The Slightly Confused Woodworker

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Woodworking Books


I spent the past ten minutes defending my position on “anarchy” to a commenter that didn’t happen to agree with what I had to say on a book review. Don’t get me wrong, the comment wasn’t mean spirited or condescending, at least I don’t think it was, but rather it was just a simple disagreement. I put some thought in my answer, as it was obvious that the commenter took time out of his day to read my review of The Anarchists Tool Chest and write a response to it. I felt that I owed it to him (or her) to reply with some thoughtfulness.

Anyway, the real reason I noticed the comment was because I happened to be checking out ‘Campaign Furniture’ from Lost Art Press and considering whether or not I should purchase it. I was hoping to find a review or two of the book just to see what they had to say. I generally don’t put a lot of stock into book reviews because books are so subjective; ten people can all read the same book and will offer ten different opinions on it. However, because woodworking is a much more specific/polarizing topic, I find that woodworking book reviews can sometimes be helpful if you happen to find that right person/people to objectively write them. In my brief search I didn’t come up with anything, but that may not matter all that much for the time being.

The truth is that I’m a sucker for woodworking books; good, bad, or indifferent. I generally like them all, even the books that I hate, because most of them give me ideas in some way, shape, or form. I’ve purchased four books from Lost Art Press and I’ve mostly enjoyed each of them. Furthermore. I really like the actual books themselves, which are well made and happen to look nice sitting on a book shelf. At the same time, like many of the woodworking Anarchists of the world are supposedly doing, I too am trying to eliminate my credit card bills. I’m not doing it because I’m on some crusade, but because like most people I would like to be debt free at some point in my life. Though the book isn’t what I would call expensive, it would mean using a credit card to purchase it. Even with the siren song of ‘free shipping’ luring me to purchase (and I’m a sucker for free shipping-a contentious subject among the Anarchist heirarchy), I may just have to hold out until my credit card is paid in full, which probably won’t be until the end of the summer.

Either way I’m still on the fence. I don’t have strong feelings on campaign style furniture one way or another. I don’t plan on making any in the near future, if for any other reason than I can’t afford the woods to make it with. For me, I’m much more interested in the campaigns that the furniture happened to go on. Still, it is a woodworking book, and from what I can tell it’s a nice looking one, both inside and out. As much as people have somehow come to the conclusion that I am at odds with Christopher Schwarz (I’m not), if I am purchasing a woodworking book I would like it to be from his company, as I know that I am least getting a well made product. So I might bite the bullet and order the sucker, or maybe I’ll just rent Ghandi.



  1. […] my blog post yesterday I had touched on a comment that was made concerning a book review I wrote on Amazon about […]

  2. Jeff Branch says:

    The idea of buying “Campaign Furniture” is growing on me. I am liking the roorkhee chair more and more. I don’t have a lathe though.

    • billlattpa says:

      I will purchase the book one way or the other. I’ve enjoyed all of the books that I’ve received from Lost Art Press and I’m sure this one will be no exception. I like the roorkhee chair, but like you I don’t have a lathe. If I were to build any campaign style furniture, it would be a desk, as my grandmother had something of a campaign desk when I was a kid and I always liked it.
      The only “issue” I would have with the furniture is the cost of the material to make it properly. Much of the wood is basically out of my league cost wise, unless I were to make it out of oak. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to own the book. I’m sure there is a lot of helpful information on design and joinery that would work for any style of furniture. If you get it let me know what you think if you don’t mind.

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