Best Workshops
from the Editors of
Fine Woodworking

215 x 275mm

Published by The Taunton Press, Connecticut, USA.


ISBN 978-1-62113-009-3

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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 170

In practically every field there is nothing quite so important as experience. Unfortunately it is often the case that there is also nothing quite so expensive.

In a sense, all woodworking books are about experience. The author offers the reader the opportunity to gain insight into a subject by presenting information and advice gleaned from the work he or she has done over a period of probably years, if not decades.

Sometimes, however, a book goes even further. It deliberately garners the experience of a number of people so as to present readers with a variety of information from different sources which they can explore and compare.

This is the nature of Best Workshops, a Fine Woodworking book that gathers together a wide range of informative articles which had their genesis in an equally wide range of workshops.

The articles are grouped into five Parts - Locating Your Shop, Setting Up A Comfortable Shop, Accessorizing Your Shop, Smart Storage and Shop Safety.

While the first article in Part One has little relevance to woodworkers here (there aren't a lot of basements in this region), the others deal with the common problems of either converting an existing building (a garage) or building anew.

The Smart Workshop - From the Ground Up is a model of careful planning that appears to extract every last centimetre of space and put it to work, for it not only includes a fully equipped workshop but an office and toilet.

In this and other articles in Part 1, there are many innovations to consider - a closely planned workshop in a closet for example, and a castor-based cabinet with a worktop that mainly serves as an outfeed table for a dropsaw. When required, however, the tabletop rotates to reveal a sizeable thicknesser.

Part 2 begins with advice on wiring a workshop. Despite the differences in mains voltage and wiring specifications, much of the advice given is applicable here. Things that are not relevant would be quickly sorted out when discussing a project with an electrician. A similar comment may be made about the information given in the next article which covers the lighting of a workshop.

Part 2 continues with notes on topics such as the selection of suitable flooring and finishes with an illuminating exploration of modern dust collection.

Most of the remainder of the book can be described as innovative solutions to problems that arise in the operation of a workshop - from storage of timber and tools, to personal protection.

This is a book for every woodworker who dreams of putting together a more effective and enjoyable working environment.

Photos: Colour

Units of Measurement: Imperial



Part One - Locating Your Shop
- Best Tips for Basement Workshops
- Turn Your Garage into a Real Workshop
- Smart Workshop, From the Ground Up
- A Shop for a Small Space

Part Two - Setting Up A Comfortable Shop
- Wiring a Workshop
- Let There Be Light
- Treat Your Feet
- Low-Cost Shop Floor
- A Revolution in Dust Collection

Part Three - Accessorizing Your Shop
- A Workbench 30 Years in the Making
- The Wired Workbench
- Making Sense of Vises
- Your Miter Saw Needs a Stand
- Best-Ever Outfeed Table
- Pivoting Plywood Cart

Part Four - Smart Storage
- House Your Tools in High Style
- Keep Planes Close at Hand
- Divide and Conquer
- Lumber Storage Solutions

Part Five - Shop Safety
- Fire Safety in the Shop
- Cutting-Edge First Aid
- Protect Yourself from Wood Dust
- Sound Advice
- A Look at Eye Protection

Metric Equivalents