author of this work first started out as a machinist's
apprentice, he was under the impression that in addition to
the every-day knowledge to be gained in the shop, it would
be possible to add more knowledge by means of text-books or
After ransacking four of the largest and
best libraries in the country, he made the astounding
discovery that only a half dozen works of the kind were in
print, and they were of little practical value except as
experimental data for amateurs.
At a later
time, when working as a tool-maker, still more difficulties
presented themselves. Few tool-makers seemed to have had
experience in more than one or two lines of work; and to
become a general workman necessitated the tramping from shop
to shop where the various machinery was in use. This the
author actually did, and this work is the result in
miniature of the experience thus gained.
space available has left much to be desired, and many of the
ideas may be to some readers old; but as the intention is to
help the beginner, much good is hoped for in the field laid
out for the work.
The almost limitless variations in tool
construction are based on a few fundamental forms, and an
effort has been made to present basic ideas and allow, or
rather trust to the natural ability of the student, to adapt
the best means to the purposes in view.
Method is far more
important than detail, and the dies, jigs, special fixtures,
etc., given in this work, are intended as a ground-work for
elaboration and variation according to conditions.
The author is
aware that this book is limited in scope, and that many who
read it will find much in it, a knowledge of which they
already possess; but as an elementary work he hopes it may
assist the army of beginners who, if they have the
opportunity he has always found, will be eager to embrace it
and thus acquire knowledge.
Herbert S. Wilson