I admit, I’ve chosen an easy bay for this Covington Mechanical Library post (it’s been a frantic – and slightly under the weather – week). Today, it’s the Foxfire series, volumes 1-12 (which is an almost complete set – I believe there are two additional anniversary editions).
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s a compendium – assembled from a quarterly magazine of the same name – of the crafts, culture and heritage of Southern Appalachia. The first was published in the early 1970s; Chris doesn’t remember a time when there wasn’t a Foxfire book in his home.
Also in the bay are “Trades and Occupations: A Pictorial Archive from Early Sources,” selected and arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton, and “2000 Early Advertising Cuts,” edited by Clarence P. Hornung. Chris has had these two since the early 1990s, when he was editor of “The Kentucky Gazette,” a weekly political newspaper in Frankfort, Kentucky. This was before digital photography, and Chris used these to illustrate articles when they didn’t have any appropriate photography – it was either use old clip art or he had to draw Skippy the Turtle.
To the far right are seat models, one with wire to bend the legs into position for new chair designs, along with a cutaway showing how staked joints work (from “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”)
Click here for week 1
Click here for week 2
15 thoughts on “Covington Mechanical Library: Week 3 (Foxfire)”
To have a complete set, he really needs the Clint Eastwood movie.
agreed. when i saw the title i thought for sure there would be an airplane model or the VHS archives.
Looks like they got a hot new designer after volume 10.
Thanks. Can you please elaborate a bit on Skippy the Turtle? Any images?
Damn. It was Tippy the Turtle. https://sagittariusdolly.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/no-more-drawing-tippy-the-turtle/
I’ve often wondered if LAP could obtain the rights to republish the chairmaking and other woodworking entries from Foxfire. That would be a great collection that would make those pieces accessible to many more people. I have fond memories of reading Foxfire when I was in grade school and then re-appreciated the woodworking content more recently.
They’re still published.
The entire 12 volumes?
Oh yeah, I know you can still get the books but wondering about whether a compendium of just the woodcraft entries would attract a new audience among those with less interest in hog dressing and bear hunting. With the beautiful LAP hardcover treatment. But revealing my total lack of understanding of the legal and financial copyright issues at stake, of course – guessing from your reply that they must be prohibitive?
Anybody have an idea where you can get wood cutters for left-handed threads?
My elderly landlady was big into Back to the Land stuff and not so big into computers and there was no way I could make her remember that the browser is not “Foxfire.” Me and some neighbors, one of whom is from East Tennessee, were just talking about these books over dinner this week
A choir-mate gave me a copy of the first Foxfire book at rehearsal last week. I think it evolved from me telling him that I went to Kentucky to learn how to make chairs. Turns out I should have been quicker on reading the hog dressing chapter. The farmer across the street dispatched a couple hogs this morning and they were hanging in a tree being dressed. I could have gone over to help.
(Hi, Jessamyn! I miss seeing you in 7th Inning Stretch. -SteveDave)
Megan, quick question. If I read correctly, the shelves are planned, SYP. What is a good “finish” (if there is a finish) which does not react with the various materials of books? Softwax 2.0, shellac, etc.? As an aside, was in Tampa the weekend after DTC and the following week. Really wanted to attend the DTC as well, but figured 2+weeks non-stop would have wrecked every fiber of my being. Thus, I patiently wait for the DTC book……. 🙂 Many thanks!
I just took a look, and I don’t think there is a finish on them. If there is, it’s but spit-coat of shellac. (I could be wrong-thinking here…but I probably wouldn’t use soft wax for bookshelf shelves. I’d want a film build, something that dries hard, so there’d be no chance of non-dry oil getting on to the book edges)
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