The aim of this book
is to suggest to armatures of all ages many things which they
can profitably make of wood and start them in the way to work
successfully. It is hoped that, in case of boys, it may
show them pleasant and useful way to work off some of their
surplus energy, and at the same time contribute toward their
harmonious all-round development.
It is not an attempt to teach the
arts of architecture, carpentry, cabinet-making, or
boat-building. Although not intended primarily to impact
skill in the use of tools (something which can only be acquired
from experience and observation and cannot be taught by any
book), still no one can go through the processes indicated
without gaining at least some slight degree of manual skill as
well as a fund of practical information and experience.
which give directions for mechanical work (particularly those
addressed to boys) have several serious faults, and can be
grouped in three classes.
Some seem to be written by practical
workmen, who, however well fitted to do the work themselves,
lack the pedagogical training or the psychological insight
necessary to lay out such work with due regard to the mental and
physical capacity, experience, and development of youth, or to
the amateur's lack of experience in the rudiments of the
written by teachers or amateurs who lack the trained mechanic's
practical and varied knowledge and experience in serious work.
Others (and this last class is, perhaps, the worst of the three)
seem to be made by compilers who have apparently been satisfied
to sweep together, without requisite knowledge or sufficient
moral purpose, whatever they may have found that would be
interesting or attractive, without due regard to its real value.
All these writers are constantly falling into errors and making
omissions harmful alike to the moral and the manual progress of