Lumberjock Reading List - a compilation of formal LJ Reviews and forum comments #1: What happened........why am I doing this?

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 12-03-2009 03:18 AM 1838 reads 6 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Lumberjock Reading List - a compilation of formal LJ Reviews and forum comments series Part 2: Reading List Updated - of special note, a book by LJ Tom Fidgen »

By some kind of accident, you know, totally addicted, bumbling through the new LJ posts in the forum some Saturday morning, coffee cup in hand, bleary eyed, about 0613 hrs…......not truly a senior moment….certainly might meet the definition, however….....because the subsequent decision is supect, and with some circumspect analysis might be a candidate for further critical investigation….....especially considering the predicament, with which I have now, in all innocence, and altruism, .....taken into my sphere of, well (haven’t we all been there?).....altruistic burdens.

....................I took upon myself, a totally unneeded, heretofore not requested or suggested, obligation…

...........senior moment….....
The LumberJocks Reading List
Where did this insanity come from….......HUH??!!!

I digress, I always digress, check back through my mindless bumblings and you will realize this is a verity…....

In all innocence, last weekend, I thought about the books I might like to read to enhance my feeble woodworking abilities, and asked what were LJ’s favorite books on a forum topic. Then Dick Cain noted he had done a similar thing over three years ago. So we conjured up some action on Dick’s topic and it started to roll. So me….........I digress on my digression…........

I am OCD… to keep it organized. Have to make lists, references that I lose, and don’t know what they mean, and it makes me feel good, and…...........well I made the all-inclusive LJ reading list. And put it up on my heretofore totally ignored website…........

Back to the original digression, so we made reference to Dick’s thread. And then someone noted the book review section… of course… is now included.

So to the original topic….......a totally inclusive LJ Reading List is born. Don’t know where to put it. So it is in Dick’s thread, it is in a link to my website with my signature, and it is in this blog.

Hopefully, someone, maybe… know…...once a month will want to know what the LJ’s think about books, and will find the list. The list.

So it is my burden. For that lonely LJ, at a loss….......what do LJ’s think is the best book… it is…..

LumberJock Book List

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

22 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3717 days

#1 posted 12-03-2009 03:31 AM


Jim!! Tabular, and everything!!!

I love it :-)

So … here’s the deal: when I started getting into this hobby, I bought a few dozen used books on the subject, mostly from Because of my visual issues, I’ve only scanned a few, but … have I EVER got a treasure trove of general knowledge put together, for less than a couple hundred bucks!

While the tabulation work is a bit beyond my eyes, might a few pictures help?? Let’s find out:

“The Workshop Book,” by Scott Landis, is in the—ahem—man’s library, at the moment :-)

Great stuff, Jim.

-- -- Neil

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 4069 days

#2 posted 12-03-2009 03:47 AM

I am a little jealous of the OCD in you, I wish I could keep that organized. You have done a fantastic job of taking all of the information that has been brought up and making it easy to read. I now have many more books added to my list to buy and read.
Thank you for your effort, time and thoughtfulness.

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3884 days

#3 posted 12-03-2009 03:56 AM

jim , HUH ?

run this by me in spanish !(LOL)

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4365 days

#4 posted 12-03-2009 04:28 AM

Wow, Jim I am impressed.

I have always had the impression that winters in Alaska were long, cold and dark. So why do I get this vision of you just sitting around the house, snowed-in and wondering what to do with all this idle time on your hands? :)

Serioulsy, this is a nice list that I doubt any of us can trully appreciate the effort that went into its compilation. I want to offer you my personal thanks for creating it. There are a number of books on there that I would like to read so I will start using it today.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 5016 days

#5 posted 12-03-2009 08:43 AM

That’s amazing, Jim.. thumbs up!

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3974 days

#6 posted 12-03-2009 08:47 AM

I would like to add my thanks to those above. Jim, Thank You. Thanks for takeing the time to bring together a list with reviews for us newbies to paroose through. I am sure the “old timers” will get some use from it as well. haha

I only did a quick scan for now and quickly bookmarked the page so I can go directly to it when needed.

Thank You again for your insight in setting this up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View stefang's profile


16827 posts in 3877 days

#7 posted 12-03-2009 11:43 AM

This is an amazing job you’ve done here Jim. I have quite a library of woodworking books I’ve bought over the years but strangely enough, I only have one of the ones listed which is Hylton’s router book, which is an excellent reference work. I immediately favorited this blog and intend to use it in the future.

I also would like to inform those that don’t know about it that they can download a Kindle reader for free from Amazon.Com. This will make quite a few books available (including some woodworking books) at very reasonable prices. Great to have the info on your computer saving a lot of shelf space and being easier to access. I do hope they will increase the no. of woodworking titles as time goes. This seems to be the future. One advantage for us oldies and others with impaired eyesight is that we can choose the type size for easier reading too.

Thanks Jim for the wonderful job you did on this. I’m sure many LJ’ers will be as grateful as I am for you effort. This once again illustrates what a great bunch of positive, helpful folks are on this site. It is so normal and human that it makes the rest of the world seem like Bizzarro land.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4704 days

#8 posted 12-03-2009 11:43 AM

someone has way too much time on their hands!!!
I love it when people do “summaries” about our site.

Well done.

Question: how many woodworking books do you personally own?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1590 posts in 4108 days

#9 posted 12-03-2009 01:56 PM

Wow Jim, thanks! excellent resource.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3708 days

#10 posted 12-03-2009 06:21 PM

Thanks everyone for viewing, now I just have to keep it up to date. This is actually the product of having house guests for about 10 days in a row, and shop time was not safe or possible. Dick Cain and I have been batting this back and forth. My den, which has a large space for sitting and play room for kids, becomes the focus with house guests, so my computer is in the thick of things. I did this over many short settings, especially early in the morning while waking up with my coffee. I am a fast typist, and MSWord tables are something I use a lot.

Thats a whole lot of books. Probably like me, you tend to use them as reference, reading specific parts when you have a problem. That’s primarily why I buy books. But then again, since you aren’t known for your vision, you wouldn’t be buying them just to impress your friends….......would you? (-: If it were me, I wouldn’t tell them they are used, has more snob appeal that way (-:

Thanks for viewing. One of the reasons I made this list was for myself. Now I can find info about books when I need it. There are other lists of reviews and other forums with a strong woodworking review section. But on LJ’s I know the books are being used and evaluated on that basis. Also, I wouldn’t hesitate to quiz any of the members here if I needed more information about a book. This list might hopefully catalyze more reviews, as well.

Glad you could get away from that super-thread you have been swamped with lately (-: I actually have read the whole thing, pretty interesting.

“HUH” is a little known Alaskan term coined about the time of the pipeline construction. It is commonly used in polite company in place of ah s…, and in describing ah s… occurances at formal meetings to indicated the intensity of the situation, or the magnitude of the screw-up, the inflection and volume with which it is rendered indicates the magnitude. Subtle, I know, but you have to be an Alaskan to understand…(-: There is no Spanish equivalent.

Thanks, I appreciate the comments. Its usefulness will be a function of how well I keep it up.

I’ve said this before, thanks for the site. Hope this helps out the members.
Note how LJ-centric the list is…....(-:

Glad the old timers see some use in it too. I have had many books on DIYing over the years, but not as many woodworking as a hobby books. Trying to select between multiple books at B&N, or ordering over the internet is therefore an issue to me. Thought this would help me, hope it helps others.

Thanks for the support, for this project, and for your sage advice and help for my adventures in woodworking over the last couple of months…....hard to believe it has only been two months. A Kindle, the big one, is on the top of my Xmas wish list. If I can’t find an ebook, I figure I could make a pdf out of portions of some of my books and use in in the shop while working. I will make a protective stand for it.

Debbie, you are entirely too pertinent and probing (-: Thanks for the reading. I have about a 20 good WW hobby books, including a couple that my wife gave me while goading me into woodworking. One she gave me I have been using while making some Sketchup textures (World Woods in Color). I had many old DIY books that I finally recycled or sent off to Goodwill or some such. They were totally out of date, and too specific to the time they were written. They were not good woodworking hobby books. I still have a bunch to cull from the shop.

If people use it, that will be the best thanks of all. Thank you Tim.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3664 days

#11 posted 12-03-2009 08:43 PM

Thanks Jim great and useful information at the right itme of the year, I just have to print the list and viola I have my Christmass wish list. Thanks

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3884 days

#12 posted 12-03-2009 08:50 PM

hey jim ,
i was having trouble following the post ,
not being college material ,
i couldn’t follow the story line , ( my dumb ) !(LOL) .

i did go back after some comments ,
to try and understand .
and finaly clicked the connection button .

from HUH to WOW !

the book i was told to read ( moshel ) ,
was the first one on the list !


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3775 days

#13 posted 12-03-2009 09:34 PM


GREAT list! I am going to link that in my web site when I re do it…

I can’t believe I didn’t give you a review of “Learn to Turn: A Beginner’s Guide to Woodturning from Start to Finish” though. So here goes nothing…

“Learn to Turn: A Beginner’s Guide to Woodturning from Start to Finish” is a well written, easy to understand book, chock full of information on the practice, and art of wood turning. It is probably the best book on woodturning, of the many I have read. However, for as good of a book as it is, it fails to instill the touch, and feel that only comes through doing. Follow along with the book, and DO what it says, develop the touch and feel you need and you will go very quickly from setting up your first lathe, to spinning beautiful works of art. Or at least making things reliably round and safe…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3829 days

#14 posted 12-03-2009 11:50 PM

Books?—-I’m just waiting for the CliffsNotes to come out! LOL

Seriously, Thanks for all the hard work Jim


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3708 days

#15 posted 12-04-2009 04:36 AM

I see a few I would like also, I think I will give my selections to my wife (-: .....along with the big Kindle…....along with a selection of Veritas hand planes… know….....

My wife complains about my ornate psuedo-19th century prose that I use in humerous stuff too, says I should take up cartooning (-:

Your review is now in the list… are just as verbose as I am. So I joined the “Posted by” and “Comments” columns for that row…...........necessity is the mother of invention. I’ll do that again as the need arises.

That reminds me of my college study lamp, currently in use in my shop, fluorescent. Purchased in 1959. I think that equates to 1/2 century ago. Took me all the way through 12 years of training… still has the original bulbs. Now either…... those are the best bulbs ever made…......or I didn’t study very much (-:

I am just working through my old, and some newer books, organizing. I have 5 of the books on this list.

Old ones:
The 1982 hardbound of The American Shakers and their Furniture
The 1982 hardbound of Antique Furniture Reproduction
The 1981 hardbound of The Art of Making Furniture
Dick Cain has all those too, interestingly, guess it dates us…........

New ones:
Classic Joints with Power Tools
Woodworking with the Router

I have some other newer books to read, but I am reluctant to review them until I have truly used them.

I was truly amazed to find those old books from the 80’s in my shop, after I wiped off enough sawdust to see the titles….(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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