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Woodworking References


This page will be expanded weekly, so please bookmark it and check back often. We will be adding more books, web sites, videos, plans, and more. Many references are free and some are priced.


This page last updated July 7, 2020.

Tool Collecting

Collecting Antique Tools  -  Paperback - October 1, 1990

by  Herbert P. Kean  (Author),  Emil S. Pollak  (Author) $ 23.34

A comprehensive guide that describes and illustrates over 700 of the most important antique tools, covering all categories from wooden and metal planes, braces and measuring devices, to axes, saws, and wrenches. Included are over 250 original photographs, plus many line drawings that show these tools in use. Also covered are: where to find antique tools; how to buy and sell them; valuable tips on cleaning, restoring and displaying. Back in the 90s, this was an important reference and still very useful today

The Complete Manual of Woodworking  -

 Paperback  - December 3, 1996

by  Albert Jackson  (Author),  David Day  (Author)

With more than 1,800 drawings, diagrams and photos, this authoritative guide encompasses the whole art and craft of woodworking. Designed to instruct and inspire every woodworker from the beginner to the most accurate expert, it has become a classic. It includes a discussion of all the principal hardwoods and softwoods, how to choose and use hand tools, detailed information on every woodworking technique - jointing, bonding, fastening, laminating, and much more.

Dictionary of American Hand Tools: A Pictorial Synopsis  (A Schiffer Book for Collectors) Hardcover - April 16, 2002

by Alvin Sellers $ 28.22

Here is the greatest assembly of hand tools ever presented. It is a fascinating chronicle of almost every tool ever used in North America, including ancient tools used by Native Americans; trade tools used to create coaches, pianos, ships, and saddles; tools for harvesting farm goods, turpentine, and ice; and tools for fine trades such as bookbinding and watch repair. The tools are organized according to the profession, from Beekeeper to Wheelwright, and will fascinate today's practitioners of these trades and hobbies.

The Antique Tool Collectors Guide to Value   - Paperback - January 5, 1999

by  Ronald S. Barlow   $ 15.95

Old tools to build a civilization are presented in 1485 line drawings in alphabetical order, with detailed descriptions and actual auction prices. Adzes, anvils, augers,… vices and wrenches appear clearly for good recognition throughout this book. The popularity of old tools has made them competitive items and there is always something new to learn in the field. Just a note: Value guides must all be taken with a pinch of salt as values ​​change the day the book is published. However, the guides are useful for determining relative values.

Vintage Stanley Tools: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

Paperback  - May 21, 2017

by  Hans Brunner   (Author) $ 39.50

What is it? When was it made? How much is it? You'll find your answers in this comprehensive beginner's guide to identifying and valuing vintage Stanley tools with color illustrations, product information and price estimates for buyers and sellers. This guide is based on the Stanley Catalog No 120 from 1923.

A Price Guide to Antique Tools  Paperback  - May 1, 2005

by  Herbert P. Kean   (Author) $ 17.10

A price guide is only as helpful as its prices are current. With this in mind, we offer a new fourth edition of Herbert Kean's A Price Guide to Antique Tools, its prices taken from the latest live and internet auctions as well as from private sales. As before, there are over 12,000 prices (individual and chart combinations) that represent extraordinary tools, as well as those found in flea markets.

Restoring Antique Tools  Paperback  - April 1, 2001

by  Herbert P. Kean   (Author) $ 19.95

Here is the book that finally unlocks the secrets that professional restorers have been using for years. It explains critical (and previously closely-held) restoration techniques in a way that even the most uninitiated can understand and follow, giving the reader confidence throughout and making the art of restoration not only extremely remunerative for the collector, but satisfying and fun as well . There are chapters covering all the categories of tools, as well as a general chapter on cleaning and refinishing. The author explains how to make a bow for a bow drill, how to tighten loose heads on Sheffield and Ultimatum braces, how to make wedges for planes, how to replace vials in levels, how to repair chipped or missing threads on a plow plane, and literally hundreds of other such invaluable instructions.

The Art of Fine Tools -  Hardcover  - September 1, 1998

by  Sandor Nagyszalanczy   (Author, Photographer) $ 50.00

This collection features more than 250 unique tools built with beautiful materials, lavished with artistic decoration, and crafted with remarkable precision. Privately owned, many of these tools have never been photographed or shown in publications before. Included are measuring instruments, hand planes, saws, and other cutting tools, striking and drilling tools, Asian treasures, miniatures, nineteenth-century ingenious foot-powered machines, and improbable combination tools. Each photo is accompanied by detailed notes that provide historical and technical background.

This handsome volume will appeal to collectors, those who use tools, and anyone who appreciates finely crafted utilitarian objects.

Mathieson Tools: A Guide to Identification and Value  Paperback  - June 4, 2015

by  Hans Brunner   (Author) $ 19.50

Meet the remarkable Mathieson family who set up business in Glasgow and conquered the world with their tools. A family history with partial reprints of the 1899 and 1933 catalogs - focusing on woodworking tools - with color pictures, descriptions, estimates, and prices realized A4 format, magazine-style book, 52 pages full color, full gloss hints, and tips on collecting cleaning and restoring manufacturing details tricks of the trade what to check real market values ​​detailed color pictures.

Antique Woodworking Tools: A Guide to the Purchase, Restoration, and Use of Old Tools for Today's Shop  - Michael Dunbar, $ 92.46 1977 (Used copies available at major savings)

A professional woodworker who specializes in antiques offers modern craftsmen advice on buying, restoring, and using the principal general-purpose tools of preindustrial woodworkers. I knew Michael Dunbar, and can attest to the fact that he is a highly skilled woodworker as well as a fine writer.


Old Street Tools Inc .  - P lanes  from Old Street Tool are based on early 18th Century British planes which we believe represent the Highest Quality planes ever produced. We offer the complete line described by Richard Neve in his 1736  The City and Country Purchaser's BUILDERS DICTIONARY . These plans will enable a woodworker to complete almost any work traditionally done with hand planes and is the most complete line of planes offered in North America since the demise of the Sandusky Tool Company in 1925.

Blackburn Tools - A good reference for information on tool restoration, saw sharpening, and old tool catalog scans.

A note from his home page reads: 

Blackburn Tools began with a line of  finely crafted dovetail, tenon, sash, and joinery saws  made in the 19th century style. Although I no longer sell those completed saws, I do offer  parts and kits for those who share  my interest in making tools.

In addition to backsaw parts, I make and sell  parts for the Roubo frame saw , a surprisingly efficient way of resawing timbers and cutting veneers. to hand.

I also make the  Scrawl , a light duty carbide scribe / awl that is sure to become one of your favorite layout tools.

To see all of the tools I sell, please  start browsing here .

We will continue to expand this listing to include more  restoration, collectible, tool  use, and any other useful information for woodworkers. This will include bore books, articles, videos, and websites. Some of these links are affiliated with giving us a small commission on sales. Since we will continue to expand the information available on this page, I suggest you bookmark this page in order to keep up to date with this expanding source of useful information. 

As an Amazon affiliate, I have included links to products I recommend, but there are many other brands and prices available at Amazon and other retailers. ( We are an affiliate of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliate sites.) We are also affiliates of many of the other sites we link to two to thaw. Sites that we recommend that we have no affiliation with are indicated with an asterisk (*). However, we have either purchased or at least tested any recommended affiliate or non-affiliated sites before adding their link to our site.

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