Joinery Wisdom from 1920!!

  • Advertise with us
Review by MsDebbieP posted 10-18-2011 05:05 PM 3449 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Joinery Wisdom from 1920!! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This book review is from the October 2011 issue of our LumberJocks’ eMag

Gary Roberts ( is donating a book for a free draw! (See below for details)

Woodwork Joints by William Fairham 1920

1920, you say? Yes, oh yes. I have a wee bit of an addiction to books and to have in my hands wisdom that was written almost a century ago is better than having some Swiss chocolate for a treat.

The sub-title of the book found on the inside pages does a great job of describing the contents: Woodwork Joints: How they are set out, how made and where used, with four hundred illustrations and index.

Included in the list of joints are the typical names, from “glued” to “mortise and tenon” to “scarf”, “dovetail grooving”, and “mitred”. There is also a chapter on “curved work”, “miscellaneous joints” and, perhaps my favourite – “Puzzle joints” – not that you will ever see me attempt to make one.

Flipping through the pages (no, I haven’t read the entire book) I did take a closer look at the “glued joint” as this is what I’d say is my level of woodworking. But, alas, I found that gluing two pieces of wood together is not as simple as it sounds. To create a good glue joint I apparently need a jack plane, a wooden trying plane, a try square, winding laths, and a straight edge! And the process itself, well – I thought it was simply lining the wood up, gluing and clamping it together. But there is wood movement to consider as well as the grain line, because, as stated in the book “nothing looks worse than a dressing chest end or similar piece of work in which the grains run haphazard.”

This should give you an idea of the thoroughness and the high standards within the pages of this book. If you are a book lover, a book addict, or a practical woodworker who wants to improve his joinery skills, then this book is a must for your library and woodworking resources!

Now, I have to go back and flip through the pages some more—what other intriguing tidbit will catch my attention?! I can’t wait to find out. Better than chocolate, I tell you!



One random draw winner will receive a copy of this book.
To enter your name in the draw, click here and answer the two easy questions.
Deadline: November 10, 2011

A big thank-you to Gary for the donation of “Woodwork Joints” for a free draw here at

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4966 days

8 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 10-18-2011 06:07 PM

thank you Ms Deppie :-)


View empeg9000's profile


86 posts in 3231 days

#2 posted 10-19-2011 01:09 PM

thanks! Done.

View B0b's profile


105 posts in 3496 days

#3 posted 10-19-2011 04:03 PM

Definitely want to improve my joinery skills.

-- Time to get started

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4966 days

#4 posted 10-19-2011 07:06 PM

mostly what I wrote above in the review

I also noted that different joints serve different purposes—with different joinery techniques being best used for certain situations.

I also was reminded how precious hand-tools are .. oh .. and that almost 100 years later, woodworking basics are woodworking basics.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 3827 days

#5 posted 10-20-2011 01:35 AM

William Fairham wrote Woodwork Joints for Evans Bros. Charles Hayward then edited and rewrote parts around 20 years later for Evans Bros. This, the original version, was written by a woodworker who was trained in the 19th Century hand tools methods by practicing woodworkers who also knew how to use machinery.

-- Gary Roberts,

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 3827 days

#6 posted 10-20-2011 04:16 AM

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 4458 days

#7 posted 10-20-2011 05:08 AM

Yes its a great book. I own a copy of it. Its even available for free download on kindle.

-- Yves

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 3827 days

#8 posted 10-20-2011 05:50 AM

Just so you know, the Kindle version is not mine. Amazon lists it under my title but it’s offered by a different party.

-- Gary Roberts,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics