I suspect that I learned more about math, civics and language from “Schoolhouse Rock!” than I did from school itself. The magic of “Schoolhouse Rock!” is the magic of all good education. That is: It is so engrossing that you don’t realize you are learning heavy and important lessons.
Practical geometry is one of those topics that can be intensely boring – just look at the beginning chapters of any 18th- or 19th-century text on woodworking, which almost always begis with chapters on geometry. And they are all as dry as a popcorn fart.
The fact is that practical geometry is one of the most exciting subjects for a woodworker. If you can find someone to explain it to you in the right manner, geometry will change your life and your work at the bench.
And that’s why we are dedicated to the work of Jim Tolpin and George Walker, who have made it their life’s work to explain workshop geometry in as many ways as possible – from the academic to the absurd (a talking dog?).
Of all their books, “From Truths to Tools” is probably my favorite. I can give this book to anyone, from a third-grader to an octogenarian, and they will enjoy the heck out of it. It is like a graphic novel for geometry. Each chapter is a discrete short story – heavily illustrated – that explains a very complex subject in simple terms. When I edited this book, I had to stop every few chapters and clear my head. It’s that good.
— Christopher Schwarz
The following is an excerpt of “From Truths to Tools,” by Jim Tolpin and George Walker, illustrated by Andrea Love.