One of our earliest and favorite books is “The Joiner & Cabinet-Maker,” a fictional early 19th-century account of young Thomas coming of age in a British furniture shop. The book was intended to introduce young people to what the woodworking trade was like (albeit a bit on the sweet side of reality).
When we published the book in 2009 it included sections from Joel Moskowitz about woodworking during that time period to give you some context for the book. Plus chapters from me detailing the three projects shown in the original text. You can still order this book (it’s in its third printing) and we have no plans to discontinue it.
We think it’s an important book that was written by an anonymous joiner or cabinetmaker. Many of the details in the book help explain period practice. Or they help enrich your understanding of the history of your hand tools.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the book, we decided to publish a separate reprint of the original text in its original compact size. And to do it at a special “thank you” price. The book is currently at the printer and will arrive here sometime in September. Here are the details:
To create the reprint, we started with one of the early and (likely) original editions in my personal library. These books are hard to come by, especially the early ones. After 200 years, the binding of this copy was a bit tattered, though the pages were holding together with thread.
So the book was easy to disassemble to do a high-quality scan (the book will be reassembled by a conservator friend).
The original book is small by modern standards – 4-1/8” wide and 6-3/8” tall. And it was printed modestly so that it could be purchased by normal people, not just the elite.
We sought to emulate the look and feel of the original. The binding will be sewn – like the original – in the hopes that our version will last 200 years. The paper is a #55 high-bulk paper that has a nice texture, like old paper (not super-coarse like a terry-cloth towel as some people imagine). The cover is a heavy and textured paper that is made in the USA with wind power (from Mohawk, one of our favorite mills).
And the cover will be debossed with a gold diestamp.
Since we first published “The Joiner & Cabinet Maker,” customers have asked if they could buy the original text alone – without the modern chapters. Some readers had no interest in what Joel and I had to say (fair). Or they couldn’t afford the $36 (also fair). But we couldn’t afford to do this sort of project when we were a young company. Now we can.
“The Joiner & Cabinet-Maker: Original Text” will cost about $12 when purchased by itself. And we will offer it at a special price when bundled with the modern book (likely $44 for the bundle).
You’ll be able to tuck this little book into your tool chest for whenever you need a period rush. Or you can give it to a young Thomas who might want to experience the period like an unfiltered Camel.
I don’t have many more details today, I’m afraid. As soon as we have a printing date, we’ll open up pre-publication orders.
Note: This edition will be limited to a short run. This is a special edition at a special price. Once it’s gone it will be gone forever.
— Christopher Schwarz