Antique Woodworking Tools: Their Craftsmanship from the Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century

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A stunning array of edge and boring tools from Britain, continental Europe and North America provides a survey of hand tool-making from prehistory to today.
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A stunning array of edge and boring tools from Britain, continental Europe and North America provides a survey of hand tool-making from prehistory to today.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The excellent photographs and descriptions do more than justice to one of the most outstanding collections I have ever seen."
--The late Roy Arnold

"I would like to commend David Russell on this fascinating history of woodworking tools. The book shows clearly the kinds of tools that enabled craftsmen to make the most beautiful pieces of furniture and other items." --David Linley

"The Russell collection volume [is] intended to glamorize unsung innovations."
--Eve M. kahn, The New York Times

"Anyone who appreciates the beauty of antique tools needs to have a copy."
--Jim Gehring; The Fine Tool Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781898565055
  • Publisher: John Adamson Dist A/C
  • Publication date: 6/16/2013
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 1,129,976
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 13.70 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2013

    This oversize book--10" across x 13" high, over 9 poun

    This oversize book--10" across x 13" high, over 9 pounds--is an favorable format for presenting the thousands of woodworking tools for both educational and aesthetic reasons. Most noticeably on first glance through the book is the way individual tools or small groups stand out in light gray frames against surrounding generous glossy white backgrounds. There's no cramping, which is particularly helpful and pleasing considering the details of the many different kinds of tools relating to historical changes and manufacturers' options, innovations, and hallmarks interested readers want to see. As dealers and collectors know, such features--sometimes seemingly minor, sometimes appearing incidental--can have big effects on market value.
    The oversize book allows for oversize photographs, though not quite to the point of life-size in even the largest photos. About six inches in length is a typical size of a tool photographed, with a few going to eight inches in length. Each tool can be appreciated distinctly because by angle, neutral background, and photo technique interfering or distracting shadowing has been eliminated or reduced to negligible. The bright, natural photos let the colors and shades of the wood and the metals and in some cases the manufacturer's mark for which woodworking tools have become a lasting specialized area of collecting come through. With such large pages and fine photography, pairs or groups of a few tools are spaced so that each tool though smaller in size is distinct.
    Not only handsome appearance, but also specifics of manufacture account for the appeal of woodworking tools with aficionados. Such specifics of type of wood (e. g., beech, elm, walnut), type of metal (e. g., steel, brass) if applicable, country of manufacture, maker, date, notable features, and sometimes historical notes or general comments are given in the annotations.
    Woodworking planes of the various eras and different geographical locations are given the most attention. In the more than 400 pages given to these, planes from Europe, the Continent, and America are covered and also planes by noted manufacturers mostly in England. The extensive coverage of planes is not only because there are more varieties of these over time and they are the major collectible in the field, but also because of the central role these had in woodworking through the centuries. Planes are like a constant that underwent changes and improvements. Other woodworking tools receive appropriate presentation depending on their appearance and use at different times and historical, practical, or artful relevance of these for the craft of woodworking or collector interest. Among these are screwdrivers, drills, rules, saws, and anvils and tongs.
    George Russell is a longtime collector of antique woodworking tools; and James Austin is a photographer of architecture and art with the (British) National Trust and Tate Gallery among his clients. Manufacturers' marks of many of the tools are pictured with respective tools and also in an appendix.

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