Full Chisel Blog

February 8, 2011

Three Years On

Filed under: Finishing,Historical Material,Of Interest,Publications,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 8:49 am

My web site has been up since 1999 and I started this blog Feb 8, 2008.  Just saying.  It also happens to correspond with me finishing my next book on Traditional 19th Century Woodworking Finishes.  It is tentatively titled ‘Shellac, Linseed Oil & Paint’, what do you think?  As for the book cover, I still don’t know.  A friend suggested making it look like an old book then having paint splatters and drops of dry varnish and shellac all over the cover.  What are your thoughts?



  1. Your friend has a good idea. I suggest you go one step farther and show a picture of your lovable face and eyeglasses splattered with paint and drops of shellac.

    Comment by Joe Cottonwood — February 8, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

  2. Sounds like a great book! I am really only interested in traditional finishes, and there is no other book out there like this, so it will be a must-buy for me. One quick question though-what about varnish? You might be interested in this link: http://www.instrumentmaking.keithhillharpsichords.com/hillviolinvarnish.html. This man is a friend of mine, and this link is his recipe and process for making violin varnish. He bases it on various parameters that the best instrument makers used when making varnish. Hope you enjoy

    Comment by Matt — February 8, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  3. For the cover I’d suggest a variety of examples of wood finished by the methods in the title.

    Simple, elegant and easy to put together.

    Regardless of what you use, I’m excited to read the book!! I’m working my way through the Hide Glue book now.

    Comment by Badger — February 8, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

  4. Title: Shellac, Linseed Oil & Paint
    Subtitle: Traditional 19th Century Woodworking Finishes

    cover: take an existing early book, photoshop in your title on the spine, place the book on it’s back, spine showing, place a particularly grungy, well used old glass jar half full of oil or paint, or a pottery jar with paint down the side, with a brush in it on the book, as if just placed there.

    Not that I’m trying to be overly obsessive or something.

    Comment by Gary Roberts — February 8, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  5. I have commented here before about “standing out on the shelf”. I thought about that comment this past weekend as I stood in front of Lee Valley’s book display. It came to mind when I realized that not one book cover stood out to me. They were all of two schools; either no image, just simple text for the title making them look like all the others that had simple text for the title, or they showed the usual tool image that, when surrounded by a bunch of other books with tool images, looked all the same.

    The contents of your books are different, interesting and informative. Why not make the cover equal to the contents?

    Your buddy’s idea fits that to a tee.


    Comment by Mitchell — February 10, 2011 @ 8:50 am

  6. Joe,
    I am putting my face on the back page of the book, not paint splatters however.

    Welcome and thanks for the link. Harpsicord is on my long list of things to make.

    Where are you stuck in the Hide Glue book?

    Alas, I do not have photoshop and even my printer is out of ink. I am slowly working on the cover but could use some help. I like your idea sort of Escher, might incorporate that.

    Yeah, I really like his idea and am moving slowly forward.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — February 11, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  7. I like the way your friend thinks. That would make for a very neat cover, hope you go with it. Please post a photo of the cover, when your book, hits the street.

    Comment by Al Ondic — February 11, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

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