I think I sat down several times to write a review for this book, but something stopped me. It wasn't anything bad; on the contrary, it was something very impressive. Every time I thought of posting this review another review would be posted by someone else. I don’t like to write material on the exact same subject as someone else. I like variety, so I would hold off, but I can’t hold off any longer. The book is just too good not to post another rave review.
Every once in a while a book comes along that just jumps out at me. A book that covers the basics, project building, tool making, advanced projects, procedure breakdowns, and the human side of the maker. This book is actually unique because it hits on all of those subjects and at different skill levels. If you want to learn how to make a sawbench, hand planes, unique tools, and workshop appliances, this is the book. If you want to learn how to build furniture using only hand tools, this is the book. Or, if you would like to be exposed to more advanced techniques like veneer, hand cut moldings, string inlay, and scratch stock techniques, this is the book.
Tom does an excellent job of combining skill development with project building. This isn’t just a book about how to make the projects that are within its pages. With excellent pictures and added tidbits of information he really teaches you how to build just about anything with hand tools. You may never build some of the projects that are in this book, but the techniques discussed will be used on a daily basis in the shop.
I think what makes this book so good is that Tom really captured something special with the layout of the book. It’s unlike many other books that just teach techniques, or specific project building. The closest thing I can think of would be a video series, where a craftsman walks you through each procedure used for each project. Then sprinkle those videos with supplemental content on shop appliances, technique instruction, and tool making. He really does a great job of incorporating everything into each build. He never overcomplicates things and is very clear and concise throughout the book.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. You will not be able to walk away from this book without learning something that will make you a better woodworker. And that is why this book is a success.
"Not a History book, but a book of History." Indeed it is Sir. Well done.
The book can be found HERE.
Tom is also producing many videos that go along with this book. They can be found at his website and blog HERE, or you can always watch the book trailer video and then subscribe to his YouTube channel below. Or do both.