Aldren Watson’s Parting Legacy – Waterfront New York

DSC_0021There is an event in the USA that will shortly unfold with regards to the final work of Aldren Watson. I have written often of the legacy Aldren Watson left in his books and especially one still in print entitled Hand Tools Their Ways and Their Workings. It might be easy to pass over the book without seeing the wisdom, breadth and depth of the man who combined his personal insights into woodworking with drawings and writings for those who follow. The insights are indeed a legacy from a truly humble man and a man I remember with fondness and respect. I recall the conversations I had with Aldren Watson over some of the quiet years of his retirement when he encouraged me not to rely so much on photography but to develop my own skills in sketching the important aspects of my own work.




Over recent months Aldren’s daughter, Clyde Watson, as been working to make Aldrens as yet unpublished book, Waterfront New York, ready for release later this year and we thought this new legacy to be something everyone should know about. You can preorder the book via the attached here. Please visit Aldren’s website for an introduction and perhaps glimpse one of my most favourite illustrating authors. You wont regret it.


  1. Greg Merritt on 8 March 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you Paul for bringing this to our attention. I admire Mr. Watson’s work greatly. My copy of “Hand Tools” is referenced regularly for both its information and its illustrations. Photos are always useful but illustrations allow for details or emphasis that cannot be captured with a photo. Everyone should endeavor to draw/sketch, drawing forces you to see and understand every aspect.

    I’m looking forward to the release of this book. Thanks again.

    • Chris on 9 March 2014 at 1:36 pm

      I just visited the website and his sketches of Brooklyn are unbelievable. I wish I could draw like that. I think you are just born with it. You can’t even learn that type of drawing.

  2. CarlosJC on 8 March 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you for this. “Hand Tools” was my first woodworking book bought some five years ago (and I own only four total on the subject one of which Working Wood 1 & 2). I immediately was drawn in by the care and labor of love evident by the illustrations but also the knowledge so well conveyed and communicated. This was a great author.

  3. Gary Blair on 8 March 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks again Paul. After your post reporting his passing, I purchased a copy of “Hand Tools” and have thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great writer and talented artist!