Woodworking References


This page will be expanded weekly, so please bookmark it and check back often. We will be adding more books, web sites, videos, plans, and more. Many references are free and some are priced.

Tool Collecting

Collecting Antique Tools Paperback – October 1, 1990

A comprehensive guide that describes and illustrates over 700 of the most important antique tools, covering all categories from wooden and metal planes, braces and measuring devices, to axes, saws, and wrenches. Included are over 250 original photographs, plus many line drawings that show these tools in use. Also covered are: where to find antique tools; how to buy and sell them; valuable tips on cleaning, restoring and displaying. Back in the 90s, this was an important reference and still is very useful today

The Complete Manual of Woodworking

 Paperback – December 3, 1996

With more than 1,800 drawings, diagrams and photos, this authoritative guide encompasses the whole art and craft of woodworking. Designed to instruct and inspire every woodworker from the beginner to the most exacting expert, it has become a classic. It includes a discussion of all the principal hardwoods and softwoods, how to choose and use hand tools, detailed information on every woodworking technique–jointing, bonding, fastening, laminating, and much more.


Dictionary of American Hand Tools: A Pictorial Synopsis (A Schiffer Book for Collectors) Hardcover – April 16, 2002

Here is the greatest assembly of hand tools ever presented. It is a fascinating chronicle of nearly every tool ever used in North America, including ancient tools used by Native Americans; trade tools used to create coaches, pianos, ships, and saddles; tools for harvesting farm goods, turpentine, and ice; and tools for fine trades such as bookbinding and watch repair. The tools are organized according to the profession, from Beekeeper to Wheelwright, and will fascinate today’s practitioners of these trades and hobbies.


The Antique Tool Collectors Guide to Value  – Paperback – January 5, 1999

Old tools to build a civilization are presented in 1485 line drawings in alphabetical order, with detailed descriptions and actual auction prices. Adzes, anvils, augers, … vices and wrenches appear clearly for good recognition throughout this book. The popularity of old tools has made them competitive items and there is always something new to learn in the field. Just a note: Value guides must all be taken with a pinch of salt as values change the day the book is published. The guides are useful for determining relative values however.
Tool-Collectors-Boo- of-Values

Vintage Stanley Planes: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Paperback – May 21, 2017

What is it? When was it made? How much is it? You’ll find your answers in this comprehensive beginners guide for identification and valuation of vintage Stanley tools with color illustrations, product information and price estimates for buyers and sellers. This guide is based on the Stanley Catalogue No 120 from 1923.


A Price Guide to Antique Tools Paperback – May 1, 2005

A price guide is only as helpful as its prices are current. With this in mind, we offer a new fourth edition of Herbert Kean’s A Price Guide to Antique Tools, its prices taken from the latest live and internet auctions as well as from private sales. As before, there are over 12,000 prices (individual and chart combinations) that represent extraordinary tools, as well as those found in flea markets.


Restoring Antique Tools Paperback – April 1, 2001

Here is the book that finally unlocks the secrets that professional restorers have been using for years. It explains critical (and previously closely-held) restoration techniques in a way that even the most uninitiated can understand and follow, giving the reader confidence throughout and making the art of restoration not only extremely remunerative for the collector, but satisfying and fun as well. There are chapters covering all the categories of tools, as well as a general chapter on cleaning and refinishing. The author explains how to make a bow for a bow drill, how to tighten loose heads on Sheffield and Ultimatum braces, how to make wedges for planes, how to replace vials in levels, how to repair chipped or missing threads on a plow plane, and literally hundreds of other such invaluable instructions.


The Art of Fine Tools Hardcover – September 1, 1998

This collection features more than 250 unique tools built with beautiful materials, lavished with artistic decoration, and crafted with remarkable precision. Privately owned, many of these tools have never been photographed or shown in publications before.Included are measuring instruments, hand planes, saws, and other cutting tools, striking and drilling tools, Asian treasures, miniatures, ingenious foot-powered machines from the 19th century, and improbable combination tools. Each photo is accompanied by detailed notes that provide historical and technical background.

This handsome volume will appeal to collectors, those who use tools, and anyone who appreciates finely crafted utilitarian objects.


Meet the remarkable Mathieson family that set up business in Glasgow and conquered the world with their tools. A family history with partial reprints of the 1899 and 1933 catalogs – focusing on woodworking tools – with color pictures, descriptions, estimates, and prices realized A4 format, magazine-style book, 52 pages full color, full gloss hints, and tips on collecting cleaning and restoring manufacturing details tricks of the trade what to check real market values detailed color pictures.


Antique Woodworking Tools: A Guide to the Purchase, Restoration, and Use of Old Tools for Today’s Shop – Michael Dunbar, $92.46 1977 (Used copies available at major savings)

A professional woodworker who specializes in antiques offers modern craftsmen advice on buying, restoring, and using the principal general-purpose tools of preindustrial woodworkers. I knew Michael Dunbar, and can attest to the fact that he is a highly skilled woodworker as well as a fine writer.




Hand Tool Preservation Association of Australia This organization is still active, but its’ quarterly publication, The Tool Chest, has no issues posted to their archives since 1994. Originally, their newsletter was first published in 1989.

The original publication of the HTPA was only the Newsletter until the journal The Tool Chest was established in April 1992 as a quarterly magazine of hand tool-related articles and the newsletter focussed on membership-related information.

The Tool Chest (& Newsletter) archive is reproduced for the informative hand tool reference material contained in the various issues and as a perspective of how the HTPAA as an organization has evolved over time.


Early American Industries Association – The EAIA established itself in 1933 as the leading organization for research and publication in the area of early American tools and trades. The membership continued to grow, and articles published in The Chronicle produced an ever-increasing resource of historical information in the field.

During its’ 87-year history, interest in the history of tools, trades, and the mechanical arts has grown from a handful of antiquarians gathering up obsolete implements to a large company of serious collectors and scholars, knowledgeable and appreciative of the role that tools have played in the lives of those who made the United States a great industrial power. To this growth of interest and knowledge, the EAIA has constantly made a significant contribution. On our 87th anniversary, we return thanks to Lewis N. Wiggins for his part in our creation.

The Southwest Tool Collectors Association (SWTCA) is a Not-for-Profit group of men and women with a common interest in collecting, trading and studying antique tools. Organized in 1975, we currently have over 400 members, generally concentrated in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.



Old Street Tools Inc. – Planes from Old Street Tool are based on early 18th Century British planes which we believe represent the highest quality planes ever produced. We offer the complete line described by Richard Neve in his 1736 The City and Country Purchaser’s BUILDERS DICTIONARY. These planes will enable a woodworker to complete nearly any work traditionally done with hand planes and is the most complete line of planes offered in North America since the demise of the Sandusky Tool Company in 1925.


We will continue to expand this listing to include more restoration, collectible, tool use, and any other useful information for woodworkers. This will include bore books, articles, videos, and websites. Some of these links are affiliated with us giving us a small commission on sales. Since we will continue to expand the information available on this page, I suggest you bookmark this page in order to keep up to date with this expanding source of useful information.


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