It’s that time of year again, the time for weight loss and fitness resolutions, exploring new skills and trying out new hobbies. Luckily I was thinking ahead on this one, and I bought my husband a copy of “Woodwork – A step-by-step photographic guide to successful woodworking” by Dorling Kindersley for Christmas.  He often says he’d like to build some furniture for the house, a bench for the garden, or a keepsake box for each of the children, and after some research, I chose this book.

Woodwork begins with a section on tools, further subdivided into ‘Hand-Tools,’ ‘Power Tools’ and ‘Stationary & Machine Tools.’ Each tool is described basically, and the book then takes you through how to use the tool, accessories, and cleaning. So, for example, in routers, you learn about hand-held & table routers, different router cutters, adjusting the depth of cuts, fitting an exhaust system, and cleaning & sharpening a cutter.

This part is followed by a techniques section that takes you through everything from choosing a joint and turning to veneering and finishing techniques. It even has a section about restoring furniture. The methods build on the information in the tools section, breaking everything down into simple, well-illustrated steps.

Then you move onto projects. There is something for everyone in this section, trinket boxes, linen chests, garden benches, coffee tables, buffets, the list is almost endless. Each project is broken down into simple steps, with plans at the beginning and plenty of large, clear photographs to show you the way.

This is certainly the book to buy for the woodworking beginner. The whole volume is so clearly & beautifully illustrated you can actually just sit and thumb through it, admiring the photos!

It is not only for the beginner, though. My husband showed it to our neighbor, who has been making some lovely furniture for several years, and he said he had a copy of this book in his shop! Our neighbor said that it was so clear, straightforward, and simple that he always kept it on-hand to reference, and even with all of his experience, he still found it useful.

So there you have it – experienced woodworker or someone just starting out on a new hobby for a new year – Woodwork is a perfect choice. Now all I need is for Dorling Kindersley to write & illustrate a book on how to get your husband off the sofa with the book and into his workshop to build my new chest of drawers!


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