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WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Box By Box

Box By Box
by Jim Stack

Popular Woodworking Books: 2006
Paperback, 143 pp., $24.99
ISBN 1-55870-774-3

     It's another box book, and a good one: entertainingly written, very nicely photographed, and full of widely diverse ideas. Mr. Stack begins the first of twenty box projects with simple butt-joints, guiding a beginner through sanding, clamping and glue-up. He discusses shop-made sanding blocks, matching wood grain and jointing edges. Things progress in complexity as the designs become more complicated. He tells what tools are needed, what supplies to have on hand, and what hardware to use.
     There are woodworking tips throughout every project: how to cut matching wood plugs from a long blank, how to check a box for square, and how to mortise in hinges. There is power tool work and hand tool work aplenty. The circus-tent-top box takes twelve compound miters, and the twenty-sided, three-dimensional spherical box takes, well I'm not sure, but it is called an icosahedron. That one is listed at an intermediate skill level, and Mr. Stack quotes people who see it as saying, "Are you crazy?'
     Stack shows construction of an oval box with a curved drawer, a veneered pyramid with angled drawers, a french-fitted display box, lap desks, jewelry boxes, bandsawn boxes and a silverware chest. All are accompanied by dimensional drawings and cut lists. A chapter on finishing gives the basics on painting, texturing, wet-sanding and polishing. These projects are excellent skill-builders, and would produce fine boxes for any number of uses.

. . . Barb Siddiqui