Christopher Schwarz might disagree, but I’d say this is the formative section of the collection: books on workbenches and tool chests – two things that are not only of importance in any shop, but of great importance to Chris’ woodworking history (and now mine – at least on the tool chests side of things).
I don’t know how many benches Chris has built over the years, but my guess is at least 150 when you add up all the articles for Popular Woodworking Magazine, the various “ancient” forms in “Ingenious Mechanics,” “The Anarchist’s Workbench,” the many bench-building classes he’s taught…. It’s a lot.
The first book in this section reflects everything Chris knew about bench building circa 2007, when “Workbenches: from Design & Theory to Construction & Use” (Popular Woodworking) was first published. It’s alongside a couple copies of the revised edition from 2015, to which PW added a couple appendices Chris wrote for the magazine after he’d left to concentrate on Lost Art Press full-time. It’s followed by “The Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches” in which all the benches published in Popular Woodworking Magazine up until that time (2010) were collected, followed by a critique of each after it had seen some use. (“The Anarchist’s Workbench” is a distillation into one perfect-for-him bench of everything Chris learned in his many years of bench building…a time he claims has concluded. I don’t believe that.)
Tucked alongside those PW books are two bench-building magazine covers…the benches featured are in better shape than their builders, I fear. (The bench on the left is currently holding a pile of linden in the horse garage – parts for American Peasant pieces; the bench on the right is currently holding a pile of linden in my basement – parts for an upcoming tool chest class.)
Next up is a copy of “Roman Workbenches” that Lost Art Press published in 2017; it was a short run of letterpress books printed on an old Vandercook proofing press (the book was later incorporated into “Ingenious Mechanics”), and the May 1981 issue of The Magazine Antiques – a look at the cover (below) will tell you why.
We have several copies of Scott Landis’ “The Workbench Book” – early editions from Taunton (it was first published in 1987) as well as our 2020 hardcover edition. Those are followed by Lon Schleining’s “The Workbench” (Taunton, 2004) and Sam Allen’s “Making Workbenches” (Sterling, 1995). These were all purchased for research – before one writes on a subject, it’s good practice to read as much as one can about what’s already been written on it.
And that concludes the workbench section (though I suspect there are others lurking elsewhere on the shelves), and takes us to two copies of Jim Tolpin’s “The Toolbox Book” (Taunton, 1995) – a must-have introduction to the world of the many ways to contain one’s tools (it’s also, to the best of my knowledge, where the Dutch tool chest first shows up in contemporary literature…but not the last – stay tuned). (“The Toolbox Book” is also of course research for Chris’ “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.”)
Finally, we have in this small sections two copies of Scott Landis’ “The Workshop Book” (Taunton, 1991) – another must-have, the most complete book about every woodworker’s favorite place: the workshop. It includes inspiring workshops, from garage to basement shops, from mobile to purpose-built shops. In fact, we think it’s important enough that we reprinted it in 2021.
This is the 11th post in the Covington Mechanical Library tour. To see the earlier ones, click on “Categories” on the right rail, and drop down to “Mechanical Library.” Or click here.
In my last library post, I promised the second half of this cubby. So here we go. These books are mostly about furniture from the United States, and from this country before it was the United States. (We have many more books in that broad category, some of which have been covered in previous posts, and others that are to come.)
First up is “The Furniture of Our Forefather,” by Esther Singleton, first published in 1900; ours is the 1908 version from Doubleday, Page & Co. It includes furniture brought by colonists, as well as later work built in this country. Of interest is the provenance of many of the pieces – the inventory of Leonard Calvert, the first “proprietary governor of the Province of Maryland,” for example; and “Inventory of Mr. Gyles Mode” of Virginia, “worth reproducing because the articles are valued in pounds, shillings and pence, instead of tobacco which is customary, and this is more satisfactory, as the latter commodity was not constant in value.” This is mostly high-style furniture – the stuff of museums.
Next is “The Cabinetmaker’s Treasury,” by F.E. Hoard and A.W. Marlow (Macmillan, 1952), which includes techniques and offers plans for many pieces of early American furniture. But as Chris wrote years ago in a Popular Woodworking post, the authors must have cornered the market on 3″-long screws “because that is the primary way they join everything (except the chairs). No dados. No sliding dovetails. Fewer mortise-and-tenon joints than I would prefer. The lowboys in the book are all screwed together. Screw the web frames together. Then screw the web frames to the sides. Don’t forget to screw the partitions!” So maybe don’t run out to add this one to your library. It’s followed by “The New Fine Points of Furniture: Early American. Good, Better, Best, Superior, Masterpiece” by Albert Sack. Chris must have acquired this at the same time as “Cabinetmaker’s Treasury,” as in the same post he wrote:
The Fine Points of Furniture” seems a bit of a gimmick at first. Sack shows photos of three different pieces of furniture. They’re all the same form (chest on chest, for example). But one is labeled a “good” design, one is labeled “better” and the other as “best.” Then he offers some commentary under each photo explaining why.
Sack insults the piece labeled as “good” designs, and I was getting a complex at first because I kind of liked the “good” designs. They were usually simpler and less ornamented. Sack reserved “better” and “best” for pieces with elaborate carving, vigorous turnings and aggressive lines.
But after 300 pages of the stuff, I began to see things Sack’s way. The “good” designs started to look clunky and less refined. I was exercising my eye for 18th-century design.
Again, these are high-style museum pieces (particularly the “best” examples).
Wallace Nutting’s classic “Furniture of the Pilgrim Century” (volumes one and two) are, in Chris’s word, flawed – mostly because what Nutting lionizes as exemplars of a form are not what Chris likes – too high style, I suspect (Chris’s love for the vernacular will come as no surprise to most of our followers). But these volumes should be in every library of the serious furniture student and maker. They’re available for little money, and offer hundreds of images of period work. (Our copies were published in 1965 by Dover – reprints of the 1924 versions from The Old American Company.)
Harold L. Peterson’s “American Interiors: From Colonial Times to the Late Victorians – a Pictorial Source Book” (Scriber’s, 1971) is a lot of fun to page through – it presents period illustrations and paintings that include interiors (from single chairs to fully outfitted rooms). A lot of guesswork is involved in determining sizes and joinery of course – and what’s presented may or may not be faithful – but it’s a fun puzzle and a good resource beyond surviving furniture.
Jeffrey P. Greene’s “American Furniture of the 18th Century” (Taunton, 1996) is an old favorite of Chris’s, and I’m pretty fond of it, too. It’s not only a well-researched looks at the styles of the period, but includes techniques, notes on joinery and exploded drawings of some representative pieces. It is considered a must-have by many furniture makers (including us) – though not everyone agrees (do they ever?).
Next we have a trio of books with measured construction drawings: Lester Margon’s “Construction of American Furniture Treasures” (Dover, 1975 – a paperback reprint of the 1949 Home Craftsman Publications book); the Toolemera reprint of Frederick Bryant’s “Working Drawings of Colonial Furniture” (originally published in 1922 by the Manual Arts Press); and V. J. Taylor’s “The Construction of Period Country Furniture” (Stobart, 1978), which also includes the techniques for building the 28 included pieces.
Nestled alongside is “Made in Western Pennsylvania: Early Decorative Arts, a 1982 exhibition catalog from the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.”
Now we’re into our small “country furniture” collection, with Aldren A. Watson’s classic “Country Furniture” (Norton, 2006 – paperback reprint of the 1974 hardback edition) – his illustrations are gorgeous. It’s followed by a 1969 Winterthur Conference report, “Country Cabinetwork and Simple City Furniture,” edited by John D. Morse (UP Virginia).
Next is a gift from the Saucy Indexer. Suzanne Ellison found a copy of “Old Amana Furniture,” by Marjorie K. Albers (Locust House, 1970), which shows pieces from the religious colony that settled in Iowa (it’s where Handworks takes place this year, Sept. 1-2).
One of my favorite books lives in this cubby: “A Craftsman’s Handbook” by Henry Lapp (1862-1904). It’s “an exquisite reproduction of a rare notebook, illustrated in watercolor by Amish furniture maker Henry Lapp” – and it really is exquisite. At the time of publication (1975 by the Philadelphia Museum of Art), Old Road Furniture Company was making reproductions of the pieces shown in Lapp’s notebook, as evidenced by a flier tucked inside the book (and the internet tells me the company is still in the Lapp business, among other designs).
Another small book was hiding alongside Lapp: “Utility Furniture: The 1943 Utility Furniture Catalogue with an explanation of Britain’s Second World War Utility Furniture Scheme,” by Jon Mills (Sabrestorm 2008), is a facsimile edition of a 1943 catalogue for those who needed and could prove their need) during the privations of WWII.
Next are a couple books on important makers: Samuel A. Humphrey’s “Thomas Elfe, Cabinetmaker” (Wyrick, 1995) and “John Shaw: Cabinetmaker of Annapolis,” by William Voss Elder III and Lu Bartlett (Baltimore Museum of Art 1983 exhibition catalogue).
Then we have a handful of “comprehensive” furniture guides, one old, one new(ish). “Furniture of the Olden Time,” second edition, by Frances Clary Morse, “provides a separate history for each species of furniture, from the time when the first example is known to have existed in the United States to the latest date before this book is originally published” (Macmillan, 2017). Then it’s “An Encyclopedia of Furniture” (Quantum, 2004), a pictorial romp through furniture time from “pre-1600” to the end of the 20th century. We also have a ex-library copy (I now it’s ex-library because it’s a hardcover binding atop a paperback) of Edward Lucie-Smith’s “Furniture: A Concise History” (1979, Thames and Hundson).
Three to go.
First is “The Furniture Bible,” by Christopher Pourny (Artisan, 2014) , which gives a brief overview of furniture history, but is mostly about restoration and good stewardship. It’s followed by John Gloag’s “A Social History of Furniture Design: from B.C. 1300 to A.D. 1960” (Bonanza, 1966) and, finally, “Music in the Marketplace: The Story of Philadelphia’s Historic Wanamaker Organ,” by Ray Biswanger (Friends of the Wanamaker Organ Press 1999).
This is the 10th post in the Covington Mechanical Library tour. To see the earlier ones, click on “Categories” on the right rail, and drop down to “Mechanical Library.” Or click here.
In today’s look at a smallish section of the loosely organized Covington Mechanical Library (it becomes looser every time I look at a shelf and bemoan the mis-shelving), we’ll travel to the United Kingdom and a few of her former colonies, as well as France, Estonia (via the CIA), and Sweden. And yes, I took the picture below after rearranging a bit from the lead image – so now this shelf is at least slightly more organized. (Why such a small section? I have a class that starts Monday, I’m writing this on Saturday, and I’m not quite done with stock prep. I’ll cover the rest of this shelf in my next library post.)
England The first grouping is English furniture, starting (appropriately) with Edward T. Joy’s “English Furniture: 1800-1851” (Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1977), which includes the influence of Hepplewhite and Sheraton at the start of the period, the Regency period to the Great Exhibition/Victorian. That’s followed by our friend Charles H. Hayward’s “English Period Furniture Designs” (Arco, 1968). As far as I can tell, these are drawings he did for The Woodworker Magazine that were compiled by the publisher, and include measured drawings and select details for pieces ranging from the late 15th century through the Regency. In the back are one-page illustrations of various forms through the ages (chairs, chests, etc.). Next is Margaret Jourdain’s expanded edition of John C. Rogers’ “English Furniture” (Sterling, 1950). It’s divided into broad historical periods, and includes nice drawings select details and how they changed over time (drawers, cabriole legs), as well as a few tricky joints – stuff you can’t see from the outside.
David Knell’s “English Country Furniture: 1500-1900” second edition (Antique Collectors’ Club, 2000) will come as no surprise to those who know its owners love of all things vernacular – though Chris prefers Gilbert and Chinnery – both of whom are well represented in our collection…though not all on this shelf. Next is one of those favorites: Christopher Gilbert’s “English Vernacular Furniture: 1750-1900” (Yale UP, 1991), which Chris says is both excellent writing and research. Then it’s Mark P. McGrail’s “Furniture Brasses: A Short History of English Furniture Fittings (Armac Manufacturing, 1997). This one is published by a maker of hardware, so it of course shows their wares – but it’s also an invaluable education of what hardware is appropriate to the various periods in English furniture. Next up is an saddle-stitched exhibition catalog, “A Exhibition of Common Furniture” from the Stable Court Exhibition Galleries in Leeds, 1982. Our researcher extraordinaire Suzanne Ellison sent this one to Chris. It’s where he got the idea for his dearly departed dugout chair, and it has the story of his favorite “creepie” (see below).
The last book English Furniture book (in this grouping) is Christopher Gilbert’s “Selected Writings on Vernacular Furniture: 1966-98” (The Regional Furniture Society, 1991). The title alone should reveal its appeal.
Wales & Ireland I am quite sure we have more books on both Welsh and Irish Furniture; they must be upstairs on Chris’ bedside reading stack or elsewhere on these shelves. They’ll turn up on this blog series eventually. Here, however, we have one lone Welsh offering: Richard Bebb’s “Welsh Country Furniture,” (Shire, 1994). It’s a short treatment of forms and attribution. Then it’s across the Irish Sea with Nicholas Loughnan’s “Irish Country Furniture” (Easton & Son, 1984) and John Teahan’s “Irish Furniture & Woodcraft”(Town House and Country House, 1994). Both are slim volumes that offer but a glimpse of work from the Emerald Isle. David Shaw-Smith’s “Ireland’s Traditional Crafts” (Thames & Hundson, 1984) looks at handicraft beyond furniture, from willow and straw work to other woodwork (coopering, pipes) to textiles to stonework and more. Then we have the first edition of Claudia Kinmonth’s “Irish Country Furniture 1700-1950” (Yale UP 1993). You can read more about Kinmonth in Nancy Hiller’s profile of her.
Canada & New Zealand Howard Pain’s “The Heritage of Upper Canadian Furniture: A Study in the Survival of Formal and Vernacular Styles from Britain, America and Europe, 1780-1900” second edition (Key Porter, 1984). Publisher Steve Shanesy had this book at Popular Woodworking, and Chris always loved it. So he bought a copy. It’s an interesting look at furniture that hasn’t gotten a lot of coverage – pieces based on the traditional furniture of those who emigrated to Canada from all over the world, but produced in very different conditions. And there are a fair number of stick chairs. S. Northcote-Bade’s “Colonial Furniture in New Zealand” (Reed, 1971), a gift from a reader when Chris was working on “Campaign Furniture.” It shows some portable furniture, suitable for use on a ship and at home in the owner’s final destination.
France, Estonia & Sweden. (Together Why?) For some reason, we’ve a single book on the crafts of France in this section (there are many more to come): “The Handicrafts of France: As Recorded in the Descriptions des Arts et Métiers 1761-1788,” (by Arthur Cole and George Watts, published by Augusts Kelley, 1952). That’s followed by Ants Viires’ revised edition of what we call “Woodworking in Estonia” – the one on which our translation is based. Alongside it is the 1969 translation into English, which has one of the craziest book stories I’ve read. Part 1 of said story is here; part 2 is here.
Last on today’s world tour is Hans Keijser, Lars Sjöberg and R. Willick’s “Making Swedish Country Furniture & Household Things” (Cloudburst Press, 1976). This was liberated from, er, a former employer, by…someone. This isn’t slöjd work; rather it’s the vernacular furniture than informs much of Chris’ work. In this book is the “Skansen Bench,” which was built as as “I Can Do That” project for Popular Woodworking, and has since been repurposed as a low workbench.
This is the ninth post in the Covington Mechanical Library tour. To see the earlier ones, click on “Categories” on the right rail, and drop down to “Mechanical Library.” Or click here.
We sure have a lot of sundry/miscellaneous/mixed/jumble shelves. Could be worse; at least we don’t shelve books by color. (We do, however, shelve a few by size; we’ll visit that lower-right corner soon).
On the far left of this bay is most of our “Mortise & Tenon Collection,” both some issues of the magazine and the two books M&T has published (between us, we have all the issues, just FYI). When Joshua Klein first mentioned to us he was thinking of starting a magazine both Chris and I independently told him not to do it, then shared with him everything we could think of about doing it right. Good thing he didn’t listen to us (about not doing it; he’s certainly doing it right).
And then comes the jumble. We have two copies of Edward F. Worst’s “Coping Saw Work” (First published in 1927 by Bruce Publishing). This book is, according to Chris, a “cool representation of the humidor or turned pens or epoxy river table of the early 20th century.” I other words, it’s a slice of a small point in history when coping saws were the hottest thing. And I gotta say – the Minecraft-looking animal patterns are pretty cute.
But if it’s toys you’re looking for, the compilation book “Sunset Woodworking Projects 1” (Lane Publishing, 1987 – first published in 1975) is chock-full of pre-computer-chip offerings for the little ones and simple projects for around the house. Chris has it not for the contents so much as for the layout – it is easily identifiable as of a certain period in book design history, which is always useful when thinking about how things should/could/shouldn’t look.
Next to that is Yannick Chastang’s “French Marquetry Furniture: Paintings in Wood” (Wallace Collection, 2001). Chris met Chastang in London (he thinks it was London) and was impressed with a talk he gave, so of course he bought the book. In between that and another marquetry book is a “hidden” copy of “Grandpa’s Workshop” (I think it’s our last copy, and we don’t want it at easy grabbing level). The other marquetry book is Richard Mühlberger’s “American Folk Marquetry” (Museum of American Folk Art, 1998); it reminds us of a lot of Kentucky furniture (for which both Chris and I have a great fondness).
Michael Dunbar’s “Federal Furniture” (Taunton, 1986) is an ex-library copy and was too good a buy to pass up (and though neither of us are huge fans of the style, it does deserve representation in any woodworking library). Then we’ve a gifted copy of “Strait’s Chinese Furniture: A Collector’s Guide,” by Ho Wing Meng (Times Media, 1994).
Then we’ve Graham Blackburn‘s “Traditional Woodworking Hand Tools” (Lyons, 1998) and “Traditional Woodworking Techniques” (re-published by Blackburn Books in 1994). These are “must-haves” for the hand tool woodworker; Graham was writing about hand tools and teaching their use when just about no one else was. (An aside: Graham is among the nicest guys I’ve met in woodworking, and is also an excellent musician and dancer!)
Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color,” by Patricia Phillips Marhsall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (North Carolina Museum of History/UNC Press, 2010) is a landmark book. It’s the first significant book on a Black furniture maker and his contributions to the craft, the first to acknowledge that Black people didn’t historically just work in menial positions in the United States, but were skilled tradespeople with important jobs.
From there, we move into the tool section of our collection (for the most part) – and it continues on several other shelves still to be covered. First up is a trio of books edited by Jane and Mark Rees: “Christopher Gabriel and the Tool Trade in 18th Century London” (Astragal, 1998) and both editions of “The Tool Chest of Benjamin Seaton” (Tools and Trades History Society 1994 and 2012).
Then we have “The Tools that Built America,” by Alex W. Bealer (Bonanza, 1976). “Someone told me I had to have it and gave it to me,” says Chris. “I flipped through it and was like, meh.” (But not so “meh” that we’ve passed it on to someone else, yet.) Alongside it is “The American Patented Brace, 1829-1924: An Illustrated Directory of Patents,” by Ronald W. Pearson, D.O. (Astragal, 1994) and “The Rule Book: Measuring for the Trades” by Jane Rees and Mark Rees (Astragal 2010). I dipped into these books that are ostensibly for collectors quite a lot when I was editor of The Chronicle, Chris loves them not only for the history of toolmaking, but because “they show things that are missing from the written record – it’s written in tools, not in words.” And that holds true for the rest of the tool-related tomes in this bay.
Tucked into those is Robert Wearing‘s “Hand Tools for Woodworkers” (Sterling, 1996). That should probably be with Wearing’s other books. Then it’s “Source Book for Rule Collectors,” by Philip E. Stanley (Astragal, 2003), “The Art of Fine Tools” (Taunton, 2000) and “Tools Rare and Ingenious (Taunton, 2004), both by Sandor Nagyszalanczy. If you like nice-looking tools, these are must-haves. Peter C. Welsh’s thin but invaluable “Woodworking Tools 1600-1900” (Smithsonian, 1966) is a must for the tool-history lover.
David R. Russell’s “Antique Woodworking Tools” (Conti, 2010) documents an insanely good collection (in a well-made wrapping), and serves as inspiration for our own tool and book making. It’s just gorgeous to look at. “A Dictionary of American Hand Tools,” By Alvin Sellens (Sellens, 1990) is among our many tool dictionaries – books that we as teachers and toolmakers count as must-haves. The same holds true for Aldren A. Watson’s “Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings” – but with a grain of salt, as he recommends everyone have a jack rabbit plane. Huh. But he’s masterful illustrator; the drawings are an excellent look at the way tools go together. “Codes & Symbols of European Tools,” by Laurent Adamowicz was too intriguing to pass up. “I’m always interested in tools, and that was an aspect that I’ve never seen covered. But it didn’t quite live up to the title,” says Chris.
And finally, we have the German and French editions of several of our books, and one of Chris’s earlier books for Popular Woodworking. (The right side of this bay was covered in an earlier installment.)
This is the eighth post in the Covington Mechanical Library tour. To see the earlier ones, click on “Categories” on the right rail, and drop down to “Mechanical Library.” Or click here.
In today’s glimpse at the Covington Mechanical Library (CML), let’s have a look at some books compiled from magazine articles and by magazine authors, an old “must have,” woodworking humor and the first of our fiction books.
I remember seeing a few volumes from the Fine Woodworking Techniques series (above on the left) on the hard-to-reach shelves in my grandfather’s tiny workshop, tucked behind his Shopsmith Mark V. The series began in 1978, with articles pulled from the first seven issues of Fine Woodworking magazine, and ran through 1987’s Volume 9, featuring articles from issues 50-55. Tucked in among them is Fine Woodworking magazine’s 1970 “Design Book Two,” which, according to the cover features “1,150 photographs of the best work in wood by 1,000 craftsmen.”
I ought to swap the positions of Michael Pekovich’s “The Why & How of Woodworking” (Taunton, 2018) and Glen Huey’s “Building Fine Furniture” (Popular Woodworking, 2003) – and move Garrett Hack’s “The Handplane Book” (Taunton, 1997), Dennis Zongker’s “Wooden Boxes (Taunton 2013) and Thomas J. MacDonald’s “Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac” (Taunton, 2011) to the far left. Oh – and move John L. Feirer’s “Furniture & Cabinet Making” (Scribner’s, 1983 – a must-have at one time, but now perhaps a bit musty in its technique instruction…but not so old-school as to qualify as a classic) to the far right. That would pull together all the Fine Woodworking Magazine-related titles, and collect the Popular WoodworkingMagazine-related books in a row (well – all the ones on this shelf, anyway).
The following, until otherwise noted, are from Popular Woodworking – and we have them because – as you may know – Chris and I both spent some time on that magazine’s staff. As noted above, we start with Huey’s “Building Fine Furniture,” followed by his “Building 18th-century American Furniture” (2009) and “Fine Furniture for a Lifetime” (2002). (If you want to know what Huey is up to these days, click here.)
Then we have Jeff Miller’s “The Foundations of Better Woodworking” (2012), Jim Tolpin’s “The New Traditional Woodworker” (2011), and a reprint of two vintage books in one volume: “The Art of Mitring” and “Carpentry and Joinery for Amateurs” – and gosh does that one simultaneously raise my hackles and sadden me. (The short story: It was supposed to be a Smythe-sewn binding with a cloth cover, such as Lost Art Press produces. When it came in, the cover was “cloth-like” and the binding was glued. Someone above me at PW’s parent company had decided, without even the courtesy of telling me, to “save money.” I’m still mad as heck about it. But I digress…)
I’ve already mentioned Feirer, so we’ll skip to Tolpin’s “Table Saw Magic” (1999) – a long-time woodworking hot seller (and a title that, in light of his current work in hand tools and artisan geometry, never fails to surprise me anew when I see it.) And I see now a Sterling book that needs to move to the far right: “Great Folk Instruments to Make & Play” by Dennis Waring (1999) – I’m not sure why we have that one; perhaps Chris went through an instrument-making phase that I don’t know about?
It’s back to Popular Woodworking books with “Build Your Own Contemporary Furniture” (2002) – a title lead-in that I’ve always found a bit silly…as if you might otherwise inadvertently build your neighbor’s contemporary furniture. Alongside those now-not-contemporary designs, we have “Building Beautiful Boxes With Your Band Saw” (2015) by Lois Keener Ventura – and with one book between is her “Sculpted Band Saw Boxes” (2008) – I’ll have to put those together on Monday.
Separating Ventura’s Books is another not-PW book, “Nomadic Furniture 2” by James Hennessey and Victor Papenak (moving that to the right, too!). It’s a 1974 delight from Pantheon Books, featuring hand-drawn plans for simple furniture made from inexpensive and recycled materials – stuff that folds flat or breaks down for easy moving. Then we have “Mid-century Modern Furniture” by Michael Crow (PW 2015) followed by “Nick Engler’s Woodworking Wisdom” (Rodale, 1999). Though it’s not published by PW, I feel it’s in the right place; Engler wrote for PW for years.
Tom Fidgen’s “Made by Hand” (PW 2009) is next; I liked his clever traveling toolbox therein. And for some reason, we then have a second copy of Tolpin’s “New Traditional Woodworker” (it might make its way to the blems/used shelf – it’s a good book, but we don’t need two copies). Then I’ll ignore the interloper in favor of “Building Traditional Country Furniture” (2001), which was compiled from PW.
And that completes – until we get to the fiction title – the PW books in this bay. That “interloper” above is Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey’s “Tradition in Contemporary Furniture” from the Furniture Society (2001). We also have our friend Vic Tesolin’s “The Minimalist Woodworker” (Spring House Press, 2015) and “Projects from The Minimalist Woodworker” (Blue Hills Press, 2021). Those are followed by a Sterling edition (2000) of David Finck’s “Making & Mastering Wood Planes” (we offer the revised edition).
At the end of the non-fiction section is Nick Offerman’s delightful “Good Clean Fun” (Dutton, 2016) – a book that I think likely got more formerly non-woodworkers interested in the craft than any other, because of Offerman’s massive fan base. And it’s a hilarious read (seriously – I’ve never laughed so much while reading a woodworking book – highly recommended).
And finally, that fiction title: Sal Maccarone’s “How to Make $40,000 a Year with Your Woodworking” (PW 1998). In today’s dollar’s, that title would be “How to Make $73,000 a Year with Your Woodworking.” More hilarity!
p.s. This is the seventh post in the Covington Mechanical Library tour. To see the earlier ones, click on “Categories” on the right rail, and drop down to “Mechanical Library.” Or click here.