Tools for Working Wood

 Joel's Blog at Tools for Working Wood

English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 4 - Chisel handles  

04/15/2014

Click here for the start of this series. Up until the middle of the nineteenth century brass pipe was hard to make so ferrules, the brass ring at the base of most tools weren't used. Tool handles as a result had to be fairly thick so if you tried to lever the tool, the handle wouldn't split. Also the tool needed a wide bolster so that the force of the chisel would not drive into the handle and split it, and also keep the handle from splitting when levering. The oval handles of a mortise chisels not only give a certain direction to the user, more importantly they give a long more handle thickness and bolster thickness in the dimension where all the levering happens. A round handle of adequate size is just too big all round to be comfortable.

By the 1840's or 50's continuous brass and copper pipe became commercially available, and ferrules, really just a section of pipe added to the handle to keep it from splitting, became common. Every style of chisel, except for mortise chisels adapted to ferrules, and the handles got smaller, the bolsters got tiny, and since there was no danger of splitting a handle, fitting a handle became considerably easier. Round handles made by power lathes became the norm, and buying handled tools became common.
Except for mortise chisels. You still needed the big handle for leverage, but fitting an oval ferrule to handle is really hard. So the design remained the same. The only exception was that handle makers invented machines that could make oval handles, the problem was that they didn't always fit their bolsters.
Up until about 1880 or so, The handles on professionally fitted mortise chisels were fitted flush with the bolster, this gives you the smallest, most comfortable handle for the size of chisel. After that makers started just using stock handles that were oversize and leaving it at that. It's not as nice but a lot less expensive. Ray Iles, who has a machine set up for making oval handles, makes them oversize as was done, and then sands them to fit flush. This gives us the best possible handle but this type of sanding operation wasn't really available back in the late 19th century.
In the picture, starting from the bottom, we first have two typical early 19th century mortise chisels. The one at the bottom having a thin leather washer to take up the gap between bolster and handle, the second one being flush fit. Either handle could be original, user installed, or a replacement. I can't tell you for certain, other than the second one is flush fitted and is of Beech so it might be original. The third chisel from the bottom is the later style - with a stock, over-sized machine made handle that is too big for the bolster. This particular chisel has British Army markings so it must date from the First World War.
The final chisel at the top is current production by Ray Iles. The handle is flush fitted of beech and also have the thinnest most elegant bolster of the lot. Ray's design of course was a purposeful throwback to the best of the early 19th century so while it belongs to the same tradition it reflects a conscious effort to avoid any dumbing down of the style.

According to "The Joiner and Cabinetmakers" (pages 107 and 108) when end users would keep a stock of scraps for the fitting handles. Beech, a common secondary wood was very popular but ash is also pretty common.

Most tools before the introduction of the ferrule were sold unhandled. Once tools were typically sold handled the selection of wood became more regular. In England beech was the overwhelming favorite. It was cheap, compressed easily, and while prone to checks, once installed on a tool it didn't split. Ash was also used, but not as frequently.

In the United States hickory was the favorite, and ash a close second. In Europe hornbeam is far and away the most common choice. Hornbeam is harder than either beech or hickory and less easy to compress, but it still works excellently. In Japan, red and white oak are the most common choices.

The reason these woods were all so popular is because handles were installed by just banging them on and to have them stay on via a compression fit, you needed a wood that would compress without cracking. Beech and hickory and the other favorites do this to a tee.

For tools that were not stuck, such as paring chisels, or tools meant mostly for show, expensive decorative woods were used. Boxwood, rosewood, Ebony, and ivory were the preferred choices, although boxwood, rosewood, and occasionally ebony were actually used on tools meant to be used. In general you don't find much ebony or ivory on edge tools, except those meant for show. These materials do not compress and fitting them is a far trickier job. Ray Iles told me that in the old days when installing boxwood handles on paring chisels the cutler would keep a little ladle of molten rosin to pour in the hole for the tang. I suppose these days any modern epoxy would work fine.

According to Toshio Odate handles should be left unfinished so that they surface will absorb sweat and stain so that your hands will not transfer the discoloration to your work. Unfinished wood is also a lot more grippy than finished wood and the handles will work better. That being said I don't know of any manufacturer who doesn't finish their handles with something. Shellac and lacquer being the most popular choices. Ray Iles uses linseed oil on all his handles so that he can maintain a grippy surface. Manufactures do this because when you sell new edge tools the one thing you don't want the handles to do is absorb sweat and look dirty from casual handling in a store.

The most important thing is that the wood must be DRY. Otherwise as it dries it will shrink away from the tang and no amount of initial compression force or epoxy will keep it on the tool.

Another point to understand is that the handles are held on the tang by compression. it's exactly like driving a nail into end grain, only bigger. Like a nail or a Japanese plane iron what holds the tang in the wood is pressure from the compression, and just as, if not more important, the fibers of the wood getting bent back and resisting the tang being pulled out. In theory at least one would might strive for a hole for the tang that is just a tad smaller than the tang is and fits it like a glove. In reality that's impossible to do and doesn't matter anyway. The compression forces are so high that as long as there is reasonable engagement we will be able to stick a tang in the handle and even before it's driven completely home - it will be impossible to remove.

In Part 5 we will demonstrate how a to handle a mortise chisel or in fact any tool with a tang.

PS - if you are a member of TATHS you will have just gotten their yearly journal which has two killer articles, one on "The English Handsaw Before the Industrial Revolution" and "The Sheffield Saw Industry". If you aren't a member you can learn more and join here.
Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects
Comments: 2

English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 3 - The Body of The Tool  

04/10/2014

Click here for the start of this series. The mortise chisel illustrated in Moxon's 1678 "Mechanicks Exercises" (c5) was in all probability made by a London smith who specialized in tools, but otherwise had a blacksmith shop pretty much the same as any other blacksmith. A waterwheel to power a trip hammer and bellows would be a wonderful thing, but at that time it wasn't obvious that he would have one. The tool would have been forged from wrought iron and a tiny piece of blister steel would have been welded onto the top for the cutting edge. At this time it would have been cost prohibitive to put a section of brass pipe around the base of the tool (continuous brass pipe wasn't available on the market yet), a ferrule as they would be called later, to keep the handle from splitting when you put a lot of lateral force on the tool. The solution to all of this for mortise chisels, and in fact all the chisels of the time as seen in the engraving, were wide, thick handles that would bear down and spread the force of the blow on a wide flange called a "bolster" that was placed below the tang.

While the engraving in Moxon isn't to scale, we can see the basic shape of a 19th century mortise chisel start to emerge and both the bolster and handle of the mortise, along with all the other chisels illustrated are faceted. Octagonal bolsters and handles were pretty common on all types early 19th century chisels but as the century wore down round or oval handles - which are easier to make, became more usual, and the bolsters on mortise chisels become oval.

Three very important events happen in the century after Moxon. An industrial revolution massively lowered the price and availability of iron and steel, and by 1800 very high quality crucible steel (invented in 1740) was inexpensive enough to use on things other than watch springs and razors. "Cast Steel" was the trade name that was stamped on tools when they were made of crucible steel or other high carbon steels that were melted to absorb carbon, not beaten like blister steel. The second thing that happened was a network of canals sprang up all over England so it was possible for a manufacturer in for example Sheffield to find a ready market for goods in London and other commercial centers. Like today, a well capitalized business, with modern machinery, a ready source of power (water then steam), and easy distribution could decimate local smaller manufacturers. The Sheffield makers did just that. The lovely set of mortise chisels (along with all the chisels) in the 1797 Seaton chest were bought from a high end London merchant but were made by Phillip Law, a large Sheffield edge tool maker.

Law's operation would have employed dozens of men, almost all on piecework, each specializing on one operation or another. Individual craftsmen would essentially rent from Law the use of a trip hammer, forge, or grinding wheel, for the purpose of manufacture. They would probably buy their materials from Law, and then sell back the finished goods, advanced to the next stage of operation.
Blacksmiths using trip hammers would first take a blank of wrought iron and draw out a tapered tang. Then the other side of the tool would be shaped, and a steel blank for the cutting edge welded in. The bolsters on Mortise chisels are too big to easily forge in and on most of the ones Ray Iles has examined the bolster is shrunk on. This is done by punching out a ring of iron, then heating it way hot. Then you pop it on the cold tang. As it cools it shrinks down and grabs the tang, never to let go. Then you can do any final forging. Finally the grinders, using big four foot wheels, clean up all the surfaces, make sure everything is tapered correctly and then you are done.

All that's needed is a handle.

The catalog illustration in the middle of this entry is from the 1845 Timmins & Sons' tools pattern book (reprinted by Phillip Walker 1994). (The curvature in the picture is because of my bad photography.) The bolster of the common mortise chisel is thin and while not octagonal is also not perfectly oval either. It's more like the rounded rectangular bolsters I have seen. The best mortise chisel has an oval bolster that is thick and chunky by comparision.

Click here for Part 1 and the introduction to this series.
Click here for Part 2 - What the Catalogs Tell Us.
In the part four we will look at handle styles and materials, and finally in part five we will handle a mortise chisel.
Tags:Historical Subjects
Comments: 1

English Mortise Chisels -Part 2 - Mid-18th Century to Now - What the Catalogs Tell Us  

04/08/2014

Click here for Part 1 and the introduction to this series.
Mortise chisels as a special named category of chisels date from at least the mid-17th century. Moxon's "Mechanick Exercises" has both a drawing and instructions for chopping a mortise using them. However, most of the specific information that we have on mortise chisels (actually on most tools) comes from old tool catalogs. The earliest tool catalog with illustrations is "Smith's Key" from 1816. Engravings of tools at the time were very expensive and "The Key" is a generic list of illustrations that any manufacturer or distributor could pair with a price list to show the customer what they were getting. This worked because while there were differences in minor details of quality and fit and finish, by and large all the tools of a type from Sheffield were basically of the same design. For example in this photo, these two very late 18th century or early 19th mortise chisels by Joseph Mitchell and Phillip Law, both Sheffield edge tool makers, are essentially the same and in theory could even have been actually made for each company by the same actual craftsman. The modern reprint of "Smith's Key" is bound in with a rare, actually unique price list listing the tools in the key and their prices from James Cam, another Sheffield manufacturer. The best guess anyone has is that the price list dates from at least five to as much as twenty five years after the list was originally printed. This gives you a good idea of how expensive the engravings were duplicate at the time.

All the catalogs I consulted list the following options: "Mortice Chisels", "Best Joiner's Mortice Chisels","Best Cabinet Mortice Chisels", and "Socketed Mortice Chisels". By 1884 the James Howarth catalog also lists "[Solid] Cast Steel Mortice Chisels" and "Best Joiner's Chisels - Handled". Also listed in that catalog are "Sash Mortice Chisels".

"Socketed Mortise Chisels" are really heavy, have a giant socket (not like the demure sockets of the 20th century Stanley 750 derivatives), and are too rough and rare to be a viable chisel for people to used for general mortising.
"Sash Mortise Chisels" are shorter, lighter, and ground parallel. They arrive on the scene in the 1850's era, are tanged, with a ferruled handle. They are very handy for doing the shallow mortises needed in window sashes, but are downright frustrating to use on full size mortises.

It's the first three types of Mortise chisels that are of interest to us today. "Mortice Chisels", "Best Joiner's", and "Best Cabinet" all have tapered oval or (sometimes on very early samples) octagonal handles that butt up against oval, octagonal, or semi-oval bolsters (for an illustration defining these terms see part one of this series). The early versions (mid-18th century to early 19th) might have octagonal bolsters but the overwhelming survivors have oval bolsters of one quality or another. A fair number of the earlier mortise chisels I have have squarish bolsters that were rounded off without being actually oval.

Other than the illustrations I don't know of any contemporary distinction between these three types of chisels. The price between the regular mortise chisels and "Best joiner's or cabinetmakers" is nearly double. Joiner's and cabinetmaker's mortise chisels are priced the same and where shown, share an illustration. The surviving catalogs are all wholesale to the trade so it's very possible that the latter two styles are identical, but are listed separately to account for what customers were used to ordering.

In theory the bolster, the wide ring of steel at the base of the chisel where the handle butts up against and transfers the force of the mallet blow to the steel needs to be flat on the tang side so that the handle will neatly and evenly bed down into it. Some samples I own are like this, others are far rougher and flush fitting a handle without a leather washer would have been pretty hard. This could account for some of price difference.

Smith's key shows the cheaper style as having octagonal bolsters but later catalogs do not. Some of the earlier catalogs show the cheaper style with a not quite oval bolster but certainly not an octagonal one. Some catalogs show the cheaper style with a thin bolster and the "Best" with a thick one - almost double in thickness. In any case I can't see anyone paying nearly double for a cosmetic change. Thin is more elegant than thick and it's less expensive. Octagonal is harder to make than actually oval, the sort or rounded rectangles are easier still. It is far more likely that the price difference was about differences in the length of the welded on steel cutting edge, and if the edge was cast steel or less expensive blister steel. I suppose it is also possible that once you have decided to use cast steel and made a higher grade tool the fit and finish needs to be better all around. So no matter if the bolsters are thick or thin the better grade would be better ground to receive a handle. But there is no contemporary documentation that I know of that supports or refutes this.

The theory that the better chisels used cast steel is made more convincing by the 1884 James Howarth catalog. This catalog not only lists the three usual options, it also lists a version in "solid cast steel" (the price list above and the illustration below are both from Howarth) and at a much higher price, handled chisels, which were double the price of an unhandled one. You pay more for real features, not cosmetic ones.

Another point that also supports this is that bolsters of all chisels up until the mid 19th century were usually elegant octagons. Oval bolsters are easier to make because they don't need to be symmetric, but they really reflect a newer style. Considering the conservative nature of toolmakers it is very possible what we are seeing in "The Key" is a older style chisel made of blister steel by an old time maker, and a more expensive chisel made by some more modern maker using cast steel who at the same time modernized the look.

It doesn't matter. As long as the heat treat of a mortise chisel hasn't been damaged, or the chisel worn past its steel edge it will work fine.

The pricing difference between the types of chisels is typical of all the catalogs I consulted. For 1 dozen (these are all wholesale catalogs) 1/4" mortise chisels you had the following options (in shillings / pence)

Common Mortise8/3
Best Jointer's and Cabinet Mortise14/0
Best Jointer's and Cabinet Mortise - handled 23/0
Cast Steel Cabinet Mortise16/0
London Sash Mortise Chisels16/0


Sizing (and this is important):


All the catalogs list mostise chisel widths from 1/8" to 5/8" by 1/16"s and (the early catalogs especially also list 5/8" - 1" by 1/8". Sizes over 5/8" are pretty rare, and largely useless for regular cabinetmaking. Driving a chisel that wide is hard. The reason for the 1/16" gradations, at a time when bench chisels were only available in 1/8" increments, was that the usual way of making a mortise (as documented by Moxon in 1678 but almost nowhere else) was that you would gauge the lines of the mortise to whatever size you wished, or the exact size of an existing tenon, then select the next smaller size mortise chisel. With at most 1/32" waste left on the sides, you could chop a mortise very very quickly, and not too carefully. Then a wide paring chisels, would be placed on the scribe line exactly and trivially peel off the excess to a perfectly dimensioned smooth walled mortise. The 1/8" increment of sizes available for bench chisels would leave too much waste to pare away.

While I mentioned that the very late James Howarth catalog lists handled chisels, retailers certainly offered chisels with handles to their customers all through the 18th and 19th century. Christopher Gabriel, the London planemaker and ironmonger who sold the Seaton chest (one of the very few extant nearly complete late 18th century tool chests) stocked tool handles in his inventory and the mortise chisels (by Law) in the chest are so uniform and professional and little I find it hard to believe that they were not sold to Seaton with handles originally in place.

English style mortise chisels were never made in Continental Europe or in the US. In Europe they use a heavier version of a sash mortise chisel, and in the US even very early on mortising was mostly done by machine, but tool catalogs offered imported English mortise chisels. There is a version of a socketed mortise chisel that was made in the US but I have only seen them listed in catalogs - they are not common in the wild. They are simply heavier versions of regular American style socketed chisels.

Part Three, coming in a few days is about the the manufacture of these chisels, followed next week by part four on handle design and part five on how to install a handle on a mortise or any other type of tanged chisel.


Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects
Comments: 1

English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Introduction  

04/03/2014


One day in the 1980's, when I studied woodworking with Maurice Fraser, I came to class for what was the first of a sequence of classes on chopping and fitting mortises and tenons. "Mortice" with a "C" being the English spelling and "mortise" with a "S" being the American spelling.
Maurice wanted us to use the correct tool for chopping a mortise. Which was an English Mortise Chisel. Not a sash mortise chisel, or a socketed mortise chisel, or millwright's chisel, or a registered chisel. An English Mortise Chisel. They were unlike any other chisels I had ever seen. The oval handles were comfortable, the chisel was built like a tank and could stand tons of abuse, the body of the chisel was trapezoidal in section so that they were easy to free in the mortise, they were available in 1/16" increments from 1/8" wide to 5/8" (actually more but the larger sizes are rare and not much used in cabinetry), and most important they were no longer made.

Like many students I assembled my set of mortise chisels (see above) over a period of several years via mail order and auction from various English tool dealers. Around 2002 or so, now involved professionally in ironmongery, Ray Iles and his brother Barry came to pay a visit. As the last generation of Sheffield apprentice trained edge tool makers they have forgotten considerably more on the subject of tools than I have ever known and I don't miss any chance to pick their brains.

"How about" I said as we were sitting in my living room thinking about dinner, "Making me some mortise chisels?". Ray looked at me with that look usually reserved for professors just before they decide to inform junior, who showed some promise earlier in the semester, that he will probably have to repeat the year.
"Seriously" I said "I can sell them, we can't get real ones over here!" After gently telling me that nobody had manufactured mortise chisels since at least the war and even before the war it might have been old stock, Ray, who loves a challenge, thought he would give it some thought.

A few discussions and about a year later a small box showed up on my doorstop with a sample. Mortise chisels aren't easy to make. It's a lot of steel and the huge bolster started out as a problem.
I asked Ray to make them out of D2 instead of regular steel because the edge would last forever and you didn't really need the sharpness of a paring chisel. This presented another set of problems which Ray had to solve, and Ray had to resurrect some of the old machinery he had to make oval handles.
When we finally released the mortise chisels into the American market it was a revelation to many of the people who used them. It fundamentally changed the market, and Ray has been struggling to keep the supply up ever since.

Aside from a D2 cutting edge the only substantial difference between Ray's Mortise chisels, and mortise chisels of the early 19th century is the under the handle Ray uses a square tang, rather than a tapered tang. The tang being a spike of metal that sticks out of the back of the chisel so that you can attach a handle(see picture).

Ray uses modern fixtures and specialized grinding machines to grind instead of doing it all by hand on a big wheel. The funny part about it, and the key that made Ray pretty sure he was going about it the right way is that he can see grinding marks on the old ones in the same places as on his.

It might be fun to take a close look at early 19th century mortise chisels and explore their engineering. Lots of this information applies to any handled edge tool not just mortise chisels, and we will end the series with instructions on how to handle a new chisel or replace the handle on any old chisel - it's a pretty simple task, and requires no special tools.

Note: At this moment we are out of some of the more popular sizes of mortise chisel. You can place an order anytime, Ray is working hard to make more for us and we should have them reasonably soon.

Note: Ray, Barry, and Tony Iles are all the sons of Ashley Iles, founder of Ashley Iles Edge Tools Ltd. the famous edge tool makers whose tools we stock. Ray left the company to start his own firm and his firm makes our mortise chisels and some other tools. Barry and Tony own and manage Ashely Iles, and they make a wide range of edge tools with a special focus on carving tools and turning tools. They are a very close family and Ray does work for Ashley Iles and vise versa. For a few short videos at their factories (along with a visit to Clico) click here.

Click here for Part 2 "What The Catalogs Tell Us". Part three "The Body of The Tool" will be available next week, and the balance of the series the week after.
Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects
Comments: 4

Campaign Furniture  

03/26/2014

"Campain Furniture", the new book by Christopher Schwarz, is one of the most important books on woodworking to appear in the last generation. The reason has nothing to do with the quality of instruction (which is excellent) or anything like that.

Woodworking as a hobby is dying. For all everyone wants people to learn to work wood, and all woodworking, in any form, is a very satisfying thing to do, fewer and fewer young people are interested in it. There are many reasons, woodworking isn't taught in school as frequently as it used to, people have far less free time than they did, furniture is less of a status symbol, and furniture is less expensive than it was so there is less incentive to make it yourself to save money.

But the main reason, the overriding reason woodworking as a hobby is in decline is because of two things. The first is that most people aren't interested in filling their house with colonial style furniture and Shaker and Arts & crafts furniture has been so dumbed down at the mall that it doesn't excite the way it used to. The second reason is that people move a lot more than they did and moving furniture is a pain. Buying furniture in previous generations was about the momentous acknowledgement that you were setting up a household. These days, with a far more informal society, most furniture is just another purchase of a disposable household commodity.

The reason Chris' book is so important is that it's not just the first new style of furniture to be written about in the popular press since the Art's and Crafts craze, it's actually a style of furniture that can fit into our transient lifestyles.

I'm not going to repeat what I wrote in the product description, if you want to know more about the book click here. I do want to mention that the projects as a group seem to be at the same skill level as your average Shaker pieces, with the main difference being that the woods are fancier, and hardware is integral to the project.

Think about the whole genre this way: Your kid is finishing college and moving to a tiny apartment in a new city. Possibly with seventeen roommates. How useful would a campaign secretary desk be to them that comes apart into easily moveable sections for transport, and then reassembles into a solid desk. It might not be the baronial ship of executive state - but it's exactly the right size for someone who really wants a comfortable place to park their laptop and get stuff done.

Chris' book has a lot of interesting historical information and his designs are all reflective of the original construction methods. It wouldn't surprise me in the least, I even expect that in a year or so Chris or someone else will write another book on campaign furniture using more modern materials but keeping with the same concept of design - proper furniture for life on the go. This to me is where modern furniture needs to go and Chris gets full marks and applause on kicking off what I hope will be a revival of this genre. As I said at the start of this blog - this is one of the most important new books on woodworking in a long time.
Tags:Product News, Sales, and Promotions
Comments: 8

Modern Apprenticeships  

03/05/2014

Craft apprenticeships never took hold in the United States in the way that they did in Europe. Apprenticeships existed here but even in colonial times an ever expanding country, and a constant demand for talent, meant that anyone with a modicum of skills could get a job - even if they weren't fully trained. There was little incentive for a skilled apprentice to complete their indenture, little enforcement, and a steady stream of immigrants to fill the need for trained craftsman.

In the United States today some forward looking companies have apprenticeship programs of one sort or another, but in general a person gets out of school with a BA or something like that and tries to get work in a good shop. Of course the shop needs them to produce, so while ideally there might be some training, most of the time it just learning production.

In Europe, via a combination of industry support, strict rules on hiring and firing, and government aid, apprenticeship systems exist for recent school graduates. You can actually go to University to study to become a joiner and in the process of your schooling work as an apprentice in cabinetmaking shops. Unlike the old days when one would start at age fourteen, the apprenticeships are more like what in England they called "improvers". People who knew the basics and were now traveling to new shops to round out their experience and broaden their horizons. In Germany today there is even a group of journeyman who are following the strict medieval rules of journeymen and are walking from town to town, working in shops along the way.

Laura, a friend of ours in Copenhagen is at University training to be a joiner. In Denmark when they train a joiner they mean it. She has mastered both traditional skills and modern machinery so as to be fully ready for the twenty-first century. Her training, and frankly the training of a lot of joiners in Europe, is the reason why you can still buy well made, well designed furniture in Europe that reflects a great combination of modern machinery and hand skill.
runn
Summer is coming and Laura is looking for an apprenticeship position in the United States running from May through August. The apprenticeship is mostly paid by her school but in addition the shop must contribute $585 per month to her expenses.

Currently she is working at www.rudrasmussen.com, a 140 year old Furniture workshop in Copenhagen that designs and produces hand crafted wooden furniture. Here is a short film of the shop that Laura works in. Laura makes an appearance in the second half. Note the mix of old machines, new machines and hand work.

Laura is a capable hand, and machine woodworker - in her spare time she makes- you guessed it - furniture.

If you run a professional woodworking shop - in any discipline - furniture, cabinetry, etc. - and you would like to host Laura, please email us and we will forward your information to Laura so she can contact you directly. She speaks English so don't worry about communication. Please include the name of your shop or a link to your website.

This is a great opportunity for the right shop, and for Laura. You get skilled labor - and she gets hands on experience.
Note: The work in the pictures are all pieces done by Laura.

In other news: The Joiner and Cabinetmaker, is back in print. The only contemporary narrative training course from the pre-machine tool age this book, originally published in 1839, tells the story of how Thomas was trained as a joiner. Complete with projects, instructions, and a villain. Originally published 1n 1839, with historical commentary by me. All three projects in the book were build by Chris Schwarz. If you don't already have a copy, you can get one here!
Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects
Comments: 4
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.
Subscribe
 Joel's Blog
 Ben's Blog
 Work Magazine
Newer Entries...
Mathieson Cabinetmaker's Floats and Early Shapers-11/20/2013
CNC Routing - Not Always at the Lowest Common Demoniator. -11/13/2013
Glovewear Comes to Town-11/06/2013
Maker Faire Furniture-10/30/2013
Sappy all Over and Holdfasts & Saw Vises are Back In Stock-10/23/2013
Woodworking in America Is This Weekend! (and some last thoughts on Maker Faire)-10/16/2013
A Visit to the Kaufman Collection - Empire Furniture is Truly Hideous and Other News-10/09/2013
Architectual Woodworking - A Wedding in the Mansion-10/02/2013
Maker Faire Was Maker Fabulous-09/25/2013
Maker Faire - Who, What, When, Where, & How - This Weekend!-09/17/2013
My Disappointing Visit To The Renwick Gallery (and other news)-09/10/2013
Practical Sculpture - Chess Pieces in the Village - A Visit to the Chess Forum-08/27/2013
A Close Look at an Ultimatum Brace-08/20/2013
When Tomorrow Isn't Fast Enough - Same Day Delivery!-08/13/2013
Artisanal!-08/06/2013
Practically Woodworking-07/23/2013
The Case Against An Adjustable Mouth On A Plane-07/17/2013
Makers, Making, and Maker Faire - Sept 21-22 2013 in NYC-07/10/2013
Utopian Benches - We Sit Together -07/03/2013
Gallery Opening In Chelsea - Utopian Benches - We Sit Together-06/27/2013
Older Entries...
Some Interesting Woodworking Blogs
Adam Cherubini
Tom Fidgen
Full Chisel Blog
Heartwood
Hock Tools - The Sharpening Blog
Norse Woodsmith
Jeff Peachy (book conservation)
Pegs and 'Tails
The Produce Savant
Konrad Sauer
Another Chris Schwarz Blog
Robin Wood Woodcraft
Rude Mechanicals Press(Megan Fitzpatrick)
UnpluggedShop.com - Hand Tool News
The Woodshop Bug
Chris Schwarz
Some Woodworking Forums
Family Woodworking
Knots
Saw Mill Creek
Wood Central
WoodNet
Woodwork Forums (Australia)
UK Workshop