Free, Downloadable Book on “Materials, Processes, Principles and Practice” Reveals Forgotten Joinery Techniques

Here’s a great, free resource for you furniture designers or architects looking for different ways to join materials together. A book called “Cassell’s Carpentry and Joinery,” first written and illustrated in 1854, painstakingly details all of the joinery techniques–many of them forgotten–that builders used for centuries to create our furniture and structures.

The book focuses on practical techniques rather than theory:

A wide range of topics are covered:

But the part that immediately jumped out at me was the section on joinery, as I spotted some interesting techniques I’ve never seen before. For example, here’s how to create a wide dovetailed surface out of a series of narrow boards. If you did this with contrasting woods, it would be visually striking:

Since there’s no copyright on the book, we’ll publish here a bunch of images from the chapter on joinery to pique your interest:

Here Joey from Kingpost Timberworks, a New-Zealand-based custom furniture company, tries tackling four of the joints detailed in the book using modern tools:

You can download a copy of the book for free, in a variety of digital formats, here.