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 Historic Millwork: A Guide to Restoring and Re-creating Doors, Windows, and Moldings* Features hundreds of detailed illustrations from actual period millwork catalogs.
* Demonstrates how to properly specify millwork.
* Include a glossary of key terms.
  Date Published 2/18/2003

Average Rating: Rating Average
Rated By: Gary M. Katz "gkatzz"
From: Reseda, CA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: A Perfect Companion For Any Carpenter
It looks like carpentry is finally getting due respect if books like this are being published. As an aficionado of architecture and millwork, I've often wondered why we have largely ignored the rich history of carpentry in this country. While many eighteenth and nineteenth-century pattern books have been re-printed, few new books have been devoted to the history of our craft. This is a fine collection of inspiring material from late nineteenth and early twentieth-century millwork catalogues combined with a rich narrative that will add to anyone's understanding and appreciation of woodwork.
Rated By: Matt Mulka
From: Mokena, IL
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Good book, but overpriced
This is a wonderful book detailing how millwork evolved from the 1870s until about 1940. It provides a good overview, and is more of a history without getting really in depth. It could just as easily have been titled "An History of Millwork from 1870 to 1940". There are some molding cross sections and quite a few pages out of catalogs of the time. However there could be many more. On the other hand there are many reprinted catalogs available. If I were doing period work, I would consult this book but definitely have old catalogs on hand to have a large selection of details to pick from. Both the architect and the carpenter can find some use in this book.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Over Priced & Better References
This book is quite overpriced relative to similar books. Better titles are available from Dover (Universal Millwork Catalog), Lee Valley (Home Interiors of the 1920s), Linden Publishing (Modern Practical Joinery), Fredionia (Modern Carpentry) that cover the information and provide more information at about 1/3 to 1/4 the price for each book. It looks like that many examples are out of these books commonly available. Furthermore, this book has relatively few examples for each catagory. Before you spend the money on this book, check it out from your library or have them get it through interlibrary loan along with the other books mentioned.
Rated By: HandyMan "Sam"
From: Iowa
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: A Little Disappointing
Like several other reviewers, I found the book to be overpriced. The book provided neither extensive and in depth narrative history NOR extensive patterns. ...and I don't believe there was one color photograph to be found. Don't buy it until you've had it in your hands.
Rated By: J. N. Cheney
From: Seattle, Washington
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Highly informative reference
Reading other reviews, I'm not sure why we have the overall impression that highly specialized references such as this should be bargain basement priced - the costs of writing and producing a book such as this are not inconsiderable, so I feel compelled to defend the author and publisher in that respect.

That being said, I'm perhaps the ideal customer for this book in that my home - former military quarters - was built in 1910 and re-fitted by the military at least twice during its life. Trying to figure out what is original and what is retrofitted is very challenging and this book provides an excellent guide for my purposes.

If you want pure gratification from a text with lots of color pictures you should know this is not a coffee table book, likewise, it is not a catalog. Nevertheless, I think the serious restoration-minded reader will be very satisfied, as I am.
Rated By: Brent Hull
From: Fort Worth, TX
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: From the author
As you try and make a decision about this book I wanted to give an explanation as the author. I noticed the reviews above and wanted to clarify the purpose of the book. I don't want you to spend $70 dollars on a book that doesn't help.

First, if you are looking for an old millwork catalog, this may not be your book. I wrote this book for architects trying to specify the correct doors, windows and moldings for historic buildings. I wrote this book for homeowners trying to figure out the millwork in their home and the subtle differences that take place during each architectural period. I wrote this book for contractors trying to restore an historic building with the proper details.

1870-1940 is a unique 70 year period in which there are numerous architectural changes that effect the moldings and millwork details of a building.

This book was written to help clarify how historic millwork was produced, who the major players were, how architectual and stylistic differences revealed themselves in the moldings and millwork of the home. I have broken out chapters by topic like windows or doors and then traced the changes in these products from 1870 to 1940. Hopefully, by reading this book you will be able to easily distinguish; a Victorian 5 panel door from an Arts and Crafts 2 panel, understand when colonades were popular and how they change, identify a Queen Anne sash, and recognize Victorian millwork from others.

I hope this helps you get a clear picture of what you are buying.


Brent Hull

PS. I had to rate the book in order to submit this review.