Two Reviews of ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

ADB_black_10x12Though it is painful, I try to read all of the reviews – good, bad and indifferent – of my work.

Reviews don’t really change what I write about in the future, but they do let me know if I am communicating my ideas. Sometimes what I think is obvious is not so obvious to a reader.

This week, I spotted two reviews of “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” which finally seems to be making its way into the hands of readers. You can check these out for yourself:

Greg Merritt of the blog “By My Own Hands” published this review.

And Norman Reid at “Wood News Online” published this one. In the interest of full disclosure, Wood News Online is published by Highland Woodworking, which carries our books. But Norm is nobody’s tool.

Note: Unlike many publishers, we do not send out free copies of our books to reviewers. We don’t ask for book reviews from magazines, blogs or anywhere else. Heck, we don’t even advertise our books. I know I’ve said all this before, but it bears repeating every now and then.

In other news concerning “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” we have had to go back to press for a second printing already. We corrected about a dozen typos (sorry about that) and two small factual errors (very sorry about those). I’ll put up an errata on those in the coming days. Right now, I have to make dinner, or Lucy will punish me.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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10 Responses to Two Reviews of ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

  1. hgordon4 says:

    So you’re intentionally not going to make dinner…?

  2. Adam Palmer says:

    I’ve noticed the reamers are all sold out at Lee Valley. I feel like they owe you some kind of retainer fee.

    • I hope that most people won’t let that stop them. You can make your own reamer from wood with some saw steel. It’s covered at Jennie Alexander’s site.

  3. Will books ordered from this point forward be from the second printing?

  4. Is there any news on the “buy the hard copy get the pdf at a reduced rate” for international peeps front? Have I just missed it? Did I imagine it?

    • We have created a mechanism for international sellers to offer this. But they have not taken it up yet except in Australia – Henry Eckert offered a pre-order special.

      We cannot force them to offer our products, I’m afraid.

  5. Andrew John says:

    I did a once over this week. Like your work bench book, it is clearly written and understandable. I primarily use hand tools so these books, both the new and vintage, have been instrumental in helping the light go off. Wearing’s book was a game changer so thank you for making that available.

    Anyway, much of the furniture I have looked at or books I have flipped through are mortise and tenon with the exception of a Windsor chair. There are many lovely pieces made that way but its cool to see a different way to do it. I tried experimenting with a bench that was “staked” a years time ago but wasn’t able to get that stable (legs too thin, joints too loose, 90 degrees, ect – but I did have a thick top). The presentation you provided that includes “the math stuff” and how to properly construct the joint should help me have a more successful second attempt.

    I also liked seeing joinery combined. I thought the combination of a sliding dovetail and “staked” leg into a thinner top was a radical solution to that problem but in a tubular way. In terms of designing other pieces it opens up some interesting doors.

    I am also looking forward to getting one (or many) of those book shelves together. The video on that and the refresher on how to prep rough stock was excellent. I do well with written instructions but having a visual reference, especially one that moves, is excellent reinforcement. Instead of trying things several times it may only take a few to get it right.

  6. simonjhillier says:

    I received the book on Friday, a quick scan and a solid read of a few chapters have revealed more than a few head slapping moments. The staked furniture is in my near future.

    I’m looking forward to reading right through and consuming the rest that it has to offer. The scattered humour is also welcome and lightens the mood.

    As a physical thing it’s stunning, the paper quality, printing etc … are level with the nicest books that I own.

    You can tell that you take a great pride in your work which is a great lesson to us all. Another fine work Sir.

    I’m saving the Hayward books for when the baby has gone to bed.

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