In this follow-up to The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Schwarz urges readers to build their own furniture as an antidote to the consumption of disposable, mass-produced goods.
He outlines a straightforward approach to designing and making several pieces of what he calls "the furniture of necessity" – household items that are practical, durable and attractive, without excessive ornamentation.
Derived from historical examples, all the projects are based on two simple methods, staked tenon construction and boarded construction, and can be crafted using only a few basic tools. The selection includes a small sawbench (a useful aid when making the other pieces), several styles of chairs and stools, staked work and dining tables, a bed, a bookshelf, an aumbry (cupboard) and finally, even a coffin. Each project includes a cut list, dimensioned drawings, and photos of the finished piece, but the designs can be easily adapted to suit your needs.
Filled with simple, effective tips on every aspect of design and construction, the book includes chapters or appendices on the use of tapered iron nails, choosing tools, using hide glue, soap finish and milk paint, and other topics.
This expanded edition adds almost 200 pages of new projects and essays to the original, with six new projects (bringing the total to 18), including high and low staked stools, a mule chest with built-in drawers, and a sturdy armchair made using only board stock, as well as a method for cutting round tenons with hand tools. It also expands on the philosophy of Schwarz’s designs and includes a section of “misfit designs” to illustrate some of the trial and error that goes with creating original designs.
A down-to-earth approach to creating everyday items, it provides both inspiration and instruction to enable almost anyone to make functional, dependable furniture that is built to last a lifetime.
Hardcover, 8" × 10", 634 pages, 2019.