The Final Photo


After getting the year’s final furniture job on the truck last week, I turned my attention to the completing the final project for “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” a coffin-turned bookshelf unit.

I’d finished the coffin in 2014, but had always meant to add shelves for my vinyl records. The coffin has been languishing in the basement and creeping out my children’s friends. (“Uh, what does your dad do for a living?”)

The shelves are spaced about 15” apart to allow plenty of room for 12” albums. It was difficult to space the shelves precisely because the sides of the coffin are tapered. Not only that, the pine has warped a bit. So getting a precise fit was a fun exercise with a bevel gauge and a block plane.

The shelves are tacked in place through the coffin sides with 4d headed nails to make them easy to remove. Then I also tacked in angled cleats above and below each shelf for some additional Soviet-style over-building.

I painted the outside and then asked my daughter Katy to paint a few images from some of our favorite records. She chose some awesome artwork from Queens of the Stone Age. She sketched the images on the bottom panel and then painted them Monday night.

The coffin hangs on a maple French cleat. Each cleat is 1” x 3” x 17”. The cleat on the cabinet is bolted through the case with 5/16” x 2” carriage bolts, large fender washers and nuts. The cleat on the wall is attached to two studs with 3/8” x 3” lag screws. I can climb this thing like a ladder, so I’m certain it will hold my records.

This morning I took the final photo (above) for the final page of “The Anarchist’s Design Book” and thought about having a Christmas morning beer. Then I thought better of it.

Briony (the illustrator) and I are still finishing up the details on a handful of illustrations, and Megan is doing one last final edit of the text. But the end is in sight.

Maybe I do deserve a Christmas morning brew.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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9 Responses to The Final Photo

  1. kendewitt608 says:

    It is now afternoon on the east coast, have the brew !

    And I thought it very German to over engineer things, owning a german car that has buttons to operate other buttons.

    A very merry to you and your family.

  2. robanjo says:

    Merry Christmas Chris. Thanks much for the interest you bring to my life. In case you need reasons – bear up under the ad, worth the wait –, or

  3. momist says:

    Very Merry Christmas Chris. And if you need another reason, it’s nearly 6pm here, and we’ve been drinking since Bucks Fizz for breakfast . . .

  4. Sam Morgan says:

    Wow! My complements to Katy for her part…She’s come a long way from the sock monkey she drew In one of your books I ordered several years ago! I’d pay a little extra for one of her drawings on the inside of The Anarchist’s Design Book, If she’s looking for some college money…

  5. parks2167 says:

    A late Very Merry Christmas to you and yours. It’s Christmas and scotch flows freely here today.
    As they say, ” It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Love the shelf unit and the drawings. She needs a book of her own. That’s if, she can find a publisher. Thank you Cris for all you do. I’ve learned so much these past few years.

  6. That’s one of the coffins from the coffin-building party, correct? Is it the kerfed one or the one that required heat? I really am thinking of building one…

  7. Farmer Greg says:

    “The shelves are tacked in place through the coffin sides with 4d headed nails to make them easy to remove.”

    So it can be turned back swiftly into a coffin, just in case?

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