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This is a massive and beautifully illustrated compendium which describes every hand tool used in the woodworking trades from the years 1700 to 1970. His rich language describes and explains the tools, not only of the more obvious woodworking trades (such as the cabinetmaker, chairmaker, joiner, coachbuilder, cooper, shipwright, plane maker, wheelwright and instrument maker) but of the less obvious trades as well, such as broom and brush makers, tree feller, hoop maker, upholsterer, millwright, coffin maker and window maker. The present edition is a substantial enlargement of the original work, revised and updated by Philip Walker, himself an authoritative historian-collector of tools.
I recently was fortunate to be able to take a tour of the Ali Industries abrasives factory in Fairborn, Ohio, where they manufacture their Gator Finishing line of sandpaper products. The first step to making any sandpaper product is to print the backer on the back of the paper. The grit to be applied to the sandpaper is poured from bags (that are purchased from outside sources) into a hopper.There are various types of grit used in different types of sandpaper. Surprisingly, this sand grit in the hopper feels far smoother than it does on the sandpaper.


Because of the difference in the static charges, the grit literally leaps upward onto the resin-coated paper.
Salaman's Dictionary of Woodworking Tools has come to be recognized as a definitive pioneering reference work, one of unparalleled value to craftsmen, collectors, antique dealers and all who are interested in the subject of woodworking tools and their uses. As a part of my tour, I was able to learn all of the steps that Ali uses to make everything from basic garnet sandpaper for hand sanding, to random orbit sanding disks, sanding belts for belt sanders and more. For instance, many hand sandpapers are made using garnet or aluminum oxide, while many abrasive papers used for power sanders are manufactured using black zirconium (which is basically the same material that cubic zirconium faux-diamonds are made from). The above picture is of some 120-grit abrasive, but it literally feels almost silky in the raw form. The printed paper is fed through a vat containing the chosen resin in the image above.There are a few different resins that are used in the manufacturing of sandpaper, but the two main types are urea resins, used for hand sandpapers, and phenolic resins for power sanding.
More impressively, because the heaviest part of each uniquely-shaped grain carries a stronger charge, the thickest part of each grain is embedded into the resin, leaving the sharpest edge of each grain exposed.


Ironically, most of these abrasive products are manufactured using the same (or very similar processes). One might expect that the grit is simply sprinkled evenly onto the paper, but in actuality, it is a bit more high tech.The grit is sprinkled onto a conveyor belt that is electrostatically-charged, which in turn gives the grit a static charge.
As the conveyor moves along, the resin-coated paper is brought down across a roller about two inches above the conveyor. The first paper that came off of this manufacturing line was a batch of 320-grit garnet sandpaper in 1997.



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