Handsome in appearance, simple in construction, and remarkably efficient, early American tools were true marvels of ingenuity. In the hands of skilled workers, they were used to create everything from simple shelters, wagons, and fences to intricately carved chairs, fireplace mantels, and door moldings. In this richly illustrated book, author and master craftsman Alex Bealer tells the fascinating story of early American woodworking, enthusiastically describing and clearly depicting a wide array of devices — from axes wielded by frontiersmen to clear the land and build log cabins, to carpenters' saws, planes, and hammers, and furniture makers' chisels, calipers, bevels, and lathes. More than 300 drawings and photographs illustrate implements as they were once actually used in colonial times and as they are still employed today by many woodworkers. A book that will delight crafters at all levels of expertise, The Tools That Built America is must reading for lovers of antique tools, Americana enthusiasts, and anyone sufficiently inspired by the revival of woodcrafting to build their own furniture or shelter.