The Post in Which I Thank You for a Greasy Tube of….


When your wife can control her urge to even slightly roll her eyes when you talk about the East India Company, and your hemorrhoids are as big as baseballs, it is time to cease work on your book.

I do not like sitting on my butt for hours, days and weeks. In fact, that was the reason I never fully enjoyed being a newspaper reporter. I adore a good millworks fire (who doesn’t?), but there were weeks when I would sit on my rump, handset smashed to my ear, saying, “And how did you get that candle dislodged from your insides?”

I’ve spent every waking hour of the last month on boring minutiae that isn’t worth writing about. I have executed more than 75 hand drawings. Processed hundreds of photos, and scanned more than 200 pages of material for the appendices to “Campaign Furniture.”

It sounds like I’m whining. I’m not. I enjoy the complete control over every pixel of a book, but I also know that you don’t want to read about the Pantone swatch I chose for the duotones in a book. This is a blog about woodworking. And killing Raney Nelson.

So here is a quick update on things you might be interested in.

1. I’m on schedule. “Campaign Furniture” will be designed and to the printer by the end of January, which means it will be released in early March 2014. I am trying like heck to bring in the book at less than $32 retail, but it is a challenge. We need to use matte-finish coated paper to reproduce the color and duotone photographs, and we won’t skimp on the binding or cover.

2. We are working on a special promotional piece of hardware. We plan to offer 100 U.S.-made tri-bolts for making campaign stools at a really nice price – $12. I have installed one of these on a camp stool, and I like it more than the eye-bolt solutions I’ve been using in the past. Stay tuned.

3. Other books are moving along. Peter Galbert is finishing up the writing on his book on chairbuilding. Andrew Lunn is wrapping up his tome on saws. Don Williams is (today) entering his last edits on “Roubo on Furniture-making” before submitting it to peer review. Lots of other projects are stirring, but I don’t have updates on them to share with you.

4. We are building a new Lost Art Press web site. With the help of woodworker/codemonkey Ben Lowery, we will be launching a new web site that is simpler to use. This is a major step forward for Lost Art Press, which is taking a leap from being a tiny company to a significant one. We will still be only two guys with laptops, but we are on the verge of outsourcing a lot of things that have been filling our garages, basements and waking hours with grunt work. Customers will still deal only with us – John and Chris – but we think shipments will be delivered faster and in better boxes – with no additional charges to you. Lest you think we are turning our back on our core principles, we will be using a local and independent company founded by two guys to do our fulfillment. When John called them last, one of the owners had his mouth full of bacon.

5. I need to thank you, our customers. I know it is old hat for a business to thank its customers, but I have a more personal appeal. Thirty months ago I walked out on the best job I’ve ever had – the editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. I didn’t leave because I was unhappy. I left because I wanted to stretch things further than any sane/solvent corporation would let me. The only thing that has made Lost Art Press possible has been you. If you have bought a book from us in the last five years, your money has gone to support the crafts of woodworking, printing and publishing in the United States. Your support is also funding some incredible research that will become public in the years ahead.

So I need to get back to processing digital photos and find the unexpired tube of witch hazel cream to smear in my nether regions. You paid for that, too. Sorry to bring it up.

— Christopher Schwarz


About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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23 Responses to The Post in Which I Thank You for a Greasy Tube of….

  1. you are not sorry to bring it up. admit it. you love to talk about your various body parts and functions.

  2. Brian Hotham says:

    Keep up the great work.

  3. rwyoung says:

    In other news, Raney Nelson is still dead.

  4. M Stone says:

    I appreciate the fact that you guys worry about the price point, but don’t.

    The simple fact is that you are publishing material that no one else would dare. (reference the earlier “sane and solvent” statement.) And it’s worth every penny. I have my own version of the Harvard Classics, a five foot bookshelf, filled with woodworking tomes. Most of them on pre-Industrial Revolution woodworking, and the core of that collection are the books you have published.

    I have never regretted a purchase from Lost Art Press, and I would be surprised if this became my first. Even at $35.

  5. denvergeorge says:

    I’m hoping that you will get to Furniture of Necessity soon. I’ve been waiting for that book since the moment you first mentioned it. Looking forward to the Campaign Furniture book. Am sure it will be a good read.

  6. John Kinsey says:

    Witch hazel only works so good for so long. MD’s with strange looking funnels and rubber bands work better. Will also make your campaign chair much more comfortable.

  7. ben lowery says:

    You know…

    You might consider cutting a donut hole out of the middle of that Rorkee seat for some relief. Maybe fashion it into a sort of sling.

  8. Bob Jones says:

    100? Seriously? Are you trying to start some sort of panic? Please consider offering more. If they are any good I would like 3 for myself. You never camp alone.

    And if y’all keep releasing good books I’ll keep buying.

  9. Kim Howarter says:

    I got to pass this on. I showed my wife the chair pictures above and she thought they looked like an electrocution chair! Perhaps that would help with the hemorrhoids.
    I am glad you are doing what you are doing and have supported you by purchasing your books and did manage to attend a class you taught. Learned a lot.
    Thank you to you and John,

  10. You should… mmm bacon! Tell me it’s a hard cover being planned, and I would like a few of the tri-bolts myself! Keep up the good work. You have made a good choice in moving on with your career.

  11. Sean Hughto says:

    Sounds like you need to design and build a stand-up desk.

  12. mcdara says:

    See, thats why I’m gonna fly back to CA to take your class at Ng’s. Well…and I also get to see my wife, but your class is really the reason.

    Are you gonna bring some book copies with you?

  13. chucknickerson says:

    1. 200 pages of supplemental material? Let the book cost more you should.
    2. 100 pieces of hardware? That’s just a tease. Have more made you should.
    (Channeling my inner Yoda under duress I am.)

  14. Jim Maher says:

    TMI – about your “nether regions”. Just because a thought occurs to you does NOT mean you have to share it. Edit, dude, edit!

    BTW, I agree that $35 is okay for Campaign Furniture. And I, too, am anxiously awaiting Furniture of Necessity. Quit sittin’ around and get to work!

  15. When did Raney die!? I love that chair! And I’d go as high as $32.79 on the book. Kidding!!!

  16. wooddocker says:

    Having spent a week in the hot Georgia summer building a Roubo Bench with you, I know how smart you work. I find it hard to believe you sit still long enough to have the issues you mention…
    That said, Lost Arts Press has been a boon to woodworkers everywhere. We’ll know your books aren’t worth it when you start putting pictures of scantily clad women (and men) on the cover.
    Thanks again.

  17. MattC says:

    Preparation H and cut back on the red meat, you’ll be okay.

  18. Raney Nelson says:

    (Sigh). This is raney’s wife, and I’m not amused. If you plan to kill him again, could you have the decency to do it BEFORE we renew the health insurance for the year?

    I know we’re all ‘anarchistic’ and all, but the women who allow you guys to act so petulantly could really use just an ounce of forethought once in a while. You know – for the ACTUAL kids’ sake and all.

    (Hi Lucy. Call me)


  19. dbfowlersf says:

    Thank YOU Chris – as a relatively new woodworker, I am grateful for all the ways your share your passion and knowledge. I believe I’ve purchased every Lost Art Press title (making Xmas gifting much easier for my lovely wife!) , and most every DVD you’ve produced, and I look forward to reading the regular blog posts from you and your team.

    The price point needs to match the value – and based on the extensive posts I too expect to get far more than $32 in value from your Campaign Furniture tome.

    Keep up the good work –


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