Best Tinsmithing Books Reviewed 2020 [Updated]

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List of Best Tinsmith & Tinsmithing Books For Beginners & Experts 2020 [Updated]

Tinsmiths learn much of their craft through experience, but books can still help create a sold foundation. Chris Costello CC BY-SA

Tinsmithing is a very hands-on trade that requires a lot of practice and experience to develop and improve your skills. However, a lot of value can be gained from gathering more related information from tinsmithing books.

There is a variety of tinsmithing and tincrafting books available for tinsmiths and metalsmiths of all skill levels who have different perspectives on the trade.

Many tinsmiths can find a lot of useful tips and techniques within the content of some of these books that will allow them to both learn more about the trade itself and sharpen their skills.

The books included in the following list of tinsmithing books can cater to beginner and expert tinsmith in both technical and creative aspects of the trade.

1) The Tinsmith’s Helper and Pattern Book: With Useful Rules, Diagrams, and Tables

The Tinsmith's Helper and Pattern Book: With Useful Rules, Diagrams and Tables
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Vosburgh, H. K. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Intermediate & Advanced Tinsmiths

The Tinsmith’s Helper and Pattern Book by H.K Vosburgh is a great reference manual for tinsmiths and sheet metal workers. The author tries to communicate the information and experience he has had while working with sheet metal in straightforward language.

His examples of past experiences with metal are accompanied by material specs in order to provide more valuable context for the reader. This book acts as a very useful guide for apprentice and intermediate tinsmiths working with sheet metal. Some of the more notable aspects of this book are the inclusion of useful formulas and rules that can prove to be very helpful for the practicing tinsmith.

The latest version of this book has been updated with simpler methods of pattern drafting to keep it more up-to-date. Overall, this book is great for intermediate tinsmiths and can serve as a reference book for tinsmiths of higher skill levels.

Pros Cons
  • Great guide for pattern drafting
  • Helpful formulas and rules
  • Great for intermediate to advanced tinsmiths
  • Experienced author
  • Some aspects of the book are a bit out-of-date
  • Not very suitable for beginner tinsmiths
  • Highly-focused on sheet metal work

2) Tin Craft

Tin Craft: A Workbook
  • Fern-Rae Abraham (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 34 Pages - 11/15/2016 (Publication Date) - Sunstone Press (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginner & Advanced Tinsmiths

Tin Craft by Fern-Raw Abraham offers useful information on the creative side of tinsmithing. The author is very experienced and provides a unique perspective on tin can crafting that can be great for tinsmiths who love decorating and working on art projects.

This book in particular focuses on southwest and Mexican-inspired designs and patterns that can be created using scrap metal. The accessibility of the materials and tools needed to follow-along with the projects described in this book is a highly attractive aspect of it.

The author details how easy it is to create complex art from basic scrap metals from soup or soda cans. Tinsmiths of all skill levels can read this book and learn how to make tin craft projects. The author makes sure to list both the tools and materials necessary to complete the projects.

This is a great read and wonderful book for novice tinsmiths or artists trying to learn a new medium.

Pros Cons
  • Great patterns and designs
  • Simple tin craft projects
  • Accessible tools and materials listed
  • Experienced author
  • Great for tinsmiths or artists of all skill levels
  • Mostly focuses on the artistry of tinsmithing and the design aspect
  • Not a technical book


3) Tin-Craft as a Hobby

Tin-Craft As A Hobby,
2 Reviews
Tin-Craft As A Hobby,
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bell, Enid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner Tinsmiths

Tin-Craft as a Hobby by Enid Bell is a great book for people who would like to learn about tinsmithing and crafting. The author includes a step-by-step guide for the projects described in the book.

Tin crafting is highlighted as an inexpensive handicraft medium that many people can have the ability to practice. Many of the projects are accompanied by useful diagrams to allow the reader to visually follow the process and compare examples.

Some detailed explanations of the techniques are also included in order to achieve the desired tin crafting results.

Pros Cons
  • Experienced author
  • Great for beginner tinsmiths and crafters
  • Step-by-step guide
  • Helpful diagrams and pictures included
  • Focused on handicraft, not technical tinsmithing work
  • Not very updated

4) The Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company’s Tinsmiths’ Tools and Machines of the Highest Grade and Best Quality

The Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company's Tinsmiths' Tools and Machines
  • Pollak, Emil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 06/01/1993 (Publication Date) - Astragal Press (Publisher)

Recommended for: Intermediate & Advanced Tinsmiths

The Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company’s Tinsmiths’ Tools and Machines by Emil and Martyl Pollack is a great book for tinsmiths interested in the history of tinsmithing and the types of tinsmithing tools used in the 19th century.

It is possible that some of the information contained in this book can be applied to modern tinsmithing, but it is always interesting to see how tinsmiths used to complete projects using older tools and techniques.

Historians and other metalsmiths interested in tinsmithing could definitely find the information in this book useful and helpful, especially if you possess some of the tools included in this text. The unique aspect of this book is that it is essentially a catalog of tinsmithing tools and their respective prices at the time.

Pros Cons
  • Historical account of tools and machines used by tinsmiths
  • Educational content for those interested in the history of the tinsmithing craft
  • Helpful descriptions of older tools
  • Does not included modern-day tools and machines
  • Not a how-to book


5) Metalwork for Craftsmen

Metalwork for Craftsmen
  • Kronquist, Emil F. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 06/01/1972 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginner Tinsmiths

Metalwork for Craftsmen by Emil F. Kronquist is a handbook about sheet metal crafting that includes a variety of metal crafting projects. The author is a very knowledgeable, master craftsman on the subject and includes step-by-step instructions on how to complete 55 different sheet metal projects.

The text is accompanied by helpful diagrams and drawings that allow readers to follow along the parts of the projects. The wonderful aspect of this book is that it is essentially a smithing book, complete with fundamental techniques about metalworking that are useful for beginner tinsmiths or sheet metal workers.

The important aspects of the metalworking process are defined and detailed in order to provide a comprehensive description of the process. This book is great for learning how to complete small sheet metal crafting projects and can be a great addition to the hobbyist’s library.

Pros Cons
  • Knowledgeable author
  • Describes the metalworking process
  • Great for beginner tinsmiths and sheet metal workers
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Useful diagrams and drawings
  • Information is not meant for expert tinsmiths
  • Focuses on sheet metal crafting rather than tinsmithing specifically
  • Focus on traditional methods


6) Sheet Metal Fabrication: Techniques and Tips for Beginners and Pros

Sheet Metal Fabrication: Techniques and Tips for Beginners and Pros (Motorbooks Workshop)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Paul, Eddie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Intermediate & Advanced Tinsmiths

Sheet Metal Fabrication by Eddie Paul is a book that focuses on hand-forming sheet metal in general. While this book does not primarily focus on tinsmithing, the shaping process described in this book can apply to a broader variety of metal projects.

The author describes the tools and materials necessary to complete a restoration or general sheet metal forming project that can appeal to intermediate tinsmiths or sheet metal workers. The author’s experience in the field is apparent throughout the writing and the inclusion of useful tips for readers.

This is a wonderful reference book to add to your collection and helpful guide when working on car restoration projects.

Pros Cons
  • Describes the hand-forming process using sheet metal
  • Experienced author
  • Helpful information for car restoration projects
  • List of tools and materials
  • Useful tips
  • Experienced author
  • Not specific to tinsmithing


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