Joiner’s Work available for ordering from Lost Art Press

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Well, I guess I’m not writing a book anymore – Chris just posted last  night that “Joiner’s Work” is available for “pre-publication order.” (Not “pre-order” – ask Roy Underhill about “pre-drilling” a hole sometime…)

Like most of my work, there’s a story behind this book. For eons, Jennie Alexander & I worked on “the book” – our collaboration about making a joined stool. It was to serve as “an introduction to joinery”. We spent so long on it that I used to drop out for years at a time, “you finish it” I’d say. Then JA’s health got dicey and s/he said “When I go to the boneyard, promise me you’ll finish the book.” Gladly, says I, knowing it’d be easier that way…

One thing led to another, and I wanted to write a book about making joined chests; complete with carving…but first, I had to get Alexander’s book out of the way. The plan was that I would provide the text and photos for the joined stool book, then JA could do with it as s/he pleased. Chris Schwarz has told the story of how one night after some woodworking show, he held court in a local pizza joint – “trying to start a publishing empire” I think was his recent quote. I was about starved to death, and was just looking for someone to have dinner with, but that meal really opened up a new world for me.

I had never written a how-to book before; I had been published a good bit, but it was all academic furniture history stuff. When Chris told me how LAP worked, I was thrilled with the idea of being a part of it – so I went down to Baltimore, wrestled with Alexander and we ended up finishing the Joint Stool book finally.

Then I went back to the carved chest book; and all kinds of hell broke loose. Somewhere in there, I started teaching, which meant I traveled. For someone who’d never driven a car until age 24 or so, I started to get around some. I ended up in places I’d never even heard of – imagine that Australia is actually real. Also mixed in there, I quit the job I never imagined I’d leave. So at that point, I had to figure out where I was going to set up shop. My good friend Ted Curtin lent me his for a while, then Pret Woodburn & I built mine here…so this book, like the first one, had a long gestation period. Lots of interruptions. But now it’s done.

I was splitting out parts for ladderback chairs yesterday afternoon, and there was one piece that was too good for chairs – dead-flat radial plane, 6” wide by three feet long – so today I’ll begin planing that stuff and in May I’ll make a box from it. The trees talk to Jögge Sundqvist. I get it. They make decisions for me sometimes. I might want one thing, but the tree has another thing in mind. It’d be stupid to not listen.

19 thoughts on “Joiner’s Work available for ordering from Lost Art Press

  1. I’ve been lurking around at this blog for some time now, just observing. Thought I had to comment now, just to say that I really look forward to this book. Oh, and I like reading about your woodworking. Always inspiring.

  2. Peter,

    I had plans for a very productive morning. Then the pdf version of Joiner’s Work arrived in my inbox and poof the morning disappeared. It is a wonderful book. I can almost hear your voice while reading.

    I am almost ready to move from bowls to spindles on the pole lathe, but soon after that I’ll jump down the chair rabbit hole. Looking forward to the next version of Make a Chair from a Tree.

    Thank you for your continually inspiring me and all you do for the Greenwoodworking community.

    All the best,


  3. It’s amazing stuff, wood. As a turner I see the bowls I make as collaborations between me and the material. I come into a project with a concept, but the wood has its say in the matter as well and every piece has a different opinion.

  4. Hi Peter!

    So excited for your book! I just ordered it and am trying to download it now. Floating around the ocean at moment so bandwidth is a fun challenge. I might have it for morning, though, which will kill all productivity!

    Again, congratulations and I’m so looking forward to it! Thanks for all your hard work and effort to put this into our hands!


  5. I’ve been reading a pdf of your new book, Joiner’s Work. It is wonderful, thank you for writing it. It is so nice when someone knowledgeable on a subject writes a good book instead of just leaving tool marks. Reading your blogs puts a smile on my face, so even though people like me may seldom comment, we still enjoy it immensely.

  6. Hello Peter,

    Thanks for writing this – I just ordered my copy and look forward to reading from cover to cover. Not all that interested in the .pdf version – I like to hold a book and turn the pages. I can wait till May!



  7. I just finished reading this book (except the chapter on carving, which I’m saving until I have the paper version) and enjoyed it a great deal. I found it very inspirational. I doubt anyone reading this blog needs my encouragement but I highly recommend adding this book to your collection.

  8. I think your new book, Peter, will prove to be one of my favorites on the craft we all love. Although I have only gotten a short way through it so far, I am blown away by the writing, the layout, the photos, and the wisdom and insights embedded on every page. Every woodworker should have a copy of this book. And thank you for making it available in a PDF version in advance of its publication. I can’t wait to get my hands on the physical book and I only hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for your next book!

  9. Dear Peter,

    I just ordered your new book! Very excited. Congratulations on what I know will be an excellent addition to my library.


  10. Dear Peter,

    I have takes several green wood chair building classes from Brian Boggs in the 80’s. We live in California and brian sent us a log out by truck when we made our chairs. I have always wanted to make more ands your article in FWM has inspired me again. Do you know of any place I can purchase a straight grain green wood log to ship to Ca to make more chairs for personal use. It is so much fun to make a chair it was the best time with brian in my woodworking hobby.

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