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Make Your Own Woodworking Tools: Metalwork Techniques to Create, Customize, and Sharpen in the Home Workshop Paperback – May 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565233069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565233065
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,760,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Burton has been a professional woodworker for more than 40 years, creating projects that vary from a furniture line to guitar bodies. He is the author of Architectural Carving, Simple Marquetry, and Veneering a Foundation Course. He lives in Ogden, Utah.

More About the Author

While I have made my living at many things, I have worked with wood for over 60 years. Even with all of that practice, I can't say I'm the best, but I will say I'm very versatile. During breaks from woodworking, I worked as an electronics technician, teacher, floor coverings and counter top installer, pawnbroker, jeweler, project manager. Improving a home for my family of seven, I learned framing, drywall, roofing, plumbing, bricklaying, concrete, ceramic tile glazing, electrical work and, of course, painting and paperhanging. In maintaining my machinery, I became a fair welder, engine lathe operator, and I'm one of the few that can and will replace babbit bearings on old machinery that deserves a second chance. The last book I wrote contains a large section on simple blacksmithing and heat-treating steel.

Wishing to share some hard-learned information, I began writing in 1994. Since then I have written the books offered on this page. I have also written numerous magazine tips and articles, for all of the major woodworking publications but I lost count of these back in the late 90's. While I have two articles pending publication, I am now in the process of offering some older work for republication as I think that the lessons therein are well worth revisiting.

Though I have engaged in general millwork, my major interest has been in furniture for home and office. I prefer commissions that are challenging, curves, veneering and carving. To me all else are just boxes with drawers and doors. Some of my previous and present work is on display at http://www.burtonswoodartworks.com.

Between commissions--and sometimes through boredom--I tinker with different designs and techniques. I've even tried my hand at sculpture which I find quite relaxing along with being challenging. One of my latest adventures has produced WiggleWood, an adaptation of a marquetry technique called pad cutting. This has yielded some very interesting decorator items. Some of my sculpture and WiggleWood items are on display at http://www.etsy.com/shop/wigglewood65?ga_search_query=wigglewood65&ga_search_type=seller_usernames

I conjunction with my writing I have done all of my own photography. It seems that I always have a camera near at hand. In addition to boxes of chemical photos and gigs of digital relating to woodworking subjects, I have captured some very interesting building and landscape photos throughout the western United States. Wishing to share these too, I have them on display at my website, http://1-mike-burton.artistwebsites.com

Throughout my life I have taken many different roads, some have been smooth/some have been rocky, but none have been boring. MB

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Sutterlin on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the title and the reviews of other amazon users. It was a serious let down. The misleading title infers that it contains info on making your own woodworking tools. I think that for many readers woodworking tools and woodcarving tools are two very different things. I purchased it hoping for plans for making planes, spokeshaves, measuring tools, chisels and the like. What you get in this book is about a hundred different hokey ways to pound out a carving gouge using everything from the back of a framing hammer to the adjusting screws on your vise. The book is just full of terrible "hints and tips" like these that will not only damage your tools but not be very effective either.
The page on making a plane includes a design for a plane that wouldn't function properly if it was contructed correctly. The "author" botched the making of the plane and couldnt be bothered to do it correctly or give you any practical tips on making or sharpening a plane iron. I didn't buy this book to learn how NOT to do something.
I think that for someone to "write the book on" a subject, that person should be a professional with a high degree of skill in dealing with it. Mike Burton is neither a professional nor a person with any degree of skill in metal working. The extremely amateurish tools in this book are clearly poorly made with burned and annealed edges. Mike does the right thing with them by hanging them on his walls and leaving them there. You would be doing yourself a great injustice by purchasing this book and following a single one of his inane "techniques".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. E. Buckmaster on August 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mike Burton should be complimented for sharing his multitude of skills with the reading and crafting public. This book is the distillation of many years of practical and academic study. To be able to take advantage of this wisdom for the paltry sum that this book cost is remarkable. Mike has the ability to take us through all the stages in the manufacture of a great variety of woodworking items. He does it in a simple, easy to follow manner and with a beautiful dry wit. If you buy this book you will be in the position to save a great deal on the purchase of essential tools by making many of your own to your considerable satisfaction. I have had the book for only two weeks and so have concentrated on my own particular interest. I now have a splendid array of woodcarving tools. They cost me very little in materials and the saving is many hundreds of dollars.The price of this book would only buy half a woodcarving tool! Mike has a fine eye for a bargain himself and it is a pleasure to be inducted into his economic ways. In the weeks and months ahead I feel that my savings, skills and satisfaction at making my own tools will increase many times. Mike you should have been a New Zealander! You would fit in very well.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Perron on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book exactly for what the title mean: make my own woodworking tools. Exactly, molding hand plane.

I liked this book because:
-It is is a global and central source of reliable information in his field;
-It offers many options to "do things" to the tools makers who don't (for the moment) want to get deeply involved in blacksmithing;

I disliked this book beacause:
-It does not explain the scientific bases of the field when (I think) is could/should be requires;
-It focus too much (I think) on the autor's life. I enjoy some familiarity with the autor, but at the end, too much paragraph are about autor's anecdotes;

To conclude, I would rebuy this book without hesitation.

*** The "see inside" option played a definitive role in my purchase. I never buy a book I can't "see inside for 4 or 5 pages ***
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carver Guy on May 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a five star winner for the carver who wants to make his own tools. The author explains the process, discusses different type of metals to use. The heat treating process is thoroughly explained. Handle materials are even covered. Often times a carver will run into a situation that requires a special tool not available in the market place. This book will aid the carver in making his own skews, gouges and specialty items. So interesting I've read it cover to cover, twice!
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