Today we caught up with new author Andy who’s just launched his new book on saws, “A Little Saw”.
Workshopshed: What is the book about?
Andy: A little saw is a book about “cutting stuff up”. It advises you on which saw to select for different tasks. The book also provides tips on using each type of saw and some overall advice on how to get the best from a saw.
Workshopshed: Who is the book aimed at?
Andy: It’s aimed at beginners and improvers. If you are puzzled about which saw to buy or pick from a tool library/makerspace then this is for you. You might hear the phrase “if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail”. It’s when people are stuck using one tool because that’s all they know. So this book can help them too.
Workshopshed: Why did you write it?
Andy: I was prompted to write the book by a conversation with a friend who asked: “what saw should I buy”. I responded with “That depends on what you want to cut”. We had a long discussion and he ended up selecting a circular saw. I was also reading “As they Slept” by Andy Leeks who wrote his book on his commute to work. I’ve a long commute too so I thought that would be a good use of the time.
Workshopshed: Why just hand saws?
Andy: I started of by listing all the saws I knew. The list came out quite long. So to keep the first book manageable I decided to leave the power saws till a future edition. I think it’s important to start out with hand tools to understand how things work before progressing to power tools. If you don’t know what you are doing then power tools just allow you mess up more quickly.
Workshopshed: So there will be other books?
Andy: Yes, I’ve started on a book about making holes. So that’s mostly drill bits but also things like punches and hole saws. As mentioned the power tools will come later.
Workshopshed: How long till the next book?
Andy: This first book took me 18 months to go from the initial idea through to a published book. Hopefully it won’t take so long for the next one but I would have thought 8-12 months is likely.
Workshopshed: Any challenges?
Andy: When I started out, I had in my mind a distinctive style for the images, an illustrated style rather than photographic. To created these I selected the vector graphics program InkScape. I knew very little about the package so there was quite a bit of learning there. If you look at the Tenon saw vs. the Jewellers Saw, you can see the evolution of my drawing.
Workshopshed: Did you write it on your own?
Andy: I started out on my own but had lots of help from others. During the research I must have bounced loads of questions off people on Twitter so thanks to you all if I’ve missed you from the credits. There were also many reviews from my father who’s edited a few magazines over the years and proofread loads of brochures and booklets. I also asked some fellow makers to cross check my facts and act as another pair eye on the reviewing.
Workshopshed: Andy is the owner of this website and writes most of the articles, when not writing for the site he’s down the Workshopshed making and repairing.