Turning Archive 2006

Make your own woodworking tools-review

john lucas
>I can't help myself I'm addicted to books. I bought another one while in Atlanta. Make your own woodworking tools by Mike Burton. This is a fabulous book. I've made, and/or repaired a lot of tools in my time so I thought this would be interesting to get a look at how someone else approaches it. I also feel I have enough experience to evaluate his techniques. Let me first say that he obviously has way more experience than I do. That becomes apparent very quickly.

Mike goes through all the reasons why you might want to make your own tools and then explains that he's tried to find the easiest quickest ways for someone with little or no experience to make a tool.

He has obviously gone through the same problems I have and found many of the same solutions. Each chapter is layed out well with great photos. He has a great sense of humor and clearly explains each step.

There is a chapter on making tools without heat. a section on cutting steel and what steel makes good blades.

He covers blacksmithing and includes a very good plan for building your own forge. Wish I had seen this book before starting on my forge. He simplifies it tremendously. He does a very good job of discussing heat treating. He shows how to shape the metal with simple tools found in the shop.

The chapter on making handles is excellent and each chapter has at least a little discussion on making lathe tools.

The section on making your own pneumatic carving tool is worth the price of the book and then some. If you want to try any power carving and have a compressor this is a good book to get you started.

The last 3 or 4 sections actually take you through the steps of making several tools. This is easy to follow with very good photos.

I applaud Mike Burton for a very well done book. I have 3 other tool making books that are pretty good but this book is clearly for the novice and extremely well done.

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