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Woodworking Basics - Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship - An Integrated Approach With Hand and Power tools Paperback – October 1, 2003

104 customer reviews

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

About the Author

Korn is the director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, which offers hands-on workshops in woodworking.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781561586202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561586202
  • ASIN: 156158620X
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Jason T. Amsden on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have found it difficult to find a book with actual exercises to build hand skills in an organized manner. I think many self taught woodworkers have peaks and valleys of skills due to the nature of "solo woodworker" learning (project plans and piece meal magazine articles). Sometimes my inefficient methods have taken more time and wasted more wood than I would care to admit.

This book is based on a course taught at a school under the author's direction. Though I am sure the live course would be vastly superior, I find this book to be an excellent guide. I would not pass it by if you are completely self taught with years of experience and/or successful projects under your belt. It is a great reinforcing tutorial. If I could have done it all over again I would have started with the course or bought this book.
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160 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Steven Vela on July 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having muddled my way through about 6 years as a hobbyist woodworker, I wish I would have found this book first. It provides excellent instruction on basic woodworking techniques, but it also unashamedly recommends the surprisingly few, but high quality tools one needs to produce beautiful furniture. Had I read this book first, literally hundreds of dollars in unnecessary or substandard tools wouldn't be cluttering up my shop today!

Additionally, this book will teach you how to hand and machine cut several woodworking joints using step-by-step narrative and clear, color illustrations. Not only will the book serve the beginning woodworker, but will challenge the more experienced craftsperson to take his or her work to the next level.

I just had the pleasure of taking Peter Korn's class at his school in Maine, and was surprised at how closely it follows this text. While no book can substitute for the interactivity of a two week course, actually going through the process of completing each one of the projects in this book will be time and resources well spent. Even experienced woodworkers would not be wasting their time in going back to the basics and perfecting their techniques and execution.

I highly recommend this book.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By John J. Quinn on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Though I'm sure it was not Mr. Korn's intent, this work converted me from a 'Norm-ite' to a 'Neanderthal' woodworker. Mr. Korn provides parallel instructions for using power and hand tools, and that made all the difference. I realized I could do real woodworking without investing thousands of dollars in loud, dangerous, impersonal machinery. After reading this book, I invested lightly in used hand planes, chisels, a Ryoba and waterstones rather than jointers, planers, routers and table saws. Though I am not yet a craftsman by any means, I now 'enjoy' woodworking more than I ever had before.

I didn't realize how much I'd grown to depend on Mr. Korn's book until I lost the darn thing midway through the course. Yes, it's a course, not a reference book. It teaches gradually, with each lesson building on the prior one. That's what makes it so compelling. Taken with patience, one can master seemingly impossible tasks in workworking. Highly recommended.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By N. S. Bell on February 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Great background and a thorough introduction to the skills and techniques needed to become a skilled woodworker. Nothing overly complex or astounding, but I gained a great deal of satisfaction and confidence by following the exercises and practicing.

They say that practice does not make perfect, only PERFECT practice makes perfect. That is what this book offers - detailed instructions on how to practice cutting these beautiful joints perfectly. Within five attempts, I was cutting gap-free 1/8" pin dovetails with nothing more than a dozuki, a coping saw, and a sharp chisel. To say that I am satisfied would be a horrific understatement.

The book is written clearly and in a friendly, accessible tone. It focuses only on a few techniques rather that overwhelming the reader with every obscure joint available to the woodworker.

I enjoyed this book immensely. If you are a beginning woodworker mesmerized by the skill and precision of truly excellent hand-cut joinery, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. Then diligently practice the techniques as thay are laid out for you...you will be more than satisfied with the results.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Samma on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is pure delight! I got this book as a complete beginner to woodworking. The book has straightforward instructions and enough background information to understand the "why" behind the instructions. The illustrations are also very well done and helpful.

What I really like about this book is that it gives instructions for accomplishing the same task in at least two different ways, sometimes three or four. There are instructions for both power tools and hand tools. Using the recommendations in the book, I bought a few quality handtools. The more I use them, the more I am delighted and excited to find that I can make quality products without spending thousands on power tools. Because the book gives instructions for both hand tools and power tools, I can also better evaluate whether certain power tools would be worth the investment.

This book also really focuses on craftsmanship - not just getting the job done, but getting it done right. However, you DO need to follow the instructions, and do the projects as exercises. Practice. It's not as difficult at I thought it would be, and I am very pleased with the results I've obtained even in a short time.
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