Old chairmaker's books - and other ramblings
I saw this and had to mention it here, if for no other reason than to have a record for myself of it so I can refer to the links... On the WoodCentral handtools forum Joel Moskowitz (of Tools for Working Wood) posted a link to a book archived on Google Books titled “The London Chair-Makers and Carvers' Book of Prices for Workmanship” which was originally published in 1829. Later, he also put up a link to another book archived on Google Books titled “The Cabinet Makers London Book of Prices and Designs of Cabinet Work” published in 1803. These books are fascinating reads if you are at all interested in period woodworking of any kind – and the thread on WoodCentral is a great read as well..
While on the subject of books, another of my favorites is the Wallace Nutting Furniture Treasury, a book introduced to me by a good friend John Edwards. Basically, it's a book of 5000 different photos of furniture Mr. Nutting (a furniture-maker/collector of the later 19th early 20th century) collected of furniture pieces that include everything from desks and dressers to mirrors and spoon racks. If you're looking for inspiration, you'll surely find it within the covers of this book. You can often find a copy of it on ebay for very little...
Next on my list of books are those authored by Franklin Gottschall - who happens to have been an apprentice in the Nutting workshop. His books are basically plans of early furniture designs - which are not really for the beginner woodworker, but are a good insight into how the furniture was built.
Finally on my list of favorite books/authors is anything by Charles Hayward. His writing style is so very easy and clear to read, that just about any of his books is a joy. "Woodwork Joints" is among my favorites.
These books will get you a long way in your woodworking - from Nutting for inspiration, to Gottschall for seeing how it was done (at least one way), to Hayward on the skills to get it done.
I hope to publish some reviews on these and other classic woodworking books in the coming months, as I think they are great reading for woodworkers of any ability.
Now - on my lack of recent entries in the blog:
Yes, I know I've been lax on updating this blog, and I apologize for that... it's been too long since I've added anything new of substance. In my defense I can say I've been quite busy - just not with woodworking. I was beginning to get a bit burnt out, so I decided earlier this year to take the summer off of woodworking and pursue some of my other hobbies were beginning to suffer from a decided lack of attention. I've spent the summer traveling around the northwest, visiting and hiking the mountains of Idaho and the Oregon coast, both of which should be considered national treasures.
That, and I've been concentrating more on another true love of mine, music – I had been lax on practicing, so I've recommitted myself to playing more guitar... Also, my unbelievably patient, understanding, and encouraging wife has endured the endless hours of scratching and unnerving noises emanating from the fiddle I've been trying to learn... I'm still not any good at it, but at least it sounds like a fiddle – at least on occasion.
After Labor Day, I'm hoping to light a fire under myself and get back to work on the shop...