HOW TO CHOOSE & USE BENCH PLANES AND SCRAPERS. This simple, straightforward shop manual, by John English, is for people who own a few bench planes and would like to know how to use them.
This book dispenses with the lore and legend of planes and treats them simply as tools to use. The illustrated pages feature how-to photography that is step-by-step support of the text. For example, a page on sharpening an iron will show the reader four images that illustrate flattening the requisite area of the back; grinding a primary bevel; honing a secondary bevel; and testing for sharpness. English is a trained cabinetmaker who has written for various woodworking publications, including Woodshop News. He runs the Black Hills School of Woodworking in Spearfish, S.D., and teaches beginners and advanced woodworkers. The 120-page softcover sells for $24.95. Contact: Linden Publishing Inc., 2006 S. Mary, Fresno, CA 93721. Tel: 800-345-4447. www.woodworkerslibrary.com
CONTEMPORARY HAWAII WOODWORKERS: THE WOOD, THE ART, THE ALOHA, by Tiffany DeEtte Shafto and Lynda McDaniel, takes you on a journey into the minds of 36 artists creating fine wood art in the Hawaiian Islands. Through interviews, the featured furniture makers, sculptors, turners and carvers discuss their inspiration and creativity, knowledge of native woods of Hawaii, and the influence the islands have on their work. Featured furniture makers include Tom Calhoun, Marcus Castaing, Shaun Fleming, Mats Fogelvik, Tai Lake, Robert Lippoth, David Reisland, Timothy Allan, Ricardo Vasquez, Jay Warner, Alan Wilkinson, Marian Yasuda, and Shafto. The final chapter recounts the vision and foresight of the founders of Hawaii's fine woodworking and craft organizations and lists the exhibits they provide. The 224-page hardcover sells for $44.95. To order, visit www.contemporaryhawaiiwoodworkers.com.
SHAKER FURNITURE, one of seven volumes in the Built to Last Project Series from Fox Chapel Publishing, offers classic furniture and cabinet projects, including an Enfield side chair, a meeting house bench, a trestle table and a pie safe. Also included are smaller projects such as a wall clock, step stool, pegboard and Shaker boxes. The book's step-by-step instructions and drawings will help the reader build from the plans or serve as a starting point for a custom design. The 144-page softcover sells for $19.95. Contact: Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., 1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, PA 17520. Tel: 800-457-9112. www.foxchapelpublishing.com
TABLES YOU CAN MAKE: FROM CLASSIC TO CONTEMPORARY, from the Best of Woodworker's Journal, includes 20 projects built to last from some of the top experts in the field. Using ordinary tools and simple techniques, this book provides accessible, step-by-step instructions and clear illustrations so woodworkers of any skill level can build timeless and beautiful projects such as a butcher-block kitchen table, Chippendale sofa table, Shaker hall table, Arts and Crafts end table and more. All of the projects are accompanied by detailed plans, materials lists and expert tips and techniques. The 152-page softcover sells for $19.95. Contact: Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., 1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, PA 17520. Tel: 800-457-9112. www.foxchapelpublishing.com
This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue.