Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 7/21/02

A Book Review by William Odom

Title: Furniture Restoration: A Professional at Work

John Lloyd

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 1-86108-220-7
Price Softcover: $17.95
128 color pages

This book is a compilation of 29 magazine articles that Mr. Lloyd wrote for Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine. Each article highlights a few ideas or construction techniques that he has used in his many years of furniture restoration. There are numerous color pictures and the text is clear and easy to read. Mr. Lloyd is clearly a master craftsman and has done a remarkable job of restoring some truly beautiful antiques.

That being said, it should be made clear that the main beneficiary of this work is the woodworker who is already involved in furniture restoration and is interested in learning a few new tips and techniques by reading these case studies. Because this is a compilation of magazine articles, there is no overall structure to the chapters which would help a novice woodworker restore a piece of furniture. Each chapter is fully self-contained and they are not organized so as to help you proceed through the various steps of furniture restoration from beginning to end. Instead, using the first few chapters as an example, you start off with repairing screw holes and loose joints, move to tambours and cylinders, jump to replacing molding, and then go to drawer runner and rail repair. The book would be more useful if the table of contents listed the problems that were solved in each article so you could jump to your interest, but for the most part the chapter listings tell you the item that was restored - not what was wrong with it. The index is of some help, but only if you already know what it is that you want to do.

A novice could read this book from beginning to end and still be hard pressed to begin their own restoration project. Someone already familiar with the process, however, will pick up many excellent tips and ideas by reading any chapter. If you read the book from cover to cover, you will learn some great techniques and may have the confidence and knowledge to restore that piece that "couldn't be saved."

William Odom

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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