WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Collins Complete Woodworker

The Collins Complete Woodworker
by the Editors of Woodworkers Journal

Harper Collins: 2007
Hardcover, 336 pp., $34.95
ISBN 978-0-06-082575-1

     From Larry Stoiakan's introduction: "While it has been a long time since our survival depended on building the things we use in our daily lives, we still have a human need to do so; those of us whose daily work does not create things to hold in our hands find this to be especially true."
     This beautifully produced hardback contains a history of furniture styles, wood species and drying techniques, how to set up an efficient workshop, hand and power tools, machinery plus blades and bits, basic joinery and cutting techniuqes, jigs and fixtures, hardware, veneering basics, carving and turning basics, and a chapter on sanding and finishing. The shop section includes storage options and machinery maintenance.
     Five projects from Woodworker's Journal are included with full directions: a Shaker sewing stand, Chippendale mirror, a slatted bookcase, a T-slot workbench and a Stickley-inspired, leather-topped desk. An illustrated glossary, resource list and full index complete the book. The first thirty pages are an art history lesson in furniture design, from the earlist discovered examples of mechanical joinery to comtemporary modern masters.
     None of this book is taken wholesale from magazine articles, but the subjects covered are a distillation and re-write of all the best information the magazine has gathered in thirty years of publication. Senior editor A.J. Hamler put together a team of contributing editors to edit and rewrite all the material, so it is essentially a brand new book of the best of Woodworker's Journal magazine. It is an excellent guide for beginners and intermediate woodworkers, as well as a pleasure to read for all.

. . . Barb Siddiqui