I’m a sucker for Lost Art Press books, especially when you get an introductory sale price for a new book about to be published. I have enjoyed all the books I’ve purchased from them, so when “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree” by Jennie Alexander and Peter Follansbee went on sale, I could not resist buying it.
If you enjoy hand tool work, you will most likely enjoy this book. It checks two boxes for me, history and woodworking, along with really going from log to completed project. Now will I fell a mighty oak tree and make a joint stool like they do in the book? Doubtful, but I learned a lot from reading about the process.
Alexander and Follansbee really do use 17th century style tools from the boring to the painting. So you might be asking yourself; why wouldn’t Yaakov want to make a joint stool like they do in the book? Good question. It does look like fun and something I’d be interested in doing, but I simply don’t have the tools. Aside from dividers, a good workbench and a couple of chisels, I don’t have any of the required tools, and to be honest, I’m very happy with my 20th and 21st century tools.
That being said, there are a lot of hand tool techniques to be learned from this book. Chopping out mortises, cutting tenons, picking the right stock and draw boring are clearly explained and nicely illustrated. Even the section on period paints was interesting. And I can’t forget to mention the section on turning using a spring (pole) action lathe. Would I ever bother with a foot powered lathe? No! But it certainly was interesting reading about his techniques. So many of the woodworking techniques used in the 17th century still translates well to 21st century woodworking.
If you enjoy using hand tools with your woodworking, then I think you will get a kick out this book. I can’t wait till the next Lost Art Press book comes out!