This is not a Book

It seems advisable to make clear at the outset the fact that this is not a book telling how to transform some object that is no longer wanted into some other object that has even less excuse for existence. In its pages will be found no formula or design for making a goldfish tank out of an orange crate, or a Turkish tabouret out of a sardine tin and two broomsticks. What it does attempt is to bring back something of the self-reliant craftsman of early America, when a man’s chief pride and satisfaction lay in his ability to practice any or all of the common crafts.

— Henry H. Saylor, “Tinkering with Tools” (1924, Little, Brown & Co.)

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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8 Responses to This is not a Book

  1. Paul says:

    Nice one!
    Though, one of my kids has left behind a fish tank I am thinking of turning into an orange crate.

  2. Eric R says:

    My wife tells me I am an absolute master of turning one thing in to another, to get more use out of it.
    This was taught to me by my dear old depression era Irish mother.
    “self-reliant” was her middle name.

  3. Dave from IN says:

    Magritte would be proud. . .

  4. Rick Bowles, Erwinna, PA says:

    I really like that lid . . .

  5. Tim Henriksen says:

    Concerning the lid, I recall a discussion here a while back pertaining to wanting a flat even lid to serve as a work surface. I left my lid’s skirt proud enough to be even with the “raised” panel. Its held up well over several months and has served adequately enough to use for cross cutting and such. I’m curious to see if you make any changes to the lid (like painting the inside of the lid’s skirt which on mine is a potpourri of fingerprints in oil).

    • lostartpress says:


      Those fingerprints are proof that you are a woodworker and not a tool fondler.

      On the lid, I haven’t seen the need to mess with the work surface, I use the raised panel as a stop when sawing narrow stock — very handy. For wide stock, it seems to balance just fine on the raised panel — though I can see the advantage of a proud skirt… always….

  6. Christopher Harrington says:

    Why do you have 8 knobs on the windowsill and the ledge below it? They look like Veritas plane knobs, but that seems like an awful lot of them.

    Just curious,


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