Bibliography for the Apprentice Carpenter

Bibliography for the Apprentice Carpenter

The following is a list of books and publications that I have recommended to apprentices starting out with Third Floor over the years. Taken as a whole these give a good sense of the history of the craft most particularly in the European/American Tradition. In addition to these books I also recommend a study of the traditions of Japanese carpentry and architecture. Recently I have begun to encourage the study of the theory of high efficiency building construction known as Passivehaus

  1. Vitruvius (1st Century BCThe Ten Books of Architecture [link to the Gutenberg Project free online version]  TRANSLATED BY MORRIS HICKY MORGAN, PH.D., LL.D., HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE  (1914)
  2. John Fitchen, Building Construction Before Mechanization, MIT (1989)
  3. Harry F. Ulrey and John E. Ball, The Carpenters and Builders Library 4 vols, Audel 1972 [This four volume set is the best and most thorough discussion of the technicalities of the carpenters craft ever put to print. The volumes are listed by subject below]
    • Vol 1. Tools, Steel Square, Joinery
    • Vol 2. Builders Math, Plans, Specifications
    • Vol 3. Layouts, Foundations, Framing
    • Vol 4. Millwork, Power Tools, Painting
  4. Fine Homebulding Magazine and the related publications of Taunton Press
  5. PHIUS Passive House Institute US access to Passive House Training
  6. Rachel Carley The Visual Dictionary of American Domestic Architecture, Henry Holt and Company (1994) [Among other things this book has an excellent short section detailing various types of Native American dwellings and structures. It is also useful for the development of the architectural vocabulary necessary to the professional carpenter. Through the book most of the architectural details or “elements” are labelled. ]

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