- Series: Essentials of Woodworking
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Taunton Press (April 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1561582972
- ISBN-13: 978-1561582976
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,407,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Basics of Craftsmanship: Key Advice on Every Aspect of Woodworking (Essentials of Woodworking) Paperback – April 1, 1999
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About the Author
Fine Woodworking has been publishing the best woodworking information for small shop woodworkers since 1975.
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The book itself is a collection of articles from "Fine Woodworking" magazine. For the most part, the editor's choice of articles is excellent. For example, the Setting Up Shop section has three articles: 1)outfitting a shop, 2) buying used hand tools, and 3)converting your garage into a workshop. Although I found little of interest in the 2nd article, I learned as much from the other two has entire books on the subject. I especially liked the fact that the article on outfitting a shop had the pull-no-punches opinions of 3 different woodworkers. This lets the reader see that no two experts agree on the subject, but there is enough agreement that it should help a beginner make wiser choices.
The 4 articles on buying wood, sheet goods, glue, and sandpaper were all full of practical information normally lacking in other books.
The Tools and Techniques sections have 13 well-chosen articles, although the collection is far from being a comprehensive survey of the subject. The only power tools covered in any depth are the table saw and router. You may want to supplement your education with other books on these topics.
I found the sections on "First Projects" and "Finishes" to be a little weaker than the other parts. These articles suffer from the fact that this type of book no flow of logic from one chapter to the next. The chapters on finishing suffer from considerable overlap and some conflicting information. Still, I found the individual articles interesting.
In summary, I think this book is an excellent place to start if you are new to woodworking. After buying this very inexpensive book, you can go straight to more definitive books on only the topics you have real interest in. From what I have seen, you can safely skip the other introductory books.
(This book is BETTER than "The Complete Manual of Woodworking", which is not quite as practical in my opinion)
Also, the first project they give for a beginning woodworker involves owning a biscuit joiner. Noone brand new to woodworking even THINKS about buying such a thing, and at $100 a pop, they may be a bit spendy for someone who just plopped down a truckload of cash on tools.
but I digress.... Overall a very handy reference, and comes reccomended.