“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” – William Strunk, Elements of Style
We are excited to announce Issue Five is now available for pre-order in our store! If you don’t already have a subscription, you can sign up here. or If you want to pre-order only this issue, you can do so here. This pre-order window will close after Tuesday, September 18th. After that date, the shipping charge will be applied and there will be no brown paper and wax-sealed wrapping.
Note: Pre-orders for Issue Five open tomorrow morning! First thing in the morning (eastern time), we will be releasing the brand new cover art and begin taking orders. As always, all pre-orders and subscriptions will get the special brown paper wrapping and wax-sealed trade card with the new issue. Scheduled delivery of this issue is late September. If you haven’t yet signed up for a yearly subscription (offering free shipping and a discounted cover price), you can do so here right now. See you in the morning! We are so excited to be launching our fifth issue! 10,000 Hours: A Journey into Japanese Woodworking by Kim Choy Every woodworking journey begins with a step. But setting out in pursuit of 10,000 hours...
Tradespeople have been admired, depicted in paintings, remembered in song, and hilariously lampooned in popular writing for centuries. Every village had a joiner, a carpenter, various wrights, smiths, and weavers, and English literature from the past half-millennium is rife with references to these workers and their trades - some glowing in admiration, some tellingly unflattering. In M&T Issue Five, author Megan Fitzpatrick invites us to dust off our library and explore some of the unique contributions that the woodworking trades have made to classic compositions.
The passing of hand skills from one generation to the next has been a basic part of humanity from time immemorial. Parents teaching children, masters guiding apprentices to make the necessities of life and to grow in both proficiency and the understanding of materials and forms. Children are hard-wired to create, and the task of guiding kids in their creative explorations has always fallen on us: mentors, teachers, and parents.
In Issue Five, we will be featuring a photo essay examination of an 18th-century mahogany tea table that I purchased at an auction a while back. This examination is unique from our others in that the photos depict the sliding dovetail joint disassembled during conservation treatment. This is a rare opportunity to look at the minutia of how this joint was cut and fit – there are undercut and overcuts that tell a lot about how this craftsman was working.
For the Issue Five book recommendation, we reached out to Derek Olson, hand-tool enthusiast and avid reader of woodworking literature. When we asked Derek to write a recommendation of one of the furniture books that has most inspired him, his first answer was Victor Chinnery’s Oak Furniture: The British Tradition.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the cooper in pre-industrial times. For hundreds of years, wooden barrels, hogsheads, kegs, tuns, and firkins held and transported just about every good imaginable. Even though the work of turning seasoned staves into solid, watertight containers was physically and mentally demanding, the fast and precise workflow of a skilled practitioner has been compared to a dance.
My greatest mentor died almost 200 years ago. When I began researching in 2013 what is very likely the most complete surviving record of a pre-industrial American furniture maker, I had no idea how profoundly it would affect my own life’s work.
The six-board chest is a traditional form with roots in the ancient past. However, the integrity of this style of construction seems dubious because of the contradictory grain orientation of the side boards, leading Christopher Schwarz to dub the design "the platypus of the woodworking world." In M&T Issue Five, Author Kate Fox (@woodshrew) looks to unearth the origins of the six-board chest, and to understand how the form actually works. She writes...