If you can only afford one metalsmithing book this is the one to get! This is the best introduction to metalsmithing book I have ever found. It is chock full of information to help one get started working with metal. This book is divided into 8 major sections including; materials, surfaces, shaping, joining, casting, stones, mechanisms, and tools. It also includes a handy reference section that I use nearly every time I'm in the shop. The book is full of illustrations, Mr. McCreight is pleasing concise with text. The book seems to have the budget metalsmith in mind offering many low cost methods and tools. The book even includes plans for two home built Jewelry benches, one inexpensive pine and the other a nicer hardwood. I made the inexpensive one 6 or seven years ago while I was in college and still use it today! The book is also thoughtfully bound with a metal spiral wire binding. This allows the book to lie flat on you table while you work. Hats off to Mr. McCreight. Order this one Today.