WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Complete Book of Tips, Tricks & Techniques

Complete Book of Tips, Tricks & Techniques
by the editors of Popular Woodworking

Popular Woodworking Books: 2004
Paperback, 256 pp., 22.99
ISBN 1-55870-716-6

     This one is quite a read! Editor David Thiel discusses what makes an ultimate workshop, and how to set one up at home. Then Scott Phillips introduces photo tours of his own shop and that of George Reid, Kelly Mehler, Warren May, Sam Maloof, and Ernie Conover.
     The book then goes into detail on how to install drawer slides, tips for glue-ups, how to choose lumber and how to sharpen hand tools. There are long comparative lists of tool reviews on all sorts of machinery, each accompanied by articles on how to best use the tools and what techniques yield which results. Techniques for planing wide boards on a 6" jointer, for accurate set up of a 2-bit router set, and working with face frames are just a few examples.
    Several articles by Bob Flexner discuss finishing problems and proper methods to deal with a variety of finishing applications and techniques. Another long section on joinery describes making accurate half-laps, cope and stick joinery, rabbets, mortise and tenons, biscuit joinery and dado joints. Different dust collection systems are compared, with recommendations from the editors for an occasional user, the serious home woodworker and an advanced or professional woodworker.
    A long section on manufactured woods covers 70 species of wood used to make softwood plywood, standard thicknesses, exposure durability, outer veneer grades and grade markings. The same lists apply to hardwood plywoods as well. Medium density fiberboard and hardboard are also discussed, with standard panel thicknesses listed, and general descriptions of their classifications.
    This book is a worthwhile compilation of many of the most informative articles Popular Woodworking magazine has published in recent years. A real gem for beginners and an aid for many intermediate woodworkers, it is full of advice on basic woodworking techniques, materials, and available tools.

. . . Barb Siddiqui