Just Thanks

BK-ATC-1Today I signed off on the 11th printing of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.” Since 2011, we have printed nearly 30,000 copies of this book. In big-boy-pants publishing terms, that number represents a total and utter failure. Also a failure: Telling the world how many books you’ve really printed.

But <expletive omitted> that.

Those of you who purchased that book are responsible for laying the foundation blocks for what we do here with Lost Art Press. Had I published that book with another publisher, I’d have made about $10,000 (and would be working in retail by now). Because John and I published it ourselves – and you bought it – we made a publishing company instead.

The 10th anniversary of the book is coming up in 2021. We might have to do a revision or (at least) a redesign….

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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45 Responses to Just Thanks

  1. Cheers!

  2. erikhinkston says:

    This book is my go to, number one recommendation for any inquiry into the build it yourself world. Never disappoints and I always learn something new when I revisit it. Simply the best.

  3. Kyle Barton says:


  4. Daniel Williamson says:

    30,000 lives changed (or at least altered).

    One here. It’s great. Grateful your wrote it, glad to help your cause. As always.

  5. That book changed my life, Chris. Genuinely. Thanks for having the courage to write it, and to set up LAP.

  6. Bill Morison says:

    Probably the best business decision you ever made.
    Without trying to blow smoke up your backside, I love that book. It is my favorite woodworking book and has been well read and used, and is what finally got me off my butt to start making instead of just reading. Thank you.

    (Please first finish the long-promised update to Anarchist’s Design Book!)

  7. CHRIS DEGRAVE says:

    thanks goes to you. loved the book and was a fun project to build.

  8. ikustwood says:

    This book changed the way i see Wood, Working, being an Artisan. And mostly wasn’t boring and made me laugh!

    Thanks to you.

  9. Justin says:

    Many congratulations to you and all at LAP. Keep doing what you do.

  10. Tobin says:

    You know you can’t post sentimental schlock like this without reciprocation.

    That book and this business have long dealt with us, your customers, in a straightforward, frank and honest way that is rare and valuable. No BS sales tactics or hype, quality products with quality content, and even an occasional beer recommendation worth chasing down (I swear I typed that before I saw a beer at the top of your IG feed).

    You may have lost your ‘art press’ – whatever that is, and good luck finding it – but in doing so you built something that brings a great deal of value and, dare I say, joy into my shop and home.

    (and thank you John, too. We all know Schwarz is the mouthpiece who sails on the winds of your labors)

  11. alan - planesaw says:

    Those 30,000 copies will do / have done more good for society, or at least a segment of it, than many/most books that sold 100,000 or 500,000.

    • Curt Lavallee says:

      I second that. This book hit me in exactly the spot I needed to finally get serious about this hobby, and to know that there is indeed a place for and folks who share my mindset.

      It’s also kicked off a ravenous interest in all the other titles LAP publishes, with which my library (and those of my brothers, and friends) continue to grow!

  12. Alpharip01 says:

    It is my favorite book to recommend – You might consider taking pre-orders for a10yr anniversary edition slipcased with some nice eye candy covers and a forward by a few of your favorite woodworkers.

  13. Congratulations. If you do a revision, add another project. Maybe an Alian Swing, or perhaps a squirrel in a tree puzzle.

    Sometimes the road is so long, we forget where it started. I can’t wait to see where it ends up.

  14. Congrats. Successful self-publishing IS a big deal.

  15. Ken says:

    I have enjoyed my copy and refer to it frequently.
    By way of criticism, I don’t think you are very funny, and could do with 80-85% less attempts at humor.

    • Gerald says:

      My wife doesn’t think you’re very funny either. I know this because she sighs in exasperation and roles her eyes every time something you wrote makes me laugh out loud. She does this because she knows I am going to make her listen to me read the entire piece out load–not just the specifically funny part to make sure she got the proper context. For my part, I think your writing needs 12% fewer poignant parts, 26% more moulding planes, 34.7% more tabloid worthy tell-all stories of notable woodworkers after a few too many pints–start with the eminent Mr. Underhill and 8-13% more news of the seamy underbelly of Covington city council politics. While you’re at it, have Meagan throw in some Shakespeare..I love me some Shakespeare.

  16. James D. Maher says:

    Thanks to you and John! You’ve brought the world something worth having. That ain’t easy, or often done as well as you guys have.

    I don’t know about a re-design . . . . I’m kinda sentimentally attached to the way it is now.

  17. Andrew Gillespie says:

    You do realise that if you do a special tenth year anniversary edition we will
    probably all want to buy one.

  18. Dave Pollatta says:

    I am in the middle of this book now. Great information. Well made book. It’s a pleasure just to hold! This was my third book from LAP. I am looking forward to the revised and expanded version of the Anarchist design book! Of course there are one or two others I may need to snatch up before 2020.

  19. Adam Godet says:

    Congrats on your utter failure. I’ve read it multiple times and bought several copies as gifts. Keep going!

  20. jpassacantando says:

    The Anarchist’s Tool Chest is the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia) through which we pass from Earth to Schwarzland. Even if you never built the chest (I didn’t. I have an antique one that was given to me that I hate.) it was an education on tools and techniques and anarchism. And now I do make things from The Anarchist’s Design Book, but without the Wardrobe for me there would be no David Savage, Christian Becksvoort, John Brown or Jogge Sundqvist.

  21. Johnathan says:

    Put the new and improved Crucible Dividers design on the cover. And Co-Release the tool!! Sell them in a combo package, and post suggested instructions for how to relieve the pages so that you can store the dividers in the book!! Maybe even print some extra blank pages so that we don’t loose any text…. Or whatever.

  22. Publish a cookbook with someone from the Food Network on the front cover and you’ll have better luck.

  23. Richard Mahler says:

    Have you ever seen what ebay sellers try to get for copies of The Anarchist’s Tool Chest?! Some even list it as a “rare” book and start the bidding at two to three times what you pay for it new at LAP. Ebay is a boon to opportunists and a pit for stupid consumers.

  24. Congratulations on your publishing milestone! I Love This Book! You and the LAP team have made such a positive difference in so many peoples lives. I have a great respect for your work and the treasures you have produced for the woodworking world. Thank You!

  25. Ron Michaelsen says:

    You are fantastic. The big boy companies can’t touch what you do!

  26. bswoodworks says:

    I love the book, such an easy read filled with info! If you are thinking of revising, I wouldn’t mind seeing an added list of what you deem as essential chair making tools 😁

  27. Curtis Lee Zeitelhack says:

    That book is a classic and made me smile with pleasure in the reading and re-reading and re-reading.

  28. Jesper Thorson says:

    The Anarchist’s Tool Chest was my first Lost Art Press book. An eye-opener at the time it still serves as a solid reference that I come back to. It’s also very high on my recommendation list to fellow humans who want to dip their toes into creating stuffs.

    So thank You for creating and sharing it with all of us!

  29. mario says:

    Congratulations to you both from a reader follower ( building block owner😁) from the Netherlands. Why not another lovely anarchist book instead of a planned revision. I’ m sure at least 30.000 would love it!
    Best wishes to all at lost art press.

  30. Bruno Luecking says:

    Congrats, I’m glad you made this decision and LAP made such a nice development!! I think the concept and content of the LAP book program is just perfect and unique. The Anarchist Tool Chest was the first LAP book I bought and I devoured it. For me it was an eye opener just at the right moment and it is still a valuable reference! Looking forward to the anniversary edition!

  31. I love this book and try to re-read it once a year or so, if possible. It is the book I recommend the most to people who are new to woodworking and ask me where they should start. It is one of the books I use when I need to re-center myself or try and regain focus.
    By way of praise, I think you are wonderfully funny and could do with 80-85% more humor in your next book.

  32. Dan says:

    Just bought my second copy, after “loaning” (read: giving) my first to an acquaintance who is hoping his passion for woodworking can help him maintain his sobriety. You changed my life in a small but important way, and I hope you change his in an incredibly deep way. Many thanks.

  33. KELLY Michael [Kent Street Senior High School] says:

    Hi there ( first time comment )

    I loved the book when I first read it and the subsequent one on ‘design’.
    I love you attitude to the corporate world, your guidance, leadership and encouragement for blokes ( yes, I’m Australian ) like me to “have a go and make something”.
    Thank you for what you and John do.

    Cheers Mike in Perth, Western Australia.

    Sent from my iPad

  34. Andrew Davidson says:

    I liked this book so much I bought it twice. First, as an E-book, then thought I needed the physical copy. Anyway, whenever people look for woodworking book recommendations, this is the first on the list, and has helped me tremendously in my tool buying philosophy.

  35. cskoonz says:

    Congratulations! I’m glad I could help.

  36. Ron Harper says:

    Happy for you.

  37. gregla2 says:

    Thank you. I enjoyed the book and really enjoyed building a chest. (I opted for the “2 day” version of the chest.)
    I look forward to the 10 year edition.
    There are lots of information that I used from your blogs that to make the chest, which would be nice additions. I’m most thankful for the idea of leaving the bottoms of the tills longer than the sides. That made fitting much easier. I also liked the longer/steeper chamfer on the skirts and the chamfer on the top edge of the lid panel.
    Thank you for the work you and John do.

  38. Pascal Teste says:

    You are welcome,
    And thank you for providing us with such an interesting perspective on woodworking. Long live LAP!

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