This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
The title of this work almost suffices to indicate the character of the contents, without the aid of any prefatory explanation. 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, metals, and stone into useful objects.
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. Tims 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 a lack of manipulative skill.
To render the book still more useful to the emigrant and colonist, who often has only his own wits to depend on in building and repairing his home, several further chapters have been added, dealing with the enclosure, approaches, water supply, drainage, warming, lighting, and ventilation of a dwelling.
In conclusion, hearty thanks are tendered to the many specialists whose writings have combined to give unusual value to the book. It is hoped that the following list is complete: -
Sir J. Savile Lumley on bronze casting; J. Richards, T. D. West, W. H. Cooper, and Leander Clarke on iron founding and casting; Joshua Rose on chisels, and hammering iron plates; Cameron Knight on black-smithing generally; E. Kirk on soldering and burning; Dr. Anderson on woods; Rev. A. Rigg and A. Cabe on carpenters' tools; Grimshaw and Hodgson on saws; Henry Adams on joints in woodwork; E. J. Palmer and J. Cowan on dovetailing and dowelling; A. Yorke, E. Luckhurst, and A. Watkins, on rustic constructions; D. B. Adamson on veneering; T. J. Barnes on wood carving; J. Dalton on French polishing; J. Woodley on brickwork; J. Slater on roofing; P. J. Davies on lead glazing; W. F. Smith on metal-working machine tools; E. Lockwood on electric bells and telephones; R. W. Edis on paperhangings; Field on lighting; Eldridge on gas-fitting; A. Walmisley on ventilation; Dr. Pridgin Teale on warming; Rev. J. A. Rivington on fresco painting; W. E. Corson on stairs; and E. Gambier Bousfield on house construction in Canada. Mention may also be made of T. J. Syer, 1, Finsbury Street, Chiswell Street, at whose workshops amateurs can receive lessons in the manipulation of tools. Lastly, some acknowledgment is due to the following technical journals, whose interesting columns always repay perusal, viz.
American Artizan, American Machinist, Builder, Building News, Cabinet-maker, Deutsche Industrie Zeitung, English Mechanic, Industrial World, Iron Age, Plumber and Decorator, Sanitary Record, Scientific American.