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JOEL Joel's Blog

Why You Should Join the Mid-West Tool Collector's Association


Why You Should Join the Mid-West Tool Collector's Association 4While there are a lot of smaller tool collecting society's in the USA, all of which have something to offer along with a gas of a time, The Mid-West Tool Collector's Association is the largest national group devoted to old tools. There are a lot of reasons to join: access to old tools at swap meets, the Gristmill - a fine magazine devoted to tool collecting, the annual convention, the social aspects of collecting, and the reason why I am posting this blog today.

Every year the Mid-West, which BTW has chapters located all over the country, not just in the mid-west, and is also known as M-WTCA, sends out a reprinted publication to all it's members. It varies from year to year but it's also something interesting.

This year it's "The Cabinet Maker's Guide" (fifth edition 1837) which I mentioned in a blog entry here. We were planning to reprint the book, but we were just too busy.

The best for me of course is that now I have a reprint take on the subway with me to read. Also out of the blue, looking at it, I finally realized why in a book called "The Cabinet Maker's Guide" there is nothing on woodworking. Because (duh) the actual building of the carcase of a bit of furniture was basic joinery, it's the fancy stuff that differentiates cabinetmaking. In the Joiner and Cabinet Maker (1839) after Thomas builds his dresser the author goes on to explain that the difference between Thomas's dresser and the work of a cabinetmaker was the addition of veneer, and fancy finishing. So in this guide all they talk about is finishing, gilding, fancy stuff, and basic marquetry, the latter of which would be done by specialists in a big city but a cabinetmaker everywhere else.

If you are already a member of the M-WTCA you should have gotten your copy in the mail. If you aren't I have no idea how you get get a copy but the first step might be joining. So click here and tell them Joel sent you.
Join the conversation
12/28/2011 John Keeling
I guess the answer to how you go about getting one now is; you can't. This is taken directly from their website:

"These publications are not available for sale nor are extra copies archived for future distribution, we only print enough copies to satisfy our existing membership"
Now that's just a huge tease Joel!!

I can't make it to the events over there "too far, I'm left coast" and have never joined to org because of that.

This one seems very interesting and now my interest is totally piqued.

12/27/2011 Rick Nofsinger
Joel sent me.
12/28/2011 Eric R
My closest meet is about 200 miles away, which it too far.

And it saddens me to read John's quote about saying there are no extra copies to be had, even if I joined today.
12/28/2011 John Walkowiak
Joel, thanks for the book review and the great plug for M-WTCA.

Although this book was printed for and sent to folks who were members in 2011, we always print extra copies of the Special Publication for those who join through out the following year.

Therefore, there should be enough copies to distribute to new members for at least the next 6 months. If you have any questions you can reach me through the Membership link on our web page.

Regards, John Walkowiak
12/31/2011 John Cashman
This was reprinted in 1987, at least in part, as "The First American Furniture Finisher's Manual," edited and with an introduction by Robert Mussey. That reprint is worth having for Mussey's input. But the MWTCA reprint, which came in the mail the day after I read this blog post, is fantastic. It is a beautiful copy of the original, while Mussey's is not.

I also live much too far away to attend any meets, but the bimonthly journals and yearly reprint are alone worth more than the yearly membership fee. Join the MWTCA today.
Thanks for the headsup, Joel. I signed up and plan to attend a meeting next week! Can't wait!
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.
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