With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture
By Donald C. Williams, Michele Pietryka-Pagán & Philippe Lafargue
Representing a decade of work by an international team, this book is the first English translation of the 18th-century masterpiece: “l’art du Menuisier” by André-Jacob Roubo. This, our second volume, covers Roubo’s writing on woodworking tools, the workshop, joinery and building furniture.
In addition to the translated text and images from the original, “With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture” also includes five contemporary essays on Roubo’s writing by craftsmen Christopher Schwarz, Don Williams, Michael Mascelli, Philippe Lafargue and Jonathan Thornton.
You can download the complete table of contents here.
“Roubo on Furniture” is filled with insights into working wood and building furniture that are difficult or impossible to find in both old and modern woodworking books. Unlike many woodworking writers of the 18th century Roubo was a traditionally trained and practicing joiner. He interviewed fellow craftsmen from other trades to gain a deep and nuanced view of their practices. He learned to draw, so almost all of the illustrations in this book came from his hand.
The above facts are important because many early woodworking books are filled with information that is not quite right and drawings that were made by non-woodworkers. Not so with Roubo.
No matter what sort of woodworking you do or your skill level, we think “Roubo on Furniture” will expand greatly your knowledge of how fine furniture was (and still should be) built.
Like all Lost Art Press books, “Roubo on Furniture” is made entirely in the United States with quality binding and materials. All of the acid-free pages are sewn together and then bonded with a fiber tape so the book will not fall apart. The cover is a heavy and stiff board covered with cotton cloth. The book is 8.5” x 12” (the same width and height as “Roubo on Marquetry”) and is 472 pages (almost 2" thick).
About the Author
Don Williams says his love of learning was probably fostered by the fact that his father was going through seminary when he was a child. Don grew up in a household without television. Instead, his family listened to classical music and read.
“But much to my parents’ dismay, I veered off into jazz as my primary interest, so they were pretty much convinced in my teenage years that they had picked up the wrong kid in the hospital,” he says.
Don maintains a love of jazz.
Jazz can loosely be defined as a combination of polyphony, syncopation and improvisation — simultaneous but independent melodic lines playing at the same time with unexpected and off-beat rhythms achieved extemporaneously. For Williams, jazz is not only what he listens to, still to this day, but serves as an outline for how he lives his life.
A self-proclaimed conservator, educator, scholar and all-around inquisitive guy, Don was a curious child who delved deep into varying topics – some unexpected – and from a young age, found connections.
Read more about Don Williams in this full profile.