Woodshop Library

WORKSHOP IDEA BOOK, by Andy Rae, is a gem for visual learners, featuring hundreds of photos of shop layout ideas. An introduction explains that workshops are evolving spaces, requiring change as their owners' skills develop and their tool collections grow. Read about the pros and cons of the three main types of shops: basements, garages and outbuildings. A basement shop door can be lined with acoustic ceiling tile to effectively reduce machine noise spread throughout the house. For traditionalists who prefer mostly hand tools, a small, rustic shop means low overhead, leaving more funds to add touches like a porch for working out in the shade. The 170-page hardcover sells for $29.95. Contact: Taunton Press, 63 S. Main St., P.O. Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506. Tel: 800-888-8286. www.taunton.com

FURNITURE YOU CAN BUILD: PROJECTS THAT HONE YOUR SKILLS, by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, is part of Taunton's "Getting Started in Woodworking" series. It offers project plans for building eight pieces of functional furniture, including a desk, blanket box, bookcase and bed, which require modest tools and machinery. Cut lists, drawings and photos are provided. Step-by-step instructions walk beginners through the building process, while background information and tips geared for pros accompany each project. Numerous "Skill Builder" sections provide valuable tips that can be used throughout the trade. One topic discusses the options of cutting mortises by hand when building a serving table. The author suggests using a drill press rather than just a mallet and a chisel to remove wood from the mortise, in order to save time. The "Work Smart" boxes that also pop up randomly point out tidbits related to the woodworking field, such as the fact that cherry changes its hue when exposed to air and light. The author is a former editor of American Woodworker and Today's Homeowner, and considers himself an advanced hobbyist. The 172-page softcover sells for $19.95. Contact: Taunton Press, 63 S. Main St., P.O. Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506. Tel: 800-888-8286. www.taunton.com

BUILDING AN ADIRONDACK GUIDEBOAT, by Michael J. Olivette and John D. Michne, is a detailed step-by-step manual for building this classic boat. It includes the construction drawings of the Virginia, an original version of the Adirondack-style boat, built by well-known small-boat builder and author John Gardner. The Adirondack guideboat is a very narrow rowboat pointed at both ends, allowing it to obtain high speeds. It is considered difficult to build, according to the authors, who say the tools needed to build it are already in most shops. Instruction is based on traditional design, and includes lofting full-sized rib and stem drawings, making rib and stem patterns and bending forms, laminating the ribs and inner stems, shaping the bottom board, building the skeleton, making and installing cedar strips, gunwales, stems, floor gate, and caned seats and backrests. The end result is a complete guideboat, with strong laminated rib construction, along with all of the accessories, and the classic look, feel and performance of a traditional guideboat. Throughout the text, the authors discuss the 150-year legacy of the boat, allowing readers to absorb history while completing their own boats. The 236-page softcover includes 260 photographs and 16 drawings of the work in progress, and sells for $29.95. Contact: Nicholas K. Burns Publishing, 130 Proctor Blvd., Utica, NY 13501. Tel: 315-738-1890. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

WOODTURNING JEWELLERY, by Hilary Bowen, makes turning rosewood earrings, tagua-nut rings, ebony brooches, oak bangles stained with tannin, and other pieces of jewelry look simple. Ideal for wood turners of all abilities, Bowen first reviews basic tools and timber sources, including scrap wood, and chucking techniques. She then presents over a dozen step-by-step designs, including tips on turning and drilling beads. She explains the "ring method" to form the beads, using a turned ring sawn into equal segments. A section on refining the turnings includes using stains and dyes, wire inlays, laminates, finish and adding findings. For making diagonal inlays on bangles, she calculates the circumference of the bangle to make markings around the edges, equal distances apart. By using a hacksaw to make the diagonal cuts from point to point, gashes are made for inserting inlays. For abstract, festive jewelry, try using composite colored laminates, as mentioned in the last section. The 160-page book softcover sells for $22.95. Contact: Fox Chapel Publishing, 1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, PA 17520. Tel: 800-457-9112. www.foxchapelpublishing.com

— Jennifer Hicks