Joshua Klein and Mike Updegraff have just released a podcast that discusses the making of the new book “Hands Employed Aright” and how the life of craftsman Jonathan Fisher has informed and changed their own work.
Josh’s research into Fisher’s life has attracted a lot of interest among scholars and woodworkers who are fascinated by pre-industrial methods. Earlier this month, Josh presented some of his findings at Colonial Williamsburg’s “Working Wood in the 18th Century” seminar. And the book was also favorably reviewed in the latest issue of Fine Woodworking (a first for Lost Art Press).
It’s a beautifully written, photographed and designed book, and we’re thrilled that Joshua’s five years of hard work are paying off.
Based on hard-wearing French work garments from the 20th century, our coat is designed and made entirely in the United States. The fabric is a soft cotton drill, a denim material that has a nice woven texture and takes a beating. It’s flexible and breathable as heck – you can wear this in the shop while sawing or planing. Then dust it off, and it’s nice enough to wear to a restaurant with your spouse.
Because this coat was designed by furniture makers, it has details that only a close examination will reveal. The pockets are reinforced to endure years of wear. The buttons are custom made – they’re debossed with “Lost Art Press” (but only you will notice that). And the interior pocket features the only real branding, an embroidered logo featuring a skep.
We offer this jacket only in black, the traditional color worn by joiners, carpenters and cabinetmakers in France. It’s available in sizes from small to 2XL (see our sizing chart for details). If you plan to wear the coat over a T-shirt, order your typical size. If you are going to layer it over other garments, order a size larger than normal.
I typically wear a size large, but I’m wearing a size XL in the photo because I usually wear a T-shirt and collared shirt under it. Also note that we have made the sleeves longer than typical commercial garments because we think most sleeves are skimpy.
These coats were designed by woodworker and clothing designer Tom Bonamici and stitched by Sew Valley in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. We’re proud to work with these trailblazing individuals who insist that good things can and should be made in this country.
Our coat is $185 plus shipping. If you’re used to buying garments made in the third world, that price might seem expensive. So this coat might not be for you. But if you have ever shopped around for an American-made coat that was individually stitched using domestic materials, you know this is a ridiculously low price.
We have a limited number available for immediate shipment. Click here for more details or to purchase one.
When I built my first woodworking project as an adult, I didn’t have a single subscription to a woodworking magazine and the only woodworking book I owned was a tattered Graham Blackburn tome, “Illustrated Basic Carpentry,” from 1976. What I knew about joinery, glue and finishes could fit in a teaspoon (with room left over for sugar).
I didn’t know enough to be apprehensive about designing a sitting bench. Or that my joinery choices (dowels) were laughable. Or that I wasn’t supposed to put an oil varnish over a water-base stain. Or that I needed more than one sharpening stone to get a keen edge on my block plane.
Of course, the project came out just fine. I sit on it every day in our kitchen as I work out the groceries I need for dinner. Hundreds of guests have sat on it as our dinner parties inevitably moved to the kitchen. Its finish is well worn by nearly 30 years of use, but it is rock solid.
I could build a nicer bench, but this guy serves as a reminder not to act too smart. Or to make things too technical. And that ignorance – coupled with strong desire – can go a long way.