Winsted Tools


Making and Using Handtools


The Home Mechanic by John Wright, 1903


Published in 1903 by E. P. Dutton & Company in New York is introduced as:

"The following pages have been written with the hope that they may be of some use to young armatures. When a boy, I experienced the greatest difficulty in obtaining information on many of the simplest pieces of work.

 My friends could not tell me and the books were so technical that I could not understand them; the result was that I adopted many of the dodges, which are so common with armatures, for the purpose of making my work better then it really was, such as filling a bad joint with putty carefully colored to match the wood, etc.

I have since had the good fortune to be regularly taught in a large Engineering Works how tools should be used.  I have tried both kinds of work, and I know that the workman's method is right, and that the "dodges" are worse than useless. 

I also know that the only way to become a good workman is to begin quite at the beginning, and to master the first stages before attempting to do more difficult work.  If I succeed in helping one or two young armatures, I shall be amply repaid for the time expended in writing this book.

John Wright
London, 5th April 1903

WOOD-WORKING is divided into many branches, which have become, and are recognized by the unions, as being separate trades.

First, there is the carpenter, who builds the hulls of wooden vessels, lays the decks, makes the wood masts and spars of all ships, etc. He is assisted by the joiner, who makes the cabins and internal fittings of vessels.

The joiner also makes the floors and wood-work of houses, he builds sheds, makes garden gates and palings, etc.


There is no such thing as a house-carpenter. There is also the cabinet maker, the pattern-maker, the cooper, the millwright, etc., and, last but not least, the turner, without whose assistance all the other wood-workers would be in difficulties.

Each branch of wood-worker has some tools peculiar to its trade, which are seldom or never used by the other classes of wood-worker, but there are many tools which are used by all, such as planes, chisels, gouges, hammers, etc.




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