Best resource for "old" woodworking info?

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Forum topic by JessieinMO posted 10-05-2011 06:36 AM 1440 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2454 days

10-05-2011 06:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: old ways old woodworking mentoring master craftman

I would like to know if anyone else has info on “old” woodworking info. I really enjoy 17th, 18thand 19th century furniture as well as the craftsmanship involved in building homes and such from that time frame. Some of the European examples of this are phenomenal. What I am looking for is more info on this type of woodworking. Back then you apprenticed and learned everything over a lifetime. Now it is hard to locate anyone who is heavily involved in this type of work. Are there any books, dvd’s, or other info available? I have modern tools as well but I so much prefer to leave the power tools out of the equation. Thanks for your input.

9 replies so far

View JessieinMO's profile


14 posts in 2454 days

#1 posted 10-05-2011 08:13 AM

Thank you. I happen to have that one already. Any other suggestions? Especially the European master craftsmen of old. Somebody should travel to all of the museums out there, take pictures along with dimensions and such. Many of the old treasures will be lost and most do not know how to make them any longer.

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2530 days

#2 posted 10-05-2011 10:31 AM

Have a look at the books section of this website. Otherwise try Google books. the Gutenberg Project or one of the other free book web sites. Often the books that are free are so because their royalty period has expired which means that they are old.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3824 days

#3 posted 10-05-2011 12:41 PM

You may always want to check out Lost Art Press. They have reprinted a couple of old titles. In particular, I liked The Joiner and the Cabinetmaker.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3143 days

#4 posted 10-05-2011 01:21 PM

the chest of books site
and check out rivergirls blog about book links
there is a nummerous exstra links from other members too

welcome to L J enjoy and have fun :-)


View JessieinMO's profile


14 posts in 2454 days

#5 posted 10-05-2011 01:46 PM

Thank you all, I will check those out. Thanks for the warm welcome also.

View helluvawreck's profile


31407 posts in 2894 days

#6 posted 10-05-2011 03:36 PM

I buy good books about woodworking all the time and I have also bought a lot of used books on Ebay. I’ve seen some good books here among other places.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#7 posted 10-05-2011 03:46 PM

Get this book:

Fine Woodworking had some really cool articles in the 1970s and 1980s on this
sort of stuff.

Check out Eugene Landon’s stuff. The guy is a master.

Check out Roy Underhill’s stuff too. Get the Thomas Chippendale drawing book and figure
out how to make the stuff in your mind. The old Queen Anne and previous styles
were basically pre-industrial and made with efficiency in mind too. The designs
are, in their way, optimized for fast production in the shops of the time.

View bigjohno's profile


16 posts in 2642 days

#8 posted 10-05-2011 09:32 PM

If you can find copies of OLD ENGLISH FURNITURE FOR THE SMALL COLLECTOR by J.P. BLAKE & A.E REVEIRS- HOPKINS and DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IN WOOD by WILLIAM NOYES you will gain a lot satisfaction and a real step back in time. I use them just to stop getting ahead of myself. Good luck and enjoy your workshop.

-- measure twice cut once!!!!!!! whoops

View tr33surg3on's profile


21 posts in 2452 days

#9 posted 10-11-2011 10:19 PM

I’ll second Google Books. For example Modern Practical Joinery by George Ellis (1908) The diagrams are very good and it’s public domain/free.

The title page describes it as: A treatise on the practice of joiner’s work by hand and machine for the use of workmen architects, builders and machinists containing a full description of tools and their uses, workshop practice, all kinds of house joinery, bank office, church, museum and shop fittings, etc. etc.

-- Tim -- Tools to make tools to's tools all the way down.

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