Just added an image to my fledgling FB shop page to replace the blank banner space.
The image is from William Fairham's opus: Woodworking Tools And How To Use Them, one of my most popular reprints.
Some of you may have heard of Charles Hayward, who is often touted as the best mid-20th century author of woodworking books ever and a must read. In truth, Hayward took the books of Fairham at the request of the publisher, Evans Bros., updated them for the 1950's craft interests and never gave credit to Fairham.
Fairham's books are important in that he was trained in the late 19th Century, taught Manual Arts in British schools and as such, brought with him the skills and traditions of that era. His books are clear, concise and devoid of the often overly complicated mythology that crept in during the later 20th Century. Hayward, to his credit, edited the Fairham books with the intent of appealing to the post WWII audience but in doing so, frequently added layers of complexity to what is a straightforward topic: the use of hand tools in woodworking.
There is nothing untowards about updating technical books. The loss to the reader is the simplicity and clarity that Fairham brought to his writings. I have a strong suspicion that, with the advent of the pre and post WWII tehnological age, there was an assumption on the part of the publishers that what was needed where books that introduced readers to the Mysteries of Craft, without which books the aspiring worker would forever be at a disadvantage.
This was very much the opposite of the turn of the century Manual Arts credo that craft is implicit in human nature and should be shared and encouraged as part of the educational process. Once I read the early Woodworker Series books of William Fairham, and those edited by J. C. S. Brough, I realized that the more well known books of Charles Hayward did the current generation of hand tool workers a disservice by updating what were already excellent treatises on woodworking.
Does this mean you shouldn't read the craft books of Charles Hayward? Not at all. They remain informative and useful. If you want to read and learn about hand tool methods from a craftsman who was trained during the era when these methods were common knowledge, than I recommend the early Evans Bros books of The Woodworker Series.