WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Classic Joints With Power Tools

Classic Joints With Power Tools
by Yeung Chan

Lark Books: 2002
Paperback, 175 pp., $19.95
ISBN 1-57990-279-0

     This volume is a collection of tips and lessons from a master. From the simplest to the most complicated techniques in woodworking joinery, Yeung Chan leads the reader step by step through accurate machinery setup to achieve butt joints, tongue and groove assemblies, spline, biscuit and dowel joints, rabbets, dadoes, finger joints, lap joints, mortise and tenons and dovetails.
     Chan begins with a chapter on common shop tools he uses throughout the book: a tablesaw, bandsaw, router, drill, hollow chisel mortiser and biscuit joiner. Each joint discussed is fully explained with alternative procedures on different machines. He discusses stock preparation, proper glue ups, and assembly techniques.
     Most amazing is the early chapter on homemade shop jigs. Here you will find sliding tables, angled fences, a tenoning jig, a bandsaw fence, a router's angled dado jig, a sliding fence for the router table (used for finger joints), cradle jigs for mock dovetails, drilling jigs and a simple drill press table. His adjustable, angled fence for the tablesaw allows a workpiece to be miter cut along a full edge with the sawblade remaining at 90 to the table.
     In sidebars, the author discusses choosing dowels for different uses, when to double up on biscuits, and how to keep a corner joint strong when tenons must meet inside a leg piece. Machine cut dovetails are explained with or without commercial jigs, done with a router, a bandsaw, or a tablesaw. What looks like a complicated three-way miter joint is constructed entirely on the tablesaw, with loose tenons fitting into small mortises done either by hand or with a hollow chisel mortiser.
     This is an amazing compendium of joinery techniques, all modified for relatively simple machinery setups and thoroughly explained. The color photos are clear and detailed. With Yeung Chan's guidance, you'll dare to advance into joinery you may not have tried before...a triple lap joint, a notched, pinned scarf lap, or a haunched, mitered tenon.
     Included is a full-color gallery of very inspiring pieces of furniture and cabinetry. The chapter on jigs alone, is worth the price of the book. Highly recommended.

. . . Barb Siddiqui