Tools for Working Wood

 The Work Magazine Reprint Project

Issue No. 6 - Published April 27, 1889  


Welcome to issue No. 6! Bookbinding is on the cover this week. I was going to use it as an excuse to ring up Jeff Peachey and see if Work was on his radar, but, like the super-pro we all know him to be, he beat me to it. If you don't know about Jeff Peachey, let me kindly refer you to his catalog of tools and add that I know his knives to be extremely sought-after among professionals in the trade. What is more, the man is not without a sense of humor.

I can't say I'm much of a book binder, but I certainly draw a lot, sometimes even the old fashioned way, so this curious tip piqued my interest:

As a self-proclaimed ink fiend, I'm hell-bent on trying this, assuming I can get my hands on some. I may have to make do with a reasonable substitute.

Such is the way with Work. On busy days, I really just want to skim it and find the stuff of central interest to me— machine shop theory, ornamental design— stuff like that. The fact is, though, that the gems are positively everywhere. Unless I'm willing to slow down and take everything in, I miss them.

Knowing this, the lesson for me is to figure out what gems are worth pulling out to show off here, and which ones are best left for readers to discover by themselves. The lesson for everyone else is harder to pin down. I might say, at the risk of sounding overly prescriptive, that it's good for people to branch out and push the limits of their comfort zones. Throw yourself into the articles that, on first glance, don't appear to be up your alley. Find the weird stuff.

It certainly sounds like something I might say, under the the right circumstances.

For today, though, I think I'd rather say something along the lines of, "don't skip the responses in "Shop, A Corner For Those Who Want To Talk It" at the end of each issue." Seriously, some of the comments from the editor open up a lot of fun speculation with regard to the wacky write-ins that must have been posted to La Belle Sauvage.



• Click to Download Vol.1 - No. 6 •

Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.

The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.

The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.

You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.

Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 1
04/27/2012Jeff Peachey 
E. Bonney Steyne mentions as credentials binding "at least" one book unassisted. It is slightly disconcerting this exact number cannot be recalled. The author freely admits much of the information presented is the result of trial and error, though perhaps weighted more on the error side. Most of the bookbinding information presented is completely wrong, totally convoluted, and, well, just plain weird. But this article is not completely without merit. It describes several aspects of vernacular book repair techniques, which are commonly observed in many older books. Although these types of repairs are not traditional, well crafted, or even very effective, they are representative of the owner's, or custodian's, care for and love of the physical book.
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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.
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