A Lost Art Press Publication. Download an excerpt from this book here.
This is a woodworking book of a quality apart. Traditionally made with a hardback cover and a stitched spine, designed to last many generations.
Hardbound, with a green cotton cover.
A little knowledge about trees goes a long way toward improving your woodworking.
You don’t need a degree in dendrology to build a desk, but you do need intimate knowledge of how our raw material grows and – more importantly – how it responds to its environment after it has been cut and dried.
This knowledge allows you to tame the wood into the shapes that you have envisioned in your head. And it ensures that your furniture will endure the seasons and age with grace and aplomb.
It is, above all, succinct, easy to understand and perfectly suited for the furniture-maker.
As important as what is in its 144 pages is what is not. It’s not a detailed analysis of cell growth. It is not a heap of tables and equations for figuring truss loads in residential construction.
It is decidedly not, a scientist’s approach to the material.
Instead, “With the Grain” contains the facts you need to know at the timber store and in the workshop.
It gives you enough science so you understand how trees grow. It explains the handful of formulas you have to know as a furniture maker. And it gives you a hearty dose of specific information about North American species that will inspire you.
You’ll learn to identify the trees around you from their silhouette, leaves and shoots, and you’ll learn about how these species work in the workshop – both their advantages and pitfalls.
Author, Becksvoort then takes you into a detailed discussion of how wood reacts to it environment – the heart of the book. You’ll learn how to calculate and accommodate wood movement with confidence and precision. You’ll learn how to design furniture assemblies – casework, drawers, doors and moulding – so they will move with the seasons without cracking.
There’s also a chapter on how to manage a small forest or copse of trees – how to care for them, encourage them to thrive and harvest them. You’ll learn the basics of cutting, stacking and drying the wood, if you should ever have the privilege of harvesting your own timber.