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

Appreciate the hand made tools you use on a regular basis? Find our more about the exceptional makers of those tools.

Any avid hobbyist or professional woodworker who uses and appreciates good quality hand tools will find this book an enjoyable and highly entertaining read. David Helm does a splendid job of profiling almost 7 dozen tool makers, mostly from Canada and the USA. There are the four titans of the hand tool world – Bridge City Tool Works, Lee Valley, Lie-Nielsen and Woodpeckers, along with much smaller companies and independent makers of workbenches, marking and measuring tools, hand saws, hand planes, hammering tools and cutting and shaping tools.

PUBLISHER: Princeton Architectural Press
AUTHOR: David Heim
PRICE: $28.43
ISBN: 9781616899240
YEAR: 2021
FORMAT: Hardcover, 224 pages

You don’t have to be obsessed with owning tools to enjoy this book.  Most of it is about the people who make the tools – why they started making tools, challenges they’ve faced, obstacles they’ve overcome, and what the future holds. If you’ve ever tried making any of your own tools you’ll have some appreciation for the skill and commitment these makers have.

I’m fortunate to have met a number of the makers profiled in Heim’s book. I’ve always been struck by how passionate they are about their craft and the pride they take in producing exceptionally well made tools.

After reading this book I think you’ll likely to have more gratitude not only for the hand made tools you use in your work, but for the craftspeople who made those tools. I certainly did.


Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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