Christopher schwarz has long been an advocate for hand tool woodworking. Formerly the editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine, he now shares his passion through Lost Art Press.
His work focuses on unearthing the lost arts of hand skills, seeking to help the modern woodworker restore the balance between hand and machine work so that they can produce furniture that’s crisp, well-proportioned, stout and quickly made.
Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use
A workbench is a sturdy, flat surface at which manual work can be done. They can be simple or complex and may have special features, such as power supplies, shelves, lighting, or leveling guides.
In this book, christopher schwarz covers the design and theory of workbenches and then explains how to build them from scratch. The result is an excellent reference for anyone interested in woodworking, furniture making or any other craft.
The book also discusses the history of benches and provides step-by-step builds for two classic designs: an 18th century French bench and a knockdown English bench. It also provides new variations on those designs and includes full material lists, exploded diagrams and instructions for building Moxon-style vises.
Workbenches are a crucial part of assembly and production operations, where they provide a solid workspace to support applications that involve large tools. They are typically capable of holding 750 kg (approximately 1600 lbs) and can be used to support applications such as finishing, assembly, and component repair.
The Anarchist’s Tool Chest
The Anarchist’s Tool Chest is the first book from Lost Art Press, a publishing company founded by Chris Schwarz. He launched the company based on his belief that hand work was disappearing from woodworking and that it needed to be made accessible, ethical and less commercial.
This book is a great primer for the beginning or new woodworker to help them build up their skills. It explains what tools are necessary, how to identify good quality tools and what to do with them once they’ve been purchased.
It also shows how to construct a simple tool chest that can hold all your essential hand tools. There is a lot of information in this book and it is well written.
This is a great reference book and it is something every woodworker should have in their workshop. I would recommend this to any beginner or experienced woodworker that wants to get the most out of their tool box.
For almost 200 years, simple and sturdy pieces of campaign furniture have been used by people worldwide. But this remarkable furniture style is now almost unknown to most woodworkers and furniture designers.
This book seeks to restore this style by introducing woodworkers to the simple lines, robust joinery and ingenious hardware that characterize campaign pieces. It uses more than 400 photos and drawings to explain the foundations of this unique style.
The book also provides plans for nine classic campaign pieces, including a stackable chest of drawers, folding Roorkee chair and collapsible bookcase. It’s the first of its kind.
Although campaign furniture is commonly thought of as a military style, it’s also enjoyed by civilians who value its durability and portability. It’s often a great choice for brightening up small spaces, as well as providing comfortable seating outdoors. It’s popular for its ability to fold up when not in use, making it easy to carry.
In the early thirteenth century, a scholar and engineer named Isma’il ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari wrote an illustrious treatise called “Kitab fi ma’rifat al-hiyal al-handasiya” (The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices) to teach his pupils how to design hydraulic machines. Its mechanical description of clepsydras, fountains and other complex automated devices is the most popular work of its kind in the West and remains so.
Aside from his writings, the medieval Islamic world is also home to a rich culture of ingenious mechanics. Known as the Bayt-al-Hikma, this lab of invention embraced science, logic and medicine as well as innovation in design.
Chris Schwarz began a three-year quest to recreate the ancient workbenches of old, without any surviving instructions to guide him. He drew on hundreds of historical paintings of these benches and replicated the devices and techniques illustrated in the images to see how they actually worked.