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WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Woodworker's Pocket Reference

Woodworker's Pocket Reference
by Charlie Self

Fox Chapel Publishing: 2005
Paperback, 175 pp., 14.95
ISBN 1-56523-239-9

     As pocket references go, this new one has a lot of advantages others miss. It is specific to woodworking, skipping a lot of tangential information common to other pocket references, like the 'strength and weight of wire rope' for instance. This one features what woodworkers need: wood and its weight and strength, its characteristics and workability, mechanical fasteners and what types are best for what materials, wood joinery, shop math and formulas, finishing, tools, workbenches, sharpening and safety.
     The final section is a glossary of woodworking terms (chatoyance, horsepower ratings, medullary rays), with a general index and a long list of resources showing dozens of company phone numbers and websites.
     The book's spiral binding makes it a bit too wide for hip pocket storage, but it is ideal for tossing in a toolbox or dropping in an apron pocket. The fact that it opens flat to lay on a work surface for easy reference, is a big plus. The print is not large, but much easier to read than a standard pocket reference book, and this one includes useful photos and illustrations. It is a book to take along to the lumberyard or hardware store, or keep in the shop for quick answers to confounding formulas and cutting crown molding angles; well worth having.

. . . Barb Siddiqui