Book of Woodworking Projects
Published by Fox Chapel Publishing, PA, USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 156
Project books are to the woodworker, what cookbooks are to the cook. They must offer specific advice and instructions to those who need the most help, but they should also offer inspiration and guidance to those who are simply looking for ideas.
This book contains 50 projects compiled by the editors of the American Woodworker magazine. The projects are unusually diverse, ranging from the mundane (a kitchen trash drawer) to the refined (a Stickley-style Sideboard).
They are divided into five categories: Kitchen Improvements, Storage Projects, Outdoor Living, Furniture Projects, and finally, Quickies and Gifties.
Kitchen Improvement is perhaps an unusual inclusion in a book such as this but the kitchen is an area of the home in which a woodworker's skills can provide significant benefits. There are 13 projects including cutting boards, roll-out kitchen trays, a portable food safe, an appliance garage and a mini-pantry.
The construction details for each project is supported by exploded diagrams and occasionally, drawings, plus clear and informative photos. This is the same treatment given to all of the projects in the other categories.
The Storage Projects include both traditional and contemporary items. For example, there is an elegant backless Stickley Bookcase and a modern set of cantilevered display shelves. There is also a two-drawer coffee table, a Mission plant stand and a two-part, but otherwise conventional, tall bookcase.
An Adirondack loveseat is one of the major projects in the Outdoor Living category which also includes several other chairs, a cypress chest, a vine trellis and a planter.
The Stickley-style Sideboard is covered in the Furniture section along with items such as an unusual speaker stand, a Shaker table and an Arts & Crafts Table Lamp.
The last section is devoted to projects such as boxes, picture frames, a game and a couple of puzzles. A set of book ends also included here, must rate among the simplest projects ever presented in such a book and offer a strong contrast to the complexities of the Stickley sideboard.
The book, with its diversity of projects, (both in terms of design and the time likely to be taken for their execution), should appeal to a wide range of readers.
Units of Measurement: Imperial