You might have noticed that we’ve been having problems getting three new products up in the store and running smoothly. Well they are now up and available for immediate shipment. We released them simultaneously so you can save on shipping if you planned on buying more than one. Here’s what’s new:
‘Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed’
For many years I have been obsessed with Henry Boyd, an early Cincinnati woodworker who invented a revolutionary bedstead, built a sizable furniture-making business that shipped work all over the country, helped enslaved people escape to freedom and then almost disappeared from history.
There’s been a little written here and there about Boyd. The Smithsonian has one of his beds (as does The Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio). But this guy was so badass that there should be a school named for him. Plus a marker where his factory stood. And an exhibit on his life at the history museum (and there is now, thanks in part to Suzanne Ellison).
Years ago, Suzanne started digging into public records on Boyd because we knew we wanted to do a book about him. And what Suzanne found was a story that contradicted the fables about Boyd that have been spread around. And the real story – of an enslaved black man who survived and thrived despite all odds – is even more impressive than the fables.
To bring Boyd’s story to life, I sought out Whitney LB Miller, a local TV journalist, friend and woodworker. Whitney has the traits of every great author I know: an unfailing work ethic, incredible courage (because writing a book will change you), and a personality that is large enough to breathe life into characters on a page.
Whitney gladly took on the important task of both writing about and illustrating Boyd’s life for “Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed.” The story is intended for children ages 3-8, but I think anyone would enjoy the tale – plus the three pages of biographical information on Boyd at the back of the book.
This book is – I hope – an important step in reassessing, acknowledging and celebrating the unheralded work that people who were black and enslaved played in the history of our country’s furniture. Boyd should be a name known to every woodworker, and I hope this book helps change that.
We have another book in the works that takes a more hands-on look at the achievements of enslaved black woodworkers. It has been in development for several years now. More information on that book is to come.
You can read all about the Boyd book (and a deluxe edition that is available) here.
‘Workshop Wound Care’
Woodworking is a hazardous pursuit – that goes without saying. So what is incredible to me is that there isn’t much guidance about what you should do when you hurt yourself in the workshop.
Yes, there have been a couple articles in woodworking magazines during the last couple decades. But these have been somewhat shallow and are most likely buried by 10 years of woodworking magazines in basements across our country. Good luck digging them up when you hurt yourself.
Scrapes, cuts, bruises and worse happen every day in the workshop. What we need is a quick and authoritative field manual. Do (this) when you (hurt that). And that’s why “Workshop Wound Care” by Dr. Jeffery Hill was born.
Dr. Hill is an emergency room physician and a woodworker. He knows exactly how you are going to injure yourself. And he knows what to do to help you get better fast.
When I first read Dr. Hill’s manuscript I was struck by how basic the first aid gear is that he recommends. You can get almost all of it in a quick trip to the drugstore. There’s nothing exotic or terribly expensive. And there’s not a lot of it, to be honest.
In fact, after reading Dr. Hill’s book, I threw away a lot of stuff in our shop’s first aid kit.
It’s a no-nonsense guide that quickly tells you what you need to do in almost every situation, from the most minor to the most dire. This book is important. At the least, it will help you heal faster and get back to work. And it might just help you save a severed digit. Or someone’s life.
Read all about “Workshop Wound Care” here.
A New Lost Art Press Hat
And just in time for prime hat season (?), we have a new khaki twill hat that is embroidered with the English A-square featured on the front of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.” This is a dad hat in look, feel and fit. Fairly roomy. Six panel. And it has an adjustable strap for pinheads. We looked at a ton of hats, and this one rose to the top for comfort and fit. It is made in China (sorry we cannot find a USA hat that satisfies customers). The embroidery was done by a family business here in Covington. One size fits most.
— Christopher Schwarz