Tools: A Visual Exploration of Implements and Devices in the Workshop

Black Dog & Leventhal. Oct. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780762498307. $35. REF
Gray and Mann, coauthors of How Things Work: The Inner Life of Everyday Machines, have partnered again to deliver this readable feast that covers more than 180 different types and categories of tools commonly found in many workshops. The writing style is engaging and humorous, and gives common-sense advice interlaced with lessons the authors have learned. Throughout the book, they pepper basic definitions (“What is a tool?”) with historical tidbits, common variations, and similarities between tools. The well-organized book includes clear and lush illustrations, plus personal stories. The table of contents, much like chemistry’s table of elements, could be called the periodical table of tools, an effective structure that makes looking up a specific tool fast and easy. The scope of the book ranges from traditional tools with a long, venerable history—handheld drills, for example—to the ultramodern tools now in vogue, such as 3D printers. A wide array of crafts and industries are also mentioned.
VERDICT A perfect and highly recommended reference book. It’s a remarkable refresher for those more experienced and handy with tools; newbies will likely find it to be an impressive introduction as well.
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