Everything one needs to know is in this book.

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Review by travisowenfurniture posted 01-28-2011 03:41 AM 2560 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Everything one needs to know is in this book. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After I built myself a table with no woodworking knowledge of any kind, I was fiendish to know more. I bought this book, and the course of my life changed. This book starts with the basics of how trees grow, progresses to glue types, methods of work, joinery, and all sorts of other details. Though dry at times, all the information is there. Since it was published in 1970, some of the info about woodworking machinery is out of date. The benefit of this is there is a huge attention on hand work and hand methods. Within chapters there are pages dedicated to types of tenons, dovetails, doweling, types of veneering, and even restoration work. And with all the detailed descriptions, there are accompanying drawings showing what it means. unfortunately, the pictures aren’t always on the page that tells about it, so there is a lot of flipping back and forth from page to page since there may be 5 descriptions with five accompanying pictures in a single paragraph.

I have read this book cover to cover twice and still look to it when I have a technical problem to solve or if I want to read something again. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves woodworking and wants to make things that will last generations. My horizons were widened by this book, and yours will be too.

Check it out!


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91 posts in 3464 days

7 comments so far

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2131 posts in 4518 days

#1 posted 01-28-2011 02:35 PM

I bought this book years ago, when I was starting out. I think it’s on it’s second printing/edition now. It is a great book filled with wood working knowledge. I think it’s a “must have” book for folks starting out in the craft.

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4816 posts in 3947 days

#2 posted 01-28-2011 04:36 PM

”I have read this book cover to cover twice ”

Can I just call you, instead, then ???

I love references like this. Often much easier than the Internet, and—obviously—may contain vastly different information.

Ordered it, used, just now … for a very good price !

Thanks for the info :-)

-- -- Neil

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176 posts in 3654 days

#3 posted 01-28-2011 08:55 PM

Thanks for the review of this book. I am looking for a furniture book on design. Does this book cover much about design or is it mostly a skills instruction book?

I have the Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction book (encyclopedia if you will) and it is a very good read for boat builders, but doesn’t cover design tips/rules.


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1880 posts in 4765 days

#4 posted 01-28-2011 08:59 PM

A friend turned me on to this book when I first started into woodworking. I had the first edition which I lost in a fire and was able to get the second edition used on Amazon. I use it for reference all the time.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View travisowenfurniture's profile


91 posts in 3464 days

#5 posted 01-29-2011 06:42 AM

Dedvw – It does not cover design, only technique and method. There are brief examples of how a technique may be applied, but no focus on the actual design. Alan Peters covers design pretty well in “Cabinetmaking: The Processional Approach”, but doesn’t push his own design methods onto the reader. If you want to know about the current trends, Fine Woodworking mag and the design books that Taunton publishes are pretty good for that as far as I’ve heard. Krenov has a nice approach to the topic of design too.


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176 posts in 3654 days

#6 posted 01-29-2011 06:20 PM


Thanks a lot for the info. I have been looking for awhile and its kinda hard to find a lot of information on design books (other than they exist). I will have to try one of those Taunton books.

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