Astragal Press books on antique tools and more






Handbook for Ironmongers, 2E
A Glossary of Ferrous Metallurgy Terms

H.G. Brack

The second edition of Handbook for Ironmongers: A Glossary of Ferrous Metallurgy Terms defines hundreds of items of interest to blacksmiths, historians, and anyone seeking knowledge of steel- and toolmaking and its history. Topics range from ancient metallurgical techniques to later developments in iron and steel production in America, including definitions pertaining to alloy steels, tool steels, and CNC technology.


Also included is commentary on the challenges faced by contemporary artisans and metalworkers (born-again ironmongers) in a world of increasing income disparities, reduced employment opportunities, and rapidly diminishing round world natural resources. While it stands alone as an important resource, the Glossary is also an invaluable component of the Davistown Museum Hand Tools in History series, which surveys the history of steel- and toolmaking and relates it to New England shipsmiths and edge toolmakers.

H. G. “Skip” Brack is the founder and curator of the Davistown Museum and proprietor of and buyer for the Jonesport Wood Company, which deals in antique and used tools and includes the famed Liberty Tool Company in Liberty, Maine. Artifacts and information that Brack encountered on his tool buying expeditions in the attics, cellars, and workshops of coastal New England piqued his curiosity, raising questions about its early inhabitants and the tools they used. When he discovered that the information he sought to answer his questions was sketchy, inaccurate, or undocumented, Brack sought and scoured primary and secondary sources on the history of early coastal New England, focusing on the origins and composition of tools used by early New Englanders and New England First Nation communities. His publications include the Davistown Museum seven volume Hand Tools in History series, Norumbega Reconsidered: Mawooshen and the Wawenoc Diaspora, and much of the text on the information-rich museum website Brack holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and M.A. from the University of Colorado. His knowledge of early tools and Maine/New England maritime history makes him a sought after lecturer and consultant. Brack, the museum, and his tool stores have been featured in Yankee, Downeast, and Bangor Metro magazines, the Boston Globe, an Associated Press article that appeared world-wide, Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Maine Experience, and the Martha Stewart television show. He lives and works in Bar Harbor and Liberty, Maine, with his wife, Judith Bradshaw Brown.

236 pages, Paperback, B&W, 8" x 10", 2013
Order Number: VAP907.............$22.00

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