Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 12/24/01

A Book Review by Dave Beach

Title: Thos. Moser's Measured Shop Drawings

Published by:
Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0806980753
Price Softcover: $$18.36
328 pages

Let's cut right to the chase - this book is an excellent reference set of drawings for furniture from the Shaker, Sheraton and Hepplewhite styles. If you have ever visited the Thomas Moser showrooms or paged through one of their catalogs, you are familiar with the simplicity, beauty and functionality of this company's pieces. The furniture is strongly based in the shaker design tradition and reflects years of refinement by the Moser cabinetmakers. Following a brief introduction written by Thomas Moser, in which he credits the many people who were involved in writing the book and designing the furniture, there is a short section on the background of the custom furniture design.

The text of the book is divided into six main sections: Seating, Tables, Desks, Cases & Chests, Beds, and Miscellaneous Pieces. Each of these sections is introduced with a short discussion of relevant design and construction notes. Following the introduction are sets of drawings and detailed joinery sketches for each of the pieces featured. Most of these pieces show a black and white photo of the completed piece as well as the construction drawing. I should make it clear that this book was not written as a step by step construction manual. The drawings do provide enough detail for an intermediate or advanced woodworker to reproduce the pieces, but I feel a beginner would not have enough information to build most of the pieces.

In the section on chairs, eleven designs are presented in detailed drawings - ranging from stools with carved seats to arm chairs. A large selection of tables - from simple harvest tables to complex curved apron extension tables. There are nine different desks shown, twenty case and chest pieces, five beds, and twelve miscellaneous pieces. Most of the pieces in this book are absolutely beautiful, especially the spindle bed, panel desk and Eastward chairs. The Moser pieces are all constructed from solid cherry, but many of these pieces would also look great in maple or walnut as well. All in all, I think this book is an excellent addition to any woodworker's reference library and will provide an interesting set of drawings to study and learn from.

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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