Perhaps because it is such an everyday material many people do not realise the importance of PAPER as a munition of war – not merely newspaper, but paper and cardboard of every kind. It is used in the manufacture of shell containers, fuse components, mines, radio sets, machine-gun belts, etc. and it is needed now. Woodworkers can make a definite contribution by using shavings to light their fires, and saving the paper. They can also exchange shavings for paper with their neighbors and add to the collection of paper to be used directly for the war effort.
We therefore appeal to all readers to go carefully through their rooms, drawers and cupboards and turn out every scrap of unwanted paper. Stack it in a dry place, and separate white paper from cardboard and brown paper. All local councils have organised schemes for collection. Please then do it now.
— The Woodworker, January 1942. The exhortation to turn in all unneeded paper is on page 4; the graphic is on page 5.
The last few weeks have been a death march of painting, trim and general freaking out to get the Lost Art Press storefront ready for the March 12 opening and book-release party.
This week I hope to share details of some of the cool stuff we have in store (literally) for the opening: a special store-only T-shirt, stickers, a poster that just arrived on my doorstep today and the copperplate prints from Briony-Morrow Cribbs from “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”
Oh, and my daughter Katy is launching her own line of soft wax under the name “The Anarchist’s Daughter.”
Some of these items will make it onto the LAP website; but some are too nichey, weird or in tiny quantities. Some are experiments that will fail.
For those of you who want to crap on my finish carpentry skills, I offer these photos. Installing the casing was easy with a nail gun. But the baseboard has been making me hate bricks.
Our building is a rare example of North American masonry construction. No studs. So installing the baseboard has been tricky. Typical masonry construction has “wooden bricks” every 24″ or so to allow you to install baseboard. But because of the plaster restoration and a variety of other complications, I’ve located only about a dozen wooden bricks.
So the baseboard has been installed with a combination of long finish nails, Tapcon screws and construction adhesive. It’s a laborious process to do well on plaster walls that wave like your grandma.
Luckily my eyesight gets worse every year, so it will look fine (to me).
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Special thanks to Megan Fitzpatrick who painted the interior facade white and gray during the weekend. Friends are good things to have.
Our printer informed us this morning that “The Anarchist’s Design Book” has been delayed (again) at the Michigan bindery. The book was supposed to ship last week. Now it looks like the first 1,000 copies will ship to our warehouse on March 8 and the remainder will ship about March 11.
The delay is a result of us staining the edges of the book’s pages black. To do this, we had to send the books to a bindery we’ve not used before. Our usual bindery is reliable….
What does this mean?
First off, we’re sorry for the delay.
We plan to have books for sale and for pickup at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event and the book-release party on March 11-12 (even if we have to drive to the bindery with a truck). On March 15 (the first day I can get to our Indianapolis warehouse), I’ll personally sign the first 1,000 copies and then our warehouse will mail out all the pre-publication orders.
Apologies again for the delay. I hope you find the book was worth the wait.
Before you head to IKEA to buy another Billy bookcase, take a moment to read this important message.
Store-bought bookcases with adjustable shelves stink. They are made from flimsy materials, they’re shoddily constructed using questionable fasteners and they can be too-easily configured to tip forward and crush you.
Traditional bookcase construction, a topic covered in “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” is something I’m passionate about. If you are smart, you don’t need adjustable shelves. If you do your research, you can choose fasteners that will outlive you. And if you are frugal, you can build a completely excellent bookcase using home-center pine and a handful of simple hand tools.
The DVD begins by throwing out the modern idea of using adjustable shelves and discusses how the design was created and can be modified. From there we explore a bunch of different skills in detail suitable for the dead-nuts beginner (there’s way more detail than in the book).
Surfacing boards with handplanes.
Cutting through-dados with saws, chisel and a router plane.
Making stopped grooves with a chisel and router plane.
Making a tongue-and-groove back.
All about cut nails, forged nails and wire nails.
Why furniture makers should use hide glue.
On using milk paint and why you shouldn’t use the instructions to mix it.
I built and finished the bookcase shown in the DVD with only two days of shop time – and I had to slow myself down so the film crew could get additional shots for the DVD. In other words, this is a quick project. But don’t be fooled by that. If you choose your fasteners, adhesive and joints with care, this bookcase will outlast everyone you know.
Most of us are haunted throughout our lives by the wide gap between what we feel we could do and the little we actually accomplish. “Man’s reach is wider than his grasp.” As children we embarked eagerly on cherished projects and when we failed from the lack of experience and skill were daunted and exasperated by our impotence. To feel within oneself the power to do a thing and then to make a hash of it!
Later, when our fingers had gained skill the problem posed itself in a different form. We might now have the knowledge and at least sufficient confidence to do a good job, but still there was something that eluded us, some secret vision of perfection to which, in spite of many efforts, we failed to attain. The trouble with perfection is that it looks so misleadingly simple, but the cost is high. We can spend quite a considerable part of our lives discovering just how high and that unless we are prepared to pay the price perfection will continue to elude us. Recently I came across a mathematician who, so that he might demonstrate some mathematical law to his class had made a wooden model which, in order to function, needed an upright board, grooved in zigzags set at certain angles, down which tiny balls cascaded to operate the model. It was not the main part of the model, merely the necessary prelude which made the demonstration possible, yet it had taken him, he said with a smile, three hundred hours to make. The wood was unpolished but so glossily smooth, with perfection in each incisive line along which the little balls capered, that it had a beauty all of its own. Obviously it had been a labour of love and infinite patience.
Usually it is our impatience that defeats us. There are so many other distractions tugging at us that it is difficult to devote ourselves unswervingly to one particular bit of creative work with the unhurried effort that a first-class job takes and we are content to give less than our best. The craftsman’s best needs something more than an acquired skill of fingers sufficiently well trained not to mar a job with rash, impatient movements. It needs besides an attitude of mind that can sustain a prolonged effort with enjoyment and when a man takes pleasure in his work for its own sake he has acquired the true craftsman spirit which makes the best work possible.
Even so, we have to accept our human limitations. They are different with every individual man, divergencies of talent, of temperament, of circumstances which must inevitably produce differences of achievement. The temptation is strong to say: “Ah, if I was that man, or had that gift, or that opportunity, I should do very differently.” Should we, I wonder? If, instead of sighing for the moon, we accept ourselves as we are, with our own gifts and potentialities, our own weaknesses and faults of temperament, and set ourselves to do the best creative work that lies inside of us in spite of them, we shall work with an awareness of ourselves that will be half the battle. The naturally impatient man has more patience to learn than his less impulsive brother, the man who yields so easily to discouragement has to make up his mind to grit his teeth and hand on and that “it’s dogged as does it.” We are all these things by turn and at times but in each of us the proportion is different. We are each, as it were, our raw material and by working creatively and setting ourselves to do good work we are shaping and making ourselves as well as the thing we do. In this way alone can we discover our hidden potentialities by learning to do the things which can give them release. It is their presence within us which gives us from childhood upwards that sense of power to do things which, given no outlet, may well prove illusory.
Lack of confidence or an impossible ambition may both cause failure but if we work realistically, accepting ourselves as we are, confidence will come or vaulting ambition learn a moderation that leads to success. As the power of achievement grows, we shall find that we have it in us to do work stamped with our own distinctive character, because character develops inevitably with the things we do, and that we shall be making a contribution in itself unique to our surroundings.
The only fatal thing is to give up trying, to allow that sense of innate ability to become submerged, turning to a feeling of frustration and finally indifference. By so doing we shall cheat ourselves of some of the best things in life.
Once started on the good road to craftsmanship there is no knowing where a man will stop. One thing has an odd way of leading to another, interests and accomplishments grow and thrive by the way. To the end of our days we shall probably feel conscious of the things we might have done and did not, but in so far as we were willing to pay the price of achievement we shall have something to show for having lived.
— Charles H. Hayward, The Woodworker, April 1955 issue (paintings dug up by Jeff Burks)