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The Make blog reports that Evenfall Studios’ Woodworks Library has a growing collection of over 175 free books available in HTML and PDF formats. These scanned books (files can be very large) are United States public domain, and anyone in the U.S. can read and distribute them. Many are older books from the late 1800s and early 1900s, but there are also more recent books like the USDA Wood Handbook pictured above. The books cover a gamut of topics: furniture, finishing, upholstery, pattern making, hand tools, machine tools, welding, metal work, carving, turning, and more. If you can think of it, there’s probably a book in this library about it.

You can now pick up older books, like the one shown below, for less than its original cost of 10¢!

This is a great resource for both the wood worker and the history buff.

The Evenfall Studios Woodworks Library [Manufacturer’s Site]

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8 Responses to Free Woodworking E-Books

  1. shopmonger says:

    Love old books, alot of this still applies and there is never wnough material to get the creative juices flowing,,,,,


  2. JKB says:

    I skimmed “Mind and hand: manual training, the chief factor in education” By Charles Henry Ham. This guy can really wax poetic about tools and the ‘arts’. Chapter 2 is The Majesty of Tools. Just perusing I found this passage that should touch the heart of every toolmonger:

    Science discovers and art appropriates and utilizes; and as science is helpless without the aid of art, so art is dead without the help of tools. Tools then constitute the great civilizing agency of the world ; for civilization is the art of rendering life agreeable. The savage may own a continent, but if he possesses only the savage’s tools — the spear and the bow and arrow — he will be ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-clothed, and poorly protected both against cold and heat. He might be familiar with all the known sciences, but if he were ignorant of the arts his state, instead of being improved, would be rendered more deplorable; for with the thoughts, emotions, sensibilities, and aspirations of a sage he would still be powerless to steal from heaven a single spark of fire with which to warm his miserable hut.

    In the light of this analysis Carlyle’s rhapsody on tools becomes a prosaic fact, and his conclusion—that man without tools is nothing, with tools all—points the way to the discovery of the philosopher’s stone in education. For if man without tools is nothing, to be unable to use tools is to be destitute of power; and if with tools he is all, to be able to use tools is to be all-powerful. And this power in the concrete, the power to do some useful thing for man—this is the last analysis of educational truth.[emphasis added]

  3. Jim says:

    Great Find, Great Resource!

  4. browndog77 says:

    My brother bought me a great book years ago. The title is “Understanding Wood” by Bruce Hoadley. It is a well written tome and a good reference for everything from timber to v-lams.

  5. KoKo the Talking Ape says:

    Holy frijoles, what an amazing resource!

  6. Alan Hayes says:

    This is way cool. There are some real classics here. Just browsing, I came across a great description of the process of finding out how to flatten steel plates on page 15 in Practical Blacksmithing 1. This is a great resource for anyone interested in craft. I’m planning on printing some of these out and binding them, by hand!

  7. Paul says:

    I have purchased the ASME as ASABE (I forget at this point) wood books, they were a 4 book set and are absolutely great for looking up obscure information. Pull out strength, load capacities, suggestions of if wood will creep over time depending on conditions, how much you can load a 16p nail… Great information if these books are similar.

  8. Paul says:

    just spent a few min looking over the books available! wow what an amazing post, i have some reading ahead of me!

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