|Review by Gary Roberts||posted 821 days ago||1704 views||2 times favorited||9 comments|
Kerry Pierce is a widely published author (19 books and 200 articles) on the subject of woodworking as well as a practicing cabinet/furniture maker, hand tool expert and all around good guy. A while ago he contacted me regarding the use of some images from my website to be used in a book he was working on, the subject of which was to be the use of hand tools in the modern woodworking shop. I’m always please to offer assistance in instances such as this so we engaged in some pleasant conversation over what would be of use and what bearing the images have on craft.
Published in late 2010, Hand Planes In The Modern Shop exceeded my expectations. The nitty gritty:
Hand Planes In The Modern Shop
copyright 2010: Schiffer Publishing
8.5×11; 192 pages, full color photos, hand drawn illustrations, gloss paper
ISBN: 978-0-7643-3558-7, List price: $39.99 ($30.39 from Amazon).
Putting aside my minor contribution of some images, I have to say this is my favorite book to date on hand planes. That’s saying something as I’ve been reading about them for nearly 35 years. First off, here is the chapter listing:
A brief history of planemaking
Restoring antique planes responsibly
Trouble-shooting your planes
Kerry is not one to dwell on myths, of which there certainly many when we talk about hand planes. He does not push any particular brand, new or old. His discussions are clear-headed reviews of what he finds to be advantageous or less than acceptable about all types of hand planes. The subject is how to make use of both the common bench planes up through the complex or esoteric planes one might find use for in a given project.
Even more so, Kerry is not a hand plane fanatic. For him, they are tools to accomplish a task, which task is to make furniture to support his family.
The book is fully illustrated with both color photos as well as Kerry’s personal artwork, which is excellent. For each type of plane he reviews a bit of history and recommends uses, how to clean, adjust, correct problems and finally put to use the tool. I particularly enjoyed his forthright writing style, in which he clearly states these are his opinions and not the last word. If he likes something, he says so and explains why. If he doesn’t like something, you will learn the details needed to make your own decision.
There is included an illustrated gallery of planes, modern & old, wood & metal, which alone is worth the price of admission.
Not just for experienced woodworker, Hand Tools In The Modern Shop is a must read for any woodworker. You don’t have to be a hand tool type, just someone who likes to work wood and would like to learn more about some of the tools involved in the craft.
Often, when I read a modern book on this subject, I find myself grumbling over historic inaccuracies, usage myths perpetuated, brands pushed for the sake of advertising or simple outright mistakes. Not in this book. If Kerry says something is his take on it, you know it’s just that and the subject is open to further research or interpretation. That’s a rare find in a book.
Buy it and enjoy it
-- Gary Roberts, http://toolemera.com