This book, hosted on a multilingual site
was originally published in 1876 by Arthur
Hope. This 63-page book provides a nice overview of the "how to"
of manual inlay, sometimes referred to as Sorrento for the
Italian city of its origin in the 15th century. This site
also has quite a few patterns and some beautiful examples of
scroll saw work.
This link takes you to Look-Smart's "Find Articles" archive of
EAIA articles. At the time of this writing there were
490 articles about everything from American & British plane
makers, to wagon wheelwrights, edge toolmakers, and wampum
manufacturers.. They have quite a nice collection to
If you have a young woodworker in your midst, this 1892 book
by B.B. Hoffman, hosted at Google Books, is worth consulting.
The book describes the Swedish "Naas" or Sloyd System of
teaching manual arts. Aside from the preliminary
comments on theory the book contains over 80 examples of
woodworking projects for children from kindergarten level
pointing stick to complex high school level coopering and
This book on barrel and cask making by J.B. Wagner, published
in 1910 is centered on the mechanized version of cooperage as
practiced in the early 1900s. it is loaded with engravings
of specialize cooperage machines, which is interesting in
itself. For the hand tool woodworker there Mr. Wagner goes
into great detail on wood species and their optimal uses
There is also a section of Useful Information at the end.
This work published in 1883
and written by Ernest Spon, Robert Haldane, and Charles George
Warnford Lock, this book is a collection
of formulas for around-the-shop basics such as, extracts,
essences, cleaning supplies, dying, staining, paint, etc.
There is even a recipe for grain alcohol - for your
shellac of course.
Another Google Books item, this American book,
published in 1842 and written by Peter Nicholson is
subtitled "The Elements and Practice of Carpentry, Joinery,
Bricklaying, Masonry, Slating, Plastering, Painting, Smithing,
and Turning." What else can I say?.
Hosted at Cornell University, this book originally
published in 1872, by Fred Hamilton Daniels addresses furnishing
an affordable house of the day. The concept is interesting
in and of itself, but in doing so, several illustrations
are used showing furniture and their proportions to room size,
etc. A nice snapshot of Victorian attitudes toward decor.
PW Magazine is offering selected articles from their magazine
on their free website. The selection is growing and covers a
wide range of topics, such as finishing, chisel use, hand
scraper tuning, wood turning, etc. All this with a
Mackenzie's Five Thousand Receipts in all the Useful and
Originally published in 1854, this is one of those 19th
century recipe (or receipt) books with concoctions for
everything from varnish, fresco paints, various colors of ink,
to elixirs and remedies for gout and cankers. Just the
thing to have on-hand in the workshop.
Another Paul N. Hasluck book from the turn of the last
century. This one from 1907, has copious illustrations
of rustic furniture and stuff you really wanted to
make as a boy scout. Good sources of inspiration for those with a
The Book of Garden Furniture
If you like your outdoor furniture a bit more refined and less
itchy, Charles Thongers book published in 1903 captures the
elegance that existed in fine late- and post-Victorian homes,
such as the open-air breakfast house, pergola, and the
Introduction to Mechanical Principles of Carpentry
This is a venerable work in two parts by Benjamin Hale
published in 1827 concerns itself with the "Strength and
Stiffness of Timber" and "Statics Applied to Construction of
Timber". Of course you can get more up-to-date information, but
I doubt you can find a more exhaustive treatment of the subject,
outside a structural engineering textbook. (Oh yes,
"statics" deals with the equilibrium mechanics of stationary
bodies, such as beams and trusses.
Chris Pye is a master carver who obviously loves his work and
sharing his knowledge. Chris has published a dozen
ebooks on carving and sharpening, all of which are available
on his website. While you are there take a look
at his work, and sign up for his newsletter.
His Ebooks are now available in PDF format.
A classic 1891 book by Charles G Leland, revised by John
Holtzapffel, covering tools, techniques, woods, and simple
patterns. The book is broken into twenty lessons
taking you from the basics, to carving in the round. The
book is illustrated with hundreds of line drawings.
Hosted by Google Books.
Turning and Mechanical Manipulation
Originally published in 1856, by Charles Holtzapffel - yes the
same Holtzapffel as the
workbench made newly famous by
Christopher Schwarz of
Woodworking Magazine. This early book is a snapshot
of the woodworking process craft in the mid-19th Century. This
book was digitized by OpenLibary.org, a project of the
Use the link above to begin your search on LookSmart for
articles from The Chronicle, of the Early American
Industries Association. Over 500 articles and entries are
During the summer of 2006 I attended the exhibit,
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist
For the Ages, at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Since I dabble in stained glass - dare I say art glass - as
well as wood, I thought that
the show might provide insight as well as inspiration.
What I didn't expect to find was a primitive, painted, Arts &
Crafts breakfast table and chair in among all the gilded
finery. The odd thing is that
the breakfast suite was designed and built by furniture makers
J. Matthew Meier and Ernest Hagen for use in the
Tiffany Mansion, a seven-story Romanesque edifice
at the corner of Madison Ave & 72nd Street in NYC.
The table on display at the DMA had a single pedestal, while
the photo above/right is a sister table with two pedestals - I
could not find a photo of the single. The table is an
exceeding simple and unadorned, designed much like a
draftsman's table or even a sawhorse with an attached
board-top. It is openly gusseted and attached to the
"sawhorse" support by what look like hand screws (see photo
referenced in article or
here).. The main link in the heading of his
section takes you to a page at the
Chipstone Foundation where Milo M. Naeve describes
the furniture and its history history in detail - if your
browser displays their page in teeny-tiny type like mine you
may want to actually read it
This is a great site with a smattering of information on a
wide range of tool topics. The museum has preserved a random
assortment of great information onsite, through links, and less
useful for us west of the Mississippi, on paper.
There are several articles about early tools, tool use,
tool-making techniques, metallurgy, phenomenology, chemical
issues, etc. dating from the Bronze age through the 19th
century. There are lists containing information on
Sheffield manufactories, Forges located in Massachusetts Bay in
1778, and a Survey of Ironworks of Southeastern New England
1645—1840. They also have old catalog page reproductions and a
few excerpts from Moxton, There is even a “Tool Exam”
with answers (Exam
This website hosted by Ralph Bagnall, a professional
woodworker, has a great collections of
published articles written by Mr. Bagnall on subjects
such as built-up moulding, miter-less picture frames, a
traveling game table, and a shop-built fluting jig.
you will also find a collection of
useful tips and images of some of his furniture and
This book by Wallace Nutting, originally published in 1921, is
considered a seminal work regarding the breadth of American
furniture produced during this 100-year period. Mr. Nutting, an
accomplished author, lecturer, and furniture maker, personally took the vast
majority of the over 1,000 furniture photographs.
Preserving Arts & Skills of Trades (PAST) Articles
A collection by Ken Greenburg of articles appearing in PAST's
"Tool Talk" newsletter.. Most articles deal with a variety
of subjects from how to work ivory to a two-part series on
mechanical pencil sharpeners.