About a decade ago, my mind was blown by the boxes and furniture that Peter Follansbee was talking about on his blog. There he was splitting up oak logs into boards and joining them together. Well, how do you not go ahead and try that?!
What a joy it is to rive and plane green oak and stand amid the fragrant shavings. And on top of that, you get incredible, stable stock. Then there’s those stunning patterns to carve boldly. I devoured information from Peter’s posts in order to make several pieces. Some of these became gifts, and others still serve in our home, like the toolbox above.
And now Peter has put everything together, the patterns, the methods, the tools, the classic designs, and the decades of experience and research into a new book published by Lost Art Press — Joiner’s Work. Here’s a photo of it below. Has there ever been a better dust jacket?
This book is truly a treasure trove of inspiration and information. It reads as if Peter is right there in your shop guiding you with Follansbee wit and hard-won wisdom and knowledge.
Although Peter leads you step by step, the projects don’t require you to follow a rigid set of measurements and orders, rather they encourage you to loosen up and work with what the tree offers and adapt accordingly. Peter focuses on the concepts and attitudes that empower you — although he’d never put it that way. You can adapt to your preferences: start with sawn boards, or just carve panels if you don’t want to build pieces, or build the furniture and nix the carving, or use walnut instead of oak.
Read Peter’s blog post here to learn more about his road to this book. And there’s more information about the book here at Lost Art Press. Buying books can be like buying tools — better to buy one great one than two mediocre ones.