Woodshop Library

CELEBRATING BIRCH: THE LORE, ART, AND CRAFT OF AN ANCIENT TREE, by instructors at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn., was written to "honor a tree that has been significant to the well-being of civilizations in the Northern Hemisphere since the last ice age." It guides readers through 15 craft projects, including carved ornaments, turned wooden bowls and folded bark baskets. It also explains that birch was used to weave shoes, clothing and even make primitive roof shingles. Other topics of discussion include the tree's biology and ecology, how to harvest birch, and how to use different parts of the tree, such as using sap to make glue, soap or beverages. The 192-page softcover sells for $24.95. Contact: Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc.,1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, PA 17520. Tel: 800-457-9112. www.foxchapelpublishing.com

WOODWORK PATTERN BOOK: 80 PROJECTS TO MAKE BY HAND, by A.W.P. Kettless, is a revised edition of a 1963 title, published in the United Kingdom. It's got something for everyone, including cabinet and chair making, carpentry and joinery, pattern making and boatbuilding. At first glance, this appears to be a book for beginners, and the early projects — display shelves, book ends, etc. — seem proof. But the projects quickly become more advanced — furniture and a boat, for example — making it suitable for woodworkers of every skill level. Most of the projects are covered over two pages, with one page listing concise, step-by-step instructions, and the other showcasing dimensional drawings. Tips and techniques are sprinkled in. It might be tough to build a seaworthy boat from this book, but the woodworking advice holds water. The 240-page softcover sells for $24.95. Contact: Sterling Publishing Co., 387 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016-8810. Tel: 212-532-7160.
www.sterlingpub.com

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOODWORKING, by Alan and Gill Bridgewater, offers a collection of 20 original and practical designs for novice woodworkers. But the projects are far from boring. They include an inlaid coffee table and fiddleback mirror in the beginner's category, followed by even more ambitious pieces such as a rocking horse or a contemporary CD cabinet. The projects are accompanied by step-by-step instructions, photographs and drawings. The book opens with a comprehensive overview of woodworking, covering wood, tools and techniques. The 176-page hardcover sells for $29.95. Contact: New Holland Publishers Ltd. www.newhollandpublishers.com

PINEWOOD DERBY DESIGNS AND PATTERNS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CREATING THE COOLEST CAR, by Troy Thorne, features 34 patterns with measured drawings. Here's a chance to let your kids make something fun in your shop. The book provides detailed instructions, such as what size drill bits to use and how deep to drill. But what kid (or parent) doesn't want to build the fastest car? Tips, such as where to place weighted sinkers, are included. It also covers painting and making decals. The 118-page softcover sells for $12.95. Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., 1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, PA 17520. Tel: 800-457-9112.
www.foxchapelpublishing.com
— Jennifer Hicks