Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 10/29/02

A Book Review by Jason Frantz

Title: Furniture-making Techniques Vol.2

David Charlesworth

Published by: Guild of Master Craftsman
Distributed by:
Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 1-86108-295-9
Price Softcover: $17.95
144 color pages

Furniture-making Techniques Volume Two belongs in the reference library of every woodworker. Visually appealing, with beautiful photos and illustrations, this volume demystifies some of the basic techniques of fine cabinetmaking. Rarely does one come across a book that covers such a wide range of topics, and yet manages to cover each of those topics completely and clearly. This book contains information that any woodworker, regardless of experience or skill level, can use.

Charlesworth offers a marvelous survey of hand planes, focusing on shoulder planes and scrapers, as well as a detailed look at care and maintenance, with information on replacement blades and some specialty plane makers. Other similar topics include the basics of fine-tuning handsaws, shooting with bench planes, gluing and clamping techniques, and a detailed look at Japanese chisels

This book also highlights the work of some of the students who apprentice in Charlesworth's workshop. These student projects are both inspiring and intriguing. Charlesworth understands that new ideas in cabinetmaking are rare, and encourages his students to focus on the simple, clean details that will often set a true masterpiece apart.

The only drawback, if one could even call it that, is that all the measurements are presented in metric, since Charlesworth is an English fellow. But even that is easily worked through. David Charlesworth could fill volumes with what he knows of furniture and cabinet-making. Hopefully, those volumes will continue to come, and volume three will be eagerly anticipated.

Jason Frantz

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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