Basic Woodworking Processes

Herman Hjorth

Milwaukee; The Bruce Publishing Co., 1935
Fifth Printing


This little book is intended as a textbook for all students of elementary and intermediate woodwork regardless of their age levels and the type of school they may be attending.

It differs from the standard textbook in that it is not to be studied page for page and chapter for chapter. It should rather be used as a reference book, because it lists, describes, and illustrates the most important basic tool operations and jobs that the student of woodworking will have to learn. It also gives related information about hand tools and various materials used in woodworking. In other words, it should be to the student of woodworking what the dictionary is to the student of English, and be used in about the same manner.

It is the hope of the author that this book will be a distinct help to both students and teachers. While no book can take the place of the teacher's verbal instructions and demonstrations, it may supplement these very effectively, help the student to work independently, and save the teacher the task of endless repetitions and explanations - both verbal and written - of common tool processes. This saving in time and labor will make it possible for the teacher to collect a larger and more varied number of projects selected from blue prints, magazine articles, and project books, thereby broadening the work and making it better organized, more interesting, vital, and individual in character.

In writing instruction sheets, the repetition of many basic tool operations, which are but minor parts of a larger job, is a necessary evil. It is also difficult for the individual teacher to obtain good illustrations and to reproduce the sheets in quantity so that they are legible and not easily soiled or torn. These mechanical difficulties as well as the actual task of writing instruction sheets may be largely overcome by the use of this book. It is merely necessary for the teacher to outline for the student "what to do" and then refer him to the book for directions on "how to do it."

To further illustrate the use of the book a few sample job sheets have been added (pages 228 to 241). Each job sheet or outline begins with a short definite statement of what the student has to do before he is allowed to begin work. This compels him to study his problem in the same way that he would study a lesson in an academic subject.

1. He is told to study the drawing and make out a bill of material and a cutting list. If he can do this correctly, it indicates that he at least understands the drawing. With a cutting list he is also less likely to make mistakes and waste material when getting out stock.

2. He is also told to make templates of any curved parts. This is a further check on his understanding of the drawing and is in itself a valuable lesson in measuring and drawing. If he is working from a project book, he should also copy the drawing on a separate sheet of paper to save the book from being torn or soiled.

3. He is finally asked to write down the answers to the questions at the end of the outline. To be able to do this, he must have read the complete outline and possibly looked up one or two references. (Ref­erences to related information contained in other books should be given when necessary or desirable. All such references should be specific.)

The teacher may now be reasonably assured that the student understands the problem. He is then told what kind of wood to use and per­mitted to begin the construction of his project. In following the outline, he is referred to the book for directions on how to do certain tool operations. The younger and less experienced he is, the more he will need these directions. The outlines should, therefore, be more complete for the simpler projects. Older students should learn to plan their own work and outline a method of procedure for approval by the teacher.