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.)