Wood is nature's greatest gift to man. From prehistoric times we have used it to make our houses, containers, vehicles and implements. For this reason the story of the tools and techniques with which man has learned to manipulate wood has special interest. The basic types were already established in Roman times. Indeed, apart from any machinery, a Roman carpenter suddenly transported into a modern workshop would soon feel at home and be able to carry on his job. This book gives an idea of what the basic woodworking tools were like in the main historical periods and shows something of the astonishing variety of forms which these basic tools have assumed at different times and in different places.
The late Philip Walker served in the army and was a schoolteacher before settling in Suffolk, where he spent his time lecturing, writing and working in wood. In 1983 he founded the Tool and Trades History Society.