I'm new to woodworking and as some of you may remember from my earlier
post about my first completed project (the cedar coffee table) I'm living
in a handtool only world.
With that in mind I'm looking for book recommendations anyone has for
someone looking to learn how to do many common woodworking tasks with
handtools. I'm thinking of things like basic joinery, chisel work,
planing, sanding, squaring stock and making straight, smooth cuts with
different types of handsaws. Bonus points for anything that
contains info on stock selection, finishing and tool maintenance as well.
Ideally I'd like a book (or books) that takes a learn by doing approach,
preferably with lessons that lead to the creation of interesting or useful
I know I could find a big list of woodworking books on Amazon but it's
hard to pick the wheat from the chaff when you're a novice, so I figured I
ask here first to see if any the other handtool users have any choice
reading material that they could recommend. I'm to other instructional
materials as well, tapes, DVD's etc... Hell if you can think of anything
that should be required reading for any woodworkers I'm open to any advice
you have to give!
Books and writing styles can be such a subjective thing, it's really
hard to recommend (at least for me) such books.
My suggestion to you would be to hit the library either in your hometown
or a larger nearby town or city. Look and see what they have on the
shelves, check a few out (literally)and take them home to check out
When you find one you like, buy it and keep it on your reference shelf.
One of the first books I bought probably 30+ years ago - after checking
it out from the library - was "Cabinetmaking and Millwork" by John
Feirer. It's still available and can be had as a used hardcover for as
little as $2.95, new for around $35 in the more recent edition.
Did a quick Google search and found, as one example:
Many of the Fine Woodworking books (Taunton Press) offer excellent
insight into hand tool craftsmanship. In particular, look for Tage
Frid's 3 volume series. Instructional, these books are classics.
Again, hit the library before you buy. Don't overlook inter-library
loan for these books if you're in a smaller library, they can and will
get you books from all over the country.
On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 20:02:34 -0500, Funky Space Cowboy wrote:
The Practical Woodworker edited By Bernard E. Jones.
This book covers 19th and 20th century methods and tools. Photos
of workmen with vests and ties, oh my! Of course the book has nothing on
Japanese saws or water stones, and glues have come a long way since its
publication. For basic hand tool operations, this is a fine book.
There is a companion volume, The Complete Woodworker, which expands on the
joinery examples of the first volume.
Others may suggest Tage Frid's books. While they are indeed excellent
books, they do contain a fair amount of power tool information. From your
criteria, I'd suggest leaving them till later.
"Keep your ass behind you"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
I'd recommend Aldren Watson's _Handtools: Their Ways and Workings_.
It's got good pictures and covers a wide range of tools with basic
instructions on their use.
Check it out on Amazon, as the listing has one of those "search
inside" features so you can look at the table of contents and index to
see if it appeals to you.
If your in Texas, check the following site. They offer basic courses that
will jump start your effort, for not much cost. If in another state, look
for similar programs.
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