Woodworker's manuals 1921 to 1930.

under construction 2-08-10

What follows immediately below are preliminary remarks designed to highlight matters that I have discovered in beginning a survey of woodworking manuals published over a period of three centuries.

Why survey three centuries of woodworking manuals? The main focus of my study is the 20th century, but since woodworking manuals published in the 18th century remain popular among certain amateur woodworkers today, I believe that I need to explore approaches that allows you to visualize the context in which these "original" woodworking manuals were published, and thus may be able to sense their significance as timeless artifacts.

My first convictions about woodworking manuals is that the intent of their authors in assembling these manuals is to instruct and to inspire.

The "to instruct" -- the "how-to-do-it" function -- is obvious. Potential woodworkers need guidance, and guidance comes best from other woodworkers' experience.

The "to inspire" part may not be obvious to beginners, of course, but finding any evidence of attempts toward inspiration is usually not difficult, especially if you read the introduction to a woodworking manual.

For example, read the introduction to the 1946 woodworker's manual, How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, published by Popular Science.

This manual's Introduction revives the term, "Skill Hunger", coined and popularized in the Depression by promoters such as Lawrence Pearsall Jack, for promoting use of "leisure time" wisely.

What is "skill hunger?" For the editors of the woodworker's manual, How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, skill hunger concerns "How the Hammer, Saw and Try-Square Can Satisfy the Urge to Make Things". Read more on this term by clicking on this hyperlink.

In comparison, how does this 1946, How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, manual stand up in promoting use of power tools over competitive manuals?

I checked this matter by doing a survey of woodworking manuals published between 1941 and 1950 in the Worldcat bibliographic database

(Worldcat, the world's largest bibliographic database of books, periodicals, publications of governments, etc, etc., currently contains records for over 50 million items.)

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, Worldcat registers only 17 copies in libraries worldwide -- telling us that libraries did not perceive this title as a "keeper", meaning that, realistically, we can't use library holdings as an indicator of the impact of this manual on the amateur woodworking movement in the '40s.

(Since How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools is over 50 years old, and has been "replaced" by numerous other more up-to-date manuals, most public libraries could have "discarded" their copies for more recently published books.

By discard, do not think the trash can; instead, it is more likely that the book was offered for sale at one of the book sales public libraries conduct annually. As a rule, public libraries -- unlike college libraries -- do not consider themselves "last copy" repositories. However, while this assumption may be soundly based, it is still only speculation.)

Worldcat registers that in 1946, 35 volumes were published, and for the decade, i.e., from 1941-1950, 206 volumes were published that libraries classified as woodworking manuals. So, with these figures, we can conclude that the How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools volume had much competition, especially in a nation occupied by a war.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools was, however, indexed in the Index to Handicrafts,  Modelmaking  and Workshop Projects, 2d supplement, 1950. This is one volume in a series of five volumes, published between 1943 and 1975. These volumes were purchased widely by public libraries, because their contents are indexes the internal contents of manuals. Pages of The Index to Handicrafts where certain "how-to" plans are accessible: for example, the following entry shows that you can find:

"Mortising and shaping on the drill press". In How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, pp. 91-95.

The Index to Handicrafts began as an in-house file of hand-written 3 x5 inch library cards in the Pittsburgh Public Library. Click on this link for an online example of how a public library lists these volumes.

How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools is still in the Index to Handicrafts,  Modelmaking  and Workshop Projects volume, but the manual itself -- probably because in public libraries it is considered outdated -- has been removed from the shelves of many public libraries.

Some Final Notes:

First, before starting this woodworking history project, I was not aware of the manuals listed below. Since examining them, and writing about them -- and, yes, buying used copies of many -- I have convinced myself that we -- as woodworkers -- are neglecting a vast potential resource. Why? Woodworking -- both an artform and an acquired skill -- continues to build upon a very long historical tradition that traces back as far as man's first appearance on earth. Woodworking, in other words, rests upon a foundation of knowledge and wisdom derived from its past, and -- each in its own way -- the manuals below exhibit qualities of this wisdom.

Second, these manuals could/should be arranged in reverse chronological order. Why? At the end of the decade, we view some truly significant events: One, under Arthur Wakeling, two 1930 manuals -- The Home Workshop Manual. Things To Make in Your Home Workshop. -- that are foundation stones in the formation of the National Homeworkshop Guild. (For more info on this important manual click here) Two, Delta releases its 3-vol The modern woodworking shop, a vehicle for announcing its new power machinery. In 1926, Charles G Wheeler features a manual which covers power tools -- unusal for that date -- but only a hand full are for the home workshop. Three years later, almost all is changed. The sections on power tools in Wakeling, for example, could have been ripped out of the Tautz and Fruits set.

Third, several manuals of this decade stand out as contributors to building an amateur woodworking movement: Paul Woolley's two volumes that index 22 + The Boy's Busy Book.


Chronological List of Woodworking Manuals, Periodicals,  1921-1930:

1922: Worst, Edward F. Problems in woodwork. 2d ed. 1922. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce, 1922.

 Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1922: Bryant, Frederick J. Working drawings of colonial furniture. 1922. Manual Arts.

 Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1923: Paul D. Otter.Furniture for the Craftsman. 306 pages.

New York: David Williams Company, 1923

Illustrated with 297 pen and ink drawings, Otter's manual was reissued -- virtually unchanged -- in 1923, this time with 318 pages, rather than 306 in the 1914 edition. Both the 1914 and 1923 editions, are representative of a transition in the final stages from a era of the master craftsman to the worker in the mass production line in a furniture factory. See 4.d in Chapter 4 , and check out Primary Document 4 (on the Morris chair)  and Primary Document 24 (on defining "mechanic", "cabinetmaker", "craftsman", "carpenter")

In the box below is a review of Otter's 1914 manual:


    New Publications

    Furniture for the Craftsman. By Paul D. Otter. 318 pages. Size 6 x 9 in. Illustrated with 297 pen and ink drawings. Bound in board covers. Published by the David Williams Company, 231 to 241 West Thirty-ninth street, New York City. Price $1.50, postpaid.

    A fruitful source of winter work or whenever the regular season is dull is the making of various articles or pieces of furniture and furnishings for the household by the building mechanic who is clever in the handling of his tools. In the book under review the author has presented a great variety of interesting examples of work of the nature indicated together with much valuable information as to the manner in which each piece of work can be successfully and economically accomplished. The book may be regarded as a manual for the student and mechanic, the information contained within its covers being presented in such a way as to be of the greatest practical value to those for whom it is especially intended. Mr. Otter is a practical man of wide experience thoroughly familiar with all the details of furniture construction and design. What he has to say, therefore, reflects the ideas of the practical rather than merely the theoretical.

    Much of the material contained within the covers of the book originally appeared in the columns of The Building Age and our readers are therefore more or less familiar with the style in which Mr. Otter handles his various subjects. A great deal of additional matter, however, has been added to the original articles and all has been arranged in the form of a handbook in order to meet the more general requirements, under the title given above. It is pointed out that in addition to the carpenter, the builder, the cabinet maker and the manual training student, there is "the day-fagged business man as well as many others who are likely to find refreshment from commercial and professional pressure in the increasing skill of doing things and in the joy of their accomplishment." The various subjects are treated within the compass of 16 well arranged and carefully illustrated chapters. One of these considers the essential tools and equipment necessary for doing the work, while others describe various kinds of furniture as well as bath room accessories. The concluding chapters are devoted to finishing and upholstery.

    More or less attention is given to the design and construction of the furniture usually found upon the porch of the country house or modern mansion as well as about the spacious grounds. The work considered as a whole meets a well-defined demand and coming at this season is especially opportune.


1923: Wells, Percy A. and Hooper, John. Modern Cabinetwork: Furniture and Fitments. 2d ed. 1924. Philadelphia: J. W. Lippin­cott. 386 pages

 Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936. Click here for an extended treatment of this important manual

1923: Paul N. Hasluck, Lathe-Work: A Practical Treatise On The Tools, Appliances, And Process Employed In The Art Of Turning, Including Hand-Turning, Boring And Drilling, The Use Of Slide Rests, And Overhead Gear, Screw-Cutting By Hand And Self-Acting Motion, Wheel-Cutting, Etc Etc, With Numerous Illustrations Drawn By The Author 11th Edition, Revised And Enlarged With Additional Chapters On Automatic, Repetition, Capstan, And Turret Lathes. New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., 1923

Using the calculation formula, 2500 copies per printing, and multiplying by 11 gives us approximately 30,000 copies sold. However, given that this prininting is the 11th edition, it is more likely that the total copies of this book is much larger. (I shall be on the lookout for more accurate details.) Even looking at the situation superficially, though, tells us that Hasluck's lathe manual filled a need -- that many amateur lathe enthusiasts were active at the beginning of the 20the century on both sides of the Atlantic. (This book is printed in England but sold in America under the Van Nostrand imprint.)

Moreover, in chapter 1, Hasluck tells his readers that the foot-powered lathe is the most popular model. A disclosure such as this belies several other truths, most specifically that electrification -- in America, urban electrification commenced in the middle of the preceding decade -- would rapidly change attitudes of amateur lathe operators about how to power lathes, while manufacturers such as Delta had lathes designed for home shops on the market later in the 1920s decade. 1924: Frederick A. Adams. Projects in Furniture Making. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce. 1924.

Based on the author’s experience teaching furniture making in a boy’s school. [Pages in opd file]

1924: Adams, Frederick A. Projects in furniture making. 1924. Bruce.

 Indexed in 1st Index to Handicrafts

1924: Herman Hjorth. Reproduction of Antique Furniture. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce, 1924.

 Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936.

According the Worldcat bibliographic database, over 180 libraries worldwide record owning this book. Designed for use in schools, this book – an example of the “colonial revival” movement -- was written while Hjorth was Director of Technical Work, Roman Baldorioty de Castro, Technical School, San Juan, Porto Rico.

In the “preface,” Hjorth observes that, 

    A general refinement of the public taste in matters pertaining to art and interior decoration is making itself felt more and more clearly. One of the phases of this feeling and desire for better things is undoubtedly the realization of the charm, beauty of line, and individuality of antique furniture. 

    Unfortunately the available supply of genuine antiques is so far below the de­mand that only the favored few can enjoy the possession of artistic old pieces. For the great majority reproductions will have to do. If well made and of true proportions, they will be found to be just as pleasing as the originals, besides be­ing much stronger. The higher class of furniture factories are meeting the de­mand of the times by turning out many excellent reproductions, which are not merely common adaptations but follow the original in every detail. But repro­duction of antique furniture need not necessarily be confined to professional cabi­net-makers. It may well be undertaken by high school boys, and many pieces can even be made by students of the eighth grade. Work of this kind may at first ap­pear too difficult; but, when the processes are carefully analyzed, these difficulties will disappear, and the result will be ever so much more pleasing and satisfying than the usual "Mission" type of furniture.

    With this idea in mind, the following material has been compiled. The pieces of furniture illustrated have been selected for their general simplicity and adaptability to the average home. They have been photographed, measured, and translated into working drawings, thus making them available for reproduction. A few suggestions and a short description of the principal technical difficulties involved in the construction of each piece have been added, as well as a chapter giving a brief outline of the art periods and how to distinguish the most important of them.

    While the book is intended chiefly for school use, it is hoped that it may also prove of interest to cabinet-makers, amateur woodworkers, and people in general who are interested in good furniture.  

1924: Charles G Wheeler. Woodworking: A Handbook for Beginners in Home and School, "Treating of Tools and Operations" Putnam, 1924. 369 pages.

 Indexed in
Index to Handicrafts 1936

A truly remarkable work, especially as a project conducted by one person.  Obviously part of the "homeworkshop movement" taking place in the 1920s, Wheeler dedicates this book "to the Boy Scouts of America, from one of the advisors to the 'National Court of Honor'." Further, in the sense that the book demonstrates what a single person can achieve, when this project is compared to the two-volume set by Paul Woolley (see below) -- two years later, and Chelsea Fraser's The Boy's Busy Book in 1927, below -- we begin to see a body of knowledge accumulating in behalf of the homeworkshop movement.

Wheeler's manual is distinguished from others of the decade by its inclusion of a section -- pages 272 to 339 -- dedicated to woodworking machinery, including industrial level machines that would be found in most woodworking classrooms in high schools, smaller scaled power tools -- at the time, beginning to come on the market -- and even a sprinkling of foot-powered tools, the latter probably being moved onto museum floors as his book was written. Wheeler illustrates the manual with sketches, not photos, including over 800 illustrations, with drawings of 762 woodworking hand and machine tools. From Wheeler's PREFACE:

    The aim has been to make this working handbook sufficiently simple, concise, and comprehensive to be suitable for everyone, from the young beginner to the student or amateur of mature years—for everybody except those already well trained in the subject, and possibly some of the latter class may find in it something of value to them. It contains principles and operations which a long and varied experience has shown to be needed and used repeatedly by beginners, school pupils, and amateurs. It is hoped that it will answer a large proportion of the common questions about the more important problems of general woodworking.

1925: Wheeler, Charles G. 1855-1946. (Charles Gardner). A manual of woodworking: the fundamentals of hand work in wood for home and school New York, London, G.P. Putnam's sons, 1925.  x, 189 pages. illus.

Worldcat Note: Abridged from the author's 1924 Woodworking: a handbook for beginners. cf. Preface,  "Suggested books for reading": p. vii.

1925: William W Klenke.  Joints and How They Are  Made. Peoria, IL: Manual Arts, 1925. 66 pages, illustrated with black-and-white photos and diagrams.


At only 66 pages and bound with a "soft-cover", a danger exists that Klenke's manual on joints would be considered ephemeral, not worth preserving as a guide to constructing joints with hand tools. Wisely, however -- as highlighted in the passage quoted from his "FOREWORD" -- in the box below -- Klenke visualizes a broader audience that just students in his high school Industrial Arts courses. Check out the scope Klenke covers by scanning the two pages of the table of contents reproduced below. (What Klenke says about the construction of joints for woodworking projects in 1925 still holds true in 2005.) The diagrams are excellent for the details they contain but -- to capture the techniques of making joints with hand tools -- I find the quality of his photos (example on right) limit their usefulness.

(In the manual, the photo on the right is roughly 3-inches high, 1 1/2-inch wide. The image here consierably improves the original photo in the manual.)





    This book is primarily intended as a text for all students of manual training high schools, trade, vocational, and normal schools; as a help to the manual training instructor and as a guide to the draftsman and architect; also as a means of assistance for all amateurs to whom this work appeals.

    Inasmuch as this book takes up the making of all common practical joints, no endeavor has been made to give a list of all joints known to man, as some of these are impractical, some can be replaced to advantage by joints the author has given, and some come under the heading of the steel square, the complete treatment of which has been given by many good authors. However, the student will find in this book a good joint for every type of construction. ...

1925 : Frederick J Bryant.Furniture Projects Peoria, IL: Manual Arts, 1925. 47 p.

Indexed in 1st Index to Handicrafts. Another in the colonial revival genre, Bryant’s projects are adaptations of furniture from America’s history up to 1850.


    The purpose of this collection of drawings is to present a comparatively new selection of models in the woodworking classes of the grades and high schools.

    No attempt has been made to grade the projects. They are put before teachers and students of woodworking as suggestive problems for the individual. The subject matter has been condensed as much as possible and the references which are given will cover the details not mentioned in the text.  

In 1925 and 1926, Paul V. Woolley, Head of the Department of Manual Arts, Filson High School, Muncie, Indiana, published two books.

In 1925: A Guide to the Study of Woodworking, Peoria, Illinois: Manual Arts Press book, 1925.

In 1926: A Guide to Woodworking Projects: A Companion Volume to A Guide to the Study of Woodworking, Peoria, Illinois: Manual Arts Press book, 1926.

In the 1926 book, Woolley lays out his intent in a piece he calls: "The Importance of Projects in the Education of Boys" Read the text of this in the window below:

Woolley Bibliographical Indexes 1925-1926

Paul V Woolley, A Guide to the Study of Woodworking1925

Paul V Woolley, A Guide to Woodworking Projects: A Companion Volume to A Guide to the Study of Woodworking1926

The 1920s was a time of both frustration and transition in Industrial Arts, particularily woodworking. Frustration, because the profession was losing recruits to other interests. (With their operations set up in lines of mass production, furniture manufacturers could hire unskilled employees off the street. Instructors also needed to contend with a lack of interest among students.) In response, IA came up with several stratagems designed to solve the problem, including the idea of promoting home workshops.

One response -- very innovative -- for creating greater interest among boys for projects to undertake in courses are these two indexes to projects, concepts, histories and the like, published in woodworker's manuals and related sources. It freed up the instructor from details that boys could work out for themselves. (Taken together, these two "Bibliographical Indexes" are innovative examples of what -- in the academic world -- is called "From Theory Into Practice". Click on the links to see the contents of the books themselves, or see more details on Woolley's two books in Woodworking Manuals, 1921-1930 and/or click here for more detailed account of IA education in the 1920s.)

1926: Burl N. Osburn and Bernice B. Osburn. Measured Drawings of Early American Furniture. Milwaukee: Bruce, 1926.

Also issued in a 1934 ed? Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

Another example of the interest in the colonial revival movement. As the Preface reads,

      Not only does much of our early furniture have an artistic value, but, as a real "made in America" product, deserves the interest and study of all Americans. As a vital part of American history, the creators of our early furniture merit much more than a casual treatment in our schools. There is a great deal more value to he obtained from reproducing these pieces than the mere handwork involved. One cannot study them with-out understanding just a little better the aims and ideals of the men who created them, and developing an appreciation of the customs and lives of the people who used them.


Chapter one, “Early American Furniture,” outlines briefly how early American furniture fits with designs from England, and then how designers and craftsman helped develop a more distinctive American imprint on the nation’s furniture. Osburn’s examples for projects fall into “aristocratic” or “high”-style; there are no examples of what middle-class homes would contain.

Among the furniture pieces included is a Pendleton Sideboard; some small tables; banister-back chair;  mahogany Mirror; Trestle-Footed Gate-Leg Table; Teakettle Stand; Mahogany Bureau-Chest; Signer's Table; Pine Chest; Mahogany Sewing Table; High Chair; Maple Table; Eighteenth Century Mirror; Vase-Back Chair; Butterfly Table—Maple; President's Desk; Tilt-Top Table; Tavern Table; Four-Poster Bed; Oval Tavern Table; Dresser; Miniature Tall Clock; Shield-Back Chair; Couch; Dining Table; High-Boy; Wing Chair; Tilt-Top Table; and Desk-On-Frame.

1926: Earl W. Ensinger.  Problems in Artistic Wood Turning. 1926. Bruce. $1.25.

 Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936 

1926: Maurice Adams. My Book of Furniture. London: Maurice Adams, 1926.

Concerns authors work as designer and craftsman.  




1927 :  Stanley Tools. How To Work with Tools and Wood for the home workshop by the Stanley Rule & Level Plant, 1927. 180 pages.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

Link to extended treatment of the Stanley Tools manuals


1927: William A. De Vette.  100 problems in woodwork. 1927. Bruce. $2.00.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936 

The copy that I looked at is "seventh printing -- 1945", which -- at 2500 copies per printing -- suggests that 17,5000 copies of this manual were published. One of the "100 problems" is a Morris chair and rocker. The contents, De Vette notes in the book's preface, reprints projects from The Industrial Arts Magazine. De Vette clarifies, though, that the target audience for this book is either the advanced student, or the slow student, and , as such is designed to supplement the course materials prepared by the classroom teacher. There is no claim that amateur woodworkers would use this manual. That the compilers of the Index to Handicrafts included the book's projects in the 1936 volume argues, nonetheless, that the projects were of interest to a wider audience. 

Anchor content1927: Chelsea Fraser. The Boy's Busy Book. New York: Crowell.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936


His preface laced with idealism, but steeled by experience, Fraser (implicitly) tells us that he is part of the "Homeworkshop movement". (Fraser is cited by Paul V Woolley.) Fraser, the author of numerous books dedicated to the instruction and entertainment of boys, ... An obituary in the Sheboygan Press newspaper, October 17, 1936, notes that Chelsea Curtis Fraser -- born in Canada 60 years ago, wrote articles for magazines since he was 16. But his profession is violin and guitar making.

Unlike charles G Wheeler (above) the two chapters dedicated to using woodworker's tools do not include any machines powered by electricity. Reviews of this book are in Albert Shaw, American Review of Reviews 1928, page 683,

    Every wide-awake boy will like the book by Chelsea Fraser, THE BOY'S BUSY BOOK, which tells how to make things with his knife, and other simple tools. ...

Fraser's PREFACE

    After a service of fourteen years as a manual training instructor, I have noticed that the students who advance the fastest in their classes are the boys who have a little workshop at home, and who work from good textbooks. These lads have developed a tool knowledge and a resourcefulness that are quite astounding, and because of this, require so little attention from the school manual instructor that they get along rapidly and produce the best articles. On the other hand, the unfortunate youngsters who have no supplementary training in handicraft at home, lag and become disinterested.

    Bobby's little work corner in the basement or garage will surely be worth all it costs to maintain. The thought that it is his workshop, his bench, his tools, his book of instructions and plans, will cause his chest to expand with a new pride that will be a pleasure for any mother and father to behold. And the sense of ownership will be all the sweeter to him if he is encouraged to enlarge his outfit of tools by adding one at a time, buying it with his own earnings.

    Bobby will form habits of self-reliance, orderliness, and thrift down there in his little place of business. No veteran workman, aside from his book, will be there to advise him; but the book will suggest, and he will cudgel his wits and find the solution.

    The tools must be put back in their places when he is through; the shavings swept up. The constant battle with mechanical problems sharpens his wits and inventive faculties. Through handling measurements that are made with a purpose, he begins to see the value of arithmetic, the fine stuff in fractions; and these were always terribly dry in his classes! A thirst develops for things of a scientific turn; and for publications dealing with what is actually happening in the world of mechanics and engineering. On rainy Saturdays he is found drawing plans for some new device, instead of standing before the front window and looking dejectedly out into the street.

    On the autumn evenings when the "gang" is out hatching up new mischief, he is gleefully brushing glittering paint on some clever toy he is making for Betty's Christmas gift. Yes, it's a fine thing to be a busy boy, and I know of few better ways to induce a boy to become busy than to allot him a work corner, hand him a sympathetic, silent instructor in the shape of a book, and say, "Now, Bobby, you may get busy ! "


    Grand Rapids, Mich. Sept. I, 1927.

1927: William Noyes . Design and construction in wood. 1927. Manual Arts. $3.00.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

No Date: William A. De Vette, Details of cabinet construction. n. d. Lippincott. $1.75.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936.

Curiously, a book by this author not in Worldcat, but the title by an Englishman name Brough, 1918, is listed.

1927: Albert B. Pattou and Clarence L. Vaughn, Furniture, furniture finishing, decoration and patching. 1927 and 1931 eds. Drake.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936.

1928: W. Buller Little, Handicraft in plywood. 1928. Pitman. $1.00. xii, 115 pages (Pitman's homecraft series.)

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936. Plywood is just being introduced on the market in this era, so Little's book is one of the first to show amateur woodworkers the potential that it has for constructing furniture and other pieces for use in homes and farms. (For more on plywood's introduction, click here.)

1928: Alfred S. Madsen and J. J. Lukowitz, Problems in Furniture Design and Construction. 1928. Bruce. $2.50.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936.

1928: Axel P. Johnson and Marta K. Sironen, compilers, William J. Etten, ed. Manual of the Furniture Arts and Crafts. Grand Rapids, MI: A. P. Johnson Company, 1928. xxxv, 899 p. illus.

Frequenlty cited by historians of furniture design and furniture manufacturing, this is a work of leading authorities in the furniture business in Grand Rapids early in the 20th century. Libraries worldwide that own item: 85 listed in Worldcat database. Note: "Annotated bibliography of furniture books": p. 685-745: "Bibliography of furniture books [listed according to subject matter]": p. 745-780. This manual is listed in the American Society Of Mechanical Engineers “A Bibliography on the Machining of Wood,” Published in 1939 by the ASME, 29 West 39th Street, New York, N. Y., which -- for me, anyway -- suggests that Johnson was an ASME member.

1929: Edward F. Worst. More Problems in Woodwork. Milwaukee, WI: Bruce, 1929.

    This book makes available to the progressive teacher of manual training a series of well-planned projects adapted to the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. They were planned to come within the range of pupils in the junior high school. This series of problems, any of which would find a place in any home, is offered in place of a cut-and-dried course in "joinery," operated only to produce skill. The author believes that the same amount of energy required to produce a "joint" for the skill only, may be directed in the construction of some useful project involving the kind of joint to be taught.

    Special attention has been given to selecting such problems as will occupy small floor space, because a large number of pupils, especially in the large cities, live in small flats. This accounts for the folding tea tables, reed trays, wall bookracks, end tables, etc.

    A variety of projects with a combination of materials, e.g., reed, cane, clay, or parch­ment with wood is a distinctive feature of this book. There are also a number of projects involving wood turning for the junior and senior high school.  

Worst was Director of Industrial Arts Work, Junior High and Elementary Schools Chicago, IL. Considering the targeted group, middle-schoolers, some of the 50-odd projects in this book are exceptional for their difficulty and/or aesthetic appeal.  Worst introduces caning, including a special weave, “star caning”, and by placing it on a “fernery”, with long, slender, graceful Queen Anne legs, the piece could fit into a home today.

1929: Arthur C. Horth, Simple Constructive and Decorative Woodwork. Pitman, 1929. . $1.00.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1930: William W. Klenke. Selected Furniture Drawings. Manual Arts, 1930. 66 p.

Instructor in Woodworking in the Central Commercial and Manual Training, High School, Newark, N. J., registered architect in the State of New Jersey, author of Art and Education in Wood-Turning, Joints and How They Are Made, and the syndicated feature "Things Easy to Make." That Klenke is at heart a teacher emerges as the gist of his Foreword:

      [T]he projects shown in this book have been published at some previous time, either in magazine form or as manual-training advertising material. It is in response to the demand of many hundreds of interested boys and men, from all parts of this and foreign countries, that the author was prompted to compile his most popular articles and publish them in book form.

      The projects have been chosen, for the most part, to meet the needs of the average American home. Many of the pieces of furniture can be made easily in the home workshop, while others that are more difficult should be made in the school shop or where some expert advice and help can be secured. Today, with the many different makes of portable, motorized woodworking machines, it is possible to do the greater part of our furniture making by machine operations. This phase of the work has opened a way to profitable pastime occupation.

      Special effort has been made to give grace of line, good propor­tion, and substantial construction to all of the projects. Free use has been made of the various eastern museums and better furniture shops, so as to make the influence of some of the old master cabinet makers felt, in a simplified way, in the designs shown.

      Each article has either been made by the hands of the writer or under his direct supervision, which should insure the practicability of the working drawings.

      The pieces of furniture have been photographed in the home environment, and suggest pleasing arrangement and good composition.

      I hereby wish to express … gratitude to ... Arthur Wakeling of the Popular Science Monthly for permission to use the designs shown in this book. [For the background on Klenke's mention of Wakeling, click here.]  

An implicit dismissal of arts and crafts designs is evident, as colonial revival designs prevail almost exclusively. His bias in selecting project doesn’t, however, detract from the enduring value of this manual as a guide to the amateur craftsman. Taken together, Klenke’s instructions about the care needed to safely work with the new “ portable, motorized woodworking machines”, his concern for accuracy of  detail in the sketches of the projects, the fact that he realizes the value of showing the projects in an actual home setting, demonstrate that this manual has a value that is timeless.

1930: J. H. Howard, How-to-Build-It; the Home Craftsman's Manual. 1930, 1932, 1934 & 1935 eds. Modern Mechanix Pub. Co., Minneapolis, Minn. 50c each.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1930: Klenke, William W. Selected furniture drawings. 1930. Manual Arts. $3.00.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1930: Keeble, Alfred L. Cabinet making. 1930. Longmans.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1930: Paul Nooncree Hasluck. 1854-1931. The Woodworker's and Cabinet Worker's Handybook, embracing information on the tools, materials, appliances and processes employed. London, The Technical Press, 1930 2 volumes in 1. illustrations and diagramss.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936. Material reprinted from the London-based periodical, Work, 1889-1893.Hasluck is one of Work’s editors

1930: Herman Hjorth Principles of woodworking. 1930. Milwaukee: Bruce.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1936

1930: Arthur Wakeling, ed. The Home Workshop Manual. Popular Science Publishing, 1930. 502 pages.

For more info on this important manual click here

1930: Arthur Wakeling, ed. Things To Make in Your Home Workshop. 1930. Grosset and Dunlap; Popular Science. $1.00.

Not stated explicitly in either of the two above volumes, but unmistakably designed as manuals for the National Homeworkshop Guild launched through Popular Science Monthly. For more info on these manuals and the NHG, click here

1930: Tautz, Herbert, and Fruits, Clyde J. The Modern Motor-Driven Woodwork Shop: How to Plan, Operate and Get the Most Out of It 3 volumes Milwaukee: Woodworkers Education Department (Division of Delta Manufacturing), 1930. "With 207 Working Drawings, Diagram and Illustrations".


From the Tautz and Fruits 1930, 3-volume The Modern Motor-Driven Woodwork Shop: How to Plan, Operate and Get the Most Out of It. "Socket" driven tools, 1/3 to hp motors, 8" circular saw blades, 14" bandsaw, tiny scroll saw, 4" jointer cutterheads, it all may seem small-scale to woodworkers today, but it was "pretty heady stuff" then!

In 1929, Tautz introduced Delta's 4-inch jointer and an 8-inch table saw, followed by a 12-inch bandsaw in 1930, and a bench-top drill press in 1931. Each year, Tautz added a number of new tools to Delta's growing lineup-from lathes and shapers to larger table saws, drill presses, and bandsaws. In 1939, Tautz invented the Unisaw, a belt-driven, 10-inch table saw with a tilting arbor instead of a tilting table. It set a new standard for the tool industry and created an icon. This tool is still revered by woodworkers today.

Tautz racked up 10 design and 74 utility patents by the time he sold Delta Manufacturing to a man named Rockwell in 1945. But his influence on tool design remains one of the most significant shifts in woodworking tool history.

Tautz and fruits, CHAPTER XVIII: "POWER, CURRENT AND MOTORS", Modern Motor Driven Woodworking Shop, v 2, 1930 pp 240-241:


    Power Required to Operate Woodworking Machinery

    The Circular Saw

    Different types of woodworking machines require different amounts of power. Of all woodworking machines in the workshop the circular saw requires the largest amount of power. Since this machine is used far more than some of the others, it is very important to equip it with a high grade motor, powerful enough to rip anything within the capacity of the machine. It is very disappointing and annoying to start a cut, only to find that the motor stalls before the cut is half finished.

    It is very important that a circular saw blade be kept sharp at all times. A dull blade requires from 2 to 5 times as much power as a sharp blade. A 6 inch diameter saw can be operated satisfactorily with a 1/4 or 1/3 H. P. motor. An 8 inch diameter saw requires a 1/2 H. P. motor for average and heavy duty work. If only one inch stock is to be cut, a 1/4 or 1/ H. P. motor might be sufficient, but the stock should be fed quite slowly.

    The larger the diameter of the blade, the more power it will require. An 8 inch diameter blade has 331/3 % more leverage than a 6 inch saw, hence it requires 1/3 more power, if it is used under the same conditions.

    Dado Heads and Moulding Cutters

    These require about the same amount of power as a circular saw blade. This is especially true when the dado head is used to cut wide and deep grooves.

    The Jointer

    A 4 inch jointer can be operated very satisfactorily by a good 1/4 or 1/ H. P. motor. A 6 inch jointer requires more power, and a 1/2 H. P. motor would be found to be much more satisfactory for this size jointer.

    The Band Saw

    The larger the band saw, the more power is required to drive it. A high grade 12 inch band saw can be easily operated with a 1/4 or 1/3 H. P. motor. If the machine is poorly constructed, and driven by means of flat belting, a 1/4 H. P. motor may not be sufficient as quite a lot of power is lost in friction. This loss may be increased by misalignment of the wheels or by springing of the frame. A V belt drive operates with very little tension and is far more efficient than a flat belt drive, hence a V belt makes a higher percentage of power available at the cutting point.

    Routing, Boring and Mortising

    For routing and boring work, a 1/4 H. P. motor is usually sufficient, however, if hardwood is to be mortised, especially if it is done with a large size bit, a 1/2 H. P. motor will be found more satisfactory.

    The Lathe

    A 9 by 36 inch lathe can be driven by means of a good 1/4 or 1/3 H. P. motor. Much power may be wasted when turning between centers if the work is not properly inserted in the lathe. Work that is to be turned between centers should revolve freely by hand, but it should not be so loose that there is end play. Lathe attachments, such as the grinding wheel, sanding disk, sanding drums, etc., can be driven from the lathe spindle and a 1/4 H. P. motor will be strong enough to drive them satisfactorily.

    Types of Current

    There are several types of current available in the United States. It would take too long to go into this subject in detail, so we will confine our description to the more important types. ...