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JOEL Joel's Blog

Hayward - You Blow Me Away


Hayward - You Blow Me Away 4"The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: 1939-1967" is another masterpiece from Lost Art Press. The Woodworker magazine, first published in 1901, was the greatest woodworking magazines of all time. In 1923, a young cabinetmaker by the name of Charles H. Hayward decided against going into the family business and instead took a job with the magazine as an illustrator. Hayward had classical training in woodworking, an experience not lost on the editors, and it turned out the young Mr. Hayward not only had a knack for the illustrating he was originally hired to do, but also writing and editing. Hayward had an unusual gift for drawing and writing clearly and succinctly. As an editor, he knew how take material written by others and give it a consistent voice and eliminate confusion. Hayward retired as editor in 1967.

Magazine by their very nature are transient, which means that Hayward's work has been lost to all but a lucky few of us (who might have a few old issues or one of the many books that Hayward wrote). Until now.

Lost Art Press spent eight years (eight years!) combing through all the old issues of The Woodworker, carefully scanning the illustrations and resetting the original text to ensure that it look very readable, and then divided the material into two large, luscious volumes. Volume I is on Tools and Volume II on Technique. It doesn't get better than this. Really. It doesn't.

Hayward - You Blow Me Away 5First of all, the book captures the spirit of magazines, which are by nature meant to be read whenever the reader feels like dipping in. So unlike a giant book on projects, The Woodworker allows you to dip in anywhere, read something, study something, and then put the book down to enjoy on another topic at another time. And what you're reading! Clear text and illustrations in a way you have never seen before. The old expression, A picture is worth a thousand words, is only true if the picture is well thought-out. In this reprint, the pictures have been enlarged from the originals and the text reset and laid out for easy reading. As you can see in the picture the original articles were pretty tightly set due to the economies of space in a magazine.

The book, like all Lost Art Press books, is hardbound, Smyth sewn, and printed in the USA. It's built to last, which makes sense since you will find yourself picking it up and re-reading bits for decades to come. I know this from my own experience, because I still re-read Hayward material I have had for ages. It's not just the learning: the work is so well done, full of style and elegance. Hayward's writing and drawings are so good, re-reading his work is like seeing a fine performance of a song you already know. You learn more each time, but the sheer joy of watching a master is pure entertainment. And of course, for first time readers -- how exciting is that? You are in for a treat!

The volumes are available separately or as a set at a small discount While the set is expensive, we are talking 888 pages of large-size paper in a quality book. Shipped free in the USA.

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03/23/2016 John Benz
So how do how do I buy the thing!
Either click on the link in the blog text or click here:
Link to Hayward Books

We are currently out of stock, more should be arriving by next week sometime.
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.