Another example to illustrate the "conceptual approach"
are the following terms that are parts of Joints:
"Tenon", "Biscuit", "Spline", "Tongue". While each is
different, at bottom, they perform the same function.
showing these kinds of relationships among these terms,
this glossary will also function as a thesaurus.
Among the sources consulted in constructing this
glossary is the
Oxford English Dictionary, because it
-- alone -- is the dictionary that prides itself in
having the "original", i.e., "first" use of a term in
the context of a specific meaning. With that
understanding, you would think, for example, that the
Trunnion, in it its connotation as the
under-structure of a circular saw's
Arbor assembly, would be featured in the
entry for trunnion. As of 4-2005, this was not true.
Thus, in constructing this glossary, necessarily, I had
to depend on a variety of sources. All of these sources
are listed appropriately as part of the information
given for each entry.
Other sources that I will consult regularly are:
(1) Raphael A Salaman's Dictionary of
Woodworking Tools, c
1700-1900 and Tools of Allied Trades,
Revised edition. London: Unwin, and Newtown, CT:
Taunton Press, 1989.
Truly, this work is an amazing piece of scholarship, evidently virtually a life-long pursuit of the primary author, Raphael Salman, but in later parts of the project, many other hands, spread across the globe, made contributions. The bibliography of sources -- overall, between 300 to 350 tiles -- occupies almost 10 pages.
(2) Vic Taylor, Woodworker's Dictionary , Hemel, Hempstead, England: Argus Books,1987; Pownal, VT: Storey Communications, 1990. 260 pages.
The contents of Taylor is largely based on the "Woodworker's dictionary" -- a monthly series in Woodworker Magazine from 1962 to 1970 -- contains what I estimate is 5,000 entries, i.e, definitions and cross-refences. Numerous drawings enhance many entries, but there are no sources cited.
According to its "Introduction", the Woodworker's Dictionary includes "a wider coverage of antique furniture, furniture decoration, and the updating of materials and techniques; ... woodworking terms used in the USA, together with many examples of purely American furniture designs; ..., some French terms are necessarily included because of the enormous influence of French designers and craftsmen, [but] the book is primarily devoted to British and American furniture and woodwork".
Claiming to be "a comprehensive and fully illustrated dictionary of terms relating to all types of woodworking, including cabinetmaking, carpentry, joinery, upholstery, and furniture repair, this is a reasonably cheap -- on bookfinder.com -- home reference for anyone who works with wood. Woodworker's Dictionary covers such workshop practices as making joints, polishing, turning, carving, sharpening tools, and the tools themselves. It also contains information about antique furniture. Two appendices give definitions of well-known designers, craftsmen, and furniture periods".
The book's author, Vic Taylor -- an editor of Woodworker Magazine -- has been associated with woodwork and furniture making throughout his career. During his career in both England and the United States, he has both written and illustrated books on woodworking and articles for woodworking magazines. While I can't find any direct evidence to bear out my hunch, that Charles Harold Hayward had a hand in the origin of this dictionary is, for me, a given, a fact that cofirms my conviction that the book is solid.
Eric Sloane A Museum of Early American Tools
New York: Ballantine, 1964;
(4) Graham Blackburn The
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Woodworking Handtools,
Instruments and Devices Containing a Full Description of
the Tools Used by Carpenters, Joiners, and
Cabinet-Makers. New York: Simon and Schuster,
(5) Peter C. Welsh Woodworking
Tools, 1600-1900 Washington, DC: Smithsonian
Institution, 1966 (Contributions from the Museum of
History and Technology: Paper 51 Bibliography 227.)
(While the focus of sources 1, 2 and
4 treat only tools of an earlier vintage -- definitely
pre-1900 -- these tools remain essential to any history
(6) Joseph Aronson, The Encyclopedia of Furniture. New York: Crown Publishers, 1938.
Selecting Aronson goes along with my
conviction that this history of woodworking should be
"document-driven"; that is, as much as is possible, the history of
woodworking should speak for itself, especially through documents
contemporary to periods that the history covers. During his lifetime,
Aronson had a reputation as an authority -- maybe "the" authority -- on
furniture history. Extended articles in his Encyclopedia cover
"Modern", "England", "France", "Spain", "German", "Spain", "Sweden" and
"American" furniture topics, and briefer articles treat, furniture
joinery and construction, furniture design and designers, and
furniture woods, among other topics. In addition -- and perhaps most
significant -- during his lifetime, Aronson himself recognized
as a furniture designer in his own right. While his coverage of furniture topics are "broad-brush-stroke", rather than detailed, throughout the Encyclopedia of Furniture,
Aronson speaks with the authority of an expert with a command
of the subject matter, which is just what I need to guide me in
writing entries on furniture periods and other matters associated
with any analysis of how -- in their selection of woodworking projects -- woodworkers confronted the construction of furniture.
(7) Harvey Green,Wood: Craft,
Culture, History. New York: Penguin, 2006.
Culture, History is the first book in my
experience that looks at the "culture of wood", or
maybe it's "the woodworking culture". Whatever, upon
spying it, I realized a heretofore unrecognized
truth about amateur woodworking: amateur woodworking
is a "culture", similar to a "participatory" sport,
like golf or tennis or racquetball, but -- at least
in my experience -- has not gotten such recognition.
Why? This neglect of observation is obvious, in my
view, though, for the following reason: Woodworking
is an activity engaged in by "insiders", who are not
taken to introspection about their activities, while
"outsiders" who may be looking in -- and possess the
analytical skills needed to expose woodworking as a
culture -- fail to understand the chemistry
the web-based ARTFL Project
(9) the Walt Durbahn "Dictionary of
Carpentry Terms", 1947, included in Fundamentals
of Carpentry, volume 1. Its usefulness belies by
its deceptively slight appearance, it is a source marred
only by a misleading title: at least half of its
entries relate to woodworking.
(10) Aldren A Watson, Country
Furniture. New York: Thomas Y Crowell, 1974.
Profusely illustrated with pen drawings by the author,
this book -- picked up for next to nothing at a library
book sale -- features a twenty page glossary, where most
entries include one illustration and a fairly large,
very useful bibliography. Coverage is up to late 19th
century. Not a how-to-do-it or project book, this book
explores the tools and processes of what Watson calls
the "country furniture-maker", before the introduction
of powered equipment.
and, finally, any other sources that I encounter and
that prove useful. The latter I will cite on the spot.
my intent -- with the assistance of a group of Editorial
Advisors -- is to look widely among other sources,
especially woodworking manuals, documents contemporary
to a particular era, old newspapers, online databases of
the 19th century and later, etc., etc.
I am not claiming to be an expert
Finally, I want to declare at the
outset that I am not an expert at any of the topics
discussed in this website -- i.e., "Woodworkinghistory.com".
Instead, on the matter of "expert", I can claim to be an
expert researcher, that is, "expert" in my skills in
exposing what experts about topics covered in the
website state or claim about the broad range of
While I lack academic credentials in lexicography -- the
art of dictionary making -- I have dabbled in the field,
the primary evidence being my editorship of the set of
ten dictionaries of concepts for Greenwood Press.
One final, personal note:
In the Glossary, the main entries
are in given in
bold type . Later, as I
continue to work toward completing the whole website, I
ill (1) insert hyperlinks as aids to navigation and (2)
locate appropriate images to upload.