Review of “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Chris Schwarz

Been a while now, since I finished reading “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”. At first, I figured this was just a book on building a tool chest, so I was not especially interested in buying. But, the more I read about this book, the more I realized it covered much more than just building a tool chest.

To me, the heart of this book is the hand tools, that go into the tool chest. Chris goes over the various hand tools, to put in your tool chest. Regarding the various hand tools, Chris goes over what to look for and what to avoid.

Have ever wondered, who is Chris, what’s his background, and what qualifies him to write concerning woodworking and woodworking tools. If so, than this book will answer those questions for you. It did for me anyway. Must say, I found it interesting, reading about Chris’s background. But, I guess I am nosy, in that respect.

Found it interesting, to get a small glimpse of what it was like, working for Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Chris’s thoughts and logic, on what power tools to rid yourself of and which to keep was a good read. For the record, I have no intention of selling any of my power tools. But, I did go out to my shop and discard a broken desk lamp fixture. I kept telling myself, I was going to fix that desk lamp fixture. Hey, it’s a start.

Chapter 1 starts on page 13. And chapter 20, the last Chapter ends on page 460. The Appendices consist of: Appendix “A” on “Tools:1678-1973″ and Appendix “B” tilted “Sources”.

Appendix “A” titled “Tools:1678-1973″, is four pages in length. This appendix lists hand tools in a matrix type format. Hand tools are listed down the left side of each page. The names of five woodworking sources, individuals, is listed at the top of each page. The matrix then indicates by use of a “Y”, which woodworking source/s made mention of the hand tools listed on each page.

Appendix “B” titled “Sources”, is an approximately 4-1/2 pages listing of Tool-Collecting Organizations, and Tool Dealers. The bulk of this appendix listing is of Tool Dealers. There’s a brief write up for each listing, in Appendix “B”.

To give you an idea of the topics covered, the titles of the 20 Chapters in this book are as follows:

  1. Lastmakers
  2. The Tool List
  3. Don’t Think of a White Bear
  4. That’s not a Knife
  5. Essential Planes
  6. Marking & Measuring Tools
  7. Essential Edge Tools
  8. Striking & Fastening Tools
  9. Essential Saws
  10. Essential Sharpening Kit
  11. Essential Appliances
  12. Good-To-Have_tools
  13. A Tale of Three Tables
  14. Basic Chest Construction
  15. Dovetail the Shell
  16. Skirts
  17. Lid & Hinges
  18. Saw Tills & Plane Storage
  19. Tills, Hardware, Paint
  20. After the War

Final Thoughts
This book was a good read. As a matter of fact, I am currently on my 2nd read of it. Sometimes you get a book that you really enjoy reading, and rereading. For me, this is one of those books. I have underlined and tagged the chapters, to the nth degree.

Almost forgot the most important part, where to purchase this book. Since Chris has his own Website, Lost Art Press, that’s where I went to get my copy. Here’s the link — The Anarchist’s Tool Chest


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Until Next Time, Take Care