You can now Order the Special Edition of the Roubo Translation

After four years of work, we are ready to take pre-publication orders and deposits for a special edition of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry” by Don Williams, Michele Pagan and Philippe LaFargue.

As mentioned before, there will be two editions of “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry.” The special edition will be oversized and similar to the 18th-century first edition of “L’Art du Menuisier” (about 11” x 17”) and printed in the United States using the best materials available. It will have a special binding, full-size plates printed in the original color, color photos and a unique page design.

Additionally, all customers who purchase this book before Jan. 1, 2013, will have the opportunity to have their name printed in a “List of Subscribers” at the end of the volume.

There will be only one printing of this special edition. But please note this: Everyone who makes a deposit on this book before Jan. 1, 2013, will receive a copy. Mark that date on your calendar. We will also print some additional copies of this edition to sell in 2013, but once those are gone, this large-size edition will be gone forever.

To place a $100 deposit on this book and guarantee you will receive this special edition, visit our Lost Art Press store. The final price of this edition is still undetermined, though we expect it to cost about $400 and ship in March 2013. You will be contacted when the books are ready for shipment and to collect the balance that is due.

Note that we will take foreign orders on this special edition. Please contact John Hoffman at for information on how to place your deposit.

For those of you who do not want the special edition, we will sell a trade version that is much like all of the books in the Lost Art Press portfolio. It will be about 9” x 13”, Smythe sewn with cloth-covered boards, black-and-white illustrations and black-and-white photos. And, like all of our titles, it will be printed in the United States. This version will have an entirely separate page design compared to the special edition and should cost about $60. It will remain in print for many years (we hope), unlike the special edition.

We will have more details on ordering this trade version of the book in 2013.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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23 Responses to You can now Order the Special Edition of the Roubo Translation

  1. Jeff Burks says:

    So the $100 deposit is to cover the cost of the surplus tarps right?

  2. Patrick says:

    Uhg! You’re killing me. Book or happy wife, book or happy wife, book or …
    Well, at least I have a little over a month to decide. Because their is no way in hell she’s gonna believe it’s a normal edition, especially with my name printed in the back. My only defense will be to show her all the other people in the “List of Subscribers” that also thought this was a good idea.

  3. MattPelto says:

    Ohh Chris,
    You are making this very hard for poor college students!

  4. Niels says:

    Congrats Chris, Don, Michele, Philippe et al!
    I’m looking forward with great anticipation to this volume! That being said hows the translation of the other volumes coming along?

    • Don Williams says:

      Of the passages being prepared for the second version, translation is complete on about 85% of them. At one point we were closer to completion but decided fairly late in the game to include another very large chapter on designing and fabricating dining tables we had not originally intended to include, but Chris persuaded us otherwise. Editing/rewriting is lagging much farther behind as we are trying to wrap up Vol I. Given my impending (voluntary) unemployment, I expect to move much more quickly after the first of the year. Even though Vol. II will be almost twice the size of Vol. I it is my desire to have it completed in about a year after the first one. This sounds more impressive than it really is, as Michele has been grinding away on the translation for the second volume for over two years. This makes Vol II about 3 1/2 years from start to finish, compared to about 5 years for the first one. Michele says that much of the second volume is more straightforward, albeit with some sections dramatically much more difficult. Imagine trying to translate the description of the workings of a ripple-mold making device from 250 year old French into English, especially since there is essentially no modern analog to the device.

      • Niels says:

        Hi Don,
        Thanks for the update, I think that there is nothing un-impressive about this endevour and I am confident it will be worth the effort. I can’t wait to see the first volume and I am sure as soon as I do I’ll be chomping at the bit for the next! Think that the many years of diligent translation and interpretation will pay off for generations of woodworkers that will no doubt benefit from this modern English version. Bravo!

  5. Dean says:

    Your Lost Arts Press store shows the deposit amount to be $100, but it also shows the “Price:” to be $100. Maybe some clarification is needed.

    It may have been stated in previous posts over the years, but how many pages will each of these editions have?

    Thank you

    • Niels says:

      Hmm, fair point, but it doesn’t seem unclear to me as is. 100 dollars is the cost of the deposit, which is the item is being offered for sale. The estimate of the full amount of the edition is in the text describing the deposit. Just my two cents. (disclaimer of no snarkyness)

      • Dean says:

        Yes, I see the comment at the end of the third paragraph. It says “…and to collect the balance that is due.” The first thing you see on this page is the pre-publication deposit, followed by the a statement that the price is $100. Just thought that this might confuse some people. I have seen deposit amounts equal to the prices at times.

    • lostartpress says:

      I think the listing is totally clear. It is a $100 deposit on the book.

      If you need more clarification, ping me at

      Page counts are never finalized until it goes to press. So the answer is: I don’t know. The first book will have about 120,00 words. The second book will have a lot more.

      Hope this helps.

  6. John Cashman says:

    I have a couple of questions. Will this be leather bound, or will there also be a super duper leather edition? And, though I hate to get WAY ahead of things, will the subsequent volumes be bound so they will match this first release?

    • lostartpress says:

      This will not be bound in full leather. It would require a significant amount of a hide.

      We might have the spine bound in calf, like the original.

      There will not be a more deluxe edition.

      The second volume on furniture will be offered in the same two matching configurations.

      • John Cashman says:

        Excellent, thank you. That’s good to know. Maybe in three hundred years when someone gets my well-worn copy they won’t have to have it rebound.

  7. George Israel says:

    Please do the spine in leather I beg you I’m collecting all your leather additions and they look great on my shelf!

  8. Billy's Little Bench says:

    to rich for normal blood. like mine.

  9. I recall first seeing your original Roubo text (used to construct this edition) last Spring. My hand trembled as I turned each page and gawked at the splendid engravings. Can’t wait for my copy.

  10. Mark says:

    This is great news and much anticipated. I’m all in. Kudos and sincerest thanks to the translation team and LAP for making this happen.

  11. brandon says:

    hmm what are the chances of an ebook?

  12. Scott says:

    Order placed, looking forward to it!

  13. Is there a detailed description of what is covered in this volume? (And/or table of contents?) From older posts I see mention that it covers finishing and marquetry and I am trying to weigh which edition would be right for me as its potentially a big investment. (and more importantly see what my wife is willing to approve).

  14. MattPelto says:

    Is there anyway to set up a time store account (as mentioned in ATC) where I can work for about three years to pay off this book which i cannot afford otherwise?

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