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I Forge Iron

Book containing 18th century tools

Mark Ling

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Hey guys, I’m wondering if any of y’all know of a book out there that has a picture collection of 17th 18th or even 19th century tools, mainly handled tools. Such as axes, hammers, hoes, tomohawks, etc. would be even better if it was a blacksmithing book showing the construction of them. 

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Check out the books by Sloan. There are several of them.

Also A book by Moxon written early in the eighteenth century.

I believe they are still in print and Moxon is available on the net.


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Some deadbeat by the name of John something-or-other runs the NC ABANA library, and breaks down the books in groups by themes. That may help you decide what to look for, if your local library is still open at this point. Inter-library loan is a wonderful thing. And there is always Amazon, plus free downloads are long as the links are still up.


Blacksmiths Association of Missouri (BAM) has a listing of free downloads.


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"De Re Metallica" is a bit early; Moxon's "Mechanicks Exercises" was published in 1703 but mainly dates to the 17th century as well.

"The Carpenter's Tool Chest", Thomas Hibben  is a bit simplistic but offers the evolution of basic tools over time.

I'll second Sloane's books especially for Colonial America; (could you so gracious as to indicate what country you are interested in tools from?)

"Diderot's Encyclopedia" 1751+ is a massive source on 18th century French tools for a large number of crafts.

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