Reading Robert Wearing's "The Essential Woodworker" was one of three lightning bolts that have struck me since I began woodworking.
The first shock was cutting my first perfect dovetail. Then there was the moment when I processed my first board entirely by hand. And the third came one afternoon while I was sitting in my chair and cracked open an English book that I had bought on a whim for about $5.
I read the entire book in one sitting (it took only a couple hours), but in that short period of time, Wearing assembled all the random puzzle pieces I had collected for years about handwork. He filled in all the missing details about dozens of basic processes, from laying out door joinery to truing up the legs on a table.
The Ultimate Organized Lesson Plan
When I closed the book, I couldn't wait to get into the shop. All the bits and pieces made sense.
Then I did a bad thing. I wrote about the book on my blog at work. And the price of the out-of-print book went to a ridiculous $80 to $100.
So for the last several years, John Hoffman and I at Lost Art Press have been trying to reprint this book so it will be available at a reasonable price and in a nice and permanent format. It took a lot longer than we expected. Robert Wearing was very eager and willing, but let's just say that other publishing companies kept throwing sand on our strop.
All that is behind us now, and I am pleased thrilled actually to announce that "The Essential Woodworker" will be available this summer on the Lost Art Press imprint. We re-set the entire book, incorporated corrections and revisions from Wearing and retook many photos, which were lost.
Like our other books, "The Essential Woodworker" will be printed in a 6" x 9" format, hardbound with a cloth cover, and produced entirely in the United States. What is different about this book is that we will be using more expensive paper. It's a little thicker and has a more old-school texture. Like our other books, this paper is acid-free, and the signatures will be Smythe sewn and casebound.