I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject of knife making and smithing in general. I have a small home set up useing a scrap metal anvil and various hand bodged tools and a home made gas forge and I've been working away at my skills such as they are for half a year now.
On reading his book I find that there is much I could have done cheaper and easier to get the same results when I started up and it has given me more info on how things go together than I was expecting. It takes an afternoon to read cover to cover.
In fact in the one day and an evening after receiveing this book, I now have a serviceable long belt grinder built from odds and sods in my garage, an old bandsaw motor, some decent hardwood and a pile of channel section and angle iron were utilised along with a lawnmower wheel and an old turned down pulley. Granted I had an idea prior to getting this book as to how to build it but this book got me started and a rainy saturday in the garage has now provided me a nice 72"belt vertical grinder for stock removal. I figure a little fine tuning over tomorrow will get it to be all I need for some time to come and allow me to return the borrowed one I've had for some months.. The only non stock mechanical part is my drive wheel which is 5"x 2" turned from MDF onto a keyed flange which is driven by a three speed pulley from the motor. This will be replaced when I get a good wheel but atm it seems to work well.
Not saying that the book gives exhaustive plans but it does give inspiration and enough info to build your own on the serioulsly cheap. Living in the UK however it will be a challenge to do a lot of what is itemised in here. Finding stuff in the US is a case of spit in any direction and find a supplier. Finding suppliers of anything in the uk is a chore, unlike US sourcing, the internet is very little use and trudging round industrial estates and car boot sales is the only way to go. We do not have the style of scrap yards that the americans have I've been and seen and find the general attitude of UK scap merchants to be so unhelpful where the americans will pretty much welcome you in with open arms give you a coffee then chat about what you want to find - this has been a long standing complaint of mine as I am long eperienced at trawling for "useful" stuff.
This book is a guide line and the one brick forge is something I find revelationary. My first forge started as a cut off, dented calor gas can lined with kiln fibre and a home made propane burner. It took time and money to perfect albeit not that much cash. The one brick forge is a mapp gas torch and an insulating brick :D I have drilled out one such brick already and am going to try it out tomorrow.
If you have any intention to start learning any sort of smith work from knives to wrought iron I'd recommend this highly. It's a get out and do it book that certainly made me get out and do it.