One of the most pivotal woodworking books of the last 50 years is “Make a Chair from a Tree” by John Alexander.
Despite being long out of print, this book has had an immense influence on several generations of woodworkers. It sparked a revolution in green woodworking, launched many love affairs with wood and was one of the first sparks that ignited the recent revival in hand joinery.
So it is with great pleasure we announce that Lost Art Press will be publishing the long-awaited follow up to this book, “Make a Joined Stool from a Tree: An Introduction to 17th-century Joinery” by Alexander (now Jennie) and Peter Follansbee, the joiner at Plimoth Plantation.
This book is a decade-long effort by these two woodworkers to research the tools, materials and processes used by 17th-century joiners to construct the gorgeous work of the time.
To piece the puzzle together, Alexander and Follansbee have studied the limited texts of the period, the tools and – perhaps most important – the surviving furniture record. These pieces gave up many of their secrets through close examination of the toolmarks left by the makers.
But “Make a Joined Stool from a Tree” is far from a dry historical text. In it, the authors take you into the forest and the workshop to find an oak, split it into bolts and turn those into a joined stool – an excellent first project for the new student of 17th-century methods.
While many of the tools from the 17th century look familiar to the 21st-century woodworker, the way in which they were used in the 17th century to make furniture is surprisingly different. How the fresh oak is processed, cut and joined to make the stool featured in the book will both stretch your skills and expand your understanding of the craft.
And with the help of Alexander and Follansbee, you will be able to build your own joined stool with just a few simple woodworking tools, a little determination and a strong back.
“Make a Joined Stool from a Tree” will be Lost Art Press’s first book in color and in a larger page format. We are planning on releasing this book late in 2011 – or early 2012 at the latest. Like all Lost Art Press books, this will be hardbound, Smyth sewn, printed on acid-free paper and produced entirely in the United States.
More details on the book, pricing, alternate editions and a release date will be released here on the blog in the coming months.
In the meantime, I highly recommend you spend some time at the authors’ web sites:
Jennie Alexander’s “Green Woodworking” site: http://www.greenwoodworking.com/
Peter Follansbee’s “Joiner’s Notes” blog: http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/
— Christopher Schwarz