Rural Craft Publications

This page gives details of publications that provide detailed guides for people training in a range of traditional rural crafts. All of the publications listed below are available to download free from this website as PDF documents.

Due to the number of downloads for some titles, some of the title links will take to you pages containing links to the downloads.

If you experience any problems opening the documents, please do the following:

  • 'Right click' on the link.
  • Click on 'Save Link Target As' option.
  • Choose a destination on your computer to save the file in e.g. Desktop.
  • Click Save.
  • Open the file from the location in which you saved it.


The Blacksmith's Craft   
This book, first published in 1952, aimed to meet the needs of craftsmen, technical schools and apprentices training at the time. Today this book continues to be a valuable resource for those studying and working in the blacksmiths craft.

The Blacksmith's Manual Illustrated
This version is a reprint of the Blacksmith's Illustrated Guide, originally published in 1930. The complete text has been reproduced with new pages on temperature and measurement conversions and safety added to the back of the book.

Wrought Ironwork: A Manual of Instruction for Craftsmen 
The techniques in this book are shown by sequences of photographs with concise explanations which are intended to supplement instruction on the anvil. It is hoped this clear and practical method will help the smith to achieve the highest standard of work.

Catalogue of Drawings: Wrought Ironwork Gates
This publication of wrought ironwork designs should prove invaluable as a reference and working tool to all those involved in forgework - or interested in the history of blacksmithing

Catalogue of Drawings for Wrought Ironwork (3mb pdf)
This "Catalogue of Drawings for Wrought Ironwork" is presented in 15 sections. Drawings include door furniture, fire side furniture, lighting, grilles, sundials, sign stands and brackets, and many more.

Catalogue of Drawings: Weathervanes (1mb pdf)
Over 200 designs for weathervanes are included ranging from the classic cockerel weathervane design to the more whimsical: St George, the mad hatter, pigs, fish, dogs of all shapes and sizes, sailing ships, cars, witches and of course, blacksmiths.

Decorative Ironwork 
The information contained in this book is aimed at the specialist ironworker and will assist trainees to gain a better understanding of their craft.


Metals for Engineering Craftsmen (2mb pdf)
A book written to enhance the small users appreciation and understanding of the structure and properties of metals.


The Thatcher's Craft 
"The Thatchers Craft" deals with the history of thatching, the stage-by-stage construction using long straw, combed wheat or water reed, and has chapters on materials, tools and roof construction.


Making a Saddle 
This book sets out to show in simple language and photographic illustration, methods employed in making a saddle - methods which apart from the use of some synthetic materials have remained unchanged for generations.

Wheel Making

Making a wheel: how to make a traditional light English pattern wheel
The manual aims to show the process necessary for building a traditional English light wood carriage wheel. It describes the operations in a way which should enable a workman familiar with the use of woodworking tools and techniques to make such a wheel.

Furniture Design

Illustrated list of furniture design (8mb pdf)
An illustrated catalogue of furniture designs dating from the 18th and 19th centuries up to the 1940s.