Homework #1: Hitting the books

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Blog entry by JimmyNate posted 03-25-2009 06:09 AM 1049 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I stopped by the library this week and picked up a few books on tools. The goal is to educate myself sufficiently that I know what I’ll want to be doing with the tools. This week the selections are:

Jim Tolpin’s Table Saw Magic
Great for my intended purpose. The first 45 pages are nothing but the basics: types of saws, setup, tune-up, upkeep. The rest of the book (the bulk of it) is devoted to the myriad uses of a table saw and while details are occasionally thin, there are tons of pictures and diagrams and the author covers lots of ground giving introductions and basic instructions for virtually everything you could dream of doing with a table saw.

Woodworking with the Router by Bill Hylton
This is a hefty book. Plenty of photos and diagrams but lots of text. 375 pages including a substantial index. As expansive as Table Saw Magic was in breadth of subject matter, this book rivals it for the router and adds a significant amount of detail to each subject.

Router Joinery Workshop by Carol Reed
This is a really nice book. A few years old now and half the size of Bill Hylton’s book, this book is nice for the added homemade jig and accessory plans. It is what it says it is, a slightly more detailed look at joinery with a router.

The Handplane Book by Garrett Hack
I ended up skimming this one and focusing on 3 of the 13 chapters: How to Plane, Contemporary Plane Makers, and Buying Planes. It has a nice nod to Lie Nielsen and is full of history and collector information but skirts around the practical use and buying. I’m still not sure what to look for in a plane so I’ve taken the author’s advice and bought a few old stanleys on ebay that will hopefully tell me more about how to use them and what makes a good plane.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

2 comments so far

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 03-25-2009 08:05 AM

Knowledge is power! Reading up is the next best thing to having a teacher in the shop with you. good luck.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View JimmyNate's profile


124 posts in 3649 days

#2 posted 03-26-2009 04:45 PM

An update: The Handplane Book is proving far more valuable than I previously reported. My auction-bought planes have started arriving and I’m finding the chapters on tuning and using planes really useful. Having a plane in hand while thumbing the pages really helps.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

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