WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Traditional Woodwork

Traditional Woodwork
by Mario Rodriguez

Taunton Press, 1998
Paperback, 167 pp., $19.95
ISBN 1-56158-176-3

       Order Now!

    A professional woodworker and teacher, Rodriguez offers methods here for using common power tools as well as handtool technique in detailing interior period reproductions.
    Projects include board-and-batten doors, baseboard and chair-rail moldings, a built-in window seat, a fireplace mantel, window casings, a frame-and-panel door, and a corner cupboard with elaborate cove moldings and fluted pilasters.
    Rodriguez doesn't skimp on detail, but shows tips and power tool substitutes for some grueling handwork, even though he loves hand planing, as is evident with all the sidebar descriptions of molding planes and how to use them.
    One chapter discusses wide-plank flooring: how to select it, install it and care for it. Even a colonial mailbox post is included as a showy roadside exhibit. There are several useful descriptions of cornice moldings, with diagrams of simple build-ups for a striking effect.
    Even the most ornate interior trim work doesn't seem insurmountable with Rodriguez' guidance. Clear black-and-white photos and step-by-step line drawings lead the woodworker through processes that otherwise might seem complicated. A very well done guide to the subject of traditional home improvements.

...Barb Siddiqui