‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’ Now Available in our Store

ADB_Cover_mock_upYou can now place a pre-publication order for “The Anarchist’s Design Book” in the Lost Art Press store. The price is $47, which includes free domestic shipping.

If you order before Feb. 15, 2016, you also will receive a pdf download of the book. (After you check out you will receive a follow-up email with a link.) Also, the first 1,000 copies that we sell will be personally autographed. The book is expected to ship at the end of February, weather and factory schedules permitting.

“The Anarchist’s Design Book” is 456 pages that are sewn for long-term durability. The book is 8″ x 10″, casebound and sheathed in thick hardback boards that are covered in cotton cloth. We’ve also painted the edges of all the pages with a black paint to protect them from moisture and damage – a detail common on early books.

Like all Lost Art Press books, “The Anarchist’s Design Book” is produced and printed entirely in the United States.

What’s the Book About?
Most of the American furniture we celebrate as the pinnacle of design is overbearing, over-embellished and a monument to waste and excess.

It also represents the furniture of people you probably dislike.

These high styles of furniture took hold in North America in the 18th century and persist to this day as both cult objects for collectors and as rites of passage for artisans. These are precious pieces that are auctioned, collected, reproduced and written about in exhaustive detail.

Or, to put it a slightly different way, the people who could afford this furniture also owned mega-farms, factories and (sometimes) entire towns. This is not a knock on their wealth. But it is a simple way of asking a question that rarely gets asked among amateur makers: Why would you want to imitate the taste of your boss’s boss’s boss?

“The Anarchist’s Design Book” is an exploration of furniture forms that have persisted outside of the high styles that dominate every museum exhibit, scholarly text and woodworking magazine of the last 200 years.

There are historic furniture forms out there that have been around for almost 1,000 years that don’t get written about much. They are simple to make. They have clean lines. And they can be shockingly modern.

This book explores 11 of these forms  – a bed, dining tables, chairs, chests, desks, shelving – and offers a deep exploration into the two construction techniques used to make these pieces that have been forgotten, neglected or rejected.

You can build an entire houseful of furniture using these two methods – what we call “staked” and ”boarded” furniture. They are shockingly simple for the beginner. They don’t require a lot of tools. And they produce objects that have endured centuries of hard use.

But this isn’t really a book of plans. “The Anarchist’s Design Book” shows you the overarching patterns behind these 11 pieces. It gives you the road map for designing your own pieces. (Which is what we did before we had plans.)

All 11 pieces shown in the book are hand illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs, who produced full-page copperplate etchings that were then hand printed. And there are monkeys.

You can place your order here.

— Christopher Schwarz

Note: We do not yet have a complete list of retailers that plan to carry the book. We do know that Classic Hand Tools will carry it in the United Kingdom. When other retailers sign on, we’ll let you know here.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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74 Responses to ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’ Now Available in our Store

  1. Todd Nebel says:

    Good morning. Maybe I’m to fast on this email but I can’t select the $47 option in your store. Says sold out?

    Thanks, Todd


  2. Neil Greene says:

    Site said sold out and would not let me order. ???

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Brian Clites says:

    Just placed my order. Even though I’ve already read it digital “cover to cover,” I couldn’t be more excited to read it in print form. Congrats on getting the scans done so efficiently last night!

  4. mysticcarver says:

    Done! Very excited to see this here! I will pour over the PDF until I can enjoy the feel of the book in my hands! Thank you Christopher for once again hitting a home run in providing something interesting and exciting for us !

  5. steverennells says:

    “Rocket fist make Freddy so happy!” Anyone with kids and has seen “Big Hero 6” may get the reference. Taken out of context it seems wildly inappropriate; perhaps to all but little spoon. I have Freddy’s fanatical grin on my face right now. Ordered my copy. Can’t wait to read it!

  6. Ruben "Rube" Villanueva says:

    Got my copy ordered. Can’t wait for the PDF to hit my inbox so I can start reading this soon to be New York Times Best selling book. Thank you Chris.

  7. How can I get one of the signed copies in Germany?

    • I’m afraid we do not ship outside of the United States.

    • IMHO, Lee Valley will likely stock it in the next few months. Overseas shipping charges will obviously be additional.

    • meanmna says:

      You know anyone in the US willing to order it for you and cross ship it? That is what I would recommend. Or, if you know someone on a US military base in Germany you may be able to get it that way. I am not sure if LAP’s shipping methods for the US include APOs or not.

      • edhresko says:

        I had several books sent to my APO in Qatar…Mouldings In Practice for sure.

        • Ruben "Rube" Villanueva says:

          Were you at Al Udeid? I was at Arifjan and we had a really sweet woodshop on post. They even had a nice assortment of handtools and a really nice selection of woods like walnut, oak, maple, mahogany, teak, and pine.

      • edhresko says:

        I was…Jun ’12 to Jun ’13. Unfortunately the Qataris were allergic to us having anything even remotely sharp. Even as aircrew, we’d get hassled if we had an “extra” knife in our gear…so no woodworking for a year.

  8. My order-fu is on point this morning. I can’t wait to dig in.

  9. mysticcarver says:

    How long does it take for the PDF to show up in the email?

  10. laterthanuthink says:

    Just ordered! I’m proud and happy to support your work. Maybe this book will be my turning point towards actually using some hand tools to make furniture in my shop. I hope you number the first 1000 books like fine art prints when you autograph them. You know, 328 / 1000 etc.

  11. madeinbowie says:

    Are you experiencing any issues with the pdf emails? I placed my ordered a couple hours ago and have not received an email with the pdf file.

  12. dknott2013 says:

    Good morning. Tried to pay with PayPal, but wasn’t redirected to complete the transaction–stalled on the payment method page.

  13. fitz says:

    And there was much rejoicing.

  14. Josh says:

    Darn it! I was supposed to get some work done today, and now I have a different plan …

  15. tpobrienjr says:

    Now the waiting begins… but wait! There’s MORE!
    I’m looking forward to holding the hardcopy.

  16. domanicoj says:

    Here, here! And Cheers! Your words on what the book is about, really hit the nail on the head for me! Finally, somebody is being honest! I appreciate all the work that goes into the “high” styled furniture, but when it comes to filling my house with furniture, I have to go with the “simply stated” designs. Although, I do secretly yearn for a Wooten Patent Desk. (Did I say that out loud?) Thanks again for pointing the woodworking world in a good direction, yet again! Looking forward to the new book!

  17. auswimkc says:

    Maybe I’ve missed this previously, but has the table of contents or a list of the projects that made the cut been published yet?

  18. jpassacantando says:


    This looks fabulous. Just bought it. Can’t wait. Looks like this whole venture is working for you.




  19. The pdf situation is resolving now. John is sending out the links as I type. Check your inbox, your spam folder and the account that you hide from your spouse.

    It should be there within the hour. If you need it *right now* try logging into your LAP store account and it should be there for you to download…. We think….

  20. Alex A. says:

    Yay! Can’t wait to build some of those chairs.

  21. What an amazing way to start the year!

  22. Ordered, looking forward to reading it via PDF when I get down with work today.

  23. stjones911 says:

    Ordered this morning, got the confirmation email but no email about the PDF. Is this a manual process that someone hasn’t gotten to yet? Or are you sold out of PDFs? 🙂

  24. It’s probably operator error, but I can’t figure out how to access the digital download. No email or links on my account. Sorry to be a pain!

  25. Sam Morgan says:

    WOW! I just went through the PDF and you’ve got yourself another home run with this book! Great to see the treatise on nails, the appendices, and all of the exceptional pictures. I like to think the tables from chapter 8 were supposed to only have three legs, but the table users were seeing double when they drew them! Thank-you for your outstanding work.

  26. alanws says:

    It’s good to hear that someone has the PDF. I hope mine arrives soon, and the reason for the long delay in sending the link is that you are swamped with orders.

  27. edhresko says:

    This is your best book yet. Both from the standpoint of the material, and the layout, typeface choice, and plates. Can’t wait to see the printed product!

  28. Is it possible to know when the first 1000 copies are all gone? Not sure if I was one of the recipients or not. Never got an email download link.

  29. ouidavincent says:

    I have just read the intro. This is very good, indeed. I am building a cubby for our mudroom that I was going to embellish with side beads. Perhaps not now.

  30. erikhinkston says:

    I am so happy with your new offer, including the PDF with purchase at first. I love having this and all your books with me all day every day. I was a PDF only customer until Virtuoso came out and I saw first hand the beauty of a well built book. I bought hard copies of ATC and the Chair Makers Notebook right away and will always be first in line to get your offerings. Well done sirs, well done!

  31. colsdave says:

    For those concerned about all of the pdf issues noted up-page, I just ordered my book and got my pdf link email in a couple minutes. Now my previous evening plans are shot…

  32. abtuser says:

    Much applause for this work and word of it’s completion. Been looking forward to it’s publication and looking forward to sitting down and reading the sections that interest me the most first.

    Oh, and order placed.

  33. ctregan says:

    #anarchistdesignbook furniture will be all over the instagram. Should I copy your pieces note by note or can I do a Jack White version of your work?

  34. Still haven’t received my pdf version.

  35. Hi Chris, just wondered if it has been decided whether CHT in UK will stock any of the signed copies? Would be great to have it along side yours and Katy’s signed copy of The Joiner & Cabinet Maker 🙂

  36. bmhingst says:

    Still no PDF. I ordered the book yesterday morning at around 7 AM CST. I have checked my spam and my junk. I emailed John last night at around 6 PM CST.

  37. gblogswild says:

    I’m on this as soon as the next cc payment clears. Let us know when the 1,000 is gone?

  38. Mike says:

    Is there any way international customers could get the benefit of the free pdf download? I’d love to have both (electronic books are so much easier on my commute) but buying the same book twice would never pass muster with my wife.
    Perhaps you could allow the first however many who order from each of your international distributors access to the PDF. I know I’d jump at the chance. I would hope the international dealers wouldn’t object to forwarding on the emails of those people.

  39. Bob Jones says:

    Congrats! This has been a long time coming. I’d like mine autographed by the ny Yankees please.

  40. I’m looking to order a copy in Canada, but Lee Valley are not showing it for sale yet. Do you know when this will happen. Also, will we be able to get the PDF version?


    • Lee Valley will indeed carry the book. The company typically does not put our books up on the site until after it receives shipment (probably in early March).

      We now have a mechanism where our international and domestic retailers can also offer the pdf, but it is up to them to decide whether or not they will do that.

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