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Encyclopedia of Wood Working

Updated on July 12, 2023
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Devin enjoys history, gardening, cooking, and blacksmithing in his spare time.

The essential reference guide for the home woodworker

I have always wanted to get into wood working, but time and money have always gotten in the way. Still, I collect books in tools for the day when I can really sink my teeth into a new hobby.

Please sign my guestbook and leave a comment, I really appreciate them. It is at the bottom.

By far, the best book I purchased for learning how to start learning this hobby is The Encyclopedia of Woodworking.

The information inside is quite thorough and guides you through from basic techniques to advanced techniques.

Picture: Front of the book

All other photos: Pictures from inside the book

Easy to Understand Explanations

I really like that it starts out with an explanation of different species of tree and their characteristics when cut into lumber. All lumber is not the same. Different lumber has different properties, and this book explains what each property means. Ever wonder why an English longbow was made of yew? This book explains it.

It goes further to even explain how planks are made from trees, and how a softwood can be hard, and a hardwood can be soft. Hardwood and softwood actually denote the kind of tree. Softwoods usually have needle like leaves while hardwoods have traditional leaves.

There is a lot of information in the very beginning pages about the basics of trees that I found quite interesting.

Lumber selection is an important part of wood work, and this book does a great job of explaining it.

Basic Information for the Beginning Wood Worker

Advanced techniques further along.

While reading this book, I learned quite a bit. Now, I am not a handyman, but I do enjoy a good project now and then. I have rebuilt a cabinet in my own home, with drawers (harder than you think). I've built a small wood drying rack from scrap wood, and other various things around the house.

Imagine my surprise when I read a through the part of the book on hand saws, and found I had been using my saw incorrectly about half of the time. As it turns out, my saw is a ripsaw, which is meant to go with the grain of the wood. The other kind of saw is called a crosscut saw, which is made to go across the grain. So depending on how I was cutting, I was using the wrong tool. I bet a few of my projects might have looked better had I been using the right tool!

Full Color Pictures

One of my other books has pictures, but they are hand drawn. Most of the pictures in wood working are full color and very nice. If you are trying to get into woodworking, you will really appreciate the clear pictures.

There are some drawings, but they are clear and easy to understand. The drawings are mostly diagrams that translate better when hand drawn as opposed to in color.

Starter Projects

The book includes instructions and pictures on 5 starter projects, each one designed to teach you certain aspects and skills of wood working.

The Starter Projects are:

1. A Small Table

2. Wall-Hung Cabinet

3. Cabinet Design

4. Upright Chair

5. How to make your own Workbench

After the starter projects, you get into more complicated things like a desk, an outdoor playhouse, and various other furniture.

It is extremely thorough, easy to read and understand.

I plan to go through each project and get it right, so that I can get a good understanding of the basics of wood working.

Do you want to get into Wood Working?

I have always wanted to get into wood working. I have a work mate, which I have used on occasion, a crosscut saw, and some chisels so far. There are a lot of hand tools that I still need to purchase before I can really get into it, and I suspect I will end up needing some sort of workshop to really get things moving.

I like the feel of doing it yourself. It might (read: will) take longer, but I like working with my hands. Plus it is really easy to lose a finger if you use power tools. My grandfather lost his pointer working with power tools.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.


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