Foreword Review — July / Aug 1998
Culled from the pages of Traditional Woodworking magazine, and first released to a British audience, this series gives American craftsmen a broad range of projects to tackle, from simple to complex, all of them handsome. These new releases assemble 24 designs for indoors and out, as big as a garden shed and as beautiful as an inlaid mahogany table.
The series is targeted for intermediate to master woodworkers, but the rustic clapboard shed could be tackled by a beginner—and embellished and adorned by anyone with a
smidgen of creativity. On the other hand, the richly inlaid coffee table could not. Therein lies one of the strengths—and dangers—of these books. The series include projects simple enough to tempt a novice armed only with hand tools (such as a classic garden arbor) and others that require both sophistication and an arsenal of lathes, jigs, and wood-steaming equipment (such as the Windsor chair).
What’s more, the directions and diagrams in these slim books are so concise and condensed that the reader should read each three times through before undertaking any endeavor. For that matter, the books merit a full read before beginning a project. Explanations of techniques and instructions for joinery pop up in one project but are presumed knowledge elsewhere. At the end of each book are valuable tips on wax finishes and weatherproofing stains.
In all, the precise instructions, isometric diagrams, detailed materials lists and color photographs of the works-in-process make this a solid addition to any woodworker’s library of project plans.