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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound
The first woodworking book I owned was John Feirer's "Cabinetmaking and Millwork," which I purchased in 1970 or so. I had no idea how to do woodworking other than a basic shop class in high school in the early 1960's. But the book taught me a great deal, and I built many projects based on this volume. The book was designed for professional woodworkers or students going to that profession. At the time, I was neither.

Spike Carlsen's latest book on woodworking is for the rest of us (his first two are as well). These are the folks who spend their weekends, spare time or retirement doing a craft that is both rewarding and can be complex at the same time. Mr. Carlsen has nailed this down well, even for the professionals out there.

First comes the content that covers setting up a shop, choosing wood, hand tools, portable power tools, stationary tools, glue and fasteners and joints. Then he goes on to teach us about furniture making, casework, windows and doors, plus other projects. There are extensive well-done illustrations throughout.

The content is arranged like a Frequently Asked Question series of topics with good basic questions complete with thorough answers to each. Some are more basic than a really experienced woodworker would want, but there is a terrific index of all topics plus an exceptionally well-done resources section by books and magazines as well as for each chapter. So you can find almost anything you may need.

The second best thing (actually tied for first) is the layout and design. It was designed for a shop. It is small enough to lie on top of your table saw or bench and sit wide open with a spiral binding. So many other woodworking books I own are hard or soft bound such that if you want to refer back to the content, you are always having to mark the page somehow, close it and then when you need a detail or two, find where you were.

The only change I would suggest is to put the sanding and finishing chapter after the joints and special techniques one, but that is a minor issue and perhaps that was even an editor's choice.

No, this book was built for woodworkers, not readers of woodworking books. Cynthia McFarland, the book designer, needs to get a metal for understanding what woodworkers in their shops really need in terms of woodworking books. If every woodworking book did this design, I'd own more.

While beginning woodworkers absolutely must have this book, experienced folks need it as well, as it is a thoroughly well researched, complete and useful resource for all woodworkers. Barry Humphus
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Wow! I bought this book for my husband, thinking he would get a lot of use out of it and was I right. From the second I bought it he was able to get tips and ideas of how to fix some things around our house that he did not even know how to begin to do. The first thing that got fixing was our dining room table which was full of scratches. It tells and shows the reader how to do many things around the house. The best part is that as a stay at home mom who likes to get things done around the house this is a great book to turn to for how to get started, and SURPRISE your husband with your handy work. I am beyond excited about this purchase. I also bought the other books by Spike Carlsen "Ridiculously Simple Furniture Projects" and "A Splintered History of Wood", this book follows suit it is full of great information on wood and building. My husband recommended I read these books after he was done and I am so glad I did. I highly recommend this to anyone who has projects to be done around the house.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is very informative on woodworking tools, methods and safety. It is written in a question and answer format which i find very annoying, but it seems to work to get the information presented to the reader. I wish it had photographs and more detailed explanation of certain skills. It's really meant as an intro to woodworking guide. The spiral bound edition will allow you to turn to a page describing a skill and allow you to lay it flat next to your work so you can glance over for reminders. It's a good book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound
I bought this book for my husband for his birthday since he is an aspiring woodworker. He LOVES it! He told me last night that he's used it for reference every time he's working in his shop since I gave it to him. I have no doubt that he'll wear this book out and we'll have to get another...which is fine with me, if it alleviates confusion in the workshop and makes his hobby as fun as it should be! This book is highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2013
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Woodworking FAQ covered tools, techniques, tips for all woodworking jobs short of construction framing. I really wish i read it before i started previous projects because i could have improved my previous projects quality. I am considering buying a copy for my brother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Its a question and answer book. I could use google for the info and format this book provides. Would not recommend. To a friend.
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on May 23, 2013
Format: Spiral-bound
I first stumbled upon this book at the library and was immediately impressed. It contains a ton of practical woodworking tips that you can immediately apply to whatever you're currently working on. The format is an easy-to-follow Question-and-Answer-style FAQ, and the everything is explained and illustrated very clearly. Even if you're already an experienced woodworker, you're bound to find a few tips handy.

I'd suggest skimming or reading from cover to cover once or twice, then keeping it handy as a reference and occasionally reviewing the sections that you found most helpful.
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on January 27, 2015
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
What a brilliant book. It's compact and so easy to understand. I'm not an expert at all in woodworking, but there are a few things that we have going on that this addresses. Such as: what size/angle should a bench or chair be? Is there a better type of wood glue for outdoor projects? What's the difference between one wood screw and another? How do you draw a perfect arc?

If you've ever so much as considered picking up a piece of wood and doing something crafty to it....get this book.
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on October 15, 2014
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
I am new enough to woodworking to still lack confidence in some (even basic) skills and I needed some insight into skills, ideas, and tools. This book more than met my expectations. I devoured its contents and found that it helped me stop standing still and start creating. This book covers many topics and proved to be an eye opener to me. I am grateful for it and believe anyone, new or not to woodworking, would benefit from this book.
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on May 27, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Not much more to add from other reviews. Reads like an FAQ but I find it very pleasant to read. A real page turner. Some reviewers mentioned you can get the same information for free if you just used a search engine... but I wouldn't think to ask some of these questions until AFTER I had the need. Why wait until then when I can arm myself with the information before.
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