“Good wine” says Shakespeare "needs no bush," which of course
means that when a thing is good, praise makes it no better.
with a book, if it is good, it needs no preface to make it
better. The author of this book flatters himself that the work
he has done on it, both as author and compiler, is good;
therefore, from his standpoint a preface to it is somewhat a
work of supererogation.
His opinion regarding the quality of the
book may be questioned, but after forty years' experience as a
writer of books for builders, all of which have met with
success, and during that time over thirty years editor of one of
the most popular building journals in America, he feels his
opinion, reinforced as it is by thousands of builders and
woodworkers throughout the country, should be entitled to some
that as it may, however, this little book is sent out with a
certainty that the one and a half million of men and boys who
earn their living by working wood, and fashioning it for useful
or ornamental purposes, will appreciate it, because of its main
object, which is to lessen their labors by placing before them
the quickest and most approved methods of construction.
When a man
becomes a good workman, it goes without saying that he has also
become possessor of a fair amount of practical geometrical
knowledge, though he may not be aware of the fact.
workman who can construct a roof, hipped, gabled, or otherwise,
cutting all his material on the ground, has attained an advanced
practical knowledge of geometry, though he may never have heard
of Euclid or opened a book relating to the science.
the best workmen I have met were men who knew nothing of
geometry as taught in the books, yet it was no trouble for them
to lay out
a circular or elliptical stairway, or construct a rail over
them, a feat that requires knowledge of geometry of a high order
to properly accomplish.
introductory remarks are made with the hope that the reader of
this little volume will not be disheartened at the threshold of
his trade, because of his lack of knowledge in any branch
thereof. To become a good carpenter or a good joiner, a young
man must begin at the bottom, and first learn his A, B, C's, and
the difficulties that beset him will disappear one after another
as his lessons are learned.
To say more in this preface is unnecessary and a waste of time
for both reader and author.
FRED T. HODGSON