New: ‘The Joiner & Cabinet Maker’ Read By Roy Underhill


You can now download Roy Underhill’s reading of “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker,” the almost-lost 1839 text that tells the fictional story of young Thomas West’s apprenticeship in a rural English workshop.

It is $22 and available in our store now via this link.

“The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” is a book that has opened up the world of hand-tool woodworking for thousands of people. The book’s anonymous author detailed the day-to-day workings of a hand-tool workshop in the early days of the 19th century as a way to guide children who were thinking about entering the woodworking trade.

The book begins with instructions on how to sweep the shop, tend the shop’s fire and help the other journeymen. It ends with the hero, Thomas, building a full-blown chest of drawers as a journeyman.

The original text is extremely rare and was unearthed by Joel Moskowitz, the owner of Tools for Working Wood. He brought it to the attention of Lost Art Press, and that partnership resulted in the publication of print version of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.”

The Lost Art Press version of this book includes the original 1839 text, a historical commentary on the trade by Moskowitz and a detailed explanation of how to build the three projects featured in “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.”

The audiobook version of the book consists of the original text only, read by Roy Underhill. Lost Art Press was particularly pleased to get Roy to read the book for us. Not only is he a student of early trades, but Roy is also a long-time thespian, and he brought his many voice talents to the project.

You can download a snippet of the book – a short section on making chisel handles – using the link below.

Track 14 of The Joiner & Cabinet Maker

As a result, the 215-minute audiobook version of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” is a joy to listen to once you become accustomed to the early 19th-century way of explaining things.

Downloading Details

The download will play on all computers and devices, including iPods, Androids, generic smartphones and Kindles. As always, these files will not have any copy protection on them. The audiobook is delivered in a single compressed .zip file. After downloading it, simply double-click on the .zip file and it will decompress into a folder containing all the .mp3 files for the book – 22 in all. You can drag these onto your device or onto iTunes to add them to your listening library. Also, simply double-clicking on the file will start playing it on your computer.

If you have never manually added content to iTunes, it’s easy. Here’s a quick tutorial from Apple.

The audiobook was edited by John Hoffman of Lost Art Press. The final mastering was performed by Ben Strano, a Nashville-based engineer, producer and woodworker.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. We are working on a three-CD set of the audiobook, which will be available for sale shortly.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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11 Responses to New: ‘The Joiner & Cabinet Maker’ Read By Roy Underhill

  1. Joe says:

    I wish there was a video of Roy’s performance…cuts/bandaids and all!
    just for information High speed download was 4min.

  2. stre0243 says:

    I think a sample is in order!

  3. sablebadger says:

    Waiting for the 3 CD set!

    Thanks for putting this together, this book was a huge influence on my work in the shop.

  4. Steven G says:

    Woohoo! downloaded.

    Does anyone else think that Roy sounds a little like Casey Kasem?

    • andrae says:

      Yeah I thought the same thing.

    • Jamie Bacon says:

      Definitely. Some parts flashed me back to the top 40 long distance dedications of my youth.
      Good thing this is a digital download and not a cassette. I think I’d wear out a cassette tape in 6 months. It’s great so far.
      Call me lazy, but I hope more LAP books make it to audio. Preferably with Saint Roy doing the reading.

  5. This has been a joy to listen to. I remember the first time I heard Roy do a reading of Roubo at WIA in 2009. I hope this venture does commercially well. I would love to hear more period books in audio format.

  6. Scott says:

    This is excellent, i am very impressed. I have listened to many audio books and the quality is on par or better than them all. I also can hear a mix between Kasey and Roy, maybe the weekly top 40 is in his sights for after he retires.

    I must also say that even though I have read the book, listening to Roy and the way he reads the book gives it a different impression than my first read…I really want an apprentice! He makes their duties sound soooo good to have around, maybe even for daily life! 🙂


  7. Bryan Patten says:

    I’ve said it before, and probably will again, Thanks! Road trip coming up, this should
    be perfect. I can’t wait for campaign furniture and furniture of necessity!

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