Working in Metal
A Work and Play Book
Author: Charles Conrad Sleffel
Published 1911, 1918
Doubleday, Page and Company
Hardbound, 418 pages with ink drawings and photos
Semi Rare, Out of Print for decades, cheap paper
Written one hundred years ago by 12 year veteran Metal Work Instructor Charles Sleffel this book is obviously from a different era.
Attitudes were completely sexist with no mention of girls taking part in any of the many projects.
The fronticepiece clearly illustrates this attitude with its title "Even a Boy Can Learn How to Make a Horseshoe".
While this was a classic children's or young adult's how-to book of the time one must adjust the methods to modern sensibilities.
The book calls for use of asbestos, lead and other materials we now avoid in the home shop.
We have added warning notes and suggested substitutions as needed.
Once you get past the quaintness of the book it is full of valuable instruction for children and adults alike.
Tools and materials are listed for every project and there are drawings of all the tools.
While some of the common tools of the time are expensive or difficult to come by today there are also many very practical methods
such as using hard wood blocks for forming copper and brass.
These are methods still used today.
The most expensive and hardest to find will be the blacksmithing tools, a forge and anvil.
However there are also stakes (small special bench anvils) listed for some of the non-ferrous work.
But for the most part the tools needed are simple, a work bench, vise, snips, steel square, dividers, hammers, chisles and punches.
A drill press is called for but may be replaced by a hand held electric drill in most cases.
But a drill press IS better.
The Table of Contents
of this book has been faithfully replicated in HTML.
Thus it looks like the original but is also conveniently hot linked to the chapter and illustration pages listed.
The major headings are:
- Introduction and Tools
- Work in Copper
- Brass work
- Silver Work
- The Blacksmiths Shop
- Ornamental Iron Work
Adjusting the Browser Window
After some experimentation we found that the best width for this book's pages were 640 pixels wide.
However, to accommodate various computer screen proportions we have let the width of these pages float to fill the browser window.
On screens 850 wide or less you will need to use your browser at full screen.
On higher resolution screens you may want to view these pages in a reduced window.
When you do so the page images will be cleanest at their normal width or wider.
To adjust your browser window go to the Table of Contents
and scroll down to the bottom.
There you will find a line that when both ends just show the image window is 640 wide.