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Illustrated Cabinetmaking: How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works (American Woodworker) Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Illustrated Cabinetmaking: How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works (American Woodworker) + Building Kitchen Cabinets (Taunton's Build Like a Pro) + How To Make Kitchen Cabinets (Best of American Woodworker): Build, Upgrade, and Install Your Own with the Experts at American Woodworker
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing; 7.2.2008 edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565233697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565233690
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is the "Gray's Anatomy" of woodworking.

Illustrated Cabinetmaking, by Bill Hylton, is a visual reference to take the guesswork out of designing kitchen cabinets, desks, bookcases and chests by applying the time-honored dimension and ergonomic standards presented. It features hundreds of drawings, which provide "classic" solutions to age old construction problems. For example, the book presents at least five ways to hang a drawer and four ways to attach a table top. A section covers more than 100 joints, while the "subassemblies" section explains how to use those joints to assemble tabletops, doors, drawers and more. The Furniture section explains how to combine joints and subassemblies to construct more than 100 pieces. It also provides rule-of-thumb design standards, such as the height of a dining table and the depth of kitchen cabinets, tips for altering designs, and sources for locating published plans.

With more than 100 project plans for everything from tables to beds to built-ins, woodworker Hylton's (Router Magic) exhaustive primer, whose original, 1998 edition is now out of print, still has great value for any woodworking collection. He begins with a brief introduction to period style, then covers joinery in depth. There are no glamour shots, only clear, black and white drawings for assembly and measurements. Exploded view drawings highlight each piece's details and special features. Because of the few instructions on construction, this is not a book for beginners; rather, it is a collection of patterns with citations to additional offerings in other books and publications. For the advanced woodworker, it is a treasure trove of project ideas. Recommended for woodworking collections in any library.

From the Back Cover

How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works 'Ideas and Inspiration. A visual source of information ranging from furniture styles and dimensions to joinery. The essence of more than 100 classic furniture pieces is captured in highly detailed, exploded drawings. 'Standards. Take the guesswork out of designing kitchen cabinets, dining tables, desks, bookcases, and chests by applying the time-honored dimension and ergonomic standards shown here. 'Options and Alternatives. With more than 150 joints and subassemblies at your fingertips, you'll be able to easily alter a projects appearance or construction. 'Construction Solutions. More than 1,300 drawings take you inside furniture and show you classic solutions to age-old problems, such as: hanging a drawer, attaching a tabletop, pegging a mortise. 'Plans. If you don't have the time or inclination to design your own furniture, check out the sources we provide for specific plans for most of the furniture pieces shown.

Customer Reviews

If you are looking for a book on making kitchen and bath cabinets, this isn't it.
T DeWein
Every page has an illustration (non measured drawing) giving details of types of joinery, moldings, etc. that can be used in furniture making.
J-Francois T
I highly recommend this excellent book to any intermediate to experienced woodworker who wants to expand his furniture horizons.
Anthony K Wells

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Mark M Lambert on November 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a semi-pro woodworker I found this book to be invaluable. It has detailed drawings of just about any type of joint or furniture item you can imagine. The first section is a discussion of wood and it's properties and then there is a detailed comparison of wood joints. Mortise and tenons, miters, dovetails, etc. are all discussed.
Then the book moves on with chapters dealing with various classes of furniture, desks, tables, beds, cabinets are all discussed with clear exploded diagrams.
Although the book does not contain detailed, measured drawings, it shows the conceptual details of how to make functional furniture. Additionally there are references to detailed plans that you can access via the internet or purchase to make typical examples of each piece.
Especially helpful are the "standards" sections at the start of each chapter. The "nominal" dimensions for tables, beds, kitchen cabinets are all given along with illustrations.
If you're serious about woodworking and furniture making, this book belongs on your bookshelf.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Illustrated Cabinetmaking would make a decent idea book, but falls short if you're looking for a "how to" book. It is filled with many different types of furniture designs, including alternates. The chapters on furniture style and anatomy are adequate, however, the ones on joinery are lacking. Although quite adequate in describing and showing limited illustrations of the joints, there is virtually no instruction on how to construct them. The same problem occurs in the furniture section. The description is short and offers very little construction information. Consider the spice box on pages 272-273. The door of the illustration on page 272 appears to be lipped, but has a half mortise lock. What does it lock into?
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J-Francois T on December 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wealth of ideas and illustrations. Every page has an illustration (non measured drawing) giving details of types of joinery, moldings, etc. that can be used in furniture making. The book is also a staring point to get ideas how furniture can be built. It illustrates how hundreds of types of furniture (beds, cabinets of all sorts,...) can be built according to different styles. This is no cookbook for furniture (such as "Country Pine Furniture" from the same author), but it is ideal for people who have acquired a little assurance in building furniture and are ready to make their first (or second) steps in designing their own.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael Basus on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This thick little book is filled with dimensional drawings of all kinds of furniture, including the very high-end furniture and some historical pieces. The author goes into great detail about every type of joint with some practical commentary on the pros and cons of each type. There are also detailed sections on legs and feet, table types, and drawer construction.

My only letdown, as an amateur furniture hobbyist, is that there is little or no talk about tool usage and how to make some of these pieces. The author favored information about origins, history, and aesthetics. However, the book makes up for this with its great perspective drawings on every page, complete with dimensions and names for each component. This will be a great resource down the road when I need to know how to construct a unique joint or when I just want to see something new to inspire me.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a book on how to build cabinets, this ain't it. This is a primer on how to build furniture (which is often referred to as cabinet-making) but references to building cabinets are brief and limited. It's really an overview of furniture building rather than a hands-on, how-to book.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jim Kucera on July 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book would be a great textbook for Introduction to Cabinetmaking. It explores history, basic joinery, and presents several different examples of end products for the basic styles of cabinetry and furniture.

Although the book has very recent publication dates (2003, 2008, 2010), the end products illustrated in the book were popular several years ago. In other words, don't expect to see plans for any of the end products in the next edition of Wood or Fine Woodworking magazine which I subscribe to.

If you're looking to recreate furniture that was popular 30-50 years ago, you've got to have this book in your library. If you're looking for examples of modern cabinetry incorporating drawer slides, casters, and soft-closing concealed hinges, look elsewhere.

Again, the book presents a great overview of cabinetmaking techniques, but falls short in showing `How to Design..." furniture for today's homes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Lyddon on November 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is very complete covering fundamentals of furniture anatomy, styles, and wood movement, various joints, subassemblies used in all kinds of projects, and Furniture.

This is a great book for the beginner or professional.

Provides a lot of good inspiration as well.

Dining tables, occasional tables, desks, chests, cabinets, built-in cabinets, and beds are all of the Furniture types covered.

Beautifuly illustrated with exploded plans of how all of the parts go together... I can thumb through it and end up reading it for hours!! It's just really a very great book to own if you're interested in woodworking.

It seems I always have within an arms reach!

I love it!
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