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the practical woodworker

In a new “mini-kit” (although with 25 books included, it’s not really so “mini”), we’re bookending the 20th century. In this kit you’ll get all four volumes of the early 20th-century book “The Practical Woodworker” edited by Bernard E. Jones (in paperback), and all 21 books (on DVD) from Nick Engler’s beloved “The Workshop Companion” series.

“The Practical Woodworker,” in the words of its editor, seeks “…(T)o instruct the reader as to make it possible for any person, even for one who has never seen a plane or driven a nail, to be able from this book alone to make any ordinary piece of woodwork by sound craftsman-like methods.”

Written by a group of 31 experts in their fields, these four books give an early 20th-century take on every aspect of woodworking, from basics such as sharpening and tool selection to making billiard tables and beehives, as well as practical instruction you’ll be able to use in your everyday work. (Then again, I don’t know your life. Maybe you build billiard tables and beehives by the dozens.)

“The Workshop Companion” comes from the other end of the century. Nick Engler and a team of woodworkers and designers created this series of 21 books that are concise, easy to read, and bias-free (that is, you’ll find dovetail jigs and dovetail saws therein – and no judgement).

On this DVD, we’ve collected every volume, and made the entire collection searchable.

In other words, for 80 bucks, you get a century’s worth of knowledge.

Here’s a small taste – a couple of free PDF downloads for making small boxes, one from each series:



— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. Just for fun, here’s my single favorite among the 1608 pages in “The Practical Woodworker:”



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