Every so often I pull a book from my library and find myself unintentionally glued to its pages for an hour. It wouldn’t be a book that would at first grab your attention and its been out for over three decades but it contains more information about ‘Hand Tools, Their Ways and Their Workings’ than almost any publication I have ever advised anyone to buy. I blogged on it at some time in the past, but here is the UK Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday and it’s an ideal gift for this and for any birthday or Christmas gift too.
Aldren Watson wrote the book from his background as the son of a woodworker and a woodworker with much insight himself. Aldren Watson has recorded a legacy of woodworking information in his 450 pencilled drawings that equals the quality of an academic work second to none. This book went out of print for some time and I am ever thankful to W W Norton and Company for ensuring the book is available to woodworkers today. The illustrations are hand drawn, inspirational and highly informative. Combine that with the insights of an illustrator, designer and woodworker and you have a stunning training manual that’s both stimulating and interesting. I have several copies both in the UK and in the USA and I think I would suggest this as the definitive suggested reading for any hand tool woodworker. Though I love the illustrations, the written content is well worth the reading of it. I will leave the rest up to you. If you buy this book and read it, you won’t regret reading one page of it. Few writers I have known encapsulate the essence of traditional hand work and the tools we use more than Aldren Watson. The retail cost is around $21.95 or second hand $10
As for my weekend; I managed to make some really good progress on the tool chests and chopped 20 mortises for the frames for the tops and bottoms. That saves time in filming. We have a couple of weeks of wonderful weather here and it’s always tempting to walk around the castle and take stock of the important things life has for us. I carried the redwood limp section into the workshop and am ready to slab parts for a box from it. It will stay there for the week and then I will slab it on the bandsaw before I return to the US next week for the Nine-Day and Month-Long workshops in two weeks time.