Alternative tiles for this book might be, "Blacksmithing for Survival" or, "Gorilla Blacksmithing' or, "Blacksmithing on a Budget"
It could also be called, 'Practical Blacksmithing', if about three others hadn't got to the title first.
I never met the author, A. Weygers, except through this book. From what I can see he had these characteristics; He was artistic, but didn't suffer from an artistic temperment. He understood technical things but wasn't a nerd. He could deal with machines but also liked people.
He also shared one characteristic with me: he scrounged around in the junk heap to find parts to build things.
His writing is clear and concise. He isn't snobby or given to obscure terminology. The illustrations in the book, done with pencil by Weygers, are very good and informative.
You may be interested to know that Weygers patented a flying saucer. Or, actually, he called it a 'discopter'. It is patent 2,377,835.
This book is actually three small books bound as one. There is some repeating in the book because of this. But not much. There is something to learn on every page. The main theme of the book is how to make tools. He shows how to make blacksmithing tools, metal working tools, woodcarving chisels, stone carving tools, gardening tools and other things.
He has an interesting discussion about how to drill square holes. I have never seen this information in any other book.
He also gets into some artistic items. But he doesn't insist that you become an artist.
The most important tool that he shows you how to use is your brain. He shows how to improvise tools by using junk that you find for free or cheap. Ironically, some of the 'junk' that he shows in this book has now become collectable, but you get the idea. Start with nothing, find something, make something with it, use that to make something more, and keep building.
He shows the basic metal forging techniques such as bending, twisting, upsetting, welding, punching, hardening and tempering.
He also shows some power tools and the trip hammer. Even how to make dies for the trip hammer.
He shows how to sharpen a cutting tool, and explains the science behind it. I thought that I could get a tool pretty sharp, until I tried out this man's methods. Then I found out that I hadn't known what sharp was. I have several books that describe how to sharpen, and I have tried their methods. They worked fine, but not as well as this man's.
There isn't any 'trash' in this book, such as pages of pictures of tools copied from some tool catalog. Or lengthy digressions into the author's personal philosophies. There is only about a half dozen pages with photographes on them. Nearly every page has illustrations dome by Weygers to teach the methods explained in the text. There are a few photos of Weyger's work in stone and wood. This book is down and out, cover to cover, practical.
He has drawings of the tempering colors done in pencil, which I think is amusing, if not useless. He also talks about making 'carbon tipped' tools. I am certain he meant 'carbide' as in 'tungsten carbide'. I can forgive him a couple of errors. You won't find many books as excellent as this. Or an author with as much passion to teach as Weygers.
This is one of my favorite of all books. If you build just one tool in this book, it will have paid for itself. This could be your first, last and always blacksmithing resource.
If you can find some of the earlier publications, when this book was published as three separate books, you will find that the illustrations were much better reproduced than they are by this publisher, and the printing and paper seem to me to be higher quality.