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The Complete Woodworker

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Review by mafe posted 09-05-2011 08:44 AM 2391 views 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Complete Woodworker The Complete Woodworker The Complete Woodworker Click the pictures to enlarge them

The Complete Woodworker
And he was telling the truth!

Book title: The Complete Woodworker
By: Bernard E Jones
Edition: 1935 (first edition: 1917).
Bought via E-bay:
Price 35AU$ Shipping 30AU$
Highgate, South Australia, Australia

New print:
ISBN-10: 0898150221
ISBN-13: 978-0898150223

I was recommended this book from a fellow LJ David when I made my not so positive review of Schwarz Anarchist book, he wrote me this:

“The Complete Woodworker.” ‘The book is an apprentice’s instructional manual, if you will. It goes through many of the tools of the 19th century that were commonly used, tells you what they did, how to care for them (like making sure to keep your wood planes oiled with linseed oil so they won’t crack) and how to use them. There is no fluff, but it tells you things like the recommended way to stand so that you can rip cut long boards with a hand saw without tiring yourself out. The book was written when hand tools were the norm and power tools were something that only “specialized” places had. It can be a “hard read” because the writer is speaking to you as a “master to junior apprentice” relationship but it is all business – designed for those that either want to learn or not. It gave me a tremendous appreciation for the craftsmen of the time and the work they did’.

And I am not sure I need to write so much more than that!

This book is really brilliant, you will find just about all you will ever need to know about:

Using hand tools.
Hand tools.
Sharpening.
Workbenches.
Sawing.
Planing.
Using chisels.
Boring.
All kinds of joints.

Dovetailing.
Nails, screws and bolts.
Trimming and shooting, making shooting boards.
Brief instructions with all you need to know about:
Carcase making.
Table making.
Drawer making.
Doors and gates.
Basics in wooden airplane making (I’m sure you will need this).
Even plans for a workshop shed.
And much more.

About 900 diagrams and 100 wonderful photographs.

If you are into woodworking with hand tools: THIS IS A MUST HAVE BOOK.

I love it, I love the way it is written (Yes I read every word).
This book with its water damaged cover but mint pages that traveled from Australia to me in a age of 76 is going to be a favorite of mine with no doubt, it will be one of those books that I will come back to again and again and perhaps it will pass on one day to some young woodworker who discovered the joy of using hand tools and then will discover the many little secrets of it.

So yes this is a full stars book with no doubt.

Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.




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mafe

9554 posts in 1776 days



23 comments so far

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mafe

9554 posts in 1776 days


#1 posted 09-05-2011 08:46 AM

Thank you David.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Sodabowski

2039 posts in 1520 days


#2 posted 09-05-2011 09:39 AM

The spirit is still here.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

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patron

13102 posts in 2028 days


#3 posted 09-05-2011 12:47 PM

good review mads

i remember
when i was little
all the carpentry was done by hand
i loved to watch them building houses
one board at a time
everything made right there
from a pile of lumber

the part i liked then the most

is i was young
and full of dreams

now i can do it too
when i can get out of bed lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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RGtools

3302 posts in 1341 days


#4 posted 09-05-2011 03:33 PM

I love old books. Especially old woodworking books. I will have to search for this one.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7095 posts in 1990 days


#5 posted 09-05-2011 04:06 PM

it made me smile reading your thoughts on this book, ive always pretty much been a power tool wood worker that being i never was around anyone who used hand tools that much, but since ive been here and whenever i get around someone like you or the others who use and make hand tools, my heart just swells …i love the use of hand tools and there relation to wood work, if i didnt have nerve problems in my hands and arms, i would seriously pursue the use of hand tools, as it is i am getting more and more of them, and will want to try my best to learn to use them correctly and get the enjoyment that comes from that…....to me…wood working with hand tools is the art in its purest form, im not dissing power tools or there use, but if i could become a good wood worker from just the use of hand tools, i would feel like i had really accomplished something…..thanks mads…i wish i could afford the book…maybe i can find one …grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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ShopTinker

879 posts in 1455 days


#6 posted 09-05-2011 04:08 PM

Great review. I just bought a 1980 reprint on eBay, per your and David’s recommendation. I look forward to receiving it.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#7 posted 09-05-2011 04:48 PM

Thanks for the review. I picked up a copy last week based on the discussion. I think it was under $6 with free shipping from Amazon.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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grizzman

7095 posts in 1990 days


#8 posted 09-05-2011 04:52 PM

hey there mads, i just bought the book on line…book and shipping 5 dollars…....i think it was a good deal…cant wait to get it and read it cover to cover…..ive got some tool storage problems to deal with today…and a screen door to finish…lots to do…come over for dinner and we will go to the shop and you can teach me hand tool lessons…so i shall set a plate…......grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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mafe

9554 posts in 1776 days


#9 posted 09-05-2011 05:13 PM

Wayne you are killing me! Why is it I always buy books so expensive – laugh. Denmark sucks on this point (sorry Denmark).

Dan you will be exited I’m sure.

Grizzman, look at what Wayne paied… I also have a great respect for woodworking with hand tools, I’m not sure I feel it is a art, but a craft, and the more you train the better you get, the art comes from you, no matter how good you are with your hands and tools it never becomes art unless you can give it this little extra of yourself I think. I see a lot of amazing crafts standards I will never be able to live up to, but I do not see a lot of art. Both amaze me, but I only loose my head when I see people who have both qualities.
Try to look at:
Hans Jørgensen Wegner (Danish): http://www.haungaard.dk/Hans_J._Wegner.aspx?ID=161
George Nakashima he had it (Japanese): http://www.1stdibs.com/articles/spotlight/nakashima/index.php
These guys and a few more were not only exelent carpenters but also artists.

RG, yes you have to!

Thomas, ohhh yesssssssssssss.

Patron, My dear David, yes and I remember when I was in my friends grandfather and uncles cabinetmaker shop, this was like a miracle to me, to see them run pieces of lumber through the planner and then shape it with really few tools and great skills. And even watching my fathers hands as he was making his architectural drawings on thin paper with a pencil. To see these sketches that became a drawing, and then to be on site following the craftsmen transforming theses ideas into houses. I never get tired of that, but with computerdrawings, MDF and concrete elements some of the charm was lost…
So I guess we are dinos trying to still get this feeling of creation, the smell and the feel of the material.
I better stop dreaming.

Big smile guys,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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dbray45

2536 posts in 1463 days


#10 posted 09-05-2011 05:56 PM

Thought this book might be the kind of book that you were looking for. Really glad you enjoyed it

-- David in Damascus, MD

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mafe

9554 posts in 1776 days


#11 posted 09-05-2011 06:05 PM

Yes it is just wonderful !
That is a woodworking book !!!
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#12 posted 09-05-2011 07:20 PM

Mads, given the price of shipping to Denmark, duties, etc… It might be more cost effective for one of us to deliver your books to you in person. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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mafe

9554 posts in 1776 days


#13 posted 09-05-2011 07:51 PM

Laugh, yes I think you are right.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1802 days


#14 posted 09-05-2011 09:55 PM

don´t stop dreaming for even one second Mads :-)
its that where big thoughts and things come from and you have already proven that so many times to us :-)
thank´s for the rewiew :-) another to the wishlist … I just love those old shopbooks
even have the old popular mecanic … LOL

I don´t think you pay´d to much for that old one ….. I´ll bett something is missing in the newer
sorry fok´s but many times its the true

take care
Dennis

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mafe

9554 posts in 1776 days


#15 posted 09-05-2011 10:27 PM

After reading it I would have paid double so it was fair…
And I love a old copy to me this is half the joy.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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