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American Country Furniture: Projects From the Workshops of David T. Smith (American Woodworker) Paperback – July 1, 2009
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This Month's Book Review: American Country Furniture. (The projects in this book are from the workshops of David T. Smith and the book is written by Nick Engler and Mary Jane Favorite.) This second of the set of books provided by Fox Chapel Publishing is quite interesting. Not only do you get 50 plans but also a little history on American country furniture, as well as tips regarding wood, hardware and finishing techniques. I really enjoyed reading the information provided about the wood selection and design elements that are used to create that authentic American Country look. The introductory pages talk about types of hardware that were used during different eras, tools that would have been used, and construction techniques. One element that I found particularly interesting was the way pieces were put together to stay together. A simple example is the bench that I made for the Summer Awards. The legs were not only nailed onto the bench, but glued as well and cut so that the pieces fit together. If one element fails there are two back-up components to keep it together. As for the plans, themsleves, well, I think that my bench says it best: it took less than one hour to build. The plans and directions were so precise and easy to follow that it was just a simple measure, cut, secure. I think that this project was the easiest thing Rick and I have ever made and I give the credit to the clarity of the plans. Also, for the bench, not only did we get the basic plans but tips on what to do for different lengths, which really helped regarding stability concerns. My Garden Bench Entry Each of the plans comes with a story - a little history, some rationale behind certain elements, and other tidbits of interest that add to the understanding of the construction and the use of the piece of furniture. For example, with the Five-Board Bench, above, I learned that it is based on a stool from the Middle Ages and was built for multiple purposes and was used for working on as well as for sitting. Intriguing little facts! Then, there is the section on finishing. We all know that a great project can be made or ruined by the finishing process. This section of the book discusses techniques to make or copy the look of authentic American country furniture. Again, the information is very interesting as well as helpful in understanding how to make our projects extraordinary. If you like American country furniture, then this book is a great resource for you, not only for the many plans but also for understanding what you are building and how to make it look American Country. My Ratings of The Book Layout and Appearance: Perfect balance of pictures, diagrams, and words. I also like the size of the book (9.25" X 7.5" inches). Thumbs Up! Instructions: Easy to follow; precise plans. Thumbs Up! Project Selection: A wide variety, from small to large pieces. Thumbs Up! Overall: Thumbs Up!
Fox Chapel's American Country Furniture will appeal to all lovers of this style.
For anyone who loves to build long-lasting country furniture comes a thoroughly illustrated handbook from the master craftsmen at The Workshops, a well-known Ohio provider of Early American reproductions. David T. Smith, and the folks who work with him have emerged as outstanding historians, designers and artisans. American Country Furniture is a collection of their combined experienced, and reveals their outstanding woodworking techniques, as well as the history behind each of the 50 pieces of furniture included.
American Country Furniture, by Nick Engler and Mary Jane Favorite, features plans for 50 projects from the workshops of David T. Smith. Projects include a dry sink, Shaker candle stand, pencil-post bed, pie safe, ladder-back chair, trestle table, spice cupboard and more. Each projects includes a clearly illustrated diagram and step-by-step instructions detailing how to cut and assemble each part. The book describes common woodworking techniques and offers insight on how the furniture was used. Of particular interest is the finishing section, highlighted by instruction for achieving an antique or distressed appearance. Engler made traditional American musical instruments before he began to write about woodworking. Favorite is a woodworking artist best known for her furniture designs, hudnreds of which have been published in woodworking magazines and books.
From the Back Cover
American Country Furniture Create a Beautiful Country Home with More than 40 Early American Projects Everyone loves American country furniture for its simple design. attention to detail, and faithfulness to tradition. At The Workshops of David T. Smith, the talented crafts people not only build furniture that's similar to what their great-great- grandfathers might have built in the workshops of yesteryear, but they also build it in the same manner: one craftsman building each piece from start to finish. With American Country Furniture, you too can build 50 of David T. Smith's most popular furniture reproductions. Each project includes clearly illustrated diagrams and step-by-step instructions detailing how to cut and assemble each part. You will learn common woodworking techniques, and even discover how the furniture was used during those times gone by. With American Country Furniture and the guidance of the master craftsmen at The Workshops of David T. Smith, you will be inspired to continue this proud furniture-making tradition. American Country Furniture projects included: Dry Sink - Shaker Candlestand - Pencil-Post Bed Pie Safe - Ladder- Back Chair - Trestle Table Spice Cupboard, and more!
Top customer reviews
When I first got this book (Kindle edition) I looked through it & bookmarked the pages with projects I'd like to try. Out of 40+ projects, I bookmarked at least 30 of them. Then I went back through, taking more time to study the directions, tools needed, exploded views; from beds to chairs to tables to shelves there is nothing in this book I can't make if I follow the very-precise instructions given & take my time.
There is a beginning section on "Tools, Materials & Techniques." The chapters are broken down by room. Each project has: a brief history or explanation of the piece of furniture; a list of materials; LOTS of exploded views for different stages of completion & with measurements, from different views - top, front, left side, etc. Some projects have a kind of tutorial afterward, explaining & illustrating how to do something from the instructions, like making hand cut dovetails or mortise & tenon joints. The final chapter is all about finishing, including a history of finish techniques, how to achieve a museum-quality finish, traditional finishing, artificial aging techniques.
List of projects (* indicates projects I'd like to make):
-Shaker dining bench
-Shoe-foot settle table*
-Shaker candle ledge*
-----Special section showing how to make BENTWOOD BOXES, I can't wait to try these, they're super cool.*
-Ratchet candle stand*
-Meal bin filing cabinet*
-Shaker candle stand*
-Keeping box (big chest, like hope or blanket chest, with removable trays)*
-Pencil post canopy bed*
-Chest of drawers
-Shaker cradle* (perfect for little girl's doll bed/toy)
-Fretwork mirror (maybe my 1st project, I LOVE it)*
-Turned post bed
-Splay-leg side table*
-Pouting chair (charming!)
-2 occasional tables - corner & half-round** (I want both)
-Bucket bench* (interesting history of this)
-Pie safe* (maybe my 2nd project, I love this too! Special section details how to make punched tin panels.)
-Hanging corner cabinet*
-Pewter (plate) bench*
-Ohio corner cabinet*
-Hanging corner shelf*
Overall, between the projects, techniques, & historical information, this is one of the coolest, best laid out books I've seen & I can hardly wait to get started. I may have to add an addition to my house to put all my new furniture!
Most recent customer reviews
My one minor complaint is that there are too few (and far too small)...Read more