It’s been a busy week, and my son has been sick. So the late nights in the shop have been replaced with some reading before bed. I’ve been reading two books intermittently, not something I normally do, but the subject matter is the same.

The first is Handplane Essentialsby Christopher Schwarz. This recently came back into print, and it’s essentially a collection of articles Chris wrote on handplanes while at Woodworking magazine and Popular Woodworking magazine. This makes the book feel almost like a book of short stories, which is great when you don’t have much time to read. I’ve read two other books by Chris, The Anarchist’s Tool Chest, and I’m halfway through Workbenches: From Design And Theory To Construction And Use (Popular Woodworking). I really enjoy his style of writing, and as a result, I finish his books very quickly. I’d probably be done with this one if it weren’t for the other book I’m also reading….

The Handplane Bookby Garrett Hack. This book immediately makes you want to start buying up vintage planes just from the gorgeous photography, as well as advertisements and catalog imagery.

This book dives in with a more directed approach, and takes you through the history of the tool (dating back to the 4th century!), and the changes its seen over the years. I have already read a quarter of this book as it’s a very immersive story on the evolution of a tool that has shaped construction and furniture making for over 1500 years.

I look forward to reading more of these books, and once I’m done, hopefully Lost Art Press will be done with Peter Follansbee’s new book, “Make a Joint Stool from a Tree”. Ever since I saw Peter on the Woodwright’s Shop this past season, I’ve been anxiously anticipating this book.