This episode was great fun to shoot, except for the 20 times I was smashed into my own tool chest with my head jammed in a dark place it didn’t want to go – a place that the haters say my head has never left.
As always when shooting “The Woodwright’s Shop,” guests are beat with a foam noodle by Roy Underhill, you throw up a little in your mouth during the filming and you will eat Bojangle’s fried chicken during the lunch break.
So on balance, a good time.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. As always, thanks to Roy Underhill for inviting me on his show. I still cannot believe it really happened.
Next week we will be able to sell the leather editions of “Mouldings in Practice” in our Lost Art Press store. There will be 26 to 30 copies available (depending on how many survive the binding process) and they will be $185 postage paid to any address in the United States.
The books were delayed by the leather supplier – Ohio Book said it took three weeks to secure the brown leather we use for these books. I suspect a bovine rebellion was the real cause.
So for those of you who have itchy mouse fingers, you can relax this weekend. Monday will be the earliest they will be available. As always, it is first-come, first-serve on leather editions.
So while I’m explaining myself, here is a quick update on some other projects we are working on:
“To Make as Perfectly as Possible” aka, the Andre Roubo translation. This book is entirely in my hands right now. The translators have done their job. We have paid an obscene amount of money to get every single plate digitized. The essays are complete. I’m the problem.
“By Hand & Eye” by George Walker and Jim Tolpin. This has been edited and flowed into the InDesign layout files. All the images are digitized. I’ve edited it once. But once again, I am the impediment here. I need to get the design work underway.
Audiobook of “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker” as read by Roy Underhill. This is fully recorded and about 25 percent edited. What’s the holdup? It might surprise you that it is me.
Other books that are a little further out:
“Virtuoso” or the H.O. Studley book: Our team is going back to visit the tool chest again next month to take the final photographs. Then the real work begins.
“Furniture of Necessity:” This is my own book. I’ve shelved all my writing projects until I get caught up on editing the titles above.
“Campaign Furniture:” Ditto.
All our other titles are still being written by their authors – except one. That one is being designed right now in hopes of getting it out by the end of the year. More on that title as we get things firmed up.
This afternoon we finished up a mahogany Roorkhee chair in black leather with some changes to the strapping and arms that you might find interesting if you plan on building one for your home.
The leather is “Black Ridgeline” from Brettuns Village and it is beautiful stuff. It has been dyed entirely through, so the cut edges are as black as the exterior. The Ridgeline is quite supple and feels like a 20-year-old leather jacket.
That’s the good news.
The Ridgeline is only 4-ounce stuff, so it’s a little thin (about 1/16”) and prone to stretch, especially in the seat and arms. So we did a couple things to make the leather work.
1. We added a polyester liner between the two layers of the arm pieces (you can glue it in place with rubber cement or a special contact cement for leather). This liner reduces stretching with thin leathers without adding a lot of bulk.
2. Instead of sewing or riveting the seat, we added three buckles so you could pull the seat tighter if the leather stretched. The belting is 3/4” wide.
As usual, we used the No. 9 copper rivets at the stitched seams.
All in all, I’m quite pleased. And I hope the customer will be, too.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. If you are using the vegetable-tanned leather I recommended in the article in Popular Woodworking Magazine, then stretching is not a big concern. It holds its shape quite well.
“Now, in order to have anything good made in stuff, or in hard material, we must seek out the artist to provide us with a design, and then a workman to carry it out as mechanically as possible, because we know that if he puts any of his coarser self into it he will spoil it.”