|Review by Blake||posted 12-27-2009 09:36 AM||4437 views||1 time favorited||19 comments|
Tom Fidgen is one of our own. He’s been a Lumberjock for almost two years now. About three months ago he announced the completion of his book in THIS blog. I was shocked to see that he didn’t get much feedback from the blog post (only 9 comments). But I knew it was a book I was going to need in my collection.
The book was released to Amazon and Boarders just in time for the holidays and I put it at the top of my Christmas list. Well let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I absolutely love this book. I’ve been glued to it ever since Christmas morning.
MADE BY HAND is about 160 pages loaded with beautiful, high quality photographs of the process of working with hand tools. But Fidgen doesn’t just write about the tools, he writes about the process in vivid detail. Despite the fact that he is a gifted artist, he comes off as just a regular guy. He makes it look easy, but he also makes it accessible to anyone who has ever picked up an old stanley hand plane from a flee market.
Fidgen starts by listing the essential hand tools of his collection, then discusses workbenches, hand tool techniques, and tricks of the trade. And then once he’s got your full attention the fun part begins: the projects. More than half of the book is devoted to putting all this talk about woodworking to good use. Six projects are followed—a table, a sideboard, a bookcase, etc.—from start to finish, in beautiful detail. Nothing important is left out.
As well as this book stands on its own, what takes it over the top is that it comes with a bonus DVD as well. On the DVD the reader gets a rare luxury… to see and hear the author speak! Fidgen just stands behind the workbench in his 12’x14’ basement woodshop in Toronto and shows us his collection of tools and why he chooses them.
If you liked James Krenov’s IMPRACTICAL CABINETMAKER you will love MADE BY HAND by Tom Fidgen. He writes, as he builds, in the spirit of the Legendary Krenov. Just like my collection of Krenov books, this book is a must have for any woodworker of any skill level to open your eyes to the lost art of hand tools use.
-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com