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Setting Up Shop: The Practical Guide to Designing and Building Your Paperback – October 1, 2006
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Setting Up Shop is designed both for professional craftspeople who often have the poorest and most sparsely equipped shops because they are too busy to make improvements, and for hobbyists and weekend warriors who need a shop for entertainment as much getting work done. Author Sandor Nagyszalanczy does a good job of pointing out the relative benefits and drawbacks to various shop configurations and locations. In fact, one entire page is devoted to a chart comparing shops located in attics, basements, garages, or a spare room in the house, and how each rates for various factors, including noise, dust, headroom, access, structural limitations, heating, cooling, and moisture. This is a great how-to book with very useful topics in each chapter, including upgrading your electrical system; making sure you have the proper lighting, heating, and ventilation for your shop; picking the right tools and brands; deciding where to place machines and tools, benches and work areas; ensuring shop safety; methods for collecting dust; and more.
Each chapter is personalized with a visit to the shop of one craftsperson or another. The journey is made better by more than 240 color photos, as well as a healthy dose of black-and-white photos and line drawings. In the end, of course, the definition of a good or a smart shop is fluid, depending on its primary use and the need to change things from time to time. And both professional and hobbyist woodmakers can have as much pride in their shop as they do in a handmade chair. Nagyszalanczy has worked out of the same shop for nearly 20 years and admits that he takes offense when someone refers to it as a "garage." "You have to follow your heart as well as use your mind," Nagyszalanczy writes, "when transforming a simple building that others might call a shed or a garage into what you proudly call your woodshop." --John Russell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Sandor Nagyszalanczy of Bonny Doon, California is a professional furniture designer and freelance writer, photographer and consultant. With nearly 25 years of experience building custom furniture, he is a former senior editor of Fine Woodworking magazine and has appeared on The History Channel's "Modern Marvels" and ABC Television's "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." Sandor has authored and photographed nine books published by the Taunton Press, including: Woodshop Jigs and Fixtures, Fixing and Avoiding Woodworking Mistakes, Woodshop Dust Control, The Wood Sanding Book, The Art of Fine Tools, Setting Up Shop and Power Tools: An Electric Celebration and Grounded Guide, The Homeowner's Ultimate Tool Guide, and Tools Rare and Ingenious.
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This is not a "cookbook" type of book. There are descriptions, photographs and some drawings of the ways other woodworkers (in North America, Europe and Asia) have addressed parts of each topic. But they are there to prompt thinking on the part of the reader, NOT as a way of saying something "must" be done that way. What works on a farm in Oregon may not be appropriate for my (future) situation in Maryland or your situation where you are. What works for a person who makes her living with woodworking may not be necessary for me as a hobbyist. I have marked several things already as ideas to consider for my new shop, but others may be too expensive or complex for me, or simply not needed based on what I plan to do. (Note that I read many books with highlighter and pen at the ready - this is one of them.) As a quick example, the chapter on heating/cooling reminded me that building insulation requirements are different when 700 miles north of my present location, and therefore I need to design the building with wider framing and deeper rafters to accommodate thicker insulation materials.
I recommend this book as a good resource for anyone planning, designing or building a woodworking workshop - or remodeling or renovating one.
The key to this book is in the title 'practical guide'. This is exactly what this book is. Using the author's usual great pictures and clear text, if you intend to plan, build or modify a shop and need to organize your thoughts this book will be a big help. If you are in some stage of planning, building or modifying (or dreaming) and wonder what you may have forgotten, this may be the book for you.
It does not tell you specifically what to do. It does suggest ways to think through your work flow and place and power machinery.
By way of example, you may have not considered all your options for lighting the work area. You will find a great deal of information down to and including the colors of various types of lighting output.
So, with all that in mind, it's a nice way to dream away an afternoon.
That pretty much sums up the whole book. Big on vague ideas short on any useful info. I've gotten more actual help from Google.