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