LumberJocks

The Anarchists Tool Chest

  • Advertise with us
Review by mpmitche posted 06-27-2011 04:21 AM 3458 views 2 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Anarchists Tool Chest No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Mr. Schwarz really turned it up a notch with the Anarchists Tool Chest. This book was a deviation from some of his other books that I have read in that it contained a story. The story was woven underneath the information about the essential toolkit that a woodworker should but together. Mr. Schwarz explains how to put together a set of tools that will help a woodworker complete all the essential taks. The text includes information about choosing the right tools and how to use them correctly. The end of the book is about putting together the appropriate chest to hold these tools and help them survive the passage of time both in the woodworkers life and beyond. Mr. Schwarz also nutures the idea that we don’t have to continue purchasing plywood crap; that we can be Anarchists by building quality furniture to fill our homes. I really enjoyed the book and think that it will be a great help in putting together the right tools for me to use in my woodworking. It will be most usefull in helping me avoid wasting money on tools that really arn’t essential. If you can’t do your work with these tools you probably just need to take some time and improve you skills.

-- Mike, Western New York




View mpmitche's profile

mpmitche

406 posts in 1727 days



30 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2848 days


#1 posted 06-27-2011 04:50 AM

Thanks for the review. This is on my wishlist.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1406 days


#2 posted 06-27-2011 06:09 AM

I was hoping to be the first person to review this book here but I will throw in my two cents on top of yours.

When was the last time a woodworking book made you laugh, hard, and several times? Christopher Schwarz obviously put a lot of thought into this book, and I can’t help but wishing that he wrote it and I read it right when I started woodworking. Here’s the basics of what is in the book:

The list of the tools you need to do furniture work (seen in many books before but in this one he explains why and how to make your own list to suit your needs). Detailed information on each of the tools so you can make informed decisions about buying the right tools to last you a lifetime. Information about designing a chest that will protect these tools for a lifetime and then some. The motivation to DO what’s in the book.

I am not ashamed to admit that the end of the book brought a tear to my eye. I’ve re-read the book several times at this point and I am sure that one day someone will find a worn out copy of this book inside a tool chest full of sharp tools just waiting to be used.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3735 posts in 2485 days


#3 posted 06-28-2011 07:27 PM

Sounds like my kind of book! I want one!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2848 days


#4 posted 06-30-2011 05:36 AM

Ordered my copy from Lee Valley this morning. They are having a deal on shipping right now. Free shipping on any order over $40. The price on the book seemed to be a few dollars less than the other vendors.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10374 posts in 1369 days


#5 posted 07-01-2011 02:39 PM

The run down of essential hand tools is something many of us likely wish we had before sliding back and forth between collecting and using. On the surface, the tool list is short. In reality, I’ve been (pretty aggressively) accumulating my working set of hand tools for two years and have yet to get all of the ones in the book. Close, thank goodness (!), but not there.

Assembliing even a minimalist set of hand tools that cover the tasks involved in furniture making is an expensive pursuit, be they vintage users or ‘the finest you can afford.’

Chris has no problem telling his readers what he thinks on a wide range of topics; some may not like that much because it can come across as hubris. But then, the list of tools is very well researched and he walks the walk. I wonder if the third part of the book, the toolchest, will rekindle interest in that forgetten workshop appliance? I’m not planning on building one just yet…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1406 days


#6 posted 07-01-2011 03:00 PM

I’ve already started laying mine out.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View mpmitche's profile

mpmitche

406 posts in 1727 days


#7 posted 07-02-2011 02:43 PM

The toolchest is a little way down my list too. I have the sawbench, next the workbench, and then the toolchest. The problem is all the non-shop projects that come up along the way; like a knitting box for my wife and a coffee table that i was supposed to have started already. One thing is for sure, it will be a great chance to practice my dovetails!

-- Mike, Western New York

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10374 posts in 1369 days


#8 posted 07-02-2011 03:30 PM

@Mike- True on those projects that come up. Another big factor is having the toolset to put in the finished chest. I’m not there yet…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1406 days


#9 posted 07-02-2011 07:58 PM

I’m going to downsize a bit myself. I’ll do a post here first when I figure out whats going and for what price range.

Need/want a few things on the list, but I am fairly well covered on the basics, which is reassuring.

I totally know what you mean about the projects that sneak in the way of your schedule. I have SO much that needs to get done this year, and I am really running out of time. Oh well at least I can keep out of trouble, until my wife see’s me bringing home a new toy.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2848 days


#10 posted 07-12-2011 05:46 AM

I got my copy today and am about 100 pages into the book. Great read if your building projects other than peeing little boys made from plywood… lol (it is a line from the book)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1406 days


#11 posted 07-12-2011 02:59 PM

Loved that line.

The outsmarting the dead line is another favorite of mine.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4892 posts in 1374 days


#12 posted 07-17-2011 12:51 AM

I have heard a lot of good things about this book and will definitely read it this summer. I am curious how many copies he has sold with his fledgling publishing company. From his post on the Lost Art Press blog it sounds as if he has underestimated the demand.

Just finished “A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook” by James Krenov this afternoon and really enjoyed it.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1406 days


#13 posted 07-17-2011 02:48 AM

That’s a great book. Try The fine Art of Cabinetmaking as well.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View mpmitche's profile

mpmitche

406 posts in 1727 days


#14 posted 07-17-2011 03:35 PM

I liked all of Krenov’s books but I think the Cabinetmaker’s Notebook was the most inspiring and my favorite.

-- Mike, Western New York

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2848 days


#15 posted 07-17-2011 06:35 PM

I’ve read both, but it has been quite a while. Think it must be time to go read them again. The other one I read recently and really liked is The New Traditional Woodworker by Jim Tolpin.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

showing 1 through 15 of 30 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase