WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Complete Illustrated Guide To Shaping Wood

The Complete Illustrated Guide To Shaping Wood
by Lonnie Bird

Taunton Press: 2001
Hardback, 294 pp., $39.95
ISBN 1-56158-400-2

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     Lonnie Bird's Shaping Wood is well named. For every procedure he selects to present, there are multiple methods illustrated to accomplish the task. This volume is another in Taunton's new instructional, three-volume, hardback series of "Complete Guides."
     Through tools and materials, special techniques, cutting special shapes, edge treatments, and moldings, Bird instructs the reader in a wide array of methods. In "Bending" for example, he shows jigs and forms for steam bending, for working light weight or heavy weight stock, bent laminations, vacuum pressing and kerf bending. In "Complex Shapes" he covers raised panels done on the shaper, on a router table, by hand and on a tablesaw. He illustrates coopered panels, raised curved panels, sash doors, cope and stick doors, and much more. Sixteen sections cover everything from cove cutting to template shaping, from beads and moldings to edge treatments, from turning to carving.
     Among other things, Lonnie Bird is an authority on the bandsaw, and in this volume he shows how to cut broad, sweeping curves, circles and ellipses, brick-stacked curves, and how to use jigs for straight cuts, arcs and circles. Several sidebars are included explaining shop geometry and how to translate patterns from drawings to cut workpieces in octagonal tapers, serpentine curves, or symmetrical ogee curves.
     The book's contents pages are sub-divided into categories, with each procedure listed, making problem-solving solutions easy to locate. Well indexed and with a source list and recommended titles for further reading, Lonnie Bird's Shaping Wood is a very useful guide.

. . . Barb Siddiqui