On Feb. 1 we will discontinue all the “print on demand” products in our store. That includes all the T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. You can see our current selection here.
We are not (repeat, not) discontinuing our bandanas, chore coat, vest or pullover work shirt.
So if you want one of these print-on-demand products, place your order before Feb. 1.
Why Chris, why? Two reasons: We want all our apparel to be made like our books, tools, chore coats and vests. In other words, we want them made by small companies that take pride in their work and produce top quality. Until now, I viewed T-shirts as a commodity product. I don’t anymore.
Second, the “print on demand” service we use has done a good job (considering the pandemic), but I think the prices are a bit high for what we get. And we don’t control the stock. Or quality control. Or customer service.
So Tom Bonamici, our clothing designer, is now investigating offering a nice USA-made T-shirt. Something high-quality and special, like our books. We also will have new hats in the store from Ebbets Field Flannels next month.
Make Your Own Dang Shirt What if you like having a scruffy T-shirt with our logo on it? We have you covered. You can download the logos we use on our shirts here. You have our permission to use them to make shirts for your personal use (or gifts). There are lots of places that will make you a shirt on demand (or a baby onesie, thong or hotpants). Go nuts.
We have opened pre-publication ordering for “The Woodworker’s Pocket Book,” which is currently at the printer and is expected to ship in March. This important reference book is $13 and is built to withstand daily use in a hand-tool shop.
This book has been a long-time coming, and I think you’ll be thrilled with the thing.
We also have just restocked on bandanas. These are green, feature a new design from Tom Bonamici and – most importantly – come from a new maker. One Feather Press in East Nashville cuts, sews, prints and washes these bandanas all by hand in a shed. And they are printed on both sides.
‘The Woodworker’s Pocket Book,’ edited by Charles H. Hayward “The Woodworker’s Pocket Book” is small – just 4” x 6-1/2” – but it contains 112 pages of critical woodworking information for the hand-tool woodworker.
Edited by the great Charles H. Hayward and published in 1949, “The Woodworker’s Pocket Book” is a guide to everything from finishing recipes to drawing ellipses to choosing the correct screw or nail.
We own several versions of this book, as it was regularly updated and republished. After reading through all of the versions, we decided to reprint the original edition (with permission, of course). This edition is packed with drawings from Hayward and doesn’t deal much with the metric system, sharpening high-speed steel sawblades or pulley sizes for your machines. In other words, it’s for the woodworker who likes working by hand using fractions, inches and feet.
Also appealing to us is the small size of the book – it literally fits in your back pocket. We recommend keeping it in your tool chest or tool cabinet. It belongs in the shop and is more like a tool than a book.
To ensure the book’s long life, we made sure this book is designed for a shop environment. All our books’ signatures are sewn and taped for durability. We wrapped this one in high-density boards and picked a durable paper that improves on the original’s paper.
Like all our books, “The Woodworker’s Pocket Book” is printed in the United States.
You can read a complete index of the book’s contents here.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. I’m sorry there is no PDF of this book available. We were not able to acquire the electronic rights to the material.
In order fully to understand the workings of the metal plane it is a good idea, particularly for the beginner, to strip down the plane to its smallest component. If you have an old or secondhand plane this is a good opportunity to renovate it. Even if the plane is mis-assembled and maladjusted, no damage can be done to it. Figure 1 shows the structure quite clearly and gives the correct names to all the components. It will be seen that there are three distinct adjustments.
The depth of cut, that is the thickness of shaving removed, is controlled by the cutter adjusting wheel. The wheel running up and down a left-hand thread operates the Y lever. This in turn engages in the Y lever socket of the cap iron (or breaker), which it moves up or down. The blade is secured to the cap iron and is moved by it.
The second adjustment is lateral. The lateral lever has a circular stud at its end. When the plane is assembled it must be made certain that this stud fits into the slot in the blade. Movement of the lever thus moves the cutting edge sideways, preventing one corner from digging in.
The third adjustment is commonly called closing or opening the mouth. The whole frog is moved forward with the blade and the effect is to alter the size of the gap in front of the blade. The lever cap screw should be just sufficiently tight to make sideways movement of the blade with the fingers difficult but not impossible.
Our retailers have been asking about the tools and books we have planned for 2021. If I have to write this explanation up for them, I might as well let y’all have a look, too.
If a book or tool is not on this list, that means I don’t have a timetable for it. So if you ask when Andrew Lunn’s sawmaking book will be released, my response will be: crickets. Please don’t be offended by this – I simply don’t have any information to give you.
These are roughly in order of when they will be released. Like many manufacturers, we are fighting supply-chain breakages from the paper mills all the way up to the cardboard box supplier we use to ship products.
“The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis We are still taking pre-publication orders for this book. We expect it to ship out in early February. We are also working on getting its companion book, “The Workshop Book,” to the printer by Feb. 1.
“Make a Chair From a Tree (Expanded and Revised Edition)” by Jennie Alexander with Larry Barrett and Peter Follansbee At long last, this should go to the printer in February. We still don’t have a retail price, but I suspect it will be less than $40. This book has been a group effort from people all over the country, and I hope you will be pleased. The layout is just about complete. We have a couple drawings and photos to add. And then some editing. Look for it this summer.
“The Woodworker’s Pocket Book” Edited by Charles H. Hayward This is a book I have wanted to reprint for many years, but we kept hitting obstacles. First printed in 1949, this small handbook (4” x 6-1/2”) is perfect for the hand-tool woodworker. It is filled with finish recipes, workshop geometry, details on tools, practical wood advice, moulding charts from different furniture periods – plus tons of information on using nails, screws and other fittings. I’ve owned a copy for many years and use it all the time. This book is at the printer and should be out in late March. The price will be $13, which is a steal as the book is built to take a beating. We also hope to offer a special slipcase (for an added charge) that screws to the inside of your tool chest or cabinet and keeps the book where it should be – by your tools.
“The Handmade Life of Dick Proenneke” By Monroe Robinson Kara just posted this update on the book last week. So I won’t repeat after her. Linda Watts is now designing the book (the proofs I’ve seen are gorgeous), and Elin Price is still making the illustrations. I don’t have a timetable for this title yet, but I suspect it will be released at the end of the summer.
“The Dutch Tool Chest Book” By Megan Fitzpatrick This is the working title. For all I know, the real title could be “Come Hither, Monkey Bride: A Guide to Dutch Tool Chests.” Megan is doing everything she can to get this book out this year. It will show you how to make two Dutch tool chests with a lot of different variations in the back, lid and how the interiors are arranged. The book will go into great detail on all the handwork, so if this chest is your first hand-tool project, this book will be a great guide.
Crucible Tool We are hard at work on three new tools and hope to release all of them this year. One is a cast planing stop that works like a blacksmith-made stop (with a super-sneaky improvement). The second is an adaptation of A.J. Roubo’s miter square. This square, which has almost disappeared, is insanely useful for hand-tool woodworkers, especially for edge-jointing. And the third tool (fingers crossed) is to bring back our Crucible dividers, redesigned so they are less expensive (and can be manufactured without my wanting to pluck out my own spleen with barbecue tongs).
There also are a couple other books that might make it across the finish line in 2021 (“Guerrilla Chairmaking” is a contender). So stay tuned.
And finally, thank you for all your support and patience in 2020. We shipped 50,502 books and tools directly to customers last year (and sold thousands more through our retailers all over the world). We are still a tiny company. John and I are the only “employees”; Megan, Meghan and Kara are all part-time (but absolutely essential) contractors. So we still feel like we are gulping for air at times. We make mistakes every day, but we try to do a good job and make things right.
Back in 2016 while working on blog posts about the woodworkers depicted in misericords I encountered a devilish creature holding a scroll of paper. At the time I thought he was just one of the many little demons carved on misericords. Recently, I found his name and realized he has followed me from when I wrote my first words at age four up until the present time. He is currently perched on my left shoulder taunting me to make a mistake. He is Titivillus, the demon responsible for typographical errors. I’m throwing punctuation and verb tense errors into his basket of writing miseries.
Titivillus (also Tutivillus or Tytinillus) has a history reaching back to the Middle Ages and his purpose was different from how we think of him today. In Margaret Jenning’s 1977 study of the origins of Titivillus she explained “…in their heyday, especially thanks to the Medieval preacher, demons were omnipresent. They rode on ladies’ trains, perched menacingly on lettuce, hid under beds, immersed themselves in fermented liquids, masqueraded as Don Juans and femme fatales, and remained consistently and perversely attached to churches and church people.” Indeed, it seems visions of demons, especially visions of demons noting the behavior of the congregation, were always had by members of the clergy.
At first there were two demons stationed in churches, monasteries and convents. One carried a bag or sack into which he gathered the snippets of half-spoken words, slipped syllables and abridged prayers of the clergy and laity. Each day this demon had the task of collecting (for the Guy Downstairs) one thousand spoken errors each day.
As the English priest, John the Blind Audeley wrote in the first half of the 15th century there should be no “over-hippers and skippers, moterers and mumblers.”
The second demon listened in on the members of the congregation and made note of idle chatter and gossip.
In these two misericords Titivillus, as the recording demon, positions himself between women to hear their idle talk. You can understand, if you didn’t know this was Titivillus, you might mistake these demons as a winged bull and a bat. The misericord at the top is especially damning as to each side of the gossips are an old woman and a monk kneeling in prayer.
At some point the demon carrying a bag of misspoken words and the recording demon merged. The more prevalent depiction of Titivillus, whether on a misericord, a fresco or printed in a book, was the recording demon. He listened and he wrote on long scrolls of paper or in large books.
Some remarkable frescoes featuring the recording demon were painted on church walls. The 13th-century fresco at the top-left (almost lost to Victorian restoration) shows Titivillus above two women in an argument, with another demon perched on the back of each woman. The demon from Faneford church with his trumpet-like ears is especially well-equipped to hear the latest gossip (with the added feature of horned kneecaps).
This bench end shows the merging of the bag-carrying demon and the scribe. While he toils at his writing a small flower grows near the ink pot.
Ah, ha! This carved-wood roof boss proves men gossip, too. Nestled just above their gossiping heads is the recoding demon making note of their conversation. If a parishioner were to look upward to the highest point of the church ceiling there was yet another reminder to avoid distractions from the service.
My nemesis at the top of the post is a side figure on this mid-14th-century misericord from St. Laurence’s Church in Ludlow, England (sketch is from Project Gutenberg). Another function of the recording demon was to be present when a sinner was judged. This is the judgment of a dishonest alewife, a most grievous offense in the Middle Ages. Titivillus, on the left, has an account of her transgressions. In the middle section one demon has the alewife over his shoulder while the second demon plays the bagpipes. On the right, the alewife is thrown into the jaws of Hell.
In Margaret Jennings study of Titivillus she wrote the point of this Medieval demon was to remind clergy and laity of the danger of “spiritual sloth.” The litany of the service, each prayer and each song were to be unhurried, expressed clearly and with fervor.
To say or sing by rote and without care, to attend church, but not participate wholly was to open oneself to sin. Hence, visual reminders of a recording demon, as well as other devilish minions, were found on wood, walls and paper. In the hand-colored woodblock above three women gossip, one demon scribbles away and the second demon stretches a scroll with his teeth because they need more paper!
This lovely old church was built in 1674 in Cmolas and later moved to Poreby Dymarskie. The walls have polychrome paintings including one in a note-worthy spot.
Under the steps leading to the pulpit there is a painting of Titivillus, pen in hand, observing the parishioners. He probably has already recorded the transgressions of the women behind him. If the priest abridges, mutters or mumbles that will be recorded, too.
Even saints were not immune to the presence of Titivillus. As St. John the Evangelist sits calmly and writes his gospel his ink is being pored out by the demon. This image is a turning point in that the demon is not recording a transgression, he is setting up St. John to fail in his writing. This may be some mischief on the part of the scribes that drew and decorated this page. Each saint in this manuscript depicted writing their gospel or teachings can be easily identified by a personal symbol, in St. John’s case, the royal eagle. St. John’s page is the only one with a demon “up to no good.” In remarks in the margins of manuscripts scribes often complained about their working conditions, spoiled ink and poor-quality paper. Perhaps this is the start of Titivillus shifting from the recorder of transgressions to the instigator of written errors.
St. Bernard, pictured above, had an argument with a devil. The argument was over the recitation of psalms that would lead to salvation. This image is often used today to illustrate the the stand-off between the writer and Titivillus. I look at his illustration and can imagine Titivillus taunting me in a sing-song voice saying, “You are going to make a mistake.” I’m OK with a typo or two, or three.
Fortunately, there is a way to quiet the pesky causer of typos (and other writing errors) and it is comes courtesy of the Virgin Mary.