I already reported this news on The Windsor Institute Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thewindsorinstitute. For those of you who do not use Facebook, or have not yet liked the page, this is the secret I promised to reveal two posts ago. I have completed the manuscript for a new and updated edition of Restoring, Tuning, and Using Classic Woodworking Tools. I expect it will be available sometime in 2014. I’ll give you the publication date as soon as I receive it.
Like Make a Windsor Chair, the new tool book is being published by F&W Media, Popular Woodworking’s parent. I am hopeful I can talk the editor into a new title. I never liked Restoring, Tuning, and Using…, but I didn’t have any choice in the decision.
Restoring has an interesting history. Its progenitor was my second book, Antique Woodworking Tools, published in 1977 when I was just 30 years old. Like my first book, Windsor Chairmaking, the second was published by Hastings House, a venerable name in the book business. It was venerable, but not invulnerable and soon went belly up. The company took with it several years of my work. Writing is not a way to get rich, but what amount I could expect to earn from my two books was gone.
In 1981 I signed a contract with Taunton to write three books: one would become a Make a Windsor Chair; the second Federal Furniture; the third was to be an untitled antique tool book geared for woodworkers rather than collectors. Taunton eventually passed on the tool book and Sterling snapped up the idea and published the book in 1987.
That’s how Restoring came into being. The book did well for me. It was in print for nearly 20 years and developed a good reputation. As the internet developed and interest groups began to communicate on-line, I was surprised to learn that the old tool enthusiasts called it “the bible”. Reading it again for the first time since I published it, I too am amazed at the depth of information.
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I have started an Amazon.com author’s page. This way, every book I have written will be located in one place: amazon.com/author/mikedunbar. By the end of this year I will have 9 non-fiction books and eight novels on that page. If you go there, click on Antique Woodworking Tools and gasp at the prices being asked for it. Just think, until Hastings House went bankrupt I got about 70 cents in royalties per copy sold.
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