Buy New
$19.13
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $5.82 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 17 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $6.33
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings Paperback – April 17, 2002


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$19.13
$15.42 $14.06

Frequently Bought Together

Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings + The New Traditional Woodworker: From Tool Set to Skill Set to Mind Set (Popular Woodworking) + Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery
Price for all three: $48.31

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Series: Their Ways and Workings
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322767
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aldren A. Watson (1917-2013) was an illustrator and designer as well as woodworker. He had written and illustrated many magazine articles and books, including The Blacksmith and Country Furniture, published by Norton. He lived and painted in Vermont and New Hampshire until his death in 2013.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
38
4 star
4
3 star
1
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 44 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in woodworking.
Paul Ferrari
Buy this book; it will make all the ones you have already bought more valuable.
J. Mayer
So far it has very useful information, some old ways of doing things.
RodRat1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By S. Schuler on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
It is a pity that Watson's book is not better known among woodworkers, as it is the most comprehensive guide to using hand tools that I have yet seen on the market. Watson devotes chapters to workbenches and vises, braces and bits, chisels (which he covers quite extensively), files and rasps, mallets, saws, sandpaper, squares, and planes (the most extensive chapter in the book). He also covers less common tools such as the drawknife, the marking gauge, scrapers, the inshave, and the spokeshave, as well as very common tools like wire brushes, levels, nail sets, and screwdrivers. Watson's descriptions of each tool's function are clear and concise. His book is not cluttered by text, though it does a thorough job of explaining not only common uses for hand tools, but also advanced techniques. For example, this is one of the only woodworking books I know that explains how to cut a chamfer with a hand plane, or how to use a rasp to cut a round tenon on square stock. Perhaps the book's only fault is that it does not discuss either wooden planes or Japanese tools at all. But the book's greatest strength is its illustrations, all drawn by the author. Photographs in many other woodworking books have too many shadows to be very useful, and often a crucial tool operation is hidden by the hand that is performing it. Watson's masterful drawings overcome this problem--they illustrate tool mechanics, user posture, and wood texture, all with a minimum of extraneous detail. This work is the best single-volume book on traditional woodworking tools and techniques currently available. It is also significantly longer--over 400 pages--than most other woodworking books. Watson is required reading for anyone interested in the topic, and his book is the standard by which all other woodworking books should be judged for years to come.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By S. Cheung on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have recently taken an interest in woodworking. Being someone who like to learn about the theories before actually doing anything, I started buying and reading a number of woodworking books, and doing some experimenting and practicing with the information I learned.
This book is the most useful one that I have read yet. It is extrememly easy to read, and captures the basic techniques for using a number of common hand tools. The chapter on chisels is one of my favorites, and the chapter on planes has clearer instruction on how to use different type of planes than another book of mine that talks only about planes.
Reading this book after reading other "how to" books about joinery, furniture, etc. clarifys a lot of things, making the picture complete so to speak.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1996
Format: Paperback
In this book you will learn the tricks that a master
woodworker teaches his apprentice. It is the best book
on using and caring for traditional woodworking hand tools
I have found. It covers everything from hand planes to the
lowly nail set using excellently clear illistrations. In
the back of the book is an appendix with plans for a no-
nonsense workbench and other handy shop items you can make
yourself.
It has the best advice on sharpening hand saws and other
tools I have ever read. The author uses clear, concise
language that even a hairy-knuckled woodworker can undersand.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Josip F. Odzak on December 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found that this book gives a great starting point on hand tools. There are some techniques given here that are very important and applicable with using power tools as well. Ever thing of drilling larger holes from both sides to avoid tear out? Want to use a hand plane to take off 0.001" to fit a tenon joint together? Want to use tools that help you avoid wood dust hypersensitivity pneumonitis and occupational asthma? Start using hand planes instead of sand paper.

I also found that there are other ways to sharpen chisels and hand plane blades other than keeping the angle with your hand, as the author recommends. However, the author comes from a time when sharpening jigs were not around, so I cannot fault him for not mentioning the sharpening jig. The author also proves that you don't need a lot of fancy power tools or jigs to be a woodworker. One example is to use a try square and a hand plane to mill lumber.

I rate this book 4 stars because it is a starting point for people who are working with wood. The book does not incorporate the latest techniques and improvements of hand tools. But is that really a bad thing when starting out?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1997
Format: Paperback
The author has a gift for explaining some complex techniques in simple English.
The drawings add immeasurably to the effort. I borrowed this book from the library, and now will order my own copy.
If you want to be a traditional woodworker, you will be thrilled how the author goes tool by tool through those things that you need to have in your shop and illustrates what they are for and how to make them do what they are supposed to do
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark T. Wain on October 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book, the moment I read the first chapter I was wishing I'd bought the hard copy so I could put it in pride of place on my bookshelf.
I loved the illustrations, which are on almost every page and give exactly the right amount of detail in a way that photos can't. But the best part is the author's wonderful writing style, which really conveyed a sense of the timeliness and pleasure of woodworking. Even when describing such mundane things as taking measurements, the author has a great knack of focussing on the human aspect of the process, the decisions that need to be made and the emotions that the wrong and the right decision evoke. This, to me, is the reason working with handtools it is such a satisfying pastime, and this book wraps up all of those experiences in a really beautiful way. Top marks.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search