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September 2011

The Chaotic's Toolchest

Chaos Theory as the defining force for woodworking is the topic of today's diatribe. Which is to say, that within chaos there is order and that from this order comes the chaos that eventually produces the order that is woodworking. Simple, no?

The problem most woodworkers face is in the attempt to exert control over the inherently chaotic milieu that is woodworking. We begin with one entity, a tree. The tree is broken down into many bits and pieces, possibly even scattered all over the globe. We buy or make the tools with which to alter the shape of the tree bits. The tools are stored or misplaced in containers of all sorts and sizes made of more bits of trees or smelted and formed metallic particles or reprocessed plastic compounds, all of which represent their ancestral containers.

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Fee! Fie! Fo! Fum!

I direct your attention to a previous post of mine which has accumulated a small yet lengthy set of comments that succintly answer questions that are near and dear to my heart.

In particular, people ask: Why pay Paypal fees? Why pay Lightning Source fees? Why offer high discounts?

My answer is contained within the recent answers to my Monty Python inspired post of yore. I will bare my soul and tell you that I am abysmal at math. As such, I have an advantage over those of you who insist on processing columns of numbers. Use Logic! I'll say it again. Use Logic! Forget the numbers. Look at the logic behind what you are doing. You will see the light at the end of the Lincoln Tunnel. I would have suggested one of the Boston tunnels, but given their current state, I have no faith that anyone entering them will ever exit them ever again.

Till next, Gary

Todays Old Book: Stokes Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer's Guide, 1829

Mr. J. Stokes Complete Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer's Guide was in print from 1829 into the early part of the 20th Century. That's saying something. Sure, Stokes borrowed some recipes from a few of the big time furniture guys of the 18th Century but then everybody was doing that jig. It's the longevity of Stokes that tells of the acceptance and importance of his book. Over the century there were a number of edits and editions, a few of which I have. The later editions focused on the recipes for finishing, dyeing along with suggestions for upholstery and decoration of rooms and furnishings but no color plates. This early edition addressed design and upholstery matters a bit more closely with these sparkling plates.

But the 1829 has eluded my grasp up until now. Heh, Heh, Heh. Being the bottom feeder that I am (see Hill Billy Handfishing for reference on bottom feeders), I've been waiting for one at the right price and in the right condition to come my way. This one has been rebound in a modern bland red binding which I can tolerate for a few moments but what matters is the innards. Good stuff. Stokes4Stokes1 Stokes2  Stokes3



See all that nice color? This was hand tinted Empire style furniture. Maybe not your cuppa tea but pretty to look at all the same. You know all the furniture you see in repro rooms that looks all dull and drab and faded? Take a gander at what it was supposed to look like back in the day. Them folks was people who liked to partay!

I can't wait to get my hands on this one. For the nonce, you can check out the Internet archive edition here

Yes, I admit it. I have a problem with books.

Till next, Gary

Publishing Secrets Revealed!

I checked in with Soupy Sales for permission and he agreed to my using his marketing scheme. Get your parents wallet, take one dollar and send it to me, courtesy The Studio and I will send to you my Proven Way To Millions (of farthings) In Publishing or, How To Grow A Groucho Marx Mustache In Three Easy Steps.

If you're too impatient to do so, or to chicken to steal from your parents or you haven't learnt how to address an envelope yet, I'll take pity on you and provide some tidbits on how to produce a nicely done pdf. Bear in mind these are my opinions, my workflows, my way of doing things and as such, may have little to do with the way you chose to do things. This Way is based on what Lightning Source asks for as well as many other print shops I've worked with. It's vital to check with your printer to find out what specs they require for the particular machinery they use.

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