Issue 13 T.O.C. – Joshua A. Klein – “Fruitful Efficiency: On the Cultivation of Skill”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Thirteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

The subscription window which includes Issue Thirteen is open now.

To get Issue Thirteen when it ships early October, you can sign up for a subscription here. 

If you aren’t sure about your subscription status, you can reach out to Grace at Keep in mind though, if you are set to auto-renew, you never have to worry about getting the next issue of Mortise & Tenon. Issue Thirteen is coming your way soon!


Joshua A. Klein – “Fruitful Efficiency: On the Cultivation of Skill”

Author Joshua A. Klein recently released the second book of his “Bench Guide” series, and this one may be more important than the first. In Issue Thirteen, he draws from that book, Worked, to take a closer look at the concept of efficiency in woodworking. What do we mean by “efficient” work? How does that translate to the way we use our tools and benches? And why does it matter?

The idea of efficiency can have some positive attributes – reducing waste, streamlining workflow, making shop time more enjoyable and less clunky. But the pursuit of efficiency in production has historically presented some dehumanizing aspects. From “scientific management” and Taylorism as a way to optimize factory production, the worker had all creative elements of a given task removed in favor of very specific motions and actions. And this was repeated over and over, endlessly. That is not what we are after in our shops.

Instead, Klein seeks to remove obstacles to achieving “flow” in our work – when everything clicks, tools function perfectly in hand and operations go smoothly and easily. This is not a random, serendipitous occurrence, but is a result of thoughtful consideration of workflow, tool choice, and workholding. The insights he shares can help you get there.

Subscribe now to reserve your copy of Issue Thirteen.


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