WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Finish Carpenter's Manual

Finish Carpenter's Manual
by Jim Tolpin

Craftsman Book Co., 1993
Paperback, 205 pp., $22.50
ISBN: 0-934041-82-2

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     This book is written for someone going into business: what tools to buy, how to deal with customers and write up bids, what to include in a contract, and how many man-hours are involved in a process. But if you've ever wished you knew the most efficient way to install crown molding in an L-shaped room, this book can see you through that, too.
     Window and door trim, ceiling treatments, cabinet work, stair systems, fireplace surrounds, and flooring are some of the topics covered. Tolpin offers plans for work supports, tips on the sequence of efficient installations and 'tricks of the trade.'
     The author also throws in a little dry humor: "..You can cut baseboard molding slightly long and check the fit; this method works well if the wall and standing molding are plumb. If you're running wide baseboard, I recommend using a 'preacher' to get the cut just right. He knows just what prayers to offer. Just kidding. A 'preacher' is a shop-made marking tool…"
     All through the book, Tolpin tells how to deal with the unexpected, and a 'trouble shooting' section covers things like fitting new trim to existing trim, working out of level or plumb, dealing with warped doors or a lack of backing that causes fastening problems in trim work.
     The book is all black and white photography with line drawings, and includes business forms and sample contracts, as well as a list of manufacturers and suppliers.

...Barb Siddiqui