Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 7/31/98

A Book Review: by Steve Garbini

Title: Hand Tools for Woodworkers - Principles & Techniques

Author: Robert Wearing

Published by Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN: 0-8069-9578-5

Price: $14.95 (Can. $20.95)

Hand Tools for Woodworkers - Principles & Techniques written by Robert Wearing is an absolutely delightful book. You would be hard pressed to find another treatise of woodworking hand tools so well written and as full of useful information. I found it to be positively enjoyable and it will certainly become one of my favorite references through time. I've found this book to provide a sound, basic coverage of each tool's function and construction. As well, basic usage and techniques are covered. Although no specific tool is covered in complete detail, the breadth of all hand tools covered is indeed impressive. In certain instances, tool tuning is also covered briefly.

At first, I found the author's style of writing somewhat difficult to understand. After a brief period I realized that Mister Wearing has a great economy of word. His style is direct and to the point. When I realized that every word counted and each was specifically and carefully selected, my understanding of the information rose dramatically. At this point, I actually found myself savoring each word. One might even imagine that a moment's day dreaming of an apprentice would be costly.

As you might suspect, the full gamut of hand tools is covered. Planes, chisels, marking gauges, saws and so on. The final chapters cover fundamental joinery and even offer several useful projects. Perhaps the most important feature is that the book starts out with sharpening - a topic which all too many woodworkers gloss over. The fundamentals are the fundamentals and Robert Wearing started in the right place.

If you are serious about woodworking with hand tools, than this book is an absolute must to have in your library. I can't imagine how I've done without it for so long. You won't be disappointed.


Respectfully Submitted,
Steve Garbini


Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge. Thank You!

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