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WORK The Work Magazine Reprint Project

Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889


Work Magazine LogoIssue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 5

Amateur planemakers beware! I've got another one for you. Well, to be fair, the Work contributor who goes by A FOREMAN PATTERN MAKER has another one for you. It's a block plane with lever adjustment Check out the alluring section below:
Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 6
Cute right? Take a minute to ponder the movement of the lever mechanism. I had to stare at it for a few minutes before I could comprehend how it worked. I'll admit to not being so very well acquainted with the pedigrees of the various famous plane adjusters, so I'll leave it up to the blog readership to comment and tell me if this is something novel or standard. If it's AFPM's original design, I'm doubly impressed.

Also, do not let the unimaginative nom de plume mislead you. AFPM is as deft with his helpful contextualizing remarks as he is with his cold chisel.

Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 7

Not bad right? Like many of us, I was in the habit of beating myself up for enjoying project articles I knew I had no time to build. Not anymore! Watch out world. As for the cold chisel work; allow me to direct your attention to Figure 5. Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 8AFPM plans for you, the humble reader, to cut the serrations in your plane iron with a cold chisel. You also have to cut a matching-- nay, MATING set of serrations in the lever mechanism (Figure 4).

I happen to think this is the sort of thing that makes contemporary DIY magazines look bad next to Work. Leave it to those ballsy Victorians down at La Belle Sauvage. There's no mention of any off-the-shelf-parts; no mention of a special contrivance or even a set of knurls. It's just a vital feature, so hold your chisel straight, and go get to work. We'll put the kettle on.

It's actually pretty similar to file-cutting, so maybe I'm too quick to swoon. Then again, file teeth can be hand-cut with such staggering regularity of spacing and depth that the process has always mystified me.

AFPM to the rescue; it might be nearly as straightforward as it looks. I challenge anyone to read the next move and not want to try it.

Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 9

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to spend the rest of my weekend poking at the article on rustic carpentry. I've been fantasizing about not really building a rustic fence for the garden I don't have in the yard I don't own ever since I failed at not watching the end of Open Range last week.


Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 10

Click to Download Vol.1 - No. 16 •

Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 11 Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 12 Issue No. 16 - Published July 6, 1889 13

Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.

The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.

The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.

You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.

Join the conversation
07/06/2012 Howard in Wales
As you are re-publishing "Work" magazine I presume that you have a complete run of copies in your possession.

"The Woodworker Magazine" in the UK has been available in various forms and incarnations under numerous owners since the early part of the last century.

Work; starting in 1889 predates it, I think, by a few decades, so as a matter of interest, for how long was Work originally produced?

It's fascinating stuff, keep it coming.
Best regards from Wales.
07/06/2012 Peter Evans
There were a number of weekly magazines around the topic of work in the late 19th/early 20th centuries; “Work” published by Cassell is probably the most famous. The first editor was, I think, Francis Chilton-Young, followed by Paul Nooncree Hasluck (1854-1931). The magazine ran from 1889 to 1924 (I only have Vol LII, Mar-Sept 1917, each volume was 6 months). The title changed over time from “Work An Illustrated Magazine of Practice and Theory…” through “Work a weekly journal for amateur mechanics” to “Work the illustrated weekly Journal of Handicrafts”, and probably others.

There was a successor magazine called “Amateur Mechanic and Work 1924-1926 (105 issues), which was in turn amalgamated with (English Mechanics and World of Science), and subsequently published as "English & Amateur Mechanics", which in turn ran for 2 years (114 issues) to 1928 – and in turn was renamed “English Mechanics”, which ran until 1942.

Ward. Lock, Bowden & Co published a magazine called “Amateur Work Illustrated” from 1881-1888, and reissued a number of times in 7 volumes.

“Work” itself was the source of many titles, the major one being the 8 volume “Cassell’s Cyclopæaedia of Mechanics”; there were a number of versions of this between 2 and 5 volumes over the years from 1900.

“The Woodworker” started in October 1901.
I was hoping you would chime in one day with specifics. Francis Chilton-Young was the first editor but Hasluck is there almost from the start. Hasluck has an article in Amateur Work Illustrated from the first issue. A fine magazine but less involved in woodworking and with far fewer and more complex projects (build an organ). Not as interesting as Work.

Howard, we have the first 4 years of work - which we plan to republish. If I can locate more volumes we will try to continue the series but it depends on how popular the reprints are. I also have several additional scattered volumes.
07/09/2012 Peter Evans
Hi Joel, the taks of scanning, and cleaning up scans, of the vast number of early magazines is huge - really appreciate your efforts on Work. A "web clearing house" for individual efforts might be worthwhile. In the past I scanned quite a bit of material, however the last few years sees me working (consulting) a lot more to top up my depleted superannuation! I started to digitise "The Woodworker" indices for first 70 years a while ago (I either have, or can access all the paper indices), and even this is a large task if the total Index is consolidated and searchable. If anyone out there has scanned copies of "The Woodworker" appreciate copies for a future website.

Perhaps google might expand beyond Pop Science and Mechanics, and American Woodworker, to other journals.
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