The Anarchist’s Tool Chest


I am a huge Christopher Schwarz fan.  He usually has something interesting to say about woodworking, and I enjoy his writing quite well.  But in the end his message is to quit reading, researching, and analyzing and get in the shop and just do it, no matter whether you have the perfect tool or not.  After years of preaching that to myself, I think I still can’t hear that last message too often.  For the last few years my intent has been to read less and “do” more.

I’m a little more than half-way through Chris’s new book The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.  I like this book so well I think in the short term it’s been bad for my woodworking.  Bad because there have been a number of times the last week and a half when I could have “done” woodworking, (or blogged about it, omg) but instead I read this book.

I’m too busy reading to attempt giving a coherent review.  But I’m a fast typist so I’ll just give this little quote that I think shows a bit of how Chris makes this content that can get pretty dry, very enjoyable.  The context is how tool sharpening can be overwhelming because there are so many different sharpening products and systems available.

When you pick a sharpening system, think of it as an old-fashioned wedding. You should devote yourself to one system. Spurn all others. Try to explore the system you picked in immense detail. Take good care of your sharpening medium. Keep it clean. Keep things true. Keep everything ready to go at all times. Do these things, and the rewards will be immense.

Now I have to get back to my book.

About johnjoiner

Computer nerd by day, Dad and woodworker by night. Woodworking blog at
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