OUR WORKSHOP; A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE AMATEUR
THE ART OF CARPENTRY AND JOINERY.
NEW YORK; THOMAS O'KANE, 1873.
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Our workshop; a practical guide to the amateur
CARPENTRY AND JOINERY.
We are sorry to be obliged to admit, that to enter into a scientific investigation of the mechanical principles on which the art of Carpentry depends, would be worse than useless. By so doing, we should only be occupying valuable space, with-out imparting instruction, or affording pleasure to many of our readers.
We should fail in the first, simply because amateurs would not peruse such unpalatable matter; for so it would be considered by the every-day reader of light literature. The latter, or pleasure- seeker, would ask why we did not tell him how to make some ornamental or useful article, instead of delivering a dry lecture on the composition and resolution of forces, the strengths of different forms of beams, and many other matters which are all-important to the practical carpenter. In truth, there always has been, and we fear there always must be, a very wide distinction between the practical and the amateur mechanic.
While the former is dependent on the correct scientific principles of his art, to enable him to guard against the most disastrous consequences, the latter is quite satisfied with a mere superficial knowledge, sufficient to enable him to carry trifling matters to a successful issue.
Carpentry is one of the most "interesting and useful branches of mechanical art. It is also a cleanly and healthy employment. That carpentry is popular amongst boys, no one will deny. Who ever saw a youngster who did not delight in the use of his pocket-knife, if no more convenient tool were at hand, to display his constructive, and we fear but too often his destructive, capabilities? We hope that the advice we can give and the knowledge we shall endeavour to impart to our apprentices, in " Every Boy's Workshop," will reclaim all mischievous fellows, and encourage all those who are of an ingenious and constructive turn of mind. Just reflect, if it be only for a moment, how gratifying it would be to have it said, - “Don't send for Chips, the carpenter: my son can do the job quite as well; he is a capital joiner." Besides this, there are so many useful articles you would be able to make for the cost price of the material, and allowing a slight percentage on the original price of your tools.
Good tools are necessarily expensive, nevertheless our apprentices must use none but the best; for in the end they are the cheapest. Always remember the old and true saying, "A. good workman is known by his tools. "A good workman may do a tolerable job with indifferent tools, but a beginner should never attempt to use any but first-class implements, or he will never become a first-class craftsman. If you use bad tools, and try to cast the blame of bad work on them, recollect that "A bad workman always complains of his tools.-" A really clever mechanic cherishes his reputation far too highly to allow his tools to lapse into an inefficient condition; therefore, next to his character, the honest workman prides himself, and justly so, on the superior quality of his tools.
We are well aware that our apprentices cannot all afford to purchase good tools, to the extent they will require them, at a moment's notice; and, indeed, it is questionable whether it would be advantageous for them to do so at first under any circumstances, as increased "confidence will be acquired by making a few tools serve for all purposes to which they can effectively be applied. Many people imagine that when they have not a good set of carpenter's tools, the best plan is to purchase a box of so-called "Tools." Beware how you do this. Never buy a box of tools. A joiner's tool-chest, if bought of a respectable manufacturer, may be all right; but we do not advocate the practice.
Purchase, or, if you like, make a tool-chest, and furnish it with the best tools, carefully selected from the manufacturer's stock. A young carpenter will do well to get some friend who has the requisite experience to examine the tools before purchasing. We will quote the average prices of the best tools required for "Our Workshop;" our apprentices will then be able to judge of the qualities and prices offered by the makers with whom they may be obliged to deal.
Some little misconception exists respecting the terms, carpenter, joiner, and cabinet-maker, Strictly speaking, a carpenter is the artisan whose duty it is to lay down floors, build roofs, and make other substantial frame-work, of which many examples may be found in the building trade. A thorough carpenter is a very clever fellow; in fact, he is a scientific man, an engineer in his way. Many of the most eminent builders were carpenters. Half the men who style themselves carpenters and joiners are really only the latter. A joiner begins where the carpenter leaves off. As soon as the roof, flooring, and other heavy work is finished, the joiner comes into the house, and fits the window-frames and sashes, doors, cupboards, shelves, which are essential to make a house habitable. All the fixtures being completed, our friends, the carpenter and joiner, leave the premises to the cabinet-maker, who supplies the furniture, &c., without which we should not feel much tempted to make a prolonged stay in the house, however cleverly his able predecessors had accomplished their allotted tasks.
CARPENTRY AND JOINERY
I. THE BENCH
II. HOW TO USE THE TOOLS
III. REMARKS ON THE SEASONING AND CHOICE OF THE WOODS
IV. VARIOUS METHODS OF JOINING TIMBER
V. SIMPLE WORKS IN WOOD
VI. GROOVING PLANES, ETC
VII. MORTISING AND TENONING
X. VARNISHING AND FRENCH POLISHING
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