by Christopher Schwarz
A self-proclaimed "aesthetic anarchist", Schwarz challenges the notion that woodworkers need a vast array of specialized tools, encouraging them to choose and use their tools more thoughtfully. He combed his collection of woodworking plans, some dating back nearly 300 years, compiling a list of 48 hand tools essential to the completion of nearly any furniture-making project.
Written in a relaxed, engaging style, the book examines several tool categories in detail: planes, marking and measuring tools, edge tools, saws, sharpening equipment and others. It covers their design and function, how to identify real quality and utility, and which tools you can make yourself, with plenty of tips and anecdotes as well as black-and-white photos. The last section explains how to build a tool chest, adapted from 18th-century designs, with illuminating insights into its design and construction.
Hardcover, Smyth sewn, 6" x 9", 475 pages, 2011.
In response to customer requests, Schwarz has produced a 60-minute DVD that describes each tool in the chest, covering the manufacturer, application and function, tools you can make yourself, and sources of supply. A 5-minute slideshow outlines the construction of the chest.