‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’ is Done Designed


Minutes before I left town last week to teach a chairmaking class I completed the layout for the expanded edition of “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” Megan Fitzpatrick is editing it (perhaps even as I type this). Briony Morrow-Cribbs needs to finish the illustrations. Plus we need a new index and the final slaying of the typos.

But we are on track to have it out by the end of 2019.

The expanded edition is a whopping 653 pages, up from 456 pages in the original edition. And given another year, I could have added a couple hundred more pages.

The point of me telling you this is that there is still a lot of ground out there for all of us to explore when it comes to staked and boarded furniture forms.

Here are just a few of the pieces I opted not to build for the expanded edition. All of them are exciting projects, but we are pushing up against the limits of our bindery.

Staked Workbenches: Yes, this would be exploring the low Roman form some more, but also getting into the Chinese variants and several staked workbench forms that are waist-high.

Ladders: I love ladders. And the staked joint is an idea way to build orchard-style ladders, plus I sketched up some library ladders, which we need for our shop.

Settee: I failed to design a staked settee that thrilled me. But I know that eventually I’ll get it right.

Boarded Settle: I’ve always liked the high-back settles common in the UK and in many Colonial American homes. They also offer options for storage beneath the seat.

Staked Dining Table: Beyond the trestle tables shown in the original edition, I have sketched up some full-size dining tables that are similar to the worktable.

Dining Chairs: I have a few side chairs in my sketchbook that are simpler than the armchair but more complex than the staked side chair in the original edition.

Boarded Doors: I had planned on a chapter about making simple boarded cabinets with boarded doors (what some people call “board and batten” doors). Basic clinched-nail construction.

Staked Lounge Chairs: After discovering the Irish Gibson chair and building one, I considered adding it to the expanded edition, but then I decided it should be a book on its own….

I could go on, but I’m already tired of typing and still have 20 emails to answer.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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21 Responses to ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’ is Done Designed

  1. Bill says:

    Look forward to seeing some or all of these in future books, articles or posts. (Does your mind ever rest?)


  2. A Roman walks into a bar, holds up his first two fingers, and says “Five beers, please.”
    Which is to say, you are on the cusp of a multi-volume set, with nice embossed Roman numerals on the spine. You’ve got enough material, for sure.
    “Feed me, you said, and I was feeding you, Jack.”


  3. Jason says:

    Volume 2 will be along in a few years then?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Richard Mahler says:

    No one is surprised that you done good on this new edition – with more editions to come we hope! I also love the high back settles (I may make one this winter), and library ladders fascinate me, so I may play around with some designs.


  5. Richard Mahler says:

    The Welsh Furniture volumes you recommended and I bought has some great high back settle examples that whetted my appetite for making some.


  6. ctdahle says:

    Of course I am going to order the new edition, but really, like those other guys said, please consider doing a Volume II.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. davelehardt says:

    Hoping to see a Vol II !


  8. Pascal Teste says:

    Looking forward to reading your new edition and building a chair. Started building the Saalburg Workbench from your book Ingenious Mechanicks. Top is ready, just have to find the time to make legs for it. The plan is not just to use it as a workbench, but also as extra seating for guests. I’m sure the dovetail notches and stop hole will initiate conversations.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hugo says:

    Ready to buy!
    Très hâte de lire ça ! Merci!


  10. Greg says:

    Looks and sounds like a swell book.


  11. Andy Kevill says:

    That’s a list of 8 projects-in-waiting and it’s a fair bet that the list will only get longer with time. It seems to me that you might want to consider a series of annex volumes of projects to the original Anarchist’s Design Book. Come to think of it, how about a series of volumes under the general title of the Lost Art Press Projects Archive? That would be something to which all your authors could contribute and it would surely build up over time to being definitive resource.

    I reckon it would be a success because the LAP has established a reputation for integrity i.e. a volume would not be published until full (as dictated by the “limits of the bindery”) and there would be no padding and no rehashing of material. It would also get you off the hook of feeling the need to offer pdfs of enhanced books to purchasers of originals. What’s more it would be doing a service to woodworkers in much the same spirit as providing the four Hayward volumes is.

    Worth a thought?


  12. Jeff Luft says:



  13. Please give us a full book on ladders! And I personnally cannot get enough staked workbenches / workstations.

    Thanks for those exciting news!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Had a friend who was actually just talking about this, that’s how I found your site!


  15. Alex A. says:

    Looking forward to it. I had an extra wide seat blank that I set aside for one of these.

    Thanks again.


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