I attended a scene-building workshop with Mr. Raoul in 1980. I learned techniques that I use to this very day. A few short years later I purchased this book. I used it to death. (A book can only take so much sawdust and glue!) I bought a second copy which I subsequently gave to an up-and-coming technical director and then purchased my third copy. I seldom have to consult it anymore, as I have learned most of it by heart, but occasionally I will refer to it for an "odd" problem, and it is an excellent teaching resource. The illustrations perfectly illustrate the concepts being taught. The text is humorous but not at the expense of being informative. The section on "shop math" alone is worth the purchase price!
This book will not teach you how to design a set, but it will most definitely teach you how to build the pieces that make up most common stage scenery. Not only that, but you will be able to reuse most, if not all, of the pieces time and time again, which is a God-send for any theater on a budget! (And what theater isn't?!)