To thank everyone who has ordered a copy of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker,” we’d like to offer you this free deluxe SketchUp file of “The Schoolbox” – the second project in the book.
This file was made by Randall Wilkins, a set designer in the film industry who uses SketchUp in his job and in his woodworking hobby. This file is extremely cool. Here are some details.
Wilkins has added additional scenes (click on the tabs at the top of the file) that will create shop drawings for you in a variety of views, including some helpful section views. All the surfaces have a nice wood grain pattern on them. And the box’s lid is now a dynamic component – which means it will open and shut with a mouse click. Here’s how to do that:
In Sketchup, go to View/Tool Palettes/Dynamic Components, a new tool palette will open. Click on the little hand and then touch the box lid. It will open and close again on the next click. This will work from any view. Wilkins created these drawings because he is planning on making a copy of the schoolbox for each of his daughters. But he also graciously allowed us to share it with you.
This is our first and only sale for 2009. Between now and Saturday, Dec. 5, we will offer free shipping on all items on the Lost Art Press web site.
This means free shipping on everything, from “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” to our new (and quite nice) hats. No hidden charges, minimum purchases or handling fees. Heck, you don’t even need a special coupon code or magic words.
Just go to LostArtPress.com and buy what you want. We’ve turned off the shipping charges for these seven days.
This is a good way to get a gift for a woodworker you know, or pick up a hat, T-shirt of one of the few remaining copies of “The Art of Joinery.”
Sorry we cannot give free shipping internationally. In many cases international shipping exceeds the price of the item — an impossible situation for us.
One of the interesting things about the “Joiner and Cabinet Maker” are the construction details you can find in almost every sentence. I’ve read the book at least six times now, and every time I dip into the text I unearth something I hadn’t seen before.
It’s not because the book is Pynchon-esque in its density. It was, after all, written for the crafty 19th-century adolescent. Instead, it’s because I’m a little different every time I read it.
For example, I’m quite enamored with the feet on the Chest of Drawers in the book. The author is open-ended about the method for creating the ogee curves on the feet, saying only that you should take your time to get them looking nice.
Then the feet are mitered at the corners and we’ll pick up the story from there:
“To strengthen the mitre, which is glued and sprigged together, a strip of wood an inch square is glued all down in the inside corner, and sprigged also to the sides. It is better to leave this corner piece a little longer than the sides, to project perhaps a quarter of an inch below them, so that if the floor on which the chest is to stand be a little uneven, a small piece may be cut off one leg or other, as may be required. They are fastened by glue and sprigs; or, which is better, by screws through the thinnest part of the sides into the chest bottom, and by a couple of sprigs driven in slanting through the upper part of the corner piece. The legs should be placed with the two faces flush with the faces of the chest at the corner. They may be farther strengthened by two blocks of wood to each; an inch square, and as long as there is room for, glued into the corner, and sprigged both to the leg and the chest. These blocks are shewn in fig. 9. It is not usual to put in so many sprigs in making and fastening on the legs; but then they soon come off, and have to be glued and sprigged at last, with the chance of having been broken first. So Thomas thinks it best to make a good strong job of them at once.”
For me, this is interesting stuff. The people who taught me about antique furniture and the like always insisted that these glue blocks were held in only with a hide-glue rub joint. If there were nails or screws in the glue blocks, then they were added later by the owner or a ham-handed “restorer.”
Yet here we have evidence that some of the nailed glue blocks might be original. So thanks Thomas. This is another lesson I’ve learned from a 14-year old. And it’s a bit more useful than the last lesson I got from a young teen-ager (which was that my blue jeans legs should drag the floor if I wanted to be “cool”).
The first thing I need to do is apologize to almost everyone reading these words.
Since January 2009 (well, in truth some time before then) I began work on “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” and have been neglecting almost every other aspect of my life to get it done to the best of my ability.
So here goes:
To the readers of this blog, Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine, I’m sorry I’ve been such a slacker about answering e-mails and phone calls. In my mind, anyone who takes the trouble to write deserves the same effort at a response. Yeah, I get a ton of e-mail, but I don’t mind. What I do mind is when I have to rush through my mail and give answers that are superficial or that pass the buck to someone else. I’ve not been the editor that you deserve since January, I’m afraid.
To my employer and co-workers, I’m sorry I’ve been bleary-eyed and (a bit more) dim-witted and wrung-out. This book has commanded a lot of mental and physical energy. Staying focused on a single task for months on end takes its toll. And building stuff entirely by hand (with a fierce deadline) has worn me out. With this book behind me, I know I’ll be easier to work with.
And to my family, I’m sorry I’ve been chained to my workbench and laptop since the day I embarked on this book. I’ve missed too many events at school, too much homework and too many of the day-to-day moments of growing up. Even as I write this I’m missing out on helping out on Spanish homework (even though I only know “burrito,” burro” and “donde esta de casa de pepe”).
But now, it’s all over. The book “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” is done and is on its way to customers. Is it perfect? No. I can think of at least six things I’d change if I could turn the clock back. Am I happy with the book? Well, you’re a woodworker. You know how these things are. It takes some time to figure out how much you like a project you’ve built. You have to live with it for awhile.
Is it the best I could do? To that I can say, yes. Despite its flaws (which I’ll be writing about in an honest fashion in the weeks to come), I think it’s worth reading if you are interested in pre-industrial history, hand-tool woodworking or traditional casework.
Everyone who worked on this book did their best, from Joel Moskowitz, who spent his life finding the original “Joiner and Cabinet Maker” book and researching the time period. To Megan Fitzpatrick, who edited every word we wrote. To Tim Corbett, who designed the cover. To John and Sharon Hoffman, who right now are mailing out hundreds of copies to customers. And to my family, who lets me build and type and read and travel to my heart’s content.
And to all of you who have ordered the book sight-unseen, thanks. And to those of you who are bound to read the book in the coming months, I hope “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” has the profound same effect on you as it did on me.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. I almost forgot the reason for this post. If you’d like to order a signed copy of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker,” click here. (I’d starve if my career were in marketing.)