Bernard E Jones the complete woodworker

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Review by kiwi1969 posted 05-03-2009 04:25 PM 8039 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bernard E Jones the complete woodworker No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

If Nick Englers recently reviewed book is the go to book for modern woodworking, then The complete woodworker is the turn of the century equivalent. Although out of print it,s still available through Amazon which has 21 copies for $4.17 US and if you are curious how your great Grandfathers made furniture then it,s absolutly worth the price of admission.
The Four volume Practical woodworking set on the right is the original fully unabridged version which I was lucky to find in a second hand book store in my home town in New Zealand for about $15 US. It has vastly expanded chapters on everything you could possibly want to know about hand working wood up to and including making your own aircraft wings and propellers, should you wish to live out your Wright brothers fantasys, as well as veneering, marquetry, draughting, and turning, including Barley twist, and all types of furniture styles with every woodjoint imaginable fully explained and presented with simple clear line drawings. A quick search of Amazon revealed some 1930s editions for over $100 US! so I think I got a bargain.
The Paperback on the left is however available a heck of alot less and is the pared back version released by Ten speed Press in the 1980,s and although missing the projects section and only touching on some of the above topics, you do still get to make your propeller. This version still gives you all the information on tools and their uses and the how to for cutting wood joints, as well as explaining the appropriate use for those joints shown in some exploded drawings.
Despite these books having influenced me greatly on my current hand tool pilgrimage, i can,t give them full marks for the simple reason of relavence. Any one with a fetish for power cords will, most likely, only use this book to prop up a wobbly table leg, while the language used is a little dated and some of the terminology is in the english tradition not the American, rabet/rebate for example, although it,s not that bad that you can,t figure it out, it imagine it could be off putting for some. These are great books for those with an interest in older techniques and they do stack up well against Charles H Hayward and Ernest joyce, just get the cheap one before investing in the big dollar versions if you,re curious.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View kiwi1969's profile


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View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

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#1 posted 05-03-2009 04:33 PM

Hi kiwi1969;

Sounds like a great investment.

Thank for posting.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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#2 posted 05-03-2009 08:22 PM

I have a paper back copy I bought a while back but have not read much, what I have read seems interesting.


View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4687 days

#3 posted 05-04-2009 12:57 PM

I checked and unfortunately this is not yet on, so will have to find a real copy, though there are some other works by Bernard E Jones already up there. Seems he was a busy chap and an expert on many things. His titles available there range from welding to cinematography to reinforced concrete and my favorite (well, at least from the title) “Workshop hints for Munition Workers”
See search for Bernard Jones

From my own personal library, Ernest Joyce is still the bible.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4254 days

#4 posted 05-04-2009 03:34 PM

I agree with daltxguy, I have a copy of the Ernest Joyce and it is a great book. I love these old books though, it’s neat to see how things were done in a time before electricity, and the most horse power a saw had was how much you could put into the handle. I just checked Alibris, they have several copies, ranging from $4 up to $99 for a new copy.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4666 days

#5 posted 05-05-2009 05:52 AM

when you get through the chapter on air craft propellers…........piece a cake?

I’ld personally love to read it.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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