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Recommendations: Projects books for hand tools

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Fromey

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The problem I find with most books about woodworking projects is that they are invariably power tool-oriented. Since I am hand tool only (except for occasional use of a router, which I'd prefer not to), it means these books are less than completely useful to me; Granted, I can certainly get ideas and plans from them, but I'm often left with a lot of research/guess work as to how to carry out some of the tasks. I have Tom Fidgen's book ("Made by hand"), but I'm not too enamored of his designs. What I'd like to find are some books on Shaker and Arts & Crafts furniture that are at least tool-nonspecific but preferably overtly hand tool-oriented. Does anyone know of such a beast?

I'll head off the expected response and agree that I should also just design my own stuff and get on with it, but being a complete amateur, that's easier said than done. I'd prefer to be led through some projects first while I develop my skills and understanding.

Thanks, as always, in advance.
 

Paul Chapman

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It's a bit specialised but I've just bought "Welsh Stick Chairs" by the late John Brown (£9 incl. p&p from Amazon). Very inspirational. It only arrived this morning and it's so good I've read most of it already :)

John Brown was a hand tool only man - he didn't even have electricity :shock:

Highly recommended.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Jacob

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Paul Chapman":1ayogyw3 said:
It's a bit specialised but I've just bought "Welsh Stick Chairs" by the late John Brown ..
Yes brilliant book.

For hand tools the old books are best, pre-war when there was still a vast army of trainees and apprentices going in to an essentially hand tool way of working. I can't think of a modern one to recommend. I can think of several to avoid!
Chris Schwarz does a lot here http://lostartpress.wordpress.com/ and American books and mags in general are more trad inclined the British ones. Back numbers of http://www.popularwoodworking.com/ are good, pre 2010 when it was just "Woodworking Magazine".

A job lot of old mags could be good if cheap enough - you can go through them and just save the bits you want. Rarely worth a regular sub - books a much better deal.

For shaker stuff the Thos. Moser books are good.

PS just noticed that R Wearing "The Essential Woodworker" is on the Lostart list. It's not that essential IMHO, and probably best read some years down the line when you can discriminate between the pineapples! Certainly not for a beginner, except in parts.

PPS Just noticed
I'll head off the expected response and agree that I should also just design my own stuff and get on with it,
Absolutely not. Copy copy! Don't dream of designing anything until you know what you are doing. OK do do notional sketches - just don't make anything to your own design.
Copy from paper, but best of all copy from real woodwork, there's plenty of it about, often designed/made by trained and highly experienced experts.
.... I'd prefer to be led through some projects first while I develop my skills and understanding.
Dead right. Woodwork suffers terribly from premature creativity.
 

Fromey

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Thanks for your comments. I have Bernard Jones' "The complete woodworker" in my hot little hand now (only £3 and in excellent condition) and it looks to be a really interesting read. From the photos it looks like I need to get a tie to wear in the shed.

I've also found this excellent list on this very excellent blog;

http://www.closegrain.com/2010/07/intro ... References

There are a lot of good references there that I'll eventually hunt down.

Still light on actual projects, so I suppose I'll have to adapt from more power-tool oriented texts to all hand-tool work.

(BTW, bought my first moulding plane the other day as well! A really nice simple round from W. Greenslade, Bristol. Only £4)
 
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