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Home Building and Woodworking in Colonial America

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Found in Departments: Carpentry, Architectural Woodworking & Construction
  Classic Texts on Tools and Woodworking
  The Astragal Press
  The History of Tools and Early Technical Processes
Home Building and Woodworking in Colonial AmericaHome Building and Woodworking in Colonial Americacancelleft arrowright arrow
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by C. Keith Wilbur

This excellent book follows in the tradition of Eric Sloane's now out of print classic, A Museum of Early American Tools. Like the Sloane book, Home Building is lavishly illustrated and gives detailed information about the art of building colonial post and beam houses and the tools that were used to build them. It's an absorbing inspirational read even if you are not planning to build a colonial house. Each step of the process (beginning with cutting of the trees!) is meticulously described and illustrated.

Wilbur pays attention to the subtle: It's not enough for him to just mention that one covering of the side of a building could be clapboard; he also shows how the clapboards were split on a riving break, how to adjust the break for height, how clapboards were also sawn, and finally how to attach them to the frame. The book's carefully drawn illustrations are so beautifully done that even experienced woodworkers will learn a lot.
p Home Building's last chapter, which is devoted to the evolution of woodworking tools, is particularly enjoyable. All the major groups of tools are described, from their earliest incarnations in the Stone Age to their medieval, colonial, industrial and modern versions. It's a wonderful overview of the entire history of woodworking and woodworking tools. I do have some minor quibbles with some the dates of tool development, but that in no way detracts from the book's overall merit.
A wonderful gift for older children (and it will thoroughly held hold an adult's interest too!).

Pages: 122
Binding: TP
Publisher: Globe Pequot

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