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The Art of Fine Tools

Title: The Art of Fine Tools

Author: Sandor Nagyszalanczy

Publisher: The Taunton Press



Book Review

Words, what words? Even though this book contains plenty of descriptions of fine old tools you might never notice the words with all of the tool photography. If you are a tool nut or galoot this book should definitely be on the wish list.

It is one thing to read about tools and another to actually see photographs of the tools. Sure, seeing a tool in person is better yet but this book doesn’t contain pictures and descriptions of just any old flea market tool. The tools in this book are the types of tools that you’d expect to find in a museum or the collection of a very discriminating (and wealthy) tool collector. The page I’m looking at right now is packed with carved European handplanes from the 18th and 19th century. Looks too expensive for me.

While this book covers a variety of tools it does not stray from showing only the most interesting tools within each type. Take a hammer for example. Sounds pretty boring. Well, the author tracked down a combination hammer/plane. Notice I said interesting tools, not necessarily useful tools.

If you are looking for a practical book on tool usage you may want to find something more utilitarian. On the other hand, if you like to drool over old tools and have become bored with the standards like metal planes and old saws, this is good book to read.

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