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The Anarchist's Tool Chest

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Code: AQ-1150.XX
 The Anarchist's Tool Chest - Book Only ($47.00) In Stock
by Christopher Schwarz

This book, by Chris Schwarz, editor of Popular Woodworking, is really two books and an essay. The essay is a few chapters on how Chris began his woodworking and how his approach to tools and wood came about. After years of trying, buying, and discarding lots of tools Chris settled on forty eight essential (and some secondary) tools for hand woodworking. The first half of the book is a discussion of each tool, what features to look out for and which to avoid and how to use the tool. For anyone starting out this will be an invaluable guide and save a lot of heartburn. I don't agree with every suggestion Chris makes (especially on draw bore pins) but following his advice will give you a really great foundation, with not a lot of money wasted on useless tools. He certainly makes our job as iron mongers harder. His opinions are all about design features so don't expect brand recommendations.

Next comes an equally long section containing both a design discussion and a blow by blow construction guide to a full-size traditional toolboxes. I'm a big fan of traditional toolboxes and not only does the project give Chris a chance to put all the preceding tool discussion into practical context, you end up with a really great way to store your tools. This is my favorite part of the book. In general there is not a lot of material published on traditional tool boxes, and it's something you should build fairly early on when you don't really know how. Chris takes you step by step through all the phases of construction and as a tool box is built pretty much like any other piece of casework, when you are done you will have increased your overall skill substantially.

Like all books from Lost Art Press, "The Anarchist's Tool Chest," is printed and bound in the United States on acid-free 60# paper. The 493 page book is in hardcover, 6" x 9", Smythe sewn, and covered in linen. Profusely illustrated with B+W photographs.

Pages: 493
Binding: HC
Publisher: Lost Art Press

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Customer Reviews:
Excellent, insightful book
By: Federico Mena Quintero (Mar, 2013)
I religiously follow Chris Schwarz's blog (at, and with all the content about toolchests and samples from the book that were posted there, I first thought that getting the book would be redundant. I'm glad to see that it is not: the book is a treat. Chris's personal history is very interesting. How he found his frugality in tools is encouraging, and if you weren't already into that line of thinking, this book will make you a better person. The main virtue of this section is that it puts into writing a lot of things that many woodworkers already know on a subconscious level, about quality handmade goods, that are hard to explain. The section on tools is a breezy read if you are already experienced with hand tools, but it is by no means superfluous. The descriptions of subtle features of tools, gained through experience, are tremendously useful. I definitely learned things about tools which I already own and am proficient with! Finally, the section on actually building the chest is superb. You *can* summarize it a lot; in fact Chris did just that and posted the summary to his blog (cunningly leaving out one of his "rules for toolchests", which you can find in the book). But you'll miss the full rationale and innumerable tips on the actual construction process. I enjoy the book's relaxed prose, the fart jokes, and the insight that comes through. I definitely look forward to building my own toolchest soon.
I own this product.

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