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The Complete Manual of Woodworking Paperback – December 3, 1996


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The Complete Manual of Woodworking + Woodworking Basics - Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship - An Integrated Approach With Hand and Power tools + Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (December 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679766111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679766117
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

With more than 1,800 drawings, diagrams and photos, this authoritative guide encompasses the whole art and craft of woodworking. Designed to instruct and inspire every woodworker from the beginner to the most exacting expert, it has become a classic. It includes a discussion of all the principal hardwoods and softwoods, how to choose and use hand tools, detailed information on every woodworking technique--jointing, bonding, fastening, laminating, and much more.

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Customer Reviews

I'm a beginner, and I highly recommend this book to all other beginners as well.
"foolfortools"
Overall, this book satisfied my basic desire to learn about woodworking, but an intermediate or advanced craftsman would be better served with a more focused book.
Charles Groen
The diagrams and pictures in the book are detailed and make it easy to understand.
Charles Kirksey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 228 people found the following review helpful By Paul Martin on April 15, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of several other books in my collection: The Readers' Digest Complete Do it Yourself Manual, and similar books being published by Home Depot and Lowe's. The book attempts to cover an astonishing range of topics, and what it lacks in depth is made up in encyclopedic coverage. It is well done, but shows both the strengths and weaknesses of the genre. If you are looking for something along this line, you won't be disappointed. It is a useful reference, which will probably see a lot of use. On the other hand, if you are looking for in depth instructions on how to do something in particular, you are better off looking elsewhere.
The book begins with a very strong section on the properties of wood, discussing 20 distinct types of softwoods, 56 types of hardwoods, as well as veneers, plywoods, particle boards and fiberboards. Each type is discussed with comments on sources, characteristics, workability, weight, and common uses. After a brief section on furniture design, it proceeds to three sections on tools. These take up the bulk of the book. There are few recommendations on which tools to buy first, or which to put off until later. The authors don't tell us much about what to look for when choosing a tool. Each tool is recommended just as highly as all the others, with sections on typical uses and how to perform them. On the other hand, the coverage of techniques is incredibly thorough in the handful of pages devoted to each tool. There are also a number of techniques here specifically aimed at those of us who have a less than complete collection of tools.
The authors follow this with a brief section on setting up the home workshop, and then a chapter on joinery.
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123 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Brian H. on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I got this book shortly before getting "The Basics of Craftsmanship", and enjoyed the detailed discussion of wood types. However, I was looking for a little more "how-to" information. It's not enough to say how such-and-such a tool is good for ripping; as a beginner I want to know WHAT ripping is, and how to do it with different tools. I found that "Basics" gave more coverage to this kind of information. With all its pretty pictures I'll probably be more likely to put this book on my coffee table than in my shop.
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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By el aristaios on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is an A to Z guide describing topics as diverse as the type of woods, their uses, power and manual tools, fittings to be used, wood carving, veneering, joinery, designs etc etc.
I will guarantee that this is an investment - a fully illustrated (in colour) reference book - a complete manual.
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By "polyhedron_12" on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have used this book on various projects. This book tells you HOW to work wood efficiently without getting caught up in the details of the actual techniques. It tells you in laymans terms (for the layman also) how to accout for expansion of wood, the differences in types of woods, and dimensional analysis of the average piece of furniture, etc...
PROS
** Touches on nearly all aspects of woodworking.
** Tells you about the material that you are working with ... WOOD.
** Detailed dimensions of the average "good feeling" piece of furniture. EX: Counter top height of kitchen base cabinet is generally 36"
CONS
** If you are the type of person who likes project books, this has none.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Having purchased this book, I would be remiss if I did not recommend it to other beginners. The book covers everything you would need or want to know about the basics of woodworking, including types of wood, tools, joining techniques, etc. Also, the book's layout is clear, containing rich photographs with text a layman can understand.
I consider this book a great investment.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By "conra" on November 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book hoping to obtain useful nuts and bolts information about practical woodworking for an amateur level woodworker. Instead, this book is beautifully written and serves as an overall academic reference to woodworking in general. However, I didn't find any immediately practical information by which I could walk outside and apply to my meger woodshop so I returned it--it would have ended up collecting dust on my coffee table rather than becoming a dog-eared information source in my workshop.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By magnidude@aol.com on August 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A well-crafted and nicely illustrated reference manual for the woodworker. It covers all the basics for hand and power tools, and has chapters on wood as a material, workshops, bending wood, veneering, wood carving and finishing. You'll probably keep this book as long as you can make sawdust.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rodger Melton on March 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book started off with everything I expected; the growth of wood, types of joints, basic construction, and so on. The illustrations and pictures are first rate. As the study turns to tools I felt that the writers were very traditional if not old-fashioned in the emphasis on hand tools. Everything about power tools related to European models and many all-in-one types. I suppose Norm Abrams might refer to parts of this book as history instead of useful information. Nonetheless, this book will remain part of my reference collection.
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