This book is not "just another schoolbook" that you will be required to study from cover to cover. It is a reference book that is going to help you do your woodwork better, more independently, and with greater profit and enjoyment.
You use a reference book when you want to look up something you don't know. For example: When you want to know the meaning of a word, you look it up in the dictionary. You use this book in the same way. When you want to know how to do a certain tool operation, you look it up in the book.
When you do a piece of woodwork,
you will have to lay it out according to the drawing from which you are working.
You will have to saw and plane boards to dimensions, make some joints, glue the work together, perhaps join some parts of it with nails or screws, and put on hinges, locks, or other hardware.
Then you will have to stain and finish it with shellac, varnish, or other materials.
All of these operations and many more you will find fully explained in the book and illustrated with photographs and drawings.
Your teacher has, of course, explained the tool operations needed to do a certain job and has also shown you how you should do them. If you remember everything he said, you don't need to refer to the book, but if you forgot something, you can find it here and will not have to wait and ask him again.If you are ahead of the class, your teacher may give you a more advanced job and let you work independently from a blue print, a project book, or a magazine. You can do this all right if you plan your work step by step and look up those tool operations you are not quite sure about.
It may also be that you have a workshop at home, or that some member of your family or a friend allows you to use his shop. Or perhaps you are a member of a woodcraft club, or you want to earn a scout merit badge by doing some woodwork. If you and your friends have made woodworking your hobby, you will find that this reference book is going to help you a lot, no matter how much or how little you know. You may even make your hobby profitable. Many boys and young men make quite a little extra spending money, either by repairing old furniture or by making new, attractive pieces. Quite often there is also an opportunity to win valuable prizes offered by commercial firms for some specified piece of woodwork or model making.
Woodworking is one of the largest and oldest industries in the world. It is divided into the major trades of carpentry, cabinetmaking, patternmaking, wood turning, carving, cooperage, and wood finishing. Furthermore, wood is used in every engineering job, in box making, and in thousands of articles in everyday use. In order to conserve and protect our supply of lumber, the government maintains a research laboratory, the "Forest Products Laboratory" at Madison, WI, where all kinds of experiments and tests are made and where new and more economical methods of using wood are developed.
Your study of woodwork is therefore important because it offers so many and varied fields for employment. But even if you are not going to be a woodworker, you may find a lot of enjoyment in working in wood. Most people do, because wood is a material that can easily be transformed by skillful human hands into beautiful as well as useful objects. May this little book help your hands to acquire that skill and give you the pride and satisfaction that comes with good workmanship.