Saws, Planes, and Scorps: Exceptional Woodworking Tools and Their Makers

Princeton Architectural. Sept. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781616899240. $27.50. REF
Though high school shop classes have largely disappeared, the market for artisan woodworking tools is as strong as ever, with some small-batch tool runs selling out within minutes. This volume from dedicated woodworker Heim (SketchUp Success for Woodworkers: Four Simple Rules To Create 3D Drawings Quickly and Accurately) will be in high demand. The book profiles four toolmaking companies, covering their inspirations, business philosophies, and products, from flushing chisels to bronze-bodied skew-angle block planes. The remaining chapters, organized by tool type (workbenches, hand saws, hammers), offer interviews with tool designers and ample close-up photographs of tools and workspaces from North America, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand; Japanese tools are briefly mentioned. Heim interviews venerated old-guard tool makers, as well as the next generation of designers and influencers, and spotlights tool benches that use ethically sourced wood from, for instance, red oaks that were downed during storms. An index of makers adds to the book’s usefulness.
VERDICT Readers need not know a lump hammer from a bevel gauge to appreciate durable, efficient, and striking hand tools. A resurgent interest in handcrafts will draw in newbies as well as seasoned woodcrafters and collectors with an appreciation for tool function and design. Recommended.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing