WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Workshop Idea Book

Idea Book

by Andy Rae

Taunton Press: 2005
hardback, 170 pp., $29.95
ISBN 1-56158-695-1

     Every woodworker's shop goes through a process of evolution. We add new machinery or eliiminate it, change the type of projects we undertake, and continuously add to our skill level. Making the shop as efficient as it can be is a part of that process. Andy Rae has compiled a well-photographed volume of innovative workshop upgrades that have solved many problems for the experienced craftsmen he visited.
     Rae starts with shop location, layout, access and lighting considerations. He discusses efficient clean up, dust control, safety equipment and shop comfort. The real meat of the book is in workstations: adjustable supports, clamp setups, assists for machinery and auxiliary jigs. He shows how to make workstations mobile, what is needed for sharpening, for sanding and for finishing areas, as well as how to efficiently use vacuum veneering setups.
     Storage ideas are available in nearly every photograph, but the subject has its own chapter specific to wood and materials storage, tools and clamping gear, supplies and hardware, as well as finishing and sanding supplies. Workbenches and assembly tables have their own chapter also, showing ideas for everything from the author's knock-down portable slab bench on tapered pole legs, to the commercial AdjustABench that raises and lowers to variable heights. There are slat-wall storage systems, cleat-hung plywood panels, and seven different clamp racks.
     The Workshop Idea Book is precisely that - a treasure trove of ideas for a more efficient shop.

. . . Barb Siddiqui