Tools and Their Uses

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Tools and Their Uses

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by: U.S. Bureau of Naval Personnel

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Book Description
Teaches names, general uses and correct operation of all basic hand and power tools, fasteners and measuring devices you are likely to need. Also, grinding, metal cutting, soldering and more. 329 illustrations.


I first read this book from cover-to-cover, twice, nearly 30 years ago and found it immensely useful and highly readable. Over these years I have built a large shop, with most of the tools described, and have often shared my space, tools, and knowledge with others.

Recently, as I was considering using this book as a gift, I read it again, from cover-to-cover. First, I realized that much of the tool knowledge I have been sharing with others has come directly from this great little book. Second, I realized that although it was written over 30 years ago for personnel of the U.S. Navy, it is still extremely relevant.

Over 95% of the book relates to tools and techniques that could be used today by anyone interested in doing home repair or vehicle maintenance tasks, construction, or wood or metal craftsmanship. All of the tools described are still widely available and just as useful as ever. Much of the focus is on the use of hand tools or the principles behind proper measuring, cutting, grinding, and fastening. The many black-and-white photographs, or excellent line drawings, add to the clear communication of the text. I know a number of professional tradesmen who could learn more than a few things from this book.

Yes, it is missing a few contemporary tools and techniques that have been invented or refined in the last 30 years, but we can, and do, still use all of the hand tools described. Furthermore, all of the principles that are presented are still relevant, even if a power cord or a battery powers the working-end of many of today's tools instead of "elbow grease." Less than 5% of the book touches on issues seen primarily in the military (e.g. certain fastening techniques), and these few pages may be easily read or skipped.

Although this is not a pretty 'coffee-table' book, with lots of color photographs, should I give it as a gift? Absolutely! I definitely will add this book to the large assortment of tools I am preparing to give as a wedding present. How many other wedding presents can help a couple fix and enhance things throughout their life? This fine book will give them the knowledge they will need to use all those tools correctly, safely, and productively.

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