684: Measure Twice, Cut Once by Norm Abram

by Gerard


684: Abram, Norm. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Lessons from a Master Carpenter. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1996. 194 pp. ISBN 0-316-00494-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 680: Manufacture of products for specific uses
  • 684: Furnishings and home workshops

If you’re anything like me and you’ve ever watched an episode of This Old House, you will find it both mesmerizing and engaging. Master carpenter Norm Abram would spend each episode guiding the viewer through a woodworking construction project, giving helpful tips and tricks for doing the job correctly the first time. Measure Twice, Cut Once, a collection of his short essays, is much the same way. He talks about growing up in a carpentry family (his father and grandfather each built their own homes), his relationship with the craft, and his impressions on different tools and techniques. This short book covers a lot of basics, from which tools work better in different situations to how past jobs have led to current techniques when on a project. This book actually got me thinking of which tools I have in my toolbox and how to best use them. Luckily, Abram stays away from the sappy and lands this collection squarely in the realm of the sentimental. For anyone looking for casual information about classic carpentry or a quick jolt of folksy-ish memoir, this one should not disappoint.