I’m so very close to completing the copy edit on the forthcoming Lost Art Press book, “The Woodworker: The Charles Hayward Years.” I then have to traipse over to Kentucky to update the files, then there’s another edit round from Christopher Schwarz, more changes, a few design tweaks no doubt, another edit?…in other words, while Chris and his business partner, John Hoffman, are fighting to publish before the end of the year, they’ve the luxury (and good sense) of waiting until it’s unquestionably ready for prime time.
And I’ll admit, were Chris not busy teaching in England right now, I’d probably be a disappointment; I’m now two days behind my promised deadline of mid-July (which to me means July 15). In my defense, I’d not seen the volumes of work when I agreed to said deadline. That, however, is not the real problem. I am the problem.
In addition to copy editing the tome, I’m reading it (those may sound like the same things; they are not). Sure, I already know a lot of this stuff, but it’s fascinating to read about it from another point of view, and to see how Hayward did things differently than I’ve been taught. And there is, of course, a lot of stuff I don’t know, so I’m learning (which takes a great deal longer than editing and reading). I didn’t know, for example, that a bullnose plane was so essential to woodworking success (though actually, I’m not wholly convinced about that one). And I have never been told to heat the parts of a joint before applying Scotch glue (a.k.a. hot hide glue).
The above is also indicative of another thing that has me distracted…remaining faithful to the original language, spelling and punctuation (much of which is at odds with my usual lexicon). Although I’ve now read almost 800 pages, my red pen still hovers over every “mortice,” “vice,” “realise,” “straightways” and “to-day” … it’s awfully difficult to tamp down my atavistic need to bleed “mortise,” “vise,” “realize,” “straight away” (or better yet, “now”) and “today” onto the page. And the semi-colon and comma usage is decidedly different than what I was taught. But so what. What on page 2 was annoying is on page 762 charming.
But there are two words that keep tickling my fancy (other than “whilst,” which I often employ): “practicable” and “lugs” – they are so much more fun to say than “practical” and “ears.” And I find it trés drôle that “french” (as in French polished) is never capitalized, but “Scotch,” as in the glue, is. Sometimes.
“Cramps,” however, are to me something entirely different – and “cramp shoes?” Slippers, worn while eating ice cream and downing a stiff drink.
OK – back to it. I have to have this finished before Chris is back from showing folks how to centre grooves, trim mitres and cut rebates.