WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery

The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery
by Gary Rogowski

Taunton Press: 2002
Hardback, 390 pp., $39.95
ISBN 1-56158-401-0

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     Rogowski's is the third title in Taunton's new 'Complete Guide' series. As in the others, ('Furniture and Cabinet Construction' and 'Shaping Wood') the book is divided into major parts, then sections and subsections, so the reader can quickly go to full illustrated instructions on a chosen joinery technique.
     Each individual joinery type begins with an overview, followed by particular techniques. Turning to butt joints, for example, the overview offers choices among joints with fasteners, knockdown joints, biscuit joints or dowel joints. Under knockdown joints, the reader may choose cross dowels, Tite-joint fasteners or threaded inserts.
     In all cases, Rogowski presents what tools will be needed, diagrams for any jigs necessary, and the most efficient method to utilize the joint in one's work. Hints and tips for accurate woodwokring are scattered liberally throughout the text, such as 'the importance of sqaure crosscuts', and 'how square is your square?' with ways to test and remedy one.
     If you need a particular procedure, say a lengthwise groove in a long workpiece, the author explains how one is done on a tablesaw, on a router table, or handcut. Miters are shown with corner blocks, straight keys, dovetail keys and splines, step by step in all methods.
     As Rogowski states in his introduction, woodworkers often tend to develop skill with one type of joinery and stick with it, but having this weighty volume with clear instructions on such a wide variety of joinery methods, will make experimenting with new techniques a lot easier.
     The book is photographed in full color, with a list of recommended reading and a full index. Rogowski did an excellent job on this book, as it is a vast subject to cover.

. . . Barb Siddiqui