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The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction Hardcover – October 15, 2001

88 customer reviews

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The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction + Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery + Woodworking Basics - Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship - An Integrated Approach With Hand and Power tools
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The second installment in this planned three-volume guide will, no doubt, join the first and third (to be published at the end of this year) in offering woodworkers of all competencies a great set of reference books. More important than words here are the high-quality photographs illustrating each step, especially if there's no expert or teacher nearby. Former magazine journalist Rae does a creditable job of organizing concepts and contents, and explaining the most technical of terms in plain English. Techniques are presented in a range of skill options, catering to both novice and highly professional craftspeople. Some of the tips on how to save time and money are ingenious; for example, recycling Popsicle sticks and gluing them to sandpaper to clean up tool marks in hard-to-reach corners. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Andy Rae worked with George Nakashima and Frank Klausz before founding his own woodworking business. He has been awarded a New Jersey Council of the Arts Fellowship for his furniture designs. A former editor of "American Woodworker," Rae currently works in Asheville, North Carolina, making furniture as well as teaching and writing about woodworking.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; 4th Printing edition (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561584029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561584024
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andy Rae worked with George Nakashima and Frank Klausz before founding his own woodworking business. He has been awarded a New Jersey Council of the Arts Fellowship for his furniture designs. A former senior editor of American Woodworker magazine, Rae currently works in Asheville, North Carolina, making furniture as well as teaching and writing about woodworking.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Scott Pointon VINE VOICE on July 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Through my work as a public librarian I recently ordered this book, and subsequently had the opportunity to be the first at my library to read it! I am very impressed with the sheer scope of the work. Having long been a fan of the Taunton Press I expected this work to be very good quality, and I was not disappointed. I agree with most of the favorable comments made by other reviewers, but I have to disagree with the claim made by another that this book is disjointed. I found it to be very readable and informative.
To me the beauty of this book is that there is something in it for everyone. Beginners will of course gather the most new knowledge here, but even seasoned woodworkers (and woodworking book junkies) will find it interesting and above all useful. Besides the grand scope of the book, I was impressed most with the fresh and creative ways that common woodworking knowledge is presented. I found that the way the chapters were laid out, the order of presentation, felt very natuaral. Each subject flows nicely into the next. I particularly liked the sections illustrating the most common forms of a particular component of woodworking. Such as, the most common methods for mounting and fitting drawers and doors, the most common edge details for shelving, the most common dimensions for various categories of furniture, etc.
If I had to sum up why this book is a great buy I would have to say it is because this book serves as both an encyclopedia of woodworking facts (usefull to all woodworkers among us) and a comprehensive collection of tips and advice (which novices will find especially helpful). I highly recommend this purchase.
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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful By tzefirah on December 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I thought it would give me project specifications for the novice furniture builder. It doesn't give project instructions. Instead, it gives instructions on any simple design that you might create for your own furniture designs. It gives instructions on different drawers, different doors, different legs, etc. In other words, this book gives you the freedom to be creative and also to accomplish your own vision.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is yet another excellent volume in Taunton's 'Complete Illustrated' woodworking series. Focused on (but not really limited to) furniture and cabinet construction, the book takes the reader through 1) Tools and Materials, 2) Box and Case Construction, 3) Doors, 4) Bases, Feet, and Stands, 5) Frame Construction, and wraps up with 6) Tabletops and Work Surfaces. This is an ambitious undertaking under any circumstances, but Andy Rae finds an approach that is both broad in coverage and tightly organized.

After a few initial wobbles as the book gets underway, the reader will grasp the overall approach and discover that there seems to be an endless supply of techniques and idea one can draw on. Whatever your level of building there is good material - this is one of those efforts that can help you make a breakthrough in quality of work.

Unlike many how-to books this series stays away from getting bogged down in projects. This allows the writer to move around and offer a lot of alternatives rather than get bogged down in one way to do things. It doesn't hurt to have a project in mind when reading the book, but be sure that it will change several times as you read and absorb the ideas.

I have a buffet table that owes a great deal to Andy Rae's ability to communicate both technique and design. Thus the book paid for itself in one fell swoop. Happy woodworking!
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Mackay on February 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although not for beginning woodworkers, this is an outstanding book--sort of like a combination Rodale & Tage Frid. It goes into detail on the construction of furniture and cabinetry--where Rodale provides an overview of cabinet/furniture types, and Tage Frid provides details of how to create specific joints, Andy Rae puts the two together. He provides a number of techniques that I hadn't thought of before, such as creating a raised panel out of cheaper MDF framed by solid wood.
The other books in the series (Joinery and Shaping Wood) are great as well. But I find myself looking to this book more often.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By William Loftin on May 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well organized and has many excellent examples of cabinet construction. He goes into great detail on all types including frameless cabinets.
I have been looking for something which would give me the basics as well as provide for more advanced concepts. I am very pleased to have found such a thing in one volume.
I highly recommend this book.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Arguello on May 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book based on recommendations from Amazon reviews, and find those recommendations to be correct. This book is loaded with good information, detail and pictures on all areas of furniture and cabinet construction. It is not filled with step by step instruction that some beginning woodworkers may be seeking. But you certainly don't have to be an expert to understand and appreciate the techniques and styles shown in this book. This one sits proudly in my bookcase (yes, I made the bookcase).
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Roger A. Knopf VINE VOICE on February 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book. I find that it has a lot of great information, not just about making cabinets but for organizing a woodshop in general. The stuff like "anatomy of a cabinet", comparison of different types of joinery as applies to cabinet making, and some of the suggestions for tools and jigs are quite good.
The only problem is that the text is sometimes hard to follow. He isn't really very methodical, and will go off on tangents, sometimes forgetting to go back to the main point. All in all its worth having though.
Overall I have found "Building Traditional Kitchen Cabinets" much more detailed, complete, and methodical - anyone who wants to make cabinets really ought to get both books.
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The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction
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