Now in Store: ‘From Truths to Tools’

You can now order a pre-publication copy of “From Truths to Tools” in the Lost Art Press store. The book will ship in early or mid-November 2017. The book is $25, which includes free shipping to customers in the United States and Canada. All customers who order the book before Nov. 7 will receive a free and immediate pdf download of the entire book.

You can download an excerpt of the book via this link:


Here’s what the book is about:

Good books give you a glimpse of small truths – about workbenches, joinery or sharpening, for example. Great books, on the other hand, stitch together seemingly disparate ideas to present a new way of looking at the world as a whole, from your marking awl, to your hand or to the line of the horizon.

“From Truths to Tools” by Jim Tolpin and George Walker is a hand-illustrated work that masquerades as a children’s book. There are funny drawings. There aren’t a lot of words. You can read the entire 208-page book in one sitting.

But “From Truths to Tools” somehow explains the craft, the entire physical world, our language and geometry in a way that makes you feel like the authors have revealed a huge secret to you. One that has been sitting in front of you your entire life.

The book begins with an explanation of a circle and a single point and show how those simple ideas can be used to create an entire set of layout tools – a try square, a straightedge, dividers etc. that allow you to build furniture.

Once you understand the language behind your tools, very complicated things become easy to understand. Compound joinery. Fitting odd miters. Making curves that taper.

And once you get those ideas in your head, it’s a short hop to how those same ideas can be applied to building anything of any shape imaginable – skyscrapers, boats, bridges. When you can calculate if a tree will hit you when you fell it in the forest you’ll be able to calculate the circumference of the earth.

“From Truths to Tools” is the third book from the geometry-loving team of Jim Tolpin and George Walker. Their first book “By Hand & Eye” makes the case that simple whole-number ratios are the underpinning to the built world and our furniture. The second book, “By Hound & Eye” gives you the exercises that open your eyes to the way geometry and ratios govern our world. And the third, “From Truths to Tools,” shows how geometry creates our tools and, once understood, leads to a deeper grasp of the things we build, the world around us and even our language.

“From Truths to Tools” is printed in the United States to exacting standards. The pages are sewn and glued so the book will last a long time and can rest flat on your bench. The pages are protected by heavy paper-covered boards. The book is designed to last several generations.

As always, we hope our retailers in North America and elsewhere will carry the book, but the decision is up to them. So as of today, we don’t know which retailers will stock it.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site:

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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15 Responses to Now in Store: ‘From Truths to Tools’

  1. Russell Pitner says:

    Extremely well researched, and one of the most interesting works of historical planning and layout I’ve ever read. Thanls.


  2. azezo1 says:

    I just purchased the book and when I tried to download the PDF to my iPad I got this message:

    This file cannot be downloaded on an iOS device
    In order to download this file you will need to download on a computer and then transfer to your mobile device.

    We are sorry for the inconvenience.

    That’s new, in the past I just downloaded directly to my iPad, very convenient. This new method is very inconvenient. What’s the deal?

    Signed, a no so happy customer.


    • This is an Apple issue. It used to work. Now it doesn’t. The only workaround we are aware of is to upload it to your mobile device via your laptop or desktop machine. We have complained to Apple, but Tim Cook has yet to return my call….


      • alexpacin says:

        There is a workaround (which I’ll mention here since you aren’t purposely blocking iOS downloads). From the PDF download page, but before clicking on the PDF download link, hit the square-with-upward-arrow icon (aka “share sheet”) in the browser controls and scroll to the “Request Desktop Version” option. This takes you to the non-mobile-optimized version of the page you’d see from your desktop/laptop. Once the page reloads, you can then click on the download link and do your thing.


  3. azezo1 says:

    Thank you for the explanation, I will send my complaint to Apple.


  4. holtdoa says:

    I like that sample. After I sell some more plasma, I’ll be ordering.


  5. jayedcoins says:

    Quick question — I have had on my “to buy and read” list either By Hand or By Hound, but wasn’t sure which one would best suit a novice to this way of geometric thinking. With this new book, now I’m even less sure which of the first three would be the best beginner’s point. Does the LAP team, or even possible Walker and Tolpin themselves, have a recommendation?


    • We will have a post on this topic tomorrow


    • ctdahle says:

      I have both. By Hand and Eye is a book to read while seated in a comfortable chair by the fire, with a glass of your favorite beverage; By Hound and Eye is a book to work through at your desk/drawing table, with drawing tools close at hand. Both are relaxing and engaging, just depends on which you are in the mood for. I’d be loathe to give up either book.


  6. John Hippe says:

    Purchased the book. Downloaded the PDF and have read through about 3/4 of the book so far. Great read. Fascinating insights into the practical applications of geometry. I really enjoy their writing style.


  7. In honour of the notification received that my Deluxe “Roubo on Furniture” book has shipped, I have ordered this latest offering from LAP. Praise Jebus.


  8. ericfromdayton says:

    I think the cover illustration would make a great tee shirt print. This latest book is an excellent read that should open every ones eyes to the world around them. Highly recommended.


  9. Baguetto says:

    Hello, there’s a message : no delivery for france, i can’t buy the book.


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