A definitive source on how to use handtools

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Blog entry by marcb posted 01-16-2009 06:30 PM 768 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A while back while scrounging around in Chicago used book stores I found a couple of OLD books on woodworking. I had always wanted to really see how people learned how to use hand tools back when that was the only option so I picked them up.

They where not in great condition, so I was a little scared to actually read them. They ended up on the bookshelf in a protective shield and sat there looking cool.

I finally came up with the idea of scanning them and getting a professional printing done. Best of both worlds. I’ll be able to read them and have the originals in good condition.

I received the fist copy of one of the 2 books Wednesday and showed it off at the meeting of woodworkers. I ended up selling that copy to a member, so now I have to order another one.

That being said, he stated I should use the tools available to me to offer them for sale to others who might want to benefit from the fruits of my labor.

Before you freak out these books are not under copyright and this is completely legal.

I spent a TON of time cleaning up the scans, making them look clean and readable while not ruining the old time feel of the original printing process.

One book is shorter, but packed with really decent information including a list of tools needed to run a large classroom (scale back if you ever wondered what you needed to have a “complete” hand tool shop), the other walks you through how to use the tools to do several basic box projects from nailed to dovetailed.

If you are interested you can find them both here:

The books are Tool Processes In Woodworking by A. P. Laughlin and this was published in 1919 in Peoria, IL and the second book is First Lessons In Wood-Working by Alfred Compton and was published in 1888 out of New York and Chicago.


2 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 3216 days

#1 posted 01-16-2009 11:34 PM

cool.. thanks for the info

-- making sawdust....

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3090 days

#2 posted 01-17-2009 12:09 AM

I would like to coordinate a sale for Lumberjocks members.

The shipping costs from Lulu are a bit high for individual books, but if I do a bulk buy and do the shipping to individuals myself that could save money for a lot of people. Get it under the list price on the books.

Might take a few extra days this way, but I pass the savings onto you.

For anyone who contacts me via LumberJocks:
Tool Processes In Woodworking – $12 shipped
First Lessons In Wood-Working – $16.5 shipped

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