The title of this work
almost suffices to indicate the character of the
contents, without the aid of any prefatory
The authors have no new theories
to advance, nor discoveries to relate; their aim has
been rather to discuss from an everyday practical
view the various mechanical trades that deal with
the conversion of wood, metal, and stone into useful
The method of treatment of each branch is scientific, yet
simple. First in order comes the raw material worked upon,
its characters, variations, and suitability.
Then the tools used in working
up the material are examined as to the principles on which
their shape and manipulation are based, including the
means adopted for keeping them in order, by grinding,
tempering, filing, setting, handling, and cleaning.
A third section, where necessary, is devoted
to explaining and illustrating typical examples of the work
to be executed in the particular material under notice.
Thus the book forms a
complete guide to all the ordinary mechanical operations;
and whilst professional workmen will find in it many
suggestions as to the direction in which improvements should
be aimed at, amateur readers will be glad to avail
themselves of the simple directions and ingenious devices by
which they can in a great degree overcome the disadvantage
of lack of manipulative skills.