A Scenic View of the Forum


It is not an early morning forum update like it usually is, but it is written from the most scenic viewpoint so far. Instead of my office I am sitting in beautiful Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. After an exhausting morning of hiking it feels great to sit back, relax and write the update. (Especially when it is quiet because your husband has the toddler.) A lot is going on in the forum these days, this update is just the tip of the iceberg. So don’t rely on me; make sure to check it for yourself throughout the week. Remember, if you have a question about our products, procedures in our books or anything related to Lost Art Press, the fastest way to get an answer is our forum. Check it out here.

Worktable and Bookcase
Adam is looking to put a version of the bookshelf from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” on top of the worktable from the book. He has a sketch drawn up but thinks it looks a bit top heavy. See the rendering here and give your thoughts.

Steaming Boards Flat
Anybody have experience trying to steam boards flat? Another Adam has finally found the Brazilian mahogany boards that he has been looking for but they are a bit wavy. If you have any tips to give him, here is the link.

Strong Trunk: How to Accommodate Wood Movement with Brass Straps
Inspired by “Campaign Furniture,” William is about to start on a trunk. However, he is concerned about the brass straps constraining the wood and leading to splitting. If you have advice or would like to see the responses so far, the post is here.

Workbench Holes worn out from Holdfasts
Shannon has a “Naked Woodworker”-style Nicholson bench that is less than a year old. She has noticed that a couple of the holes on the bench have become ovals and are no longer holding the holdfasts as tight as they used to. She has a few ideas on how this issue could be resolved but is looking for some insight from those who might have had the same issue. See if you can help here.

ADB Bookcase – An Eagle Scout Project
Hats off to Brett and his son for taking on the bookshelf from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” as an Eagle Scout project. Brett’s wife works at a Title 1 school that was in need of six bookshelves and their son rose to the occasion. Pictures are above and the link is here. Awesome work you guys!

— Meghan Bates

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Register for the Crucible Tool Launch Event


You can register to attend the Crucible Tool event at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 using this link. Please note that we can accommodate only 100 attendees because of fire codes. So don’t dally.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Crucible Tool, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Roman Workbench II: The Fall of the Machines


One of the interesting aspects of building this second Roman workbench has been how useless machines are to the process.

The benchtop is too big for a jointer and planer – and too heavy to move without a crane. But a jack plane trued it up quickly without any back strain.

When it came to the tapered legs, my plan was to cut away some of the excess on the table saw. I have a 3 horsepower cabinet saw, which usually can handle anything in furniture making. But the oak legs were too dense and wet. The saw bogged down and the thermal overload switch popped several times.

So I turned to the band saw with a fresh blade. Ditto. Once again, the jack plane and jointer plane did the majority of the work, and in fairly short order. (After wasting away a lot of material I did use my electric jointer to tidy things up with some light passes.)


Turning the tenons was like riding a bronco at a prison rodeo. I have a midi-lathe that I clamp to my massive French oak workbench. Even though I carefully balanced each leg between centers, the entire bench jumped and wobbled as I turned the 3”-diameter 5-1/2”-long tenons at 500 rpm – the slowest speed available.

Now comes the mortises. I hope that my corded drill is up to the task.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized | 19 Comments

A Thank You to the Roubo Editors


The vast majority of the headaches I’ve suffered in my life have been caused by one thing: editing.

Though it might seem like fun – sitting down and reading hundreds of pages of writing about woodworking – I assure you it’s a lot like working. So I am grateful to the men and women who showed up last Saturday to help us edit “To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Furniture.”

The amateur editors found lots of typos and even a few mistakes made by Monsieur Roubo in the original text. We ate donuts, drank cream soda (thanks Eric!), ate pizza and drank beer. All these things help the editing process, but they still can’t mask the fact that it’s a slog.

As a result of their efforts we are on time with getting this book to the printer in September and  in your hands in November.

We asked everyone who helped out to write down his or her name. Some people did; some people are clearly hiding something from the authorities. Here are the editors:

Jared Wilcox
David Pruett
Greg Jones
Rick Stillwater
“Handsome” Chris Decker
Scott Stahl
Mike Hamilton
Rosalie Haas Pruett
Mike Ham: Hon
Matthew Conrad
Jen Neiland
Ryan Fee
Brad Daubenmire
Charles Thomas
Megan Fitzpatrick
John Hoffman

If I’ve misspelled your name, it’s only because your handwriting sucks eggs. Mine is, of course, even worse.

Thanks again everyone. I think we will do this again with future books. It really helped.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Registration for the Crucible Tool Event Opens Monday


We will open registration for the Crucible Tool launch event at 9 a.m. (EST) Monday (Aug. 22). We can accommodate only 100 attendees at the event because of fire codes, so don’t dally if you want to attend.

We’ll have both of our new tools there for you to examine, use (and buy, if you like). Plus T-shirts and maybe a beer or two. The event will be held at the Lost Art Press storefront, 837 Willard St., Covington, KY 41011. The event will be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15.

If you can’t make it to the event, we’ll have a booth at the Marketplace at Woodworking in America during the following two days.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Crucible Tool, Uncategorized | 11 Comments




This is an excerpt from “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing.

Shelves can be fixtures, often helping to strengthen the carcase, or they can be adjustable. The former will be considered first. The simple or stopped housing joint (Fig 293), has no strength, being all end grain glueing, however it does prevent the shelf from warping. The stronger dovetail housing or tapered dovetail housing is not a basic skill. The best method for the beginner is to tenon the shelves into the sides. Through tenons are particularly suited to the coarser grained woods, oak, ash, elm and chestnut, but not to the finer mahoganies and similar woods.

Fig 294 shows a bad example of tenoning. The very wide mortices cut across so many fibres that the component is severely weakened. Unfortunately examples of this are common. The joint at Fig 295 is both constructionally more sound and aesthetically more pleasing. Fig 296 shows the most effective form of this joint, which combines a housing with the tenons. The front corner should be stopped to conceal the joint. At the rear the joint may or may not be stopped, according to preference and the construction chosen.



Fig 297 shows a common variation where the shelf is set back from the carcase front. This also permits a moulding on the shelf edge when the carcase itself is plain. It is essential where a door is fitted inside the carcase or when sliding glass doors are used. The gauging for this is very simply arranged. A block is produced (Fig 298) of a thickness the same as the set-in. This is slipped over the marking gauge. The shelf is gauged with the block and the carcase sides without it.

When tenons are brought through, giving a very strong carcase, they are generally wedged (Fig 299). Fig 300 shows how the wedges are mass produced from a small block, sawn to the tenon thickness. Make the cuts with a fine saw then saw off the entire strip. Making them individually by paring with a chisel is time-wasting and can be dangerous. Note that sawcuts are made for the wedges, which are not driven in at the ends of the mortice in the manner of the joiner. The mortice is opened out slightly to accept the wedges.


There are many methods of supporting adjustable and removable shelves including quite a number of commercial systems. One of the simplest is Fig 301. However this does not prevent the shelf from sliding when in use. This defect is remedied by glueing a small strip to the rear edge of the shelf to t into a gap behind the bearer (Fig 302). In a backless carcase a similar strip is needed at the front (Fig 303). This has the further advantage that thinner material may be used for the shelf while retaining the appearance of thickness. Moulding may be required on this thickened edge.

For better quality work a more sophisticated method is recommended. Fig 304 shows notches cut into the under face of the shelf, to accept turned supporting studs (Fig 305). These are usually 13mm (1/2in.) diameter with a 6mm (1/4in.) peg. Rosewood or a similar exotic wood is generally chosen.



It is worth making a metal drilling strip for adjustable shelves (Fig 306). It will always come in useful again. Carefully mark the top then screw the strip in place. Drill all the holes using an electric drill with a depth stop. Insert two metal or wooden pegs next to the screws to locate the strip, remove the screws and drill the remaining two holes.

There are a number of other shelving variations which the beginner may find of practical value, for example, when displaying china plates on a dresser. For this purpose a groove is worked (Fig 307), which may be anything from 6mm (1/4in.) to 25mm (1in.) in width. Alternatively a small beading can be glued in (Fig 308). Open-backed shelves can be fitted with a lipping to keep books or other items in place (Fig 309). A deep shelf may be fitted with an adjustable stop (Fig 310) in order to keep small books lined up on the front edge.

Meghan Bates

Posted in The Essential Woodworker | 7 Comments

Raney’s Take on Crucible’s Manufacturing


Raney Nelson, the denizen of the Crucible Lab, wrote an article on his blog about the manufacturing side of Crucible Tool and why it took a Haas CNC mill to get us started.

Check it out here.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Crucible Tool, Uncategorized | 6 Comments