The Hayward Project v. The Blair Witch Project

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John and I really should avoid alcohol when we discuss our business.

One of the first books we discussed publishing in 2007 was securing the rights to publish some of the fantastic writing of Charles H. Hayward, who was editor of The Woodworker magazine from 1936 to 1966. Lots of people have pirated his work (you know who you are shamey, shame, shame), but an authorized reprint hasn’t happened.

Could it be done? Thanks to the IPA we were drinking, we decided to try. John spent months negotiating the rights. I collected every copy of The Woodworker I could get, many of them bound into annual editions.

Then the real work began.

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I won’t bore you with the details of the last seven years, but last night I printed out the first 771 pages of Vol. 1, Tools and Techniques for copy editing. We still have 400 pages left to design – an arduous process because we are rebuilding the pages from the ground up. This isn’t a scan-and-jam, print-on-demand book.

This first volume will be 1,100 pages – the maximum our bindery can handle. The second volume will be 700 pages.

Each time we touch this work for editing or design, we are personally amazed. This first volume might be 1,100 pages at 8.5” x 11”, but the density of information makes it feel like 2,000 pages. Every illustration (there are thousands) and page is packed with woodworking, mainlined and right to the vein.

Our goal is to publish Vol. 1 in time for Christmas. I won’t have information on pricing or availability until late fall, so I’m going to ignore those questions from people who didn’t make it this far into the blog entry.

Vol. 2 will be next year. My next book will be 32 pages long with lots of doodle space.

— Christopher Schwarz

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About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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36 Responses to The Hayward Project v. The Blair Witch Project

  1. Stumpy Nubs says:

    I am excited about it, but this sounds like a real risk. A high quality, paper edition of such a massive work will be very expensive to produce, and demand a high price from your customers. I suspect this is why most woodworking magazine compilations come in digital form. But, you have a loyal customer base, so maybe it will work out. I hope so! (I know you’ve weighed all of these factors, and know more than I do about it. I’m just thinking out loud… and typing what I think….)

    • Hey Stumpy,

      This book will be very reasonably priced, all things considered. We won’t lose money; we also won’t get rich.

      Every year we try to do some sort of project that is more for the craft than for our bottom line. “Book of Plates” is one good example – we might break even on that book soon. This Hayward book is something we think people should have.

      Plus, we’re not in this to get rich. John and I just want to do what we want to do and feed our families. And that’s a low bar.

      Chris

      • Stumpy Nubs says:

        Getting rich on printing books in today’s digital world? I don’t think anybody thinks THAT’S what you’re trying to do! 🙂 I, for one am very grateful that you folks do what you do. Your work is the best quality I have seen, and your selection is obviously well thought out. You provide a vital resource, and darn it, it’s just nice to have a real book in my hands! Tell you what- I’ll buy one of the first sets when this comes out. I am quite sure it will be worth it!

    • I have read pretty much all of Haywards books and while they are a bit repetitive at times they are totally engrossing and I, for one, will be interested in the volumes. Think of it as another way of buying wood – 8½” x 11″ x 3?” – about 2bft of highly desirable pre-finished lumber.

  2. nevynxxx says:

    I’m sure you have a better reason for a 1,100:750 split than just “That’s the maximum the bindery can handle”. Come on, spill the beans, why isn’t it closer to 900 each? 😉

  3. jonathanszczepanski says:

    Let me know if you need help editing that doodle space. It’s my specialty.

  4. I’m excited that this is slowly working its way towards completion. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of this piece….will I ever be able to read it all? ….well I did complete The Dark Tower series.

  5. May I suggest you and John start Lost Art Brewery? Sink the IPA profits into keeping Lost Art Press afloat (and the editors well-hydrated). Just saying…

  6. woodworkerme says:

    I have spent a fair amount of time reading old school woodworking books Roubo,Moxon,Underhill, Goss and some guy named Schwarz.and many more they all say about the same thing about general woodworking and the tools you use. The specialty stuff is different, chair making ,using molding planes and the like. So how is this new book any better?cause I gather this new book is general woodworking tips & hints.

  7. toolnut says:

    You guys are publishing woodworker crack and we are all addicts. Quick question, your Instagram mentioned part 3, will that be late next year?

  8. “I won’t have information on pricing or availability until late fall, so I’m going to ignore those questions from people who didn’t make it this far into the blog entry.” – Ha! I like it.

    I may have to give up woodworking so I can find the time to read through all the good content you guys are putting out…

  9. Besides the fact that its content is worth its weight in gold, the essential woodworker is a wonderful 6×9 rather than 8.5×11. I love and cherish all of my LAP books, but the larger books tend to spend more time on my shop bookshelf, while the smaller ones get read more. I would be willing to pay the extra cost (realizing it might be 2x or even 3x the cost) for a 6×9 sized vol1 broken into maybe 3-4 thinner books. I wouldn’t want you to sell vol 1a, 1b, and 1c (and possibly 1d) separately, but together in easier to work with sizes.

    I realize what I’m suggesting might totally derail a 2015 release, which alone might be good enough reason to keep the larger format. I feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of reading and applying the information in such an information dense book, and I am humbled by the fact that you guys are doing a lot more than that. Regardless of the format, I will certainly get this book, read it, and enjoy every word. Thank you.

  10. Brian Clites says:

    Thanks for all of your hard work Chris, John, & co. The Hayward volumes are your most ambitious undertaking yet, and — to novices like me, at least — will be even more valuable resources than your Ruobo prints. Looking forward to it!

  11. scthornton says:

    32 pages with double spacing for your next book? I guess there isn’t a lot of “necessary” furniture out there! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to these volumes!

  12. Dennis Heyza says:

    When you are done with this, how about a compilation of John Brown’s, ‘Anarchist Woodworker’ columns?

  13. rondennis303 says:

    I’m beginning to feel like a miner looking at the mother lode!

  14. C&M Lethbridge says:

    I’m looking forward to this book more then any book I have ever purchased which is about 2000 books and a large amount of wood working books including 21 of Hayward’s. Please keep up the good no excellent work. You and your team are bringing something to woodworking that has been missing for 40 years. Mark Lethbridge

  15. abtuser says:

    I like having material like this bound in a book, instead of scattered across a bunch of magazines. I like my magazines, but all-in-one-place pieces are easier to use and manage from my perspective. (Yea, I know, digital archives of magazines fix the magazine bloat issue, but still, having material in book form has the advantage of being edited and appearing as a compiled work.) Looking forward…

  16. Scott Taylor says:

    I’m in for the first pre order! And if it helps I have a few bottles of a certain Kentucky’s precious liquid gold to sweeten the deal.. My collection of LAP books is dear to me, and the first editions more so. The craftsmanship of the books themselves is inspiring, the printer and binders art is not gone.

    I took a break from Virtuoso check the blog, stunning is all one can say, just stunning…

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