Paperback: 201 pages
Publisher: Taunton Press (May 1, 1998)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #76 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Tools #121 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Hand Tools #1906 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Projects
Many of the books on woodworking with hand tools were written many years ago. Also they typically concentrate on technique rather than the actual tools. This book is different in that it's modern (even mentioning internet mailing lists and newsgroups for woodworking and tools), and it covers how to select the tools you buy. The book grew on me over time and I'm amazed at how often I return to consult it. I own most of the books in print on the subject but this one is a favourite.
Korn's book is a somewhat helpful introduction to various hand tools, though it focuses more on listing, defining, and classifying hand tools than it does on showing how to effectively use each tool. He does give information about use, though it is often more basic than the serious hand tool enthusiast needs. I suspect that Korn is accustomed to using woodworking machines and that hand tools are secondary in his workshop. Also disappointing is the fact that he is not always aware of the potential advantages of older tool designs. For instance, he claims that the leg vise has no advantages over other types of bench vise, though many other woodworkers have suggested that this is not true, the leg vise being especially suited to heavy pounding, as well as being cheaper to buy and easy to install (much of which he would know if he were aware of the tool's history as a blacksmith's vise). He also lists the sloyd knife, a Scandinavian carving knife, under "marking knives" when it is clearly a carving knife that might occasionally be used for marking--a quick perusal of something like Drew Langsner's _Country Woodcraft_ would have corrected his mistake. He also ought to have read Roy Underhill's Woodwright series to round out his bibliography. Korn does include a helpful overview of sharpening methods in one of his appendices. If one were to buy only a few books on hand tools, this would not be a first choice. It contains some good information from an experienced woodworker, but on the whole there are more detailed treatments of hand tools available in print. Try Aldren Watson's _Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings_ for a more thorough and engaging treatment of the topic.
This is an excellent introductory book for someone new to woodworking, or some one new to hand tools. In fact, I would strongly encourage someone new to woodworking to read this book first and learn as much as they can about using hand tools prior to spending any money on power tools. Some of the tools and techniques are obviously obselete given the development of power tools, but read on. You will be a better craftsman for it. The illustrations in the book are clear and well thought out and I have found them to be very useful. This book would also make an excellent gift for a young person interested in woodworking, but unsure of where to begin.
This book outlines various tools that usually don't contain a manual (like a file, rasp chisel, etc..)What could have been a boring reference was actually a decent read.I own another one of Korn's books and he has a good writing style. Though certainly not required woodworking reading, it is a worthy addition to my shelf.
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