Gazette Archive 11/11/02
A Book Review by Mark A Spaulding
Title: 2X4 Projects for Outdoor Living
If you are an intermediate or advanced woodworker, you will likely find this book a bit "beneath you." That is to say, it is designed for the person who has no, or very little, woodworking experience. To this market, 2X4 Projects for Outdoor Living fill this need exceptionally well. Moreover, if you are an experienced woodworker, consider for a moment how many times in your shop, or online, someone has asked you, how does one get started with woodworking? Do you need tons of tools and materials? Where do you learn how to use them and what tools are required to begin? And What is a good project to begin with? If this book was in your woodworking library, you could simply hand them a copy and say read it and have fun!
If you have been looking for a woodworking book for beginners, 2X4 Projects for Outdoor Living is one of the best I have read.
After the introductory chapter on tools, materials, and finishes, the reader is immediately introduced to the projects. Here the reader will find very good and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for completing one of the twenty-one projects. All of the materials and tools for each project can be found in any good hardware store, lumberyard, or home center. In fact, not one of the projects calls for a Douglas Fir, #2 or better, 2X4. This exclusion, given the title of the books, surprised me. The most common wood found on the materials list is Pine. But the authors offer that any hard or softwood could be substituted. In fact, in the introductory chapter on materials they caution that cedar or redwood may be a better choice for unpainted outdoor projects. This is good advice, as I can see a new woodworker heading down to the home center to purchase knotty pine and expect it to hold up against the elements! The suggested tools to build the projects are readily available and the style of joinery called for in the completing of the projects are designed for the first time woodworker. You will not find intricate dovetails or highly precise mortise-and-tenon joinery in any of the project designs.
As you can see, there a quite
a number of projects, something for virtually every square foot
of your yard and garden. Likewise, all of the projects are designed
for success for the first time woodworker. If you have been looking
for a book to get started in woodworking, or if you are already
an accomplished woodworker looking for a book to share with a
new woodworker, 2X4 Projects for Outdoor Living will be a fine
way to begin the process giving trees new life in your creations!
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