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Midnight

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With getting on for four years hands on experience at making sawdust, shavings and (lately) chips, I find myself looking increasingly for information on specific aspects of woodworking, trying to cross the line that separates a beginner from an intermediate. While TV programs, magazines and forums have all played their part in furthering my knowledge base, I find that books have been the main source of my education.
To date, my book collection has been fairly broad based, trying to get a good grounding in the basic essentials of technique, tool selection and maintenance, workshop arrangement etc, occasionally delving into fairly complex explanations of why wood behaves as it does. While most of my collection have provided valuable information, there are a select few that I’d be stumped without; I find myself reaching for them early on in the planning stages of a project, selecting appropriate joints, tooling required, areas where I need to pay particular attention etc. Lately, I’ve stumbled across a wealth of information in books that are no longer in print, although still available through specialist outlets….

Sooooo… Which books would you consider essential? What titles have you benefited most from? Which titles would you recommend for beginners, intermediate and advanced woodworking? Are there any you’d recommend avoiding for whatever reason? Where do you buy from?
 

Philly

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Mike,
For inspiration-James Krenov, The Fine art of Cabinetmaking
For tool juice-Garett Hack, The Handplane Book
For a huge amount of stuff-Mr Joyce, Furniture Making

Three to get things going....
Cheers
Philly :D
 
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Mike

Biscuit Jointer Project Book: Jim Stack. Beginner.

Classic Tools with Power Tools: Yeung Chan. Beginner/Intermediate

Woodworking with the Router: Bill Hylton & Fred Matlack. B/I

Collins Complete Workshop Manual: Albert Jackson & David Day. General Info
 

Midnight

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Good Beginners guides:-

The Workshop Book by Scott Landis published by Taunton
The Workbench Book by Scott Landis published by Taunton
Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking published by Taunton

Inspirational books:-

The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking by James Kernov
A Cabinetmakers Notebook by James Kernov

Essential Reference books:-

Practical Design Solutions and Strategies published by Taunton
Identifying Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley published by TauntonUnderstanding Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley published by Taunton
Choosing and Using Hand Tools by Andy Rae published by Lark Books
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction by Andy Rae published by Taunton
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery by Gary Rogowski published by Taunton

Disappointing titles :-

Beds by Jeff Miller published by Taunton
Tablesaw-Methods of Work by Richey published by Taunton
 

Alf

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Funny, John, I like the Woodworker's Bible too. Mind you, the author's got a good name... :wink:

Beginners
The Complete Woodworker's Manual by Jackson & Day
The Junior Woodworker by Charles Hayward
Planecraft, published by C J Hampton (if you want to go Neanderthal)
Woodturning, a foundation course by Keith Rowley (for, well, turning...)

Intermediate
Furniture-Making Techniques Vols 1&2 by David Charlesworth (to be avoided at all cost by beginners if you ask me - it'd put you right off!)
Any of the compilation books from FWW (Best Of, FWW on... etc)

Advanced
Search me, I haven't got there yet!

Inspiration
The Workshop Book by Scott Landis (for workshop inspiration, natch!)
Mainly projects I see online and in the mags, if truth be told

Essentials
Complete Woodworker's Manual
Joyce's Furniture Making, and one day I may even buy a copy...
Woodworking Aids and Devices by Bob Wearing (there is no job that can't be achieved with one of his jig ideas. At least I've yet to find one)
Dictionary of Woodworking Tools by R A Salaman

Disappointing
Krenov (too much build-up perhaps?)
World Woods in Colour
The Bandsaw Handbook, The Scrollsaw Handbook, The Biscuit Jointer Handbook (you'd have thought I'd have learnt after the first one...)
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction by Andy Rae (first thing I wanted to look up in there - tambour doors - there was nothing. Zilch. Nadda. Not very complete then...)

Cheers, Alf
 
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Alf":2j4y5fsh said:
Inspiration
The Workshop Book by Scott Landis (for workshop inspiration, natch!)
Mainly projects I see online and in the mags, if truth be told
I love those photo books full of old country furniture pictures: any suggestion ?

Cheers
Alberto
 

Chris Knight

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Alberto,

"The Construction of Period Country Furniture" subtitled "28 working designs for the craftsman" by VJ Taylor is pretty good - it has line drawings however rather than photos.
 

Philly

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Alf,
Know what you mean about "Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction by Andy Rae ". Beautiful pictures, BIG book, Big price, bit of a lightweight with the text (I thought). Half the photo's, twice the text please!!
Philly :D
(you found Krenov a disappointment? He is a bit of a "grumpy old man" but I found him inspirational. Especially when I need a woody jumpstart :D )
 

Midnight

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Ok. I've seen Joyce's name a couple of times.. I take it this is Earnest Joyce..???

Tell me about him. What's his woodworking style, background, how easily does he get a point across??
 
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Well, my library consists, to date, of:

Furniture-making techniques, vols 1 & 2, DC - find out what we're on about when talking about tuning tools, and decide for yourself whether it's OTT or not!
Tage Frid teaches woodworking - so far, only read a bit of this one, and already have 2 good tips I hadn't thought of before!
The Workbench Book - Scott Landis - the history of the workbench, and loads of inspiration for building your own. And accessories, like dogs, hooks, shooting boards
The fine art of cabinet making & a cabinet makers notebook - James Krenov; not looks at these at all yet (only just got them), but am looking forward to some ideas (the Krenov catch, for eg).

For beginners, The Stanley Book of Woodwork - Mark Finney; an excellent book for the starter, covering tools, joints, woods, finishes, sharpening, techniques and so on. Obviously Stanley biased, but what the hey - replace 'stanley' with 'L-N' for the planes :c)

And for furniture ideas & crude plans - 'How to store just about anything' - Jackson-Day

Been considering Joyce, having seen the book in local Waterstones, but not decided yet.

Also, waiting for delivery, is Japanese Woodworking Tools, their tradition, spirit and use by Toshio Odate, which I suspect is going to be quite a philosophical book more than anything else, but I love Jap saws & chisels, so thought I'd like to know more about them.
 

Alf

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Philly":32sc0n57 said:
Alf,
Know what you mean about "Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction by Andy Rae ". Beautiful pictures, BIG book, Big price, bit of a lightweight with the text (I thought). Half the photo's, twice the text please!!
You've summed it up better than I, Philly.

Philly":32sc0n57 said:
(you found Krenov a disappointment? He is a bit of a "grumpy old man" but I found him inspirational. Especially when I need a woody jumpstart :D )
Yep, 'fraid so. All those identical style cabinets, all with an identical approach to making it. Urgh. Boring. Even his students turn out the same ruddy stuff. Hardly inspirational if all you can inspire in your students is copies, to my mind. Heigh ho. I seem to be in a minority of one though! :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Alf":2jl1lzzl said:
I seem to be in a minority of one though!
No, two perhaps. I agree.

What is the use of those silly cabinets too? They are too small to hold very much, except perhaps priceless brandy and then you would have a hard time getting more than a few folk merry.
 

Midnight

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No, two perhaps. I agree.
Well....... maybe 2 1/2.

While I tend to agree that his styling is a little ummmmm.... different (??) I find his mindset pretty inspiring; reading his books, I was reminded of the days whenmy grandfather would take me into the shed, have me stand on an old packing case (I was a wee nipper at the time) and talk me through what he was doing, explaining which tool was what, what it did and how to use it. I found it reassuring to read the narrative of his thoughts as he planed and shaped timbers to their intended use; how one more pass of the plane would totally remove a particular feature in some pear wood, loosing it forever, as another identical feature to that could never be...such is the nature of wood...

Either that or I'm safter in the heid than I thought I was... :?
 

Philly

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Alf,
Like em or not-He has a "style" though doesn't he? Not many folk have a discernable style, most furniture makers do copies of a sort, i.e. Arts and Crafts, Shaker, etc. (Sam Maloof excepted :lol: )

As far as I'm concerned, ANYTHING that makes you want to excel yourself is good! (even bl##dy Boys in the Wood if that floats your boat :twisted: ) See, I'm a reasonable sort of boy. Honest! :D

best regards,
Philly :D
 

Midnight

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This morning there was an e-mail for me to the effect that the copy of The Complete Woodworker edited by Bernard E. Jones that I'd ordered had gone AWOL. Apparently someone had walked in off the street and bought it just prior to the shop staff going to look for it to make up my order. Such is life...

So I ran another search on the author and found a 4 volume set of The Practical Woodworker at a reasonable price. The bonus was that the bookshop is in Bristol; sensible shipping costs.
 

Jaco

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Just got a pressy from friend in US of A.
"The Best Jigs & Fixtures for your workshop" by Popular Woodworking Books.
some very nice ideas.
:D :D
 

Alf

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Midnight":2rfjxvm8 said:
So I ran another search on the author and found a 4 volume set of The Practical Woodworker at a reasonable price.
Go on, Mike, spill. You know you want to. :wink: Could be a good gloat there, judging by some of the prices I see for it on Bookfinder.

Cheers, Alf

Who's own four volume set was a lucky find before galootishness had even taken hold
 
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