Gazette Archive 11/16/98
Software Review for The Woodworkers Website Association: by John F. Knott III
The Woodworking Companion - Multimedia CD-ROM
The Woodworking Companion is referred to as an encyclopedia of woodworking and, after going through the program, I agree whole-heartedly. There is more information on this CD than you would receive in any number of instructional videos or TV shows. With The Woodworking Companion you have the accumulated knowledge of all aspects of woodworking from volumes of reference manuals, cross referenced for easy access. There are links through-out the program that are clear and concise, eliminating the need to quit one application to get a piece of information from another.
The Woodworking Companion is divided into four main departments, The Woodworking Information System, Shop Math, Materials List ( which includes sample project lists of materials and hardware, as well as shop drawings of the projects ), and Order List. The Woodworking Information System is the heart of the program, with sub-sections detailing general information and data on wood, tools, techniques, and safety.
The Wood section includes references as to the characteristics of various types of wood, how to identify different species, how water effects each type, how easily machined and what types of adhesives are best suited to the individual species. There is also a part of this section dedicated to the milling of lumber to achieve the desired qualities from each cross section of a log. This section also covers man-made materials, such as plywood, MDF, Masonite, and various types of composite sheet materials. If you pick up a stick that you don't recognize, this program will tell you what it is, how to cut it, what to use to attach it to another stick, and how to finish it to achieve it's greatest beauty!
This product review is concluded on Page 2.