This work contains the science and present practice of the Arts
of Carpentry, Joinery, and Cabinet-making, explained in a simple
and familiar manner; and, for the advantage of readers not yet
acquainted with abstruse scientific terms, no more of them have
been employed than were absolutely necessary.
have uniformly observed, that Carpenters, Joiners, and
Cabinet-Makers, are alike distinguished for their superior
knowledge in the scientific principles of their respective Arts;
and, as it frequently happens that the whole of these arts are
followed by a single individual, and the arts themselves having
considerable relation, in consequence of being all more or less
dependent on the same common principles, we have brought these
important arts together into one Work.
During the happy exertions still in progress for the education
of the people, a result we expected has taken place: Carpenters,
Joiners, and Cabinet-Makers, feeling a desire to hold their
pre-eminence, have solicited for works of a superior character,
both as regards elucidation of principles and ornamental
We have done our best endeavours to meet, if not
exceed their wishes, and have had the assistance of Talents of
the highest rank in the respective departments; our
illustrations being from the pencils and gravers of first-rate
Artists; an appeal to the interior of our Work will, however,
afford more conviction of its utility and value than we can
possibly convey in the brief limits of a Preface.
The following is a short sketch of the contents: The Work is
divided into three principal divisions, called Books. The first
Book treats of Carpentry, with an Introduction, shewing the
principles and methods of describing Curves; the nature and
methods of making Working Drawings; the manner of Setting-out
Buildings, &c. &c.
The Carpentry then commences with the
Principles and Practice of Framing and Connecting Timbers ; the
Construction of Roofs, Floors, Partitions, Domes, Niches,
Groins, Centres, and Wooden Bridges ; with the principles and
methods of finding the Lines for each of these species of work ;
concluding with a comprehensive view of the Qualities and
Strength of Timber.
The Second Book treats of Joinery; and, after a brief outline
of its history and of the nature and mode of describing
Mouldings, it proceeds to exhibit the methods of Framing, and
Gluing-up, and Setting-out Work the description of
Raking-Mouldings; the Methods of Enlarging and Diminishing
Mouldings; the Art of Hinging and forming Joints: the
Construction of Doors, Windows,
Sashes, Skylights; the Mode of Bending Mouldings, of
Diminishing and Fluting Columns and Pilasters; of forming
Architraves, Surbases, and Bases, with specimens of Shop-Fronts;
and a complete Treatise on the Theory and Construction of Stairs
and Hand-rails; concluding with the Methods of fixing Joiners'
Work, and laying both common and parquet floors.
The Third Book is appropriated to Cabinet-making, or the
principles of Designing, Constructing, and Selecting Furniture;
and treats of the general principles of Design in respect to
fitness, outline, relative proportion of Parts, selection of
Ornaments, and combination of coloured Woods.
The Grecian, Roman, and Gothic styles of Furnishing are next
illustrated, and their distinguishing features shown; and the
species of Furniture adapted to particular objects, and the
modes of furnishing different kinds of rooms are described, and
illustrated by original Designs.
These are followed by the
principles of Constructing Furniture, the methods of Veneering,
Inlaying, Buhl-Work, Carving, moulding Ornaments in Wood and
Composition, &c.; with the best methods of Cleaning-off,
Stopping, Staining, common Polishing, French Polishing,
Varnishing, and Cleaning Furniture, &c. &c.
Indices, with explanations of the peculiar Technical Terms of
these Arts, are added; and the Index to the Cabinet-Making
describes the celebrated French method of gilding, called
In the Constructive Department, the examples given in the Plates
are chiefly from works already executed. We have preferred
selecting from the executed Buildings of Rennie, Smirke,
Hardwick, &c. &c. to adding untried projects.
But, in Ornamental
Works, we have endeavoured to exhibit the reigning Taste of the
period by means of original Designs. On the whole, it has been
our object to combine Theory with Practice, and to illustrate
both with taste, while we rendered the access to them easy and