WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Complete Illustrated Guide To Using Woodworking Tools

Complete Illustrated Guide To Using Woodworking Tools
by Lonnie Bird

Taunton Press: 2004
Hardback, 280 pp., $39.95
ISBN 1-56158-597-1

     Of the entire Complete Illustrated Guide series so far, this is the best all around beginner's introduction to woodworking I've seen in quite some time. From an introduction to wood, its structure and temperament, to benches, handtools, joinery, assembly procedures and individual machines, this volume is an excellent explanatory guide. As in each book in the series, step by step photos of everything discussed are linked to the text so the reader can clearly follow what this expert is showing you.
     Sidebars in several chapters give advice on things like smart layout procedures, geometric constructions, trouble shooting planer problems, and how grain direction affects planing. Shop fixtures are illustrated for crosscutting on the tablesaw using a crosscut sled, and safely cutting raised panels on a shaper using an acrylic cover on a box fence, with dust collection at the back.
     The author covers various joinery techniques both with machinery and by hand, including jointing an edge, cutting a rabbet, and fitting a door. There is a short chapter on sharpening hand tools, and individual sections on each of six major power tools: the tablesaw, jointer and planer, the bandsaw, shaper, router table and drill press. Each of these includes set up and maintenance of the machine, blade or bit selections, and basic uses.
     This book is better than just a smattering of information on all these subjects within the woodworking field. It presents sound advice on the use of all these tools, with safety emphasized in all procedures. It is an excellent source of information for anyone setting up in woodworking.

. . . Barb Siddiqui