woodworking books

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hi i’m rob cos and welcome to my shop there are literally hundreds perhaps even thousands of woodworking books available in the market how do you know which one is good well i’ve been collecting them for the past 40 years i went through mine and picked out a stack that i think are the most valuable i’m going to share them with you hopefully this will help i’m rob cosman and welcome to my shop we make it our job to help you take your woodworking to the next level if you’re new to our channel be sure to subscribe turn on that notification bell and don’t forget to turn on the notification on your mobile device so you’ll know every time we release a new video good all right back to the bench when i started woodworking obviously we didn’t have internet and there wasn’t a lot of local reference so the only thing you really had were magazines and various woodworking books and i’d started collecting books at a very early age and you never really knew what you were going to get until you actually bought it i went through my my very vast library and i picked out the ones that i’ve used the most over the years that i’ve got the most out of and i still go back to occasionally so here’s my number one encyclopedia furniture making by ernest joyce originally published in 1971 and ernest joyce was a traditionally trained cabinet maker in england and this book i think does a better job of covering everything related to hand and or power tool woodworking that you can find and i’ve used it as a reference all these years now this is the 1987 version that was revised by alan peters in fact i met with alan in 1987 in 1987 and he signed it for me what i actually asked him about some of the things in the book and he said well all he really did went in would did was go in and update some of the pictures and add some commentary on some styles but for the most part he left the book as it was but if you go through this this is not something you’re going to sit down and read cover to cover it’s got a really good index but you’ll go in and you’ll find things now this is all mostly english wood well it is predominantly english woodwork so you’re going to see that influence quite strong but it covers everything from building church furniture to some of the more modern stuff that was being made at the time to some very traditional stuff but and alan actually added the color section which has got some nice work in there some pieces i really like shapes way various ways to treat edges now you’re not going to get the very best reproduction of things like burl on a black and white but it’ll give you some idea a lot about veneering it just covers everything and i’ve adopted a lot of what’s in here into my own woodwork and the style that i i use and teach today but if there was to be one book that i would save in case of a fire when it comes to woodworking that would be the one the next one i want to share with you is woodworking by ian kirby now this was a series that he had started back in the 70s 80s i believe never got all the way through it i got the first two book one and book two plain perfect what i really like about this is the way he illustrates makes it very easy to see as opposed to a black and white photograph which would be difficult and it just covers all of the basics again from an english perspective but i’ve follow a lot of various english craftsmen and they all have their unique aspects and i like what i like most about ian is that he’s there’s no excuse it’s you do it until you can cannot see how it can be done better and it goes throughout everything he does i really is heavily influenced by his method of sharpening which was very very quick i’ll leave you a link to my 32 seconds to sharp a lot of that i would have adopted adopted from him combined with some stuff i learned from alan bear me from david charlesworth so this is a really good one if you can find it i don’t even know if it’s available in in second hand but that one was plain perfect and this was down to a line so this is more about cutting edges planes and chisels and this is more about sawing but gives some great advice everything from coping saws to power saws table saw blades to ripping and cross cutting blades saws just awesome material some of the best okay i’m going to veer a little bit away from actual woodwork to more in talking about wood eric sloane wrote this he wrote several books but this one reverence for wood i’ve always liked this and the reason i do it gives you so it tells you uh so much detail on things wood related that you just wouldn’t otherwise find whether it’s talking about how to identify various trees to various uses for or how they would make various farm implements this is a little bit on shaker boxes how they make charcoal i just find this stuff being a wood nut very interesting even talks about fencing here’s an interesting one on the amount of heat you get out of a quart of wood or how much how much heat you get out of a specific amount of wood if you compare it so white pine over here hickory on this end and then it talks about how much wood was being used in the middle of the 19th century and no wonder forests were depleted because they used it to everything from the railroads to people’s houses in fact got to the point where in new england they used mostly white pine because all the hardwares were being chewed up and this there’s lots of stuff in here on timber framing just even how to make how cut nails were made just all kinds of real engines this is one of those books where you pick it up and you read it all the way through just because of the interest in it talking about how when i say you find all kinds of stuff that you just wouldn’t otherwise find there’s one in here about why nails pop out on on wood siding or in this case it comes to shingles really interesting stuff so you can find that that’s a that’s a great read a reverence for wood so in 1987 i got to work at anderson ranch arts center and one of the people i got to be an assistant for that summer was tay frid and even as long as he had been in the united states and by 1987 his accent was still extremely thick so he had to be around him a while before he could understand what he was saying but the way that he wrote his series of books there were three of them this is the only one i have this one that i liked the most it was just really easy to follow because in his line drawings he would just use red ink to follow you through from one step to the next i found it very easy very easy to follow probably a little more machine related than hand tool however there’s a fair amount of hand tool in there but it’s another really good reference book now he was from denmark called himself the great dane so his his material is going to be a little bit different than what you’re going to get from ernest joyce or ian kirby but still some great information fantastic i believe this book is still available and i would highly recommend that you would want to add that to your reference library hey if you like this video we have more our monthly newsletter has subscriber only content discounts monthly on tools and anything we bring out that’s new subscribers get first crack at it click on the link below let’s get back to work how to build shaker furniture by thomas moser now i met tom moser a couple of times the last time sat down for them for a couple of hours and just talked and why i like this book i went through a period in the mid 90s where i was starving to death as a furniture maker and i actually was doing a lot of other things trying to earn a living carpentry related and this book eventually brought me back around to building furniture it’s very very simple in that everything is black and white pictures with line drawings but there’s several pieces of furniture now i really like shaker furniture i love the simplicity of it i love the fact that the method of how it’s joined is one of the main features and it lets the wood speak and there’s plans not necessarily detailed but measurements for every piece in here and i’ve gone i went through i guess i was at a period of time when i didn’t really have the energy to be designing fur furniture for customers i was starving doing that anyway and this was a way of going in and enjoying the woodwork without having to think about the design i simply went in and built some of these several of these pieces probably at least a dozen of them and tom moser is still alive you can still get this book and if you’re interested in simple furniture but well-made furniture because he doesn’t just show you the furniture and the plans but he’ll also talk to you and teach you in various ways of whether it’s drawer construction or fastening a top to a table base lots of stuff in here very simple very easy to follow really good book how to build shaker furniture thomas moser if you’re new to woodwork it won’t be very long before your attention is turned to workbenches it’s a it’s an essential tool i picked this book up in the late 80s and i think it’s probably the best book that has ever been written on workbenches it’s called the workbench book by scott landis published by taunton press and it goes through it and the back side it gives you the detailed plans for four different benches ian kirby’s bench michael fortune’s bench a shaker bench and frank klaus bench i actually built this one using these plans but it also gives you a lot of detailed information about benches how they function there’s lots of information about vices it’s just a really good reference highly recommend if you haven’t settled on a bench pick this up even if you have on a bench i think it’s great information and great reference for customizing a bench and going in and adding something that you may not find on a regular bench that may be specific to the type of woodwork you do so scotland is the workbench book excellent this is the only book that alan peters wrote it is entitled cabinet making the professional approach i personally think allen peters is the best designer craftsman of the last century and this book is very i would say it’s very specific to uh professional furniture makers he goes through and talks a lot about the the business side of designing and building furniture he also talks about various grants which is not going to be very applicable to people outside of the uk however i still think so some great information in here on alan peters where his influence came from the style that he liked to work with and although it’s black and white it’s still pretty good nice crisp photography and i just i just love the i love the work that he did and i love the use of his joinery and heavily influenced by alan peters like i said i think he was the best designer craftsman of the last century and one that actually survived building for designing and building furniture and at the same time had a fair number of apprentices working in his shop now i i think this is actually back in in print cabinet making the professional approach by alan peters by roy underhill he has he has a couple of books but i what i like about these is uh somewhat of a country approach there was a time when a farmer had to literally be able to do everything from building his furniture to fixing his fence and i just like the uh i like roy’s approach on doing things by hand doesn’t necessarily work with the same level that you’re going to find from allen allen peters or ian kirby but still great a great read in terms of how things were done how things can be done obviously just with hand tools and it’s just it’s just a really good book really good read whether it’s this one is the work wood rights workbook and this was the wood wood rights companion and just more of the same but he’s actually still around in fact he’s still quite active so you should be able to pick these up but i would recommend add these to your list as well roy underhill now there’s one more book i want to include and this is something jake recently purchased and this uh is nice because it shows how photography is improving eric meyer wrote this book wood and what’s really nice about it is it’s just has tons of pictures on all the different species i say all the different all the common species but i want to show you how good some of the pictures are so if you look at this piece of tulip wood so here’s a piece of tulip and that’s pretty good reproduction on the coloring and then i’m going to show you a piece of black and white ebony now that one’s a pretty easy one to pick out but it’s still pretty good representation or reproduction in terms of what the wood’s actually going to look like and it’s nice that it goes through and it tells you the hardness tells you where it’s from working properties sometimes those are subjective but i think this is another especially if you’re new to woodworking and you’re wanting to know what’s available what’s out there because there are literally hundreds if not thousands of species available commercially in various parts of the world with youtube today you can find just about any topic you want you can get various people’s opinions and lots of instruction but i still think there’s value in going through some of these old texts and finding information that just has kind of been lost or it’s being delivered in a little different approach that just may click with you but it is a sad commentary i think when you compare the number of books that are out there to what i think is actually worth reading and everyone’s going to have a different opinion on it but i took these mostly for their content and teaching you how to do something very specifically obviously leaning toward hand tools but this is my recommendation so if you’re looking for some good reading and some good instruction pick up any one of these pick them up them all if you can good luck with it if you like my work and enjoy my style of teaching click on any one of these videos and help take your woodworking to the next level i’ve always said better tools make the job so much easier if you click on the link below the chisel and plane icon it’ll take you to our site and introduce you to all the tools that we actually manufacture right here in our shop it’ll also give you information on our online and in-person workshops

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