There are many books covering the basic blacksmithing processes and many showing finished articles, but Francis Whitaker's "The Blacksmith Cookbook" especially details the joinery techniques that he used, demonstrated and taught. He learned these in his early training in the shops of Samuel Yellin (1923-24) and Julius Scramm (1924-25) and then added to and refined these techniques during his lifetime in the forge. He was still learning new way and adding new tricks to his repertory in his final years. His valuable little book provided blacksmiths with a singe resource for diverse information that was otherwise available only from a wide variety of sources.
As wonderful as the original book was, it had several shortcomings. Some parts were presented in logical order but others were not and rough notes from conferences and workshops were also included. This resulted in much duplication with ideas in random order. There was a Table of Contents but the lack of an Index was a great inconvenience.
This revision and expansion by George Dixon takes care of the inconveniences of the original text and makes learning the difficult techniques easier and finding answers much quicker.
George is an excellent blacksmith, illustrator, writer and teacher and has done a fine job of presenting the material. Francis would be happy with this book.
Chapter 1: The Blacksmith's Shop
Chapter 2: Blacksmithing Processes
Chapter 3: Making Hammers, Tongs & Tools
Chapter 4: Joinery
Chapter 5: Forging Blanks & Balls
Chapter 6: The Twisted Bar
Chapter 7: Scrolls
Chapter 8: Quatrefoils
Chapter 9: Animal Heads
Chapter 10: Mechanics of Basic Design & Drawing
Chapter 11: Surface textures, Finishes & Finishing
128 pages, over 750 illustrations. Hardcover.