Category Archives: Woodworking Literature

Two of my biggest interests are literature and woodworking. Sometimes they coincide, as when a work of literature makes references to woodworking, or when a woodworker writes about the craft.

Making a Thumb-Ring Page Holder

If you’re a reader and a woodworker, you’ve probably seen pictures of them on social media.  You don’t know what they’re called, but your book-loving friends probably want you to make them some.  I’ve heard them called by several names: … Continue reading

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Colonial Craftsmen, by Edwin Tunis ~ 50 Years Later

I have been leafing through a fine volume, Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginnings of American Industry by Edwin Tunis (d. 1973).  Originally published in 1965, this book was reprinted by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1999.  In it, Tunis surveys … Continue reading

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Summer Reading: Kid-Friendly Woodworking Books

Summer reading isn’t just for grown-ups.  With the kids out of school, it’s just the time for everybody, young and old, to do some reading for fun.  As a woodworking father of four young children, I’m always on the lookout … Continue reading

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A Window into Fifteenth-Century Woodworking

You can learn a lot about period woodworking at the art museum.  Robert Campin’s Merode Alterpiece, a triptych painting of the Annunciation, is well-known in the art world, but it ought to be better know to woodworkers, especially those interested … Continue reading

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What I Got for Christmas

I always like it when my Christmas stocking includes one or two woodworking-related items.  This year, I received some very practical ones. Among my favorites are the Sloyd knife (review coming later) and the two books.  Moxon’s Art of Joinery … Continue reading

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Wordcraft: Planes and Files in a Troubadour Poem

There are not many surviving poems by the Troubadour poet Arnaut Daniel, who wrote in Provencal French and died circa 1200.  One of his most famous works, “Ab gai so cundet e leri,”  features a full stanza of woodworking imagery … Continue reading

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How to Start Training the Next Generation of Woodworkers

This being a bookish blog, let me begin with a picture not obviously related to woodworking. The year was 2008.  I was in the thick of writing my doctoral dissertation, and I was spending much of my time reading academic … Continue reading

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Working with Wood, Working with Words

My longest, most complicated project is now finished. Six years ago, I began working on a writing project that would become first my doctoral dissertation and finally a book published by a university press. The box of complementary copies from … Continue reading

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“Woodworker’s Ballad”: A Woodworking Poem by Herbert Edward Palmer

A former student of mine showed me this poem a couple of days ago, and I thought I would post it here.  It’s called “Woodworker’s Ballad,” and I reprint it from the The Oxford Book of English Verse (link to … Continue reading

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Country Ways and Workings: In Memoriam Aldren A. Watson, 1917-2013

When I first began to work wood seriously, I pillaged the local libraries for books on hand tools.  I found books by Roy Underhill and Michael Dunbar, but the first book on hand tools I bought was Aldren A. Watson’s … Continue reading

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