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Shortly before my friend Carl Bilderback died last year, he gave me a carload of woodworking books, catalogs and other ephemera that he had amassed during a lifetime of tool collecting and woodworking.

His instructions: Distribute the books to young woodworkers who can’t afford them.

Since his death, I’ve done just that. And all of his books are in the hands of people who need them and will use them.

But some of the other paper he gave me required a different tactic. In reviewing all his stuff, I found a lot of early catalogs and how-to manuals that were both rare and out of print. Giving one of those to a woodworker is a good thing. But I think it’s better to distribute the information far and wide. Free. For everyone.

This is the second major scan I’ve done. And we’re offering it for a free download.

It’s a 36-page manual published in 1930 by E.C. Atkins & Co. of Indianapolis, Ind. Carl, an Indiana resident, had a soft place in his heart for Atkins stuff (which also happened to be awesome).

This manual is a fun read. In addition to giving advice on how to start a hand-tool shop, the booklet offers plans for sawbenches, an English workbench, a small tool chest and a wall cabinet.

Oh, and there are lots of Atkins saws everywhere.

The section on joinery is especially interesting to read. Check out the sections on doweling, mitering and mortising in particular.

Download “Atkins Saw Book for Home Craftsmen.”

I hope you enjoy the download. I know Carl would be pleased.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 4 comments
  • mirsm

    Thanks for posting this…from another Indiana resident with a soft spot in his heart for Atkins tools. I have a friend, another Indiana resident with a very large soft spot in his heart for Atkins, with a large collection of Atkins tools and promotional items. There’s not nearly as much online information about Atkins tools as other major manufacturers from the golden age of American hand tools.

  • nickbrake

    Light bulb! I just saw the picture of the angle gauge on a framing square to find the angle, duh! I have the plastic 30/60/90 triangle and the 45 triangle, but I don’t have those on every jobsite.

  • Niels

    Awesome! Thanks, Chris!

  • dyfhid

    Thank you, good sir! Your contributions and sharing with the woodworking world are outstanding and greatly appreciated.

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