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Stanley Catalogue No. 34
$ 30
We probably don’t need to tell you that hand tools have made a remarkable comeback in the last decade or so. And while it’s been a pleasure to watch new generations discover the joys of the plane, saw, and chisel, there’s nothing quite like being able to visit a world where nobody had even heard of biscuit jointers or belt sanders—let alone CNC and CAD/CAM. In the early 20th century, carpenters or furniture makers produced masterpieces using only their hands and sharp tools—and every one of those tools is included in the Stanley Catalogue No. 34, an exact replica of a 1914 Stanley Tools catalog (with modern upgrades like sewn and glued signatures and strong, acid-free paper). Included in these 144 pages is every tool Stanley made at the height of the modern handwork era, covering every aspect of making from cutting and shaping to marking and layout. Of course, this isn’t just a dry collection of lists and prices; the illustrations and diagrams here are jaw-dropping even a century later. Many complex tools are shown in “exploded” view, with every part labeled and clearly visible; internal diagrams show gears turning inside hand braces. (This is practically a holy text for anyone interested in restoring—or identifying—vintage tools scooped up at flea markets and garage sales.) Produced entirely in the United States by Lost Art Press, it’s a marvel to hold and to read, and it’s something you’ll likely reference over and over.
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