Woodworker's manuals 1951 to 1960

What follows immediately below are preliminary remarks designed to highlight matters that I have discovered in beginning a survey of woodworker's manuals published over four centuries, i.e. eighteenth through early twenty-first centuries.


Introductory Notes

Why survey three centuries of woodworker's manuals?

The main focus of my study is the 20th century, but since woodworking manuals published in the 18th century remain popular among certain amateur woodworkers today, I believe that I need to explore approaches that allows you to visualize the context in which these "original" woodworking manuals were published, and thus may be able to sense their significance as timeless artifacts.

My first convictions about woodworking manuals is that the intent of their authors in assembling these manuals is to instruct and to inspire.

The "to instruct" -- the "how-to-do-it" function -- is obvious. Potential woodworkers need guidance, and guidance comes best from other woodworkers' experience.

The "to inspire" part may not be obvious to beginners, of course, but finding any evidence of attempts toward inspiration is usually not difficult, especially if you read the introduction to a woodworking manual.

For example, read the introduction to the 1946 woodworker's manual, How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, published by Popular Science.

This manual's Introduction revives the term, "Skill Hunger", coined and popularized in the Depression by promoters such as Lawrence Pearsall Jack, for promoting use of "leisure time" wisely.

What is "skill hunger?"

For the editors of the woodworker's manual, How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, skill hunger concerns "How the Hammer, Saw and Try-Square Can Satisfy the Urge to Make Things". Read more on this term by clicking on this hyperlink.

In comparison, how does this 1946, How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, manual stand up in promoting use of power tools over competitive manuals?

I checked this matter by doing a survey of woodworking manuals published between 1941 and 1950 in the Worldcat bibliographic database.

(Worldcat, the world's largest bibliographic database of books, periodicals, publications of governments, etc, etc., currently contains records for over 50 million items.)

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, Worldcat registers only 17 copies in libraries worldwide -- telling us that libraries did not perceive this title as a "keeper", meaning that we can't use library holdings as an indicator of the impact of this manual on the amateur woodworking movement in the '40s.

(Since How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools is over 50 years old, and has been "replaced" by numerous other more up-to-date manuals, most public libraries could have "discarded" their copies for more recently published books.

By discard, do not think the trash can; instead, it is more likely that the book was offered for sale at one of the book sales public libraries conduct annually. As a rule, public libraries -- unlike college libraries -- do not consider themselves "last copy" repositories. However, while this assumption may be soundly based, it is still only speculation.)

Worldcat registers that in 1946, 35 volumes were published, and for the decade, i.e., from 1941-1950, 206 volumes were published that libraries classified as woodworking manuals. So, with these figures, we can conclude that the How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools volume had much competition, especially in a nation occupied by a war.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools was, however, indexed in the Index to Handicrafts,  Modelmaking  and Workshop Projects, 2d supplement, 1950. This is one volume in a series of five volumes, published between 1943 and 1975. These volumes were purchased widely by public libraries, because their contents are indexes the internal contents of manuals. Pages of The Index to Handicrafts where certain "how-to" plans are accessible: for example, the following entry shows that you can find:

"Mortising and shaping on the drill press". In How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools, pp. 91-95.

The Index to Handicrafts began as an in-house file of hand-written 3 x5 inch library cards in the Pittsburgh Public Library. Click on this link for an online example of how a public library lists these volumes.

How To Get the Most Out of Your Home Workshop Hand and Power Tools is still in the Index to Handicrafts,  Modelmaking  and Workshop Projects volume, but the manual itself -- probably because in public libraries it is considered outdated -- has been removed from the shelves of many public libraries.



Periodicals Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1950- 1961

The image below shows numerous magazines -- general and specialized -- published in this era that include articles on woodworking itself, woodworking projects plans, or otherwise contributed to the encouragement of amatuer woodworking.


deltagram_mags_promo_v-18_1949

Deltagram 1931-1959

Home Craftsman 1931-1965

Home Mechanics [get dates]

Mechanix Illustrated get dates

Popular Homecraft 1930-

Woodworker. v. 55-65. Ja. '51-D. '61. Evans.



Chronological List of Woodworker's Manuals 1941-1950:

1951

Walter E. Durbahn. Walt's Workshop Chicago: General Publishing Co., Hobby Books Division, 1951.

(Given my four decades of experience in conducting research, teaching, and writing six books on research topics, I am puzzled about why my discovery of Walt Durbahn as a major contributor to amateur woodworking occurred only recently. Durbahn -- I discover -- was not only a bona fide woodworking teacher since the early 1930s, but most significant was the Norm Abram -- of New Yankee Workshop fame -- of TV in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the Chicago area. For very brief info on Durbahn's TV history, read down in this link: http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/1968/closeup.html.

I will be adding more info soon, but in the meantime check out this piece by Phil Creden, an executive of the Chicago firm sponsoring the program.

 

Not only a local luminary in promoting woodworking, it's obvious that he had a national presence as well. Durbahn's impact in the amateur woodworking movement -- especially in the critical period of the post-WW II era -- needs much more investigation. More to come, but in the meantime. 8-24-08)

 

Question: Who is Walt Durbahn?

Answer: "Dean of workshop craftsmen"

photo of walt's workshop

His television show—"Walt's Workshop",(WNBQ-NBC, Chicago), is a two-time winner of TV's top award for "the best educational and how-to-do-it" show; also cited in 1949 by the Chicago Federation of Advertisers for "the best instructional show on TV" that year. You also know him for his "Walt's Workshop" column which has been appearing regularly in Popular Homecraft since the spring of 1951. As an editor also, Walt is a top performer.


Walt Durbahn is well equipped both as a craftsman and an author40 years as a craftsman, 35 years an industrial education instructor, 26 years as a professional carpenter.

He is chairman of vocational education, and is building trades instructor, of Highland Park's (Illinois) High School; also supervisor of the Lake County carpenters' apprentice training program.


Walt Durbahn has authored several widely used text books on carpentry and construction, as well as numerous how-to articles for Better Homes & Gardens, Popular Science, and others.

Finally, on Chicago's Highland Park Historical Society grounds is a "Walt Durbahn Museum of Tools".

1951:

De Witt, Hunt, and Cermak, J. L. Machine woodworking. 3d ed. 1951. Harlow Publishing Corp., Oklahoma City

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965


1951:

C. H. Crocker, Creative Carpentry. 1951. Houghton. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1951:

Paul Bry, How to build your own furniture. 1951. Macmillan. 138 pages 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1951:

Charles Harold Hayward. Woodwork Joints. 1951. London: Evans Bros.,

For more detail on this significant author of woodworker's manuals, click here  

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965
1951: Henry Lionel Williams. How to Make Your Own Furniture. Avenel Books, 1951
 
Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965
1951: Norman Cherner, Make Your Own Modern Furniture: Working Plans and Room Designs for More Comfortable and Convenient Living. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951.  140 pages. Drawings by NORMAN CHERNER and FRANK STORK; Photographs by THOMAS YEE; Interiors by NORMAN CHERNER 

 


 

PREFACE

This book is directed to the ever-growing number of people who appreciate good modern design and would like to build their own furniture. Most of the young people I know cannot afford to furnish their apartments or homes with expensive furniture. Some have tried to solve their problem with egg crates and the slab-and-glass-brick makeshift. Others have struggled endlessly with sketches and the local carpenter.

cherner_chairs_1951


In many cases the result is a hodgepodge of loudly painted furniture, a dark wall, and spun-aluminum gooseneck lamps that glare in your eyes.


Having dissipated my own energies rather wildly in that direction some years back, prior to finding myself delightedly trapped in the design profession, I have a soft spot in my heart for these ambitious folk. So much so that I decided to dedicate a work in their behalf long before I was invited by my publishers to do so.


It is my firm belief that almost anyone with a certain amount of conviction and a good strong back can have the pleasure of creating his own furniture. Some will be more inventive than others, but essentially the satisfaction will be in the doing—working with tools and materials toward making an idea a concrete reality.


The first part of the book gives a basis from which to design furniture. While concrete suggestions are made, it is presented primarily as a core around which you can shape and develop your own thinking. It shows how materials, processes, budgets,room characteristics, and the personalities of the inhabitants shape the design of the furniture and the home.


The second part of the book is devoted to suggested furniture arrangements. In it you will find ideas that you can readily apply to your own situation, your own personality and living requirements.


The third portion of the book deals with design suggestions. The designs are basically simple — so simple, in fact, that they can be fabricated with hand tools. If these plans fall in line with your needs and ideas, by all means reproduce them in accordance with the plans and specifications. On the other hand, the same plans can always be changed or modified to suit your skills, your personal taste, and your particular room layout.


The simplicity of the designs allows you to create your own setting regardless of the architecture of the room or the style of other pieces of furniture.
The forms are basic enough to complement existing pieces until complete refurnishing is possible. They are straightforward enough to fit into even the most conventional kind of building; you need not own a ranch type of house to live with and enjoy this kind of furniture.


Although these interior arrangements and designs are contemporary in feeling, I like to think of them as having all the warmth, refinement, and character associated with some of the timeless concepts of the past. Their advantage is that they are keyed to today's living.
 

NORMAN CHERNER

1951: Mario Dal Fabbro. How to Build Modern Furniture. Volume 1: Practical Construction Methods. Volume 2: Designs and Assembly. New York: F W Dodge, 1951-1952

Link to extended treatment of Dal Fabbro's woodworker's manuals 

1951: Better Homes and Gardens' Handyman's Book Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith, 1951 (1970). 480 pages.

  Loose-leaf format -- where, with frequent use, the pages with the three-holes never wear very well -- these manuals always strike me as "fluff", but -- pentrate below the glitz -- and some substance in the content emerges. A corporate production, no where can you find a name of the person responsible for product, writing, or anything else mentioned.

Moreover, from the table of contents, you soon detect that the intened audience is the "do-it-your-selfer", that special-breed of homeowners who emerged as the result of the explosion of house-building in the Post-World-II era. (I give attention to the growth of interest in woodworking and home-ownership here.) and in Chapter 6 and Chapter 7. (For a very lively account that touches on the history of amateur woodworking, see Chapter 1, "The Great Do-It-Yourself" Era", of Wally ("Mr. Sawdust") Kunkel's How to Master the Radial Saw -- click here for the material on Kunkel in this account of the impact of the Dewalt radial arm saw.)

BH_home-handymans_book_shop_layout



This shop layout -- and its power tools -- was probably pretty heady stuff for the wannabe woodworkers of post-WW II.











durbahn_christmas_1954a




The tools shown in each of these two lower images all almost identical to the tools shown in Walt Durbahn's article on gifts for woodworkers in the December 1954 issue of American Magazine









BH_power_tool1







This image and the one below indicate the power tools recommended by the Better Homes and Gardens woodworker's manual.














BH_power_tool2








































1952:
Grimwood, H. H., and Goodyear, Frederick. Introduction to decorative woodwork. 3d ed. 1952. Chas. A. Bennett Co. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1952: Stanley Tools.  How To Work with Tools and Wood. New York: Pocket Books. (Division of the Stanley Works, New Britain Connecticut) 444 pages with index.

Click on this link for an extended treatment.

1952: Stanley Works Inc. Stanley tool guide. New Britain, Conn. : Stanley Works,  38 p.


1952:
F. H. Gottshall. Woodwork for the beginner. 1952. Bruce
 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

  1952: G. E. Daniels.  Easy way to make and remodel your own furniture. 1952. Greystone Press. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1952: C. H. Hayward.  Junior woodworker. 1952. Lippincott. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965  

1952: R. E. Haines. Circular saw. 1952. Van Nostrand.  


Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 1952: R. E. Haines. Wood-turning lathe. 1952. Van Nostrand.

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1952: John Hooper. Modern cabinet work. 6th ed. Lippincott, 1952. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

Link to extended treatment of this manual
 

 

1952: F. E.  Hoard  and Marlow, A. W. Cabinetmaker's treasury. 1952. Macmillan. [in WWU library] 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1952: Robert McShanePortable electric tools and how to use them. 1952. Popular Mechanics. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1952: Arthur Wakeling. How to build your own workshop equipment. 1952. Home Craftsman Pub. Co.

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1953: Frank HegemeyerBeginner's book of power tools. 1953. McBride. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1952: John Gerald  Shea and Paul Nolt Wenger. Woodworking for everybody.  Scranton,PA: Laurel Publishers; distributed by Grosset & Dunlap, New York.     1952, ©1944       187 p. ill. 29 cm. reprint of 1944 edition.

See annotation directly below, Shea's 1953 edition

1953: John Gerald Shea and  Paul Nolt Wenger. Woodworking for everybody. 2d ed. New York ; Toronto [etc.] : D. Van Nostrand,  1953. xi, 207 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.

Click here for an account of this significant manual. This Shea manual was, until, 1954, published by the International Textbook Co (Laurel Publishers), as noted in the 1955 Publishers Trade List Annual. Seeing the opportunities in the marketplace expanding for books on woodworking, Van Nostrand -- a mainstream publisher -- acquired Laurel Publishers in 1954,  thus adding to its list 20 titles in the vocational industrial arts from this line, which had been the school department of the International Textbook Co. Laurel had been formed by International in 1951, the imprint appearing on ITC's trade titles. (John Tebbel, A History of Book Publishing in the United States: V 4, The Great Change, 1940-1980 NY, R R Bowker, 1981, p. 578.)

1953: Arthur Wakeling. ed. Home Craftsman's book of garden furniture. 1953. Home Craftsman Pub. Corp.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1953: DeCristoforo, R J. Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone. Dayton, OH: Shopsmith. A 4th ed published in 1989.

At age 33, Decristoforo evidently was commissioned to write the Shopsmith manual early in the ‘50s decade, because this  first edition came out in 1953. After a long, successful career of writng on woodworking, Decristoforo died at 83, in 2004. Among writers on topics of amateur woodworkers in the last half of the 20th century, DeCristoforo is probably the most prolific. 

This title seems to be his earliest book. The Worldcat bibliographic database – it lists the holding of libraries worldwide -- registers 87 hits for books authored by DeCristoforo, but because of the nature of how individual libraries catalog their books, you cannot conclude that he wrote over 80 books, but that number isn’t far off. 

In the Reader’s Guide Retrospective database (subscription required) – its coverages stretches back to 1890 -- DeCristoforo’s first article, on metalworking, is 1947 (It wasn’t until the early ‘50s that the push for amateur woodworking was launched.) From my calculations, DeCristoforo was 26 in 1947, a young age to begin writing professionally, but evidently, he had a talent, because he spent his whole career writing, mostly on woodworking topics.) In all, Reader’s Guide registers 187 entries under his pen.

According to the entries in the Reader’s Guide Retrospective database, he didn’t start on woodworking topics until 1952, which puts him in sync with the do-it-yourself movement – see Creden's 1953 article, "America Rediscovers Its Hands"  

The Shopsmith manual itself was remarkable for its depth and comprehensiveness in showing how many woodworking operations the Shopsmith combo tool performed. The volume is over 300 pages – there are ten chapters -- with almost every page containing at least one photo or illustrative diagram, but often up to 5 or 6. 

In the later ‘60s I acquired a 1947 Shopsmith model – 1947 is the year the Shopsmiths came on the market – with a very low serial number, that I used for several years. (For some background on Shopsmith, both historical and technical, read this 1951 article.) Soon after buying the Shopsmith, I located the DeCristoforo’s manual, and benefited many times from consulting it. (Although I no longer use it, since my Shopsmith is an antique in the genre of combo woodworking tools, I will not part with it.)


1953:
E. G. Hamilton. Power tools for the home craftsman. 1953. McGraw.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1953: A. S. Milton  and O. K. Wohlers. Fundamental wood turning. 1953. Bruce.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1953:  John Hooper. Handcraft in wood. Lippincott, 1953

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1954: Alexander Frederick Bick. Contemporary furniture. 1954. Bruce. 89 pages

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1954: K. T Bassett.  Pleasures of woodworking. 1954. Simon and Schuster. 190 pages

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1954: Lee  Frankl. Basic tools for woodworking. 2d ed. 1954. Prentice-Hall.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

 

1954: M. J. Gunerman, ed. How to make tables, chairs and desks. 1954. Home Craftsman Pub. Co.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1955

Popular Mechanics Do-It-Yourself Encycopedia for Home Owner, Craftsman, and Hobbyist New York: J. J. Little & Ives Co, 1955, 12 volumes

Popular Science Do-It-Yourself Encycopedia: Complete How-to Series for the Entire Family, by How-To Associates New York: Arlrich Pub. Co., 1955. 12 volumes

Both published in 1955, both sets are also marketed through local supermarkets, at $3.49 per volume. Volumes were issued once a month, over 12 months. My immediate reaction to such news is, basically, cynicism. How can such crude mass-marketing turn out "good"? Well, frankly, it does. The sets, for their times, each contain hundreds of well-written, (mostly) well-illustrated articles that were good then and many, today, even though dated, still have usefulness. "Most" of the illustations -- photos, drawings, graphs -- are good; some of the photos, though, could be clearer.

Homeworkshops -- in the basement, in the garage, even in the apartment -- are featured.

1955: I. C. Madden. Creative handicraft. 1955. Goodheart-Willcox.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

 

1955: Andrew W. Marlow. Fine furniture for the amateur cabinetmaker. Chicago, IL : Distributed by Independent Publishers ; Chelsea, MI : Scarborough House, 1955, reprinted 1990 ?

 

1955: Bill Baker. Furniture you can build. 1955. Arco Pub. Co.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1955: John  Hooper, Modern furniture and fittings. 2d ed. rev. 1955. Batsford, Ltd.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1955: Popular Mechanics Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia  for home owner, craftsman, and hobbyist. New York, J.J. Little & Ives Co.,1955 12 v. illus. 23 cm.

1955:  Popular science do-it-yourself encyclopedia; complete how-to series for the entire family, Brooklyn, Arlrich Pub. Co., 1955. 12 v. illus. 24 cm.

Long before becoming interested in this woodworking history project, I had a complete set of the PS. Probably for lack of space on my bookshelves, I gave the 12-volume set away. Now, sensitive to the motivations of potential woodworkers of that era -- booming post-WW  II -- I began looking at these sets in a different light. Much of the content is, yes, dedicated to house construction and home improvement, but there is no lack of woodworking. In the future I plan on an extended treatment of this set.

The 1955: POPULAR MECHANICS DO-IT-YOURSELF Encyclopedia FOR HOME OWNER, CRAFTSMAN
AND HOBBYIST
; (no editor-in-chief listed)  NEW YORK: DESIGNED AND PRODUCED BY J. J. LITTLE & IVES Co., INC., 1955.  IN TWELVE VOLUMES. NINTH PRINTING 1956, on the verso of the titlepage of my set. (According to my calculations -- at 2,500 copies per "printing", approximately 25,000 sets were sold in 1955-1956.)

Volume I Complete Index in Volume XII

 

Foreword

 


POPULAR MECHANICS, a household word in America for more than half a century, proudly presents this encyclopedia of "do-it-yourself" know-how for homeowner and craftsman. Here, in 12 handy volumes, is the information that will keep your household well-run, well-furnished and in good repair. Within these pages lie opportunities to save hours of time and labor and hundreds of dollars in money unspent.


This encyclopedia has hundreds of authors and illustrators.

[none of whom are mentioned, not even the editor in chief, although the first person, "I", is used occasionally. Should we consider this a Freudian slip? or a typo?]

They are the same skilled craftsman, the easy-to-understand writers and the trained illustrators who produce the famous magazine, Popular Mechanics, and the host of how-to-do-it books published by Popular Mechanics Press.

Each article in these volumes is written by a specialist in his particular field, and who has actually built the project or made the home repairs and improvements under discussion. In illustrating these articles, no expense was spared to have precisely the right drawings, photographs and charts necessary for easy understanding of the job at hand.


The variety of topics within these volumes is such that there is no household, homemaking, garage, workshop or garden task for which you will not find an easier way, a right way, an economical way. From Abrasives (how to use) to Youngster's Bed (design & construction), the handy alphabetical arrangement of these volumes makes it easy to find answers to a bewildering number of home problems. The complete index in volume twelve will act as a further aid to quick location of material. The home craftsman will find a wealth of information on how to better use his power tools, lumber and other materials; valuable know-how on special jigs and attachments, and a treasury of projects he can make for his own use or for sale. The householder concerned with repairs and home maintenance will find approved methods for getting all these jobs done economically. There are sound and simple instructions for repairing your automobile and making it run better and longer. There are hundreds of household hints and scores of interesting hobbies for all members of the family.


Would you think it a rare encyclopedia which gave you practical information on basement moisture-proofing, bandsaw techniques, photography, archery, furniture building, welding, roofing, antique refinishing, air conditioning and how to read a blueprint? You would? You have such a rare volume in your hands.

THE EDITORS

 

1955: D. X. Manners. How to plan and build your workshop. 1955. Arco Pub. Co. 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1956: C. H. Hayward. Period furniture designs . . . 1956. Evans Bros., London.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1956: Livingstone, J. H. Make-it-yourself furniture for the home craftsman. 1956. McGraw.

 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1956: Cunningham, B. M., and Holtrop, W. F. Woodshop tool maintenance. 1956. Chas. A. Bennett Co.

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1956: Hunt, De Witt, and Cermak J. L. Machine woodworking. 3d ed. 1956 and 1961. Harlow Pub. Corp.

 

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1956: A. B. Pattou. Practical furniture and wood finishing. 1956. Drake.

 

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

1956:  Robert Scharff. Easy Ways To Expert Woodworking. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956. 185 pages.

Like the title directly below, dedicated to the Dewalt Radial Arm Saw developed for the home workshop.
Click here for the Glossary entry on the RAS. That a mainline publisher -- such as McGraw-Hill -- is publishing a book on the radial arm saw indicates that corporate America projects "big time" for a market made up of amateur woodworkers. Checking out the Table of Contents for the Scharff volume (directly below) and the Table of Contents Delta volume (next entry) gives you the feeling that the two authors sat side-by-side when each wrote his respective manual.
 
 

Table-of-Contents

 1 Introduction to the radial-arm machine
 

2 Basic operation of the saw
 

3 Special cutting operations of the saw
 

4 Dado-head operations
 

5 Shaper-jointer  operation
 

6 Boring and routing Operation of the
 

7 Saber Saw
 

8 Lathe in action
 

Disk, belt, and drum-sander operations
 

10  Grind-ing, buffing, and polish-ing-wheel operations
 

11 Shop safety
 

12 Facts you should know when buying wood
 

13 Wood-working techniques
 

14 Wood-finishing facts

15 Work-benches for the Radial-arm machine

 

  dewalt RAS dado operations                                             delta RAS dado operations

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The strength  of the RAS is its capacity to Dado safely and accurately. Images of dadoing in Scharff's manual with the Dewalt are above, at the top; the two images below, also on the right, are of dadoing with the Delta.

The "beauty" of dado operations with the RAS is (1) the operation is fully in sight and (2) the saw's dado blades pass across the wood, rather than the wood moving over the rotating blade, as is true with a table saw.

Other strengths are cross cutting, mitering, and using the arbor off the motor for precision horizontal mortising and molding.

1956: Delta Power Tool Division, Rockwell Manufacturing Company. Getting the Most Out of Your Radial Saw. Pittsburgh: 1956. 108 pages.

Although lacking the "glitz" of the Scharff volume -- noted directly above -- this volume is comprehensive guide to operating the double-arm Delta RAS, still beloved by owners, like myself. Click here for the Glossary entry on the RAS.

For comparative purposes, I have set the two tables of contents for Scharff's Dewalt manual and the Delta manual, one-above-the-other. Since the Delta "annotate" the contents of each chapter, manual users find out in advance the coverage of each chapter, which can often be a time saver. 


 

 CHAPTER ONE—The Mechanics of the Radial Saw Types—Construction—Rip Fence—Blade Guard and Anti-Kickback Fingers—Controls and Scales—Sizes—Location—Operation—Power and Speed.

CHAPTER TWO—Saw Adjustment and Alignment--Squaring Blade to Table—Squaring Blade to Fence—Saw "Heeling"—Adjusting Bevel Clamp Handle—Adjusting Yoke Clamp Handle—Adjusting Over-Arm and Track-Arm Handle—Carriage Bearing Adjustment—Leveling Table—Lubrication.

CHAPTER THREE—Saw Blades and Cutters--Mounting Saw Blades and Cutters—Planer Saw Blade—Combination Saw Blades—Cross Cut Saw Blade—Rip Saw Blade—Carbide Tipped Saw Blade—Saw Blade Maintenance—Filing Vise—Grinding Saw Blades—The Dado Head—The Moulding Head—Adapters and Accessories.

CHAPTER FOUR—Sawing Operations--Cross-Cutting—Mitering—Ripping—Ripping Long Material—Reclaiming Waste Stock—Power Feed Attachment—Beveling—Compound Angle Cutting—Resawing—Horizontal End Cutting—Miscellaneous Sawing Operations—Taper Ripping —Pattern Sawing—Dovetail Tapers—Circle Cutting.

CHAPTER FIVE—Dado Head Operations--Cross-Dadoing—Angle Dadoing—Ploughing—Rabbeting—Panel Raising—Tenoning—Radius Cutting or Cove Cutting—Splined Miters—Bevel Cross-Dadoing—Tongue and Groove—Lap Joints.

CHAPTER SIX—The Moulding Cutterhead--Moulding Set-Up—Moulding Straight Work—Strip Mouldings—Dowels—Joints —Circular Work—Outside and Inside Curves—Rabbeting—Panel Raising—Ornamental Mouldings—Jointing—Cove Cutting.

CHAPTER SEVEN—Disk and Drum Sanding--Sanding Drums and Sleeves—Free Hand Drum Sanding—Pattern Sanding with the Drum Sander—Concave Sanding—Miscellaneous Drum Sanding Operations -- Disk Sanding—Pivot Jigs—Rounding Corners—Pointing Dowels—Sanding with Pattern—Sanding to Width—Sanding Long Edges—Use of Miter Gage—Miscellaneous Disk Sanding Operations.

CHAPTER EIGHT—Drilling, Routing and Similar Operations Horizontal End Drilling—Horizontal Edge or Face Drilling—Angular Drilling -- —    Routing—Straight Routing—Circular Routing—Pattern Routing—Guides—Ornamental Routing—Miscellaneous Routing Operations.

CHAPTER NINE—Shaping —Shaping with a Guide—Other Guides—Hold-Downs—Stops—Shaping with Collars—Shaper Cutter Application.

CHAPTER TEN—Grinding, Buffing and Brushing Grinding—Buffing—Brushing.

CHAPTER ELEVEN—Miscellaneous Operations and Uses--Rafter Notching—Power Take-Off—Abrasive Wheels—Cutting Thin-Wall Tubing and Extruded Shapes—Cutting Solid Stock—Cutting Stone.

CHAPTER TWELVE—Helpful Hints About Machine and Accessories--What to look for when you buy a Radial Saw (Established Manufacturer—Availability of Replacement Parts—Practical Arm Design—Proper Bearings—Quick-Set Stops—Full Power Motor—Provisions for Adjustment—Essential Safety Factors—Convenient Controls) Proper Accessories

( The Moulding Cutterhead—Fifty-three Sets of Knives—Radial Saw Blades—Dado Head—Sanding Drums and Abrasive Sleeves—Sanding Disks and Disk Adhesive—Buffing, Wire and Fibre Wheels—Grinding Wheels—Shaper Cutters and Collars--Shaper Cutter Adapter—Geared Key Chuck—Router Bits and Adapters.)
 

1957: Arthur Wakeling. ed. Cabinetmaker's project book. 1957. Home Craftsman Pub. Corp.

 

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1957: Dal Fabbro, Mario. How to build modern furniture. 2d ed. 1957. F. W. Dodge.


 

Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965. Click here for extended discussion of  Dal Fabbro's  woodworker's manuals.

 

1957: Towers, W. K. Cabinetmaker's manual for amateurs and profession­als. 1957. Home Craftsman Pub. Co.

 

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1958: Hunt, De Witt. Shop tools, care and repair. 1958. Van Nostrand.

 

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

 1958: Herman  Hjorth (1883-1951) and W. F. Holtrop. Operation of modern wood-working machines. 1958. Bruce. 

Under this title, this book was issued in 1958, 1966, and 1980, even though Hjorth died in 1951. 

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 

1959: L. V. Newkirk.  General shop for everyone. 1959. Heath.

  Indexed in Index to Handicrafts 1965

 1959: Weeks, Verne. Contemporary and traditional furniture. 1959. Bruce.

 1960: William F Holtrop and Hjorth, Herman. Modern Machine Woodworking. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing, 1960.

Born in 1883, after a long and distinguished career in Industrial Arts and related activites, Hjorth died in 1951. Under William F Holtrop, Hjorth's valued manual was re-edited and published in 1960, to record the "significant changes". The manual describes the tools -- emphasizing major power tools -- explains how to use them correctly and safely, and how to care for them. For anyone with vintage tools of this era, this is an invaluable guide. As a document of its time, Modern Machine Woodworking deserves a place alongside classics like John Richards' A Treatise on the Construction and Operation of Woodworking Machines 1872 and  Daniel W. Irwin. Power Tool Maintenance. McGraw-Hill, 1971.