a large amount of the matter contained in this work has been
published before in some shape or other, it was found in
many instances incorrect, and therefore unreliable; this was
in a great measure owing to the carelessness and want of
acknowledge on the part of the compilers, for there can be
no doubt that the original recipes, methods, etc., were in
the main correct; but in the frequent reproductions, errors,
omissions, and interpolations occurred.
It has been the aim of the publishers of the
present work to make all necessary corrections, and to
render the work as reliable as may be; and to this end
neither expense nor pains have been spared, and much new
matter that has not been generally known before has been
added to that which has been public property for a long
That the work will be found a valuable aid
to the operative cabinet-maker, furniture man, and to
wood-workers generally, there is not the least doubt, and
its price has been kept down to such a point as will not be
beyond the means of the average workingman.
The general term cabinet-making is the art of
making all such parts of the furniture of a dwelling-house as
are made of wood, together with the art of chair-making, etc.,
and in order to arrive at any degree of perfection, the
knowledge of designing, carving, modeling, etc., is requisite.
It has also been supposed that a knowledge of
geometry, and particularly of that portion of it which treats of
the description of curved lines, is of great use to the
With the exception of a knowledge of
perspective, and of a few simple methods of drawing common
curves, geometry may be dispensed with, though it would be
better to possess it.
The best advice we can give the
cabinet-maker, in acquiring a graceful, easy, and free
method of drawing, is, to draw as much from nature, or from
good casts, as possible. It is not of material consequence
whether vegetable or animal forms be drawn, but a mixture of
both is desirable, as they have very distinct characters,
which will be easily traced in attempting to delineate them.