Inside ‘From Truths to Tools’


Proverb: Give a woodworker a try square and it works (at least till it gets knocked off the bench). Teach a woodworker artisan geometry and he or she can build a try square, cathedral or a damn fine boat.

Why do dividers appear in countless old paintings and engravings? They show up in the hands of winged cherubs, scientists, stone masons, boat builders and artisans of every stripe. Yes, dividers were the tool that spanned almost every art and craft. But there is much more to it, something deeper, more profound and basic. Dividers were also a symbol of the entry into the world of artisan geometry. This world is a big place, as big as the universe, yet captured in a circle scribed with a pair of a dividers. This world of artisan geometry is just a collection of abstract discoveries, yet the truths of geometry are more true and solid than the Rocky Mountains.

Our ancestors understood that learning the truths of artisan geometry was fundamental to reaching our human potential. On a practical level, it allows us to imagine, design and build almost anything. They also understood that this world of artisan geometry can transform our thinking and train the mind to follow logic and truth wherever it takes us. For that reason it was a key part of the classical curriculum for centuries.

Jim Tolpin and I are on a quest to explore this artisan geometry and we’d like to invite you to join us. This isn’t about memorizing theorems. Instead it’s about exploring truths with a pair of dividers and a straight stick. The lone requirement is you must bring your curiosity.

In our own case, it’s taken us to a wide-open space filled with ideas and possibilities. It’s also given us deeper insight into every tool found in our woodworking tool kit. For each of these tools is the embodiment of a geometric truth. On one level you can know how to use a try square to mark off a line for a saw. On a much deeper level it’s possible to grasp the immutable truth underlying the square and then apply that knowledge across much more than a chunk of lumber.

Our soon-to-be-released book, “Truths to Tools,” is an introduction to artisan geometry. It just might change the way you see your tools and open your eyes to the timeless world of artisan geometry.

— George R. Walker,


About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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12 Responses to Inside ‘From Truths to Tools’

  1. calebjamesplanemaker says:

    I’m curious.



  2. James W. Carey (home) says:

    Another cool book coming out!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. sugardoc says:

    I’m anxious to read this one too!


  4. Keith says:

    I am always amazed at the things you can do with compass and straightedge. A lot of it I learned in jr. high math class and I’ve added to it. Even in my last class of abstract algebra for my master’s degree when Galois theory proves why you can’t trisect an angle with compass and straightedge.


  5. eva gerd says:

    Very interesting! My father was a carpenter, and I’ve always been fascinated by his tools, the old ones really made and used with love, and now got some of them in my tool box ♡


  6. Willard Anderson says:

    Can’t wait!’


  7. alexpacin says:

    I feel like this one is going to end up next to Lucretius and Seneca on my shelf, not next to the woodworking books.


  8. Farmer Greg says:

    Am I right to assume that we will be able to purchase downloads of this book after it is released?


  9. jglen490 says:

    The History Channel should pick up on all this information. But then again, it would mean dumping all their current programming that assumes our ancestors were not only ignorant but also too stupid, and had to rely on intergalactic alien beings to construct anything.

    I’m looking forward to this new book, regardless!


  10. maxlcrepeau says:

    I’m looking forward to this young Good Book, regardless! I am always amazed at the things you can do with compass and straightedge.


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