Book Review by Guy Lautard
Bill Smith is a master clockmaker, and his orientation is basically and undeniably clocks, BUT…Clockmaking & Modelmaking Tools and Techniques is most definitely not just for clockmakers. In this new 8-1/2 X 11″ soft cover, 112-page, comb bound book, he has revised the best of his previously published articles in the British Horological Journal, Timecraft, Model Engineer, and Horological Journal. He has expanded and updated them as required, and put them together in book form. Any aspiring clockmaker will find a host of ideas worth many many times the price of the book. Included is an interesting idea for a method of winding coil springs in the bench vise, as well as considerable info on the workshop use of Super Glue Also included is a good section on the use of piercing saws for skeletonizing sheet brass, etc. He also shows how to hand-sharpen a twist drill so it will produce truly circular holes in sheet metal with ease and precision, and delves into button centers for filing circles in metal. A camera tripod accessory for workshop photography is detailed. Bill has used the prototype in making thousands of photos in his own shop in recent years.
I have by no means listed all the subjects dealt with in this book – such as the numerous good “shorties,” i.e., resurfacing bench oilstones, a hint for safety in metal spinning, and so on. The book’s contents are general enough that I believe any home shop machinist reader or clockmaker will find it a worthwhile addition to his bookshelf. The text is well written, in clear and easy style. Beautifully illustrated with well over 200 photos and dimensioned line drawings, this book is the distillation of shop methods of a master clockmaker’s lifelong experiences. Get a copy!