan for raising the next three bents. The members between the bents are connected to each other with a 24’ long joist and so it was assembled as a unit and raised into place with a manual lift. The next bent was assembled on horses on the ground and carried into place by Matt via telehandler. This process continued all the way through to the fourth and final bent. Happily, there is little to report on because everything went so smooth. Even the twist in the joist between bent two and three was easily pulled into proper alignment.

By the end of the day, we had all four bents assembled. Tomorrow, we plan to put a temporary deck on the second floor and install the 26’ long plates with their braces onto the eve walls. With the plate in place, we can finish pegging the bents together and release the come alongs. After that it’s rafters and ridge pole! We’ll see how far we get tomorrow.

Tonight we feast and then rest before the next exciting step!

- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Sketch Your Way to Better Designs

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:41pm

One of my best woodworking tools is one I don’t write about much: my sketchbook. It’s an inexpensive spiral-bound thing I get at the grocery store, right by the romance novels. It’s always in my bag when I travel, and it’s on my lap when I’m “encouraged” to watch “Project Runway” with my lovely wife. I keep a mechanical pencil clipped to its metal spirals and use it to solve […]

The post Sketch Your Way to Better Designs appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Do You Really Need to Measure Diagonals?

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:32am
I was one of those kids who continually asked “why?” and I’ve never outgrown that. My mother taught me how to look things up and my dad, a card-carrying chemical engineer,  taught me to weigh the results of anything I Continue reading →
Categories: General Woodworking

The Hand, the Hound or the Truth?

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 9:00am

book covers

Editor’s note: Sorry, this post is not about “Game of Thrones.”

George and I often get asked which book should be read first, and we don’t have a quick answer. Because our research has been a quest, we didn’t write them necessarily in the order a beginner should take them up. We both agree, though, that our most recent “From Truth to Tools” would probably be the one we’d suggest reading first. It will go a long way to help you visualize space with practical knowledge of how our tools fit into the picture.

The second pick depends on how you like to learn. Read “By Hand & Eye” if you like to know the “why” as well as the “how” behind design and proportions. Otherwise, we suggest starting with “By Hound & Eye” if you tend to learn more by doing, and you just want to get down to it. Whichever way you begin this journey, we are confident you’ll come out seeing the world – and your craft – in a whole new way.

— Jim Tolpin, byhandandeye.com

Filed under: By Hand & Eye, By Hound and Eye, From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Music I’d Like To Hear #139

Doug Berch - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:38am

Mandolin and ukulele duo

Mandolin and ukulele duo.

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

Music I’d Like To Hear #139

Doug Berch - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:38am

Mandolin and ukulele duo

Mandolin and ukulele duo.

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

Product Video: Benchcrafted Hi Vise Hardware

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:00am

Improve the Comfort in Your Shop with the Benchcrafted Hi Vise Hardware!

In this video, Guy Dunlap explains how the new Benchcrafted Hi Vise hardware can dramatically improve your approach to carving tasks, cutting and paring dovetails or any detail work, allowing greater control. Guy also reviews the easy installation of this valuable addition to your shop.

Find out more and purchase your own Benchcrafted Hi Vise Hardware at Highland Woodworking.

The post Product Video: Benchcrafted Hi Vise Hardware appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Diamonds are a Turner’s Best Friend: My Favorite Slipstone

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 7:44am

The circumference of a 12” bowl (2πr) is about 38”. Multiply that to a lathe’s speed and you’ll realize that wood turners are making almost a mile of shavings a minute. I think it’s fair to say that turners sharpen more than any other woodworkers. Like other areas of the craft, religious sects have developed around sharpening in the turning world. Yet few fanatics outside of skew maniacs ever discuss […]

The post Diamonds are a Turner’s Best Friend: My Favorite Slipstone appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Forest To Furniture 2017

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 5:22am
Every year I get a couple chances to do a couple presentations at one of my favorite places in the world. The Castlerock Museum of Arms and Armor in Alma Wisconsin. A month ago I fed my medieval history hobby with a presentation on "Hollywood Vs. History: The Facts Shouldn't Ruin A Good Story" It was a lot of fun, I like building these formal(ish) lectures and interacting with the crowd.

Tom on the right and me on the left. Paul Nyborg is a good friend in the middle.
He's demonstrated with us in years past but won't make it this time around.

But next week Sunday Sept. 24th. I get to do something I've come to like even more. For the past few years Tom Latane and I have partnered up in ap presentation called "Forest To Furniture" We show the process of taking logs and producing furniture from the rough parts. In the past we've tackled, general techniques, joined stools (to varying degrees of success), and a small corner shelf, (the two produced are used in the museum)

This year I'm extra excited, we are working on a three legged staked stool based on patterns found in numerous Viking Age archaeological digs. Here's a LINK to google images. It's a simple stool in a staked furniture fashion but I rarely like the reproductions I see done. Last spring I revisited the form myself using Chris Schwarz's work on staked furniture as a guide and I was able to create a prototype I felt better about.

This coming Sunday Tom and I will go about improving on my prototype as anyone who wants to come can sit and watch us sweat and talk sawdust and anything else. The show does cost a nominal fee for the museum but the bad jokes are all free.

Please consider joining us!

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

Insect Infestation and Salvaged Lumber

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:47am

With our ambitious agenda awaiting us for the Man Week at the barn, our first task was to begin the Tetris game that always seems to be on tap for any type of reorganizing the shop.  The ripple molding machine was easily accessible for John but I had to move a ton of stuff to get to the FORP I workbench parts that were behind the parts for all the other workbenches that are not yet finished, and a large pile of old oak salvaged from the shack deconstruction that we were working on when I crossed paths with the cranky wheelbarrow that put me out of commission for the better part of a year.

The first thing I noticed from the pile of salvaged oak was the presence of frass in between each piece of the stack.  It might have been old frass from a no-longer-active infestation or it might not.  It was not an extreme amount but I was not going to take a chance as I was going to be making furniture for the cabin from it.

I mixed up my typical batch of insecticide with a gallon of marine anti-freeze and two 8 oz. cups of dry borate-complex powder (Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate), then mixed with a paint stirrer in my cordless drill.

I used a cheap garden sprayer to saturate the boards and stacked them under plastic to let it all soak in thoroughly.  After 36 hours I set them against the barn to dry, and two days later moved them inside and will put them to use when that project moves to the top of the pile.

Japanese chisels hold their value. This well-used set of chisels...

Giant Cypress - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:38am

Japanese chisels hold their value. This well-used set of chisels are still completely usable. That’s because the hard layer of steel in a Japanese chisel goes all the way across the bottom layer to the area where the blade transitions into the neck of the chisel.

(Pictures from eBay.)

European Woodworking Show

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:59am

I had promised myself that I would have a good look round all the show, but as usual it didn't happen! Here is the main barn just before customers were let in and here's what happened afterwards.

So unfortunately I only have a few shots of those near to my stand.

Camera shy Phil Edwards from Philly planes, gotcha!

Bill and Sarah Carter with a fine selection of his wonderful planes as well as a few other rare antiques.

Ollie Sparks with a good selection of his master pieces. More on Ollie later.
And below Richard Arnold with lots of 18thC planes along with some very nice 21st interpretations made by himself. Richard gives his time very generously and is extremely knowledgeable.

Categories: Hand Tools

toolbox almost done......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:05am
The upgrading I've been doing on the toolbox is almost done. I glued the bottom on the last till tonight and it'll be ready to put into the toolbox tomorrow. The toolbox has handles so that isn't an issue but a lock might be. I've been thinking about one and I've been back and forth on it being in and out. For the time being, the toolbox will be in my shop so a lock isn't necessary. I think I'll wait on it until Miles comes of age so he can decide.

I am not going to put saws in the toolbox. I had watched a toolbox presentation on the evolution of them from about 1660 up to the late 1800's. According to the person presenting he said saws were not commonly kept in toolboxes. I found that hard to understand when all the tools a craftsman needed were supposedly in the toolbox. How did he saw anything? The presenter said saws were kept in a separate saw till. Although he did show a few chests with saws stowed in the lid and in the interior bottom.

I like the idea of a separate saw till to hold Miles saws. I have a crosscut and rip saw for him already and I am going to get a dovetail, carcass, and tenon saw too.  Making a saw till for him will free up that space in the toolbox for other tools.

blue tape to the rescue
Another after dinner fix. When I was flushing the plywood I blew out the middle ply on the plywood. Super glue and blue tape fixed that.

I can't see it
The epoxy has set up on the tails and pins and they are solid feeling. All the tails are fully seated and there are some gaps on the sides. They aren't too bad as you see here so it appears the epoxy worked.

cleaned and flushed up the top
This till is done. I'm not putting any finish on it and no handles. Bob said to leave the space between them so I can pick them up. I agree with him.

gluing on the bottom
The width matches and I left if long because one end was wild and ragged out. I nailed 3 corners to hold it in place while I glued it.

glued, clamped, and cooking
handle stock
This was a practice run and the profile is a grecian ovolo.  It will make a better looking handle than a squarish one.

the before and after
 I sawed out two 4 inch handles and I rounded over the top and bottom.

found some screws
 I am going screw the handles on for now. I want to play with them for a while before I commit to gluing and screwing them.

set my 4" square to the depth
screw holes done
I used the square to set the depth on the outside of the till. The handle is flush with the top of the till and I put the screws in on the outside first then the middle one.

should have erased that pencil line
I marked the outside edge of the handle and then a 1/2" in from that for the screw. I'll plug this errant hole somehow. I countersunk the holes so I could bury the head of the screw so it wouldn't stick out so much.

laid it out right on this side
they work well
No problems grasping the handles and lifting the till and out of the toolbox. It didn't feel awkward nor was it difficult getting a grip on the handles.

I don't like the flat look on the ends
This may be the impetus for me to get my miter box put together. I think these would look better with an angle sawn on the ends or maybe a round over.

my backyard maple tree
This is the first time that this tree has turned and dropped leaves this early that I can recall. It usually keeps it's leaves till the end of October and beyond. I told my wife about it and she said she noticed that the leaves had a brown spots on them last month. It looks like it got bugs or a disease from something.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
On the Bob Newhart show (1970's), what was the apartment number he lived in?
answer - 523

I Was Assured They’re Old.

The Furniture Record - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:28pm

I was talking to Peter Follansbee about life, woodworking and this blog when he asked my why I didn’t take pictures of anything really old? My threshold for old is pre-McKinley (1900) while Mr. Follansbee’s is 16th century. The obvious answer is that the places I have access to don’t often have anything old. The number of Empire chests-of-drawers far exceeds the number of jointed English stools in the retail/auction market.

To address Mr. Follansbee’s concerns, I offer here two dealer-confirmed old pieces. I completely trust antiques dealers. What possible incentive would they have to lie or deceive?

Is it a cupboard if it was built before cups were invented? Could it be a jelly if all they had was preserves? It’s that old:


It’s a really old cabinet of some sort.


They told me that the door is as old as the rest of the cabinet.


Hand forged pintle hinges.


Even the drop pull is hand forged.

Equally old or even older is this chest:


More frame and panel construction. They didn’t have wide boards back then.


A coopered domed lid with a hand hewn rib.


A primitive hinge notched for leg clearance.


This lock (interior view)


is held on with clinched nails.


Looking at the end, somebody really liked their beading plane. Note the through tenons on the legs.


M&T Shop Building: Raising Day One

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 6:42pm

Today was the first day of the shop raising and, wow, was it momentous. The day started with finishing the new sill Luke, Matt, and Isaac began the day before. This 8” wide by 10” tall sill sits on top of the deck to raise the ceiling height. It is joined in the traditional manner with pegged mortise and tenon joints. After the sill was assembled and bolted to the deck, we began assembling the first (rearmost) bent.

We assembled the joints on sawhorses and drilled and pegged each tenon. Peg sizes varied from 1-3/8” to 1” to 3/4” depending on the joint. Because the pegs Luke purchased weren’t available in the odd 1-3/8” size that this frame was made with, Mike and I spent a good chunk of our day shaving the pegs to final size.  Once the bent was fully assembled, Luke and Isaac measured the tenon spacing and braced the assembly with 2x4s to keep them in position.

Matt carried the bent with the telehandler as Luke directed it into the mortises. It was pretty incredible to watch these two work together. Their subtle but effective communication showed that they’ve been doing this for a long time. With each tenon slipping seamlessly into its mortise, the first wall was standing.  

Between the physical labor these guys have gone through and the stress of crucial measurements working out, I think everyone working on this project was feeling wiped at the end of the day. But the day went off without a hitch. Tomorrow, bright and early we begin assembling the second bent.

 - Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Defiant Woodworking Syndrome.

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:20am

The thing that really hooked me on "The Anarchist Tool Chest" when I first opened the book was the title to the prologue.

"Disobey Me" 

Those two words, impossible to follow one way or the other, distilled most of my attitude for this world. I was fortunate I traversed my public school education when the term Attention Deficit was only beginning to gain traction and understanding. If then were today I'd probably carry the boat anchor labels of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or Rage Disorder, and most certainly ADHD. To be clear I don't believe I'm any of these things, I'm simply more willful, emotional, and free thinking than your average bear.

Whatever you tell me might be right, but I pathologically refuse to accept things without taking my own punches and learning for myself. If I'm wrong I'm happy to admit it, but I have to find out I'm wrong first. Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure it out.

When I went to install the hinges on my version of The ATC I was mindful about the hardware I was using. I knew Chris advocates slotted screws in furniture and the best argument I've heard from him for it is "because they look right." I debated in my mind for a little bit and came to a thought that went something like this:

"F U Chris, this is a modern take on a traditional tool chest. Slotted screws are the right thing for replacing or replicating an older or period piece, but this is my take built today and I'm gonna use the phillips screws that came with the hinges" 

I've been working out of this chest nearly everyday since 2011 and at first my decision didn't bother me, but in the last six years I've changed. Maybe it was the impetus of building the chest itself, maybe it's just the natural progression of the way my mind works, but soon after I started really studying furniture and woodworking on a deeper level than what the magazines were feeding me. I started finding books recommended by woodworkers I admired and then combing the bibliographies of those books to find that source material. The size of my personal library grew, now somewhere in the range of 250 books.

And the more I've read, and the more I've paged through volumes of furniture, the more I've realized that god dammit Chris you're right, alongside the nail head, the clocked slotted screw just looks like it belongs and the rest, phillips, square, torx, or hex, they stand out like a red devil in a crowd of nuns.

A few days ago I picked up some replacement slot headed wood screws, and I replaced the crappy phillips screws, and now my obsessiveness can move on to a different victim. Oh until I have a chance to redo to redo the compartments in the bottom level of my chest. turns out over time I was wrong about them too. . .

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

How to Cut Accurately

The Indian DIY & Woodworker - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 8:30am
I received an email recently from Kaushik Nath, a hobbyist woodworker: "I made a lot of projects with both hand and power tools. What is bothering me is to get perfect squareness. Please suggest how to overcome this problem?"

I had no ready answer, for I too struggle constantly to achieve accuracy and "squareness" in my work.

There is no one way to achieve accuracy; one has to constantly work at it. Perhaps practice and experience makes working more accurate. Today, my work is far more accurate than it was a few years ago although, as I mentioned, I am far from perfect.

Inaccuracies can arise due to various reasons including inaccurate cutting or measuring tools, incorrect marking or measuring, wood movement and so on.

Get accurate measuring tools and be careful about how you measure

A few tips could make cutting and sizing wood more accurate.

1.    Get good measuring tools
Most of us rely on the tape measure, which unfortunately is not always accurate, and this is true of other cheap rulers, squares and so on. I prefer to use folding rules when I need to measure something for cutting. When choosing rulers and squares the best are the "satin chrome" ones because they are easy to read and non-reflective. When marking, place the edge of the rule on the work to avoid parallax.

Instead of relying an a tape masure for accurate measurement switch to a rule of some king

2.    Gang up your pieces
When I need to cut two pieces to the exact same length, I find it easier to gang up the two pieces by clamping them together and cutting them at one go. This is better than measuring each piece individually and cutting them one by one.

When marking or cutting two identical pieces, gang them up

3.    Use a Marking Knife and Gauge
For joinery always use sharp gauges and marking knives and not rely on pencil marks.

Good quality marking tools such as a marking gauge and knife are essential

4.    Use a hand Plane
A saw is often not a tool for fine work. Even a circular saw with guides can be a few millimetres off; a cross cut might not turn out to be perfectly square. The best way to fix minor inaccuracies is with a sharp hand plane. A shooting board can guarantee squareness more accurately than even the average chop saw.

5.    Check for square
Once your pieces have been cut, check each one for squareness on all sides. At times, I have been frustrated by joining pieces of plywood that are not perfectly square and ending up with twisted or ill-fitting assemblies. Don't assume that plywood cuts are square - only two sides (top and bottom) are parallel to each other but the sides and ends are often not square or perfectly flat. Double check and fine tune with a hand plane if necessary.

Keep a large saw of some kind at hand to check for square at every stage

6.Correct bows and Sags
Board material especially plywood is prone to bowing, cupping and sagging. An unnoticeable bow can cause problems of squareness and ill-fitting joints. These problems can be corrected by clamping a straight piece of wood to the bowed piece prior to measuring, cutting or assembly.

If a board bows its length will decrease; adjust for this or try to straighten the piece

7.    Repair Errors
Gaps, misalignments, protuberances and so on can all be corrected with a bit of imagination. I do not hesitate to fill gaps with wood slivers and glue when needed and often plane down protruding sides. Thin sheets of wood can be glued on to misaligned parts and then planed down to produce the desired surface. Fixing errors is part of the woodworker's craft and rather fun too.

I hope this post helps Kaushik Nath. Good luck to him .

Indranil Banerjie
18 September 2017

Categories: Hand Tools

How to Make Vintage Linoleum Countertops – Part 2

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 6:52am

Note: This is the second of a series. The third will deal with mitered and rounded corners. Measure Be sure you take into account any desired overhangs at the front or end of a cabinet run (or table base) as well as radiused corners, and be sure you note the farthest points in all cases (such as areas along the length of a wall where the wall dips in), to make […]

The post How to Make Vintage Linoleum Countertops – Part 2 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Now in Store: ‘From Truths to Tools’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 5:53am

You can now order a pre-publication copy of “From Truths to Tools” in the Lost Art Press store. The book will ship in early or mid-November 2017. The book is $25, which includes free shipping to customers in the United States and Canada. All customers who order the book before Nov. 7 will receive a free and immediate pdf download of the entire book.

You can download an excerpt of the book via this link:


Here’s what the book is about:

Good books give you a glimpse of small truths – about workbenches, joinery or sharpening, for example. Great books, on the other hand, stitch together seemingly disparate ideas to present a new way of looking at the world as a whole, from your marking awl, to your hand or to the line of the horizon.

“From Truths to Tools” by Jim Tolpin and George Walker is a hand-illustrated work that masquerades as a children’s book. There are funny drawings. There aren’t a lot of words. You can read the entire 208-page book in one sitting.

But “From Truths to Tools” somehow explains the craft, the entire physical world, our language and geometry in a way that makes you feel like the authors have revealed a huge secret to you. One that has been sitting in front of you your entire life.

The book begins with an explanation of a circle and a single point and show how those simple ideas can be used to create an entire set of layout tools – a try square, a straightedge, dividers etc. that allow you to build furniture.

Once you understand the language behind your tools, very complicated things become easy to understand. Compound joinery. Fitting odd miters. Making curves that taper.

And once you get those ideas in your head, it’s a short hop to how those same ideas can be applied to building anything of any shape imaginable – skyscrapers, boats, bridges. When you can calculate if a tree will hit you when you fell it in the forest you’ll be able to calculate the circumference of the earth.

“From Truths to Tools” is the third book from the geometry-loving team of Jim Tolpin and George Walker. Their first book “By Hand & Eye” makes the case that simple whole-number ratios are the underpinning to the built world and our furniture. The second book, “By Hound & Eye” gives you the exercises that open your eyes to the way geometry and ratios govern our world. And the third, “From Truths to Tools,” shows how geometry creates our tools and, once understood, leads to a deeper grasp of the things we build, the world around us and even our language.

“From Truths to Tools” is printed in the United States to exacting standards. The pages are sewn and glued so the book will last a long time and can rest flat on your bench. The pages are protected by heavy paper-covered boards. The book is designed to last several generations.

As always, we hope our retailers in North America and elsewhere will carry the book, but the decision is up to them. So as of today, we don’t know which retailers will stock it.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com

Filed under: From Truths to Tools, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools


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