Starrett Tools


Making and Using Handtools


The Practical Tool-maker and Designer by Herbert S. Wilson, 1898


When the 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 technical works.

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.

The limited 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


Folding Rule


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