Hand tool book review

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Review by Betsy posted 02-14-2008 02:59 AM 2943 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hand tool book review No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just finished this book by Popular Woodworking. Like most of their books, this is a group of articles previously published in the various magazines they have a hand in. If you are a Christopher Schwartz fan, you won’t be disappointed – there are 15 articles by Chris, not including the book’s introduction.

Overall this is a very good read. The “chapters” are small enough to make it an easy “pick up when I have a minute” type of book. It’s packed with a lot of basic information and gives a good overview of hand tools as a whole. Several different methods/theories of sharpening are discussed. Of course, everyone wants to know about hand planes and these are covered pretty well. What I appreciated the most about this book though is the articles on chisels. The group of articles were well written, informative and has given me a good idea of what I need to do to improve my chisel use.

There is a lot of good information to digest and is a good first book on hand tools and will certainly make you want to learn more.

For me this will be a good basic reference book that I’ll keep around. It’s also a book that can be read several times and get something out of it each time.

I only gave the book three stars because I’ve not read that many hand tool books to have anything to compare it to. However, from a novice hand tool user, I thought it was a good buy.

(PS – I have no idea how to get a picture of this book – perhaps one of you can educate me on this point.)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Betsy's profile


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3 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile


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#1 posted 02-14-2008 04:01 AM

Sounds interesting. Schwartz stuff is always informative.

(I think it is not Taunton, but Popular Woodworking who publishes this).

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4838 days

#2 posted 02-14-2008 06:05 AM

Very good review Betsy and good to see you posting again – hopefully a sign of improving health? I’d say that any book that grabs your attention and answers your questions, is a good book.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4568 days

#3 posted 02-14-2008 01:14 PM

Great review. Unfortunately, Giz is right. Tauton publishes plenty of books, but not this one. F+W publishes this, but uses the Popular Woodworking name on this book.

Other than that, I only disagree with the number of stars. I need to get a pic of the book, upload it, and post my own review though ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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