Woodworking for Beginners – A Manual for Amateurs
Woodworking for Beginners – A Manual for Amateurs Preface:
The aim of this book is to suggest to woodworking for beginners of all ages many things which they can profitably make of wood, and to start them in the way to work successfully. It is hoped that, in the case of boys, it may show them pleasant and useful ways to work off some of their surplus energy, and at the same time contribute toward their harmonious all-round development.
It is not an attempt to teach the arts of architecture, carpentry, cabinet-making, or boat-building. Although not intended primarily to impart skill in the use of tools (something which can only be acquired from experience and observation and cannot be taught by any book), still no one can go through the processes indicated without gaining at least some slight degree of manual skill as well as a fund of practical information and experience.
Many books which give directions for mechanical work (particularly those addressed to boys) have several serious faults, and can be grouped in three classes. Some seem to be written by practical workmen, who, however well fitted to do the work themselves, lack the pedagogical training or the psychological insight necessary to lay out such work with due regard to the mental and physical capacity, experience, and development of youth, or to the amateur’s lack of experience in the rudiments of the subject. Others are written by teachers or amateurs who lack the trained mechanic’s practical and varied knowledge and experience in serious work. Others (and this last class is, perhaps, the worst of the three) seem to be made by compilers who have apparently been satisfied to sweep together, without requisite knowledge or sufficient moral purpose, whatever they may have found that would be interesting or attractive, without due regard to its real value. All these writers are constantly falling into errors and making omissions harmful alike to the moral and the manual progress of the readers.
Effort has been made in the preparation of this book to avoid these evils, to keep in line with the advanced educational ideas of the time, and to look at the subject from the standpoints of the teacher, the mechanic, the boy, and the amateur workman. The treatment is neither general nor superficial, but elementary, and no claim is made that it will carry anyone very far in the various subjects; but it aims to be thorough and specific as far as it goes and to teach nothing which will have to be unlearned.
Great care (based upon an extended experience with boys and amateurs) has been taken to include only what can be profitably done by an intelligent boy of from ten to eighteen or by the average untrained worker of more mature years. It is hoped that from the variety of subjects treated he may find much of the information for which he may seek—if not in the exact form desired, perhaps in some typical form or something sufficiently similar to suggest to him what he needs to know.
It is hoped and confidently believed that a work so comprehensive in scope and giving such a variety of designs, with detailed and practical directions for their execution, will be not merely novel, but may serve as a vade-mecum and ready-reference book for the amateur of constructive tastes.
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