It appears the Project Gutenberg folks have made it possible for the entire world to own a virtual copy of:
HANDWORK IN WOOD
By WILLIAM NOYES, M.A.
Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Arts.
NEW YORK CITY
The entire book has been scanned, and is available at the link above. If this book had been written two weeks ago, I believe all of the woodworking book clubs would be clambering to secure exclusive rights to make it the Selection of the Month. It has about 4 boatloads of information, and it has pictures.
It tells how to sharpen a card scraper. It tells how to choose a hammer. It tells how to layout the rafters under the roof of your next house. It describes the proper circles to make when applying French Polish.
To me the most fascinating part of the book is the first section which provides tremendous detail on logging in the era before the internal combustion engine. The photos are amazing. Here are a couple just to whet your appetite.
Did it whet your appetite?
Wait!!!!!!! Did I just say “WHET”?????
Yes. And that leads us to the WHAT THE &$#*@&^%$ moment of the day…..
There is one area of this book that I read. Re-read. Paused to consider. Then re-read. It still confuses the heck out of me. I am pasting it here unedited….
To test the sharpness of a whetted edge, draw the tip of the finger or thumb lightly along it, Fig. 79. If the edge be dull, it will feel smooth: if it be sharp, and if care be taken, it will score the skin a little, not enough to cut thru, but just enough to be felt.
Maybe it’s because I am something of a bleeder, but I cannot bring myself to agree with that information. One of my primary objectives in woodworking is to avoid things that "score the skin a little."
99.9% of this free e-Book is gold, but whatever you do…don’t follow the advice “To test the sharpness of a whetted edge, draw the tip of the finger or thumb lightly along it…”
Enjoy your free book, and resist the urge to buy from the guy on Ebay who is offering a CD with this free eBook for the unheard of price of just under ten bucks. And to that Ebay guy...if you are one of my regular readers, I apologize for possibly hurting your plans for early retirement. It's nothing personal... I just wanted to be able to say that I gave all of my readers a free book.