Mechanical Library: A Trip to the U.K., Ireland, Europe & Some Former British Colonies

In today’s look at a smallish section of the loosely organized Covington Mechanical Library (it becomes looser every time I look at a shelf and bemoan the mis-shelving), we’ll travel to the United Kingdom and a few of her former colonies, as well as France, Estonia (via the CIA), … | Continue reading | 4 hours ago

Free PDF: Stanley Catalogue No. 34

Now that we’ve sold through our copies, we’re offering a free pdf of out high-quality scan of the “Stanley Catalogue No. 34.” You can read it in this post, and click on the link below the window download. This catalog shows nearly every tool needed in a hand-tool shop, from the c … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Repeating Myself (in a Good Way)

This year I am returning to hand-cut mortise-and-tenon joinery for my new book “The American Peasant” (I have a whole substack going about the book). All the parts for the projects in this book are processed, joined and finished by hand (using split stock when possible). Why? Bec … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

Whitney Miller Sharing Surprising Facts About Henry Boyd On Instagram All Month Long

In celebration of Black History Month, Whitney Miller is sharing interesting facts she learned while researching, writing and illustrating “Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed” throughout the month on Instagram, @whitneyontv. Several years ago, Lost Art Press hired Suzanne Ellison to spend … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

A Bit More News (Mostly Good)

With the Star-M bits and many other similar bits in short supply (in the chairmaking sizes), I had to switch back to spade bits for all my chairmaking activities. This is not a horrible thing. In many ways I prefer the spade bits. They’re cheaper, they are easier for beginners to … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

Wood Bending by Kerfing

The following is excerpted from “Volume II: The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Techniques.” As editor of The Woodworker magazine from 1939 to 1967, Hayward oversaw the transformation of the craft from one that was almost entirely hand-tool based to a time where machine … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Resources for Making a ‘Jennie Chair’

We’re proud to offer two resources for making Jennie Alexander-style chairs: The third edition of “Make a Chair from a Tree” and the how-to video Jennie recorded in 1999. We’re also fans of a new video from one of Jennie’s long-time collaborators and friend, Peter Follansbee. MAC … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Mechanical Library: Miscellaneous & Translations

We sure have a lot of sundry/miscellaneous/mixed/jumble shelves. Could be worse; at least we don’t shelve books by color. (We do, however, shelve a few by size; we’ll visit that lower-right corner soon). On the far left of this bay is most of our “Mortise & Tenon Collection,” bot … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Gummy Bear Glue 2: More Tasty Goo

One thing I love when Megan Fitzpatrick teaches in our storefront is that I am exiled from the bench room, and I need to amuse myself without woodworking tools or loud music. So today I decided to experiment more with making gelatin-based glues. In December, I successfully made g … | Continue reading | 7 days ago

Dust Collection in the Horse Garage & Bench Room

From time to time, we get asked about our “professional setup” for dust collection. It’s not what you might expect from a (semi) professional shop…or maybe it is exactly what you expect, given that we’re known for hand-tool stuff. But we do use machinery – particularly for stock … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Summer 2023 Storefront Open House

Typically when we announce an open house I get three or four complaints along the lines of “why didn’t you let us know sooner.” So for those three of four people: The 2023 Summer Open House at the Lost Art Press storefront is on July 29. We’ll open the doors at 10 a.m. and lock.. … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

The Stick Chair from Down Under

If you’re a vernacular furniture fanatic, or you live in Tasmania, you may already know what a Jimmy Possum chair is. If you’re one of the other 7.4 billion people on earth, buckle up and read on about my journey to Jimmy Possum: an unbroken tradition. With international borders … | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Cutting Mortises 17th-century Style (That is, by Hand)

The following is excerpted from Chapter 4 of “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree,” by Jennie Alexander and Peter Follansbee. Joint stools are a fascinating piece of British and early American furniture. Made from riven – not sawn – oak, their legs are typically turned and angled. The … | Continue reading | 12 days ago

For Sale: Red Oak Seven-stick Comb-back Chair

This seven-stick comb-back chair was built using red oak during my most recent chairmaking class. It is being offered at a discount because of a couple small cosmetic issues (which most people will not notice). This chair is one of my newer designs, which uses a four-piece arm (f … | Continue reading | 12 days ago

Highly Recommended: Allan Williams’s Travishers

If you are looking for a travisher, here is another fantastic option: Allan Williams, a chairmaker and toolmaker who makes three kinds of travishers. Recently I ordered two travishers from Allan, a standard one with a 4-1/2″-radius blade and a tighter-radius tool (3″) for fixing … | Continue reading | 13 days ago

Meet the Author: Whitney Miller (Part 2)

Read “Meet the Author: Whitney Miller (Part 1)” here. Whitney Miller, author of “Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed,” continued looking for a news reporter position while working at Walgreens from October to December 2014, and in December she was hired as Morning Show Associate Producer/Di … | Continue reading | 14 days ago

In the Works: the Crucible Warrington Hammer

Small cross-peen hammers are incredibly useful in furniture making. I’ve had one in my chest for almost 20 years. “Wait,” you might be thinking. “Chris didn’t list this hammer in his recent inventory of his chest.” You are correct. That’s because we’ve been reverse-engineering my … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

‘Stanley Tools Catalogue No. 34’ Closeout

We’re closing out our reprint of the “Stanley Tools Catalogue No. 34,” and are selling remaining copies for $10 each, simply to free up space on the warehouse shelves. Every purchase comes with a free PDF copy – once the 450 (or so) print copies are sold out, we’ll continue to of … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

Fresh Batch of Soft Wax 2.0 Now Available

Katherine (aka the Wax Princess) has a fresh batch of Soft Wax 2.0 in her store – just in time for this week’s chair class.  This is the finish Chris uses on his chairs, and that I use on everything that isn’t painted. I particuarly love it on walnut and cherry – it warms up... | Continue reading | 17 days ago

‘Early Wound Care Principles’

The following is excerpted from Dr. Jefferey Hill’s “Workshop Wound Care.” The book – the newest offering in our pocket book series – delves right to the heart of what you need to know when faced with common workshop injuries, from lacerations, to puncture wounds to material in t … | Continue reading | 19 days ago

Meet the Author: Whitney Miller (Part 1)

Whitney Miller, news anchor, and author/illustrator of “Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed,” grew up in Houston, Texas, with her mom, dad and younger sister. Her dad was a “computer doctor” who owned his own business, Millertech, and serviced computers for large companies. Her mom worked i … | Continue reading | 21 days ago

Thinking Like 1987 Again

The first writing class I took at Northwestern’s journalism school – “B-01 Basic Writing” – was intended to weed out about one-third of the students. You had to make a “B” in the course or you were thrown out.  The class was intentionally boot camp-ish. And there were a variety o … | Continue reading | 22 days ago

For Sale: Bog 7-stick Comb-back Chair

This seven-stick comb-back chair is built from a 2,000-year-old oak tree that was preserved in a Polish bog and recently harvested. The wood, which is remarkable and difficult to photograph, varies from charcoal black to a beautiful olive to a warm chestnut brown. This chair is o … | Continue reading | 22 days ago

Coming Soon (in English): Jögge Sunqvist’s ‘Karvsnitt’

The title of Jögge Sundqvist’s latest book, “Karvsnitt: Skära mönster i täljda föremål” translates from Swedish (per Google) as “Carved Cut: Cut patterns in carved objects”; with Jögge’s help, we’ll come up with a snappier English title once I’m done flowing in the text and tweak … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Follansbee Carving Class: Registration Open

A quick reminder that registration is now open for Peter Follansbee’s April 17-20 class at the storefront: Carving Oak – 17th-century Style. (Click the link for more info, and to register.) If you have general questions about our classes, see our new Classes at the Storefront pag … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Get to Know Black Bison Wax

I use colored waxes quite a lot in my finishing, especially the darker colors. I’m partial to Liberon’s Black Bison Paste Wax, but that’s because it is the only brand I’ve ever used. Colored waxes are a secret weapon when it comes to muting a particularly loud or brash color. The … | Continue reading | 25 days ago

Dick Proenneke’s Beach Chair & Butcher’s Block

The following is excerpted from “The Handcrafted Life of Dick Proenneke,” by Monroe Robinson. No one holds a more intimate knowledge of Dick’s handcrafted life than Monroe, and just as Dick shared his life through letters and film, Monroe knew he had a responsibility to share all … | Continue reading | 26 days ago

Stick Chair Patterns Back in Stock

We’ve just replenished the printed sets of full-size paper patterns of all the important components for the five chairs in “The Stick Chair Book.” (They are also available as PDF downloads.) The five 22″ x 34″ sheets contain full-scale drawings of all the seats, arms, backrests, … | Continue reading | 26 days ago

An Update on Rivierre Nails

Rivierre nails from France are a staple in our workshop. They hold better than any other manufactured nail we’ve used, and they look good, to boot. We order them almost every other month – Megan uses tons of them in her tool chest classes. But lately the supply has been drying up … | Continue reading | 27 days ago

Megan’s Anarchist’s Tool Chest at Age… (it’s Complicated)

I work out of two Anarchist’s Tool Chests (ATC) of two different ages – but for two different types of work. In 2012, I built the one I have at home in my old second-floor home shop and in Chris’s old basement shop. For a long time, it held an almost-complete second set of hand.. … | Continue reading | 28 days ago

Follansbee Carving Class, April 17-20

Peter Follansbee will spend four days with us to teach a class in carving various 17th-century designs from pieces he’s studied from museums and private collections. This class – suitable for those new to carving or those new to this style of carving – will start with basic techn … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Tool Chest Till Cubbies

Chris mentioned in his Sunday post that since The Anarchist’s Tool Chest was published, he’s nailed in a few till dividers to corral small tools. After I showed my chest last week, people asked for a look at my tools and tills…so I’m scrambling to clean them and make them slightl … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Now Shipping: Crucible Bench Square Mk. II

This summer we decided to redesign our bench square to make it more useful, and this is the result. The original was modeled after the square shown in “l’Art du menuisier” by A.J. Roubo. This new one is modeled on an even older European tool that marks and measures 30°, 45°, 60° … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

‘The Woodcarver’s Apprentice’

In addition to her expert instruction on carving a classical leaf motif, in”Carving the Acanthus Leaf,” author Mary May also shares stories from her life, such as the one excerpted below. The book is a deep exploration into the iconic acanthus leaf, which has been a cornerstone o … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Stick Chair Merit Badge Extension

With 165 Stick Chair Merit Badges remaining, we’re extending the deadline to earn one until they are gone (we’d much rather you have a little more time than to dispose of the ones that are left). When they run out, we’ll announce it here. The merit badges are one to a customer, a … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

The Nicest Workbench I Own

Workbench cutting list: 2” x 2-1/2” x 6”. Rudy Everts (aka Underhatchet, Chair Chatter, sculptor, painter, lover of Mexican food) made this amazing sculpture for me that’s a scale replica of “The Anarchist’s Workbench.” Even more shocking: It’s all one piece of linden. The bench … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

The Anarchist’s Tool Chest at Age 12

We receive almost-weekly requests for a current inventory of my tool chest. Usually, I am too swamped with work to take a complete inventory. Luckily, I had a couple days of downtime last week and took the opportunity to clean out my chest and take stock. Not much has changed in … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Health Update on Bean the Shop Cat

This story has a happy ending. Promise.  On Christmas Eve, Bean the three-legged shop cat suffered a blockage to his urethra and had to be rushed to the animal hospital. He was in bad shape. His bladder was full and hard, his heart was racing and his bloodwork was troubling.  The … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

PSA: Carver’s Vises on Sale

Infinity Tools has its carver’s vises on sale. Read carefully and don’t troll me. The $149.90 price shown above is NOT the sales price,. That’s the regular price during the year. BUT if you enter NYNT22 at checkout, you will get an additional $20 off. This brings the price to $12 … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Gummy Worm Glue Update

You may have read a few weeks ago about what happens when Chris gets bored with watching me teach. And what happens a day later when people share “advice” after said experiments. As far as I know, the bugs have not yet eaten what is now Roy Underhill’s Dutch tool chest. (And fran … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Video: ATC Interior Design

I don’t always build a chest alongside with my Anarchist’s Tool Chest classes – after all, I already have two full-size tool chests (one at the Lost Art Press shop and one at home), and there are only so many I can sell. But during my early December class, I decided to make one…p … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

How Hardware is Made

The following is excerpted from Chapter 3 of Christopher Schwarz’s “Campaign Furniture.” For almost 200 years, simple and sturdy pieces of campaign furniture were used by people all over the globe, yet this remarkable furniture style is now almost unknown to most woodworkers and … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

I Do Not Recommend it

Almost every time I post a photo of one of my chair seats in progress, I get this question: “Do you use an angle grinder and (insert spinning tooling name here) to rough out your seats?” I answer: “No, I use a scorp.” But I don’t really talk about why. I think this sort of... | Continue reading | 1 month ago

The Christmas Feast

There was that unforgettable incident at the beginning of the 1914 war, when on Christmas Eve in a spontaneous movement of goodwill the British and the German soldiers clambered out of their trenches and exchanged greetings and carols. According to a writer in The times at the ti … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

My Time to Sch-wine

With the unsettled economy and fears of inflation, consumer spending on stuff such as woodworking tools and books has been flat, and we’ve had one of the shortest holiday selling seasons since we launched Lost Art Press in 2007. At the urging of our social media manager, we hired … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Maybe? Try That Again

I have one important piece of advice when I teach our authors to take photos, junior editors to design book pages or students to design chairs. Here it is: Never trust your first instinct. Force yourself to take another photo from a different angle. Make an alternative page layou … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

How to Fix (Almost) Any Mistake

After years of making and fixing mistakes in my work, I have drilled the following routine into my head. I almost never deviate from it, and it has served me well. If your repairs are less than satisfactory at times, there might be something here you can use. So I made a mistake … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

We’re No. 5!

“The American Peasant,” my new Substack blog that I seemingly won’t shut up about, has been selected to be featured on Substack’s home page (No. 5 out of five, baby). Plus we’re featured in Substack’s app. What does this mean? Well, we got this cool digital badge, which I have pr … | Continue reading | 1 month ago