To say that our modern day American culture takes for granted the accessibility of nearly any type of comfort we desire is an understatement. We are far removed from our pioneering ancestors and their well-rounded abilities to be nearly self-sufficient – growing, building and fixing what they needed to live.
Yet, the capacity to craft and complete a project with our own hands doesn’t just have survival value. The knowledge and skills associated with hand skills also develops character, pride and persistence.
Equipping men to be industrious for more than a century is the classic work on craftsmanship, The Handyman’s Guide – Essential Woodworking Tools and Techniques by Paul N. Hasluck. Billed as one of the most detailed woodworking handbooks ever compiled, it contains more than 2,500 illustrations and vintage photographs.
With very little theory and heavy on practical tips, it’s a do-it-yourself bible covering specific uses of traditional and still-in-use hand tools, the basics of wood types and precise methods to construct or repair just about anything.
Learn about creating joints, driving nails properly, fitting locks and hinges, building a fence, constructing a bookcase or even building a cabin. As the book states, it will be “especially useful to colonists and persons in out-of-the-way places as it teems with practical hints and details that must be of the utmost worth to those whose very existence often depends on their ability to use wood working tools.” Yet, it’s also a valuable resource for the novice that needs the occasional direction with a home project.
Whether you’re an amateur that just wants to know how to fix a backyard gate, an enthusiast that appreciates the craft or the professional that contends in the world of carpentry, The Handyman’s Guideis an essential addition to the library of those that want to see how craftsmanship was, and still can be, done.