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Definitive beginner books list

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ByronBlack

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I've spent quite a number of hours browsing through amazon and ebay and that weird place called a 'library' and have seen many hundreds of wood-butchering books, but I can't tell which is best for a relatively complete beginner.

Can anyone recommend certain titles that will help me understand basic joinery, wood behaviour and beginning techniques.

I've currently got a nice book on hand-planes, 'the bandsaw book' , and 'router magic' these are nice but are very specific on the tools rather than generall theory and practice.

Thanks!
 

trevtheturner

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Hi ByronB,

Collins' Complete Manual of Woodworking (available from Amazon - £17.15. Looks like it is being reprinted at the moment) really is a good book for starters. 'Complete' manuals can often be pretty naff but this one is good and will cover just about everything you will be looking to learn as a beginner. 'Tis a popular book usually readily available, so you might find one on the shelf in a bookshop. That weird place (library) should have a copy available, so you could have a look to see if it suits before opening the wallet. As well as being good for a beginner it will stand you in good stead, too, as a reference book for a long time. I would certainly look at starting here, rather than going down the road of specialist books - but sounds as though you have already found that out. :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Alf

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trevtheturner":j8lw1ns3 said:
Collins' Complete Manual of Woodworking (available from Amazon - £17.15. Looks like it is being reprinted at the moment) really is a good book for starters.
Trev's pinched my standard response. It has just been reprinted - new edition even? Amazingly they had it in WHSmith in Truro, so it must be falling off the shelves in other parts of the country.

Cheers, Alf
 
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Yet another fan of the Collins Guide.

My son was even recommended this book by hos college when he first started his joinery apprenticeship.

I kept borrowing it until he hid the thing away, so I've now got my own.
 

Pete W

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wizer

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This book is on my wish list as recommended by Waterhead37 some time ago:

Bill Hylton: Illustrated Cabinetmaking: How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works ISBN: 0875967965
 

ByronBlack

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These are all great recommendations, cheers fellas. I'm being dragged to that weird place (library) on the weekend by her-in-doors, so i will keep an eye out for those.
 

Adam

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Funny, of all the books I have, my Krenov is the book I like least!

Adam
 

Pete W

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Adam":2b9o9xbv said:
Funny, of all the books I have, my Krenov is the book I like least!
I've seen a few similar opinions around the various forums - I guess he's a like-loathe proposition. I enjoyed his first book so much I bought Cabinetmaker's Notebook, too (havent' yet got around to Impractical Cabinetmaker, although I'm sure I will).

What is it you dislike Adam? (I'm not looking for an argument - I'm just interested, and I'm sure those who haven't tried Krenov yet would be interested, too :))
 

shirehorseman

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Hi Byron,
all the books mentioned are sound advice, the only thing that I would add, is to try this site as they are very cheap even with the postage although you will need to check that before you buy, as it does vary. You can buy a lot of these as second- hand and to be fair the ones that I have purchased in the past are like brand new. I use this site a lot for books of all sorts of subjects. I have also bought quite a lot myself from amazon.
Regards.
Trev.

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Searc ... king+books
 

Alf

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Even better, try Bookfinder, which is a meta search of all the book sites.

Adam's not the only one who's not a Krenov fan. It's come up before in, guess what, a thread about woodworking books (you might find it a helpful thread, Byron. I'd forgotten all about it). I wouldn't say I loathe him at all, I just don't find him particularly inspirational as others seem to.

Cheers, Alf
 

Sgian Dubh

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I'm no fan of Krenov's writings either Pete. His aimless twitterings with all the written verbal tics drive me to distraction. I've always wondered how so many words can be used to say so little, but that's just me.

By the time I've read a couple of pages of his contorted prose I'm about ready to toss the thing in the fire, ha, ha--- ha, ha, ha.

You can guess I suppose that I don't own any of his books, although I have tried to read them. In defence of that my training as a furniture designer/maker began over thirty years ago in British workshops so the '70's and '80's American Rennaisance in craft furniture making of which he was a leader meant little or nothing to me then.

I note its influence now. I have to because I sell articles on furniture making subjects to American magazines, and being aware of significant driving forces in my market is useful. Slainte.
 

Pete W

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Sgian Dubh":dcjaib3v said:
I'm no fan of Krenov's writings either Pete. His aimless twitterings with all the written verbal tics drive me to distraction.
Fair point :).

But as Philly said in the other thread referenced by Alf, "As far as I'm concerned, ANYTHING that makes you want to excel yourself is good!"

And I found Krenov (and Maloof, and Nakashima) a welcome change of pace from the "cut the wood this long, plane it this thick, assemble it with this joint" approach of so many books.

Anyway... forward not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling :)
 
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