Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Workbenches, by Christopher Schwarz

The full title is, "Workbenches From Design & Theory to Construction & Use."

This is a very good book, but I expected it to be even better, so I was a bit disappointed in it. There were several areas where a bit more explanation would have helped quite a bit, and several obvious redundancies between chapters, as though they were re-use of independent magazine articles.

Still, it is very useful, with adequate (but not fabulous) plans for an English style (i.e., with apron) and French style (i.e., massive, without apron) workbench.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Illustrated Cabinetmaking, by Bill Hylton

This was a disappointment. It could have been fabulous... but suffers from monotonic writing and the frustration of diagrams that don't adequately indicate wood grain direction. Not worth the time.

Adventures in Wood Finishing, by George Frank

This is a delightful little book! Mr. Frank takes a conversational tone to discuss wood finishing techniques by telling stories about his fascinating life. You could have no interest in the topic and still enjoy at least 50% of this book just for the story telling.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Greene & Greene, by Randell Makinson

The full title is, "Greene & Greene: The Passion and the Legacy." I'd requested this book from my local library anticipating a coffee-table style book of furniture photographs. Instead, this book emphasizes the Greenes' architecture, particularly residential housing. So while this is no doubt a lovely book, I get more from a web-site like Darrell Peart's.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Toolbox Book, by Jim Tolpin

This is a really fun coffee table book! It is pretty much what the title says: a brief history of the furniture maker's toolbox. With many cool photos.

My only complaints are: not enough design plans, and not nearly enough photos and diagrams of the Studley tool cabinet.

The author's detailed description of his own wall cabinet was excellent.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hand-Applied Finishes, by Jeff Jewitt

This book explained more about furniture finishing that I ever thought I'd want to know. It might be a good reference text -- I can imagine one day thinking about how to finish a particular item and saying, "hmmm, I should go check Jewitt on this." On the other hand, I'm pleased to have borrowed this from the library and not purchased it. Because even though I sort of understand how to do French polishing, after nine pages of painstaking instructions, I'm absolutely motivated to avoid it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly

This is an excellent, well plotted crime / legal novel. It brings together two of the author's characters of other novels in an interesting way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Woodworker's Guide to Sharpening, by John English

This book has quite a different feel to it than the Lee book on sharpening; there's more of a net-net feel, and many pointers to commercial products. I find it an excellent complementary text; the instructions are generally quite clear and helpful.

On the other hand, the sharpening station plans are quite poorly done.

Still, though, I recommend this book.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hand Tool Essentials, by the Editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine

An absolutely fabulous collection of articles by some of the best woodworking writers around; people like Christopher Schwarz, Don McConnell, and Adam Cherubini. Definitely worth buying!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Woodworking: The Right Technique, by Bob Moran

This is very good. Not at the level of Korn's book, but still worth buying. What I particularly liked is the even-handed coverage of both hand and machine techniques. It is annoying to read materials about jointing an edge, for example, that presume you'll use a power jointer - when you might in fact use a hand plane. This book didn't go very deep, but it went deep enough and certainly has breadth.