|Review by Don W||posted 08-28-2011 01:36 AM||4726 views||1 time favorited||12 comments|
A few months ago I found the 1975 version of “The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking James Krenov” at a flee market. It was well worth the $5 I paid for it. There are newer reprints that I haven’t read, but I’ll assume they are similar.
This book is probably the first woodworking book I’ve actually read cover to cover. There is usually a chapter or section I’ll skip because of non interest or “I already know that”. This book isn’t perfect, it has some flaws I’ll point out, but all-in-all, I’d recommend reading this book.
First the bad part.
There are times when it seems he was writing words just to fill the pages. I think this book could have been about a third shorter and still got the message across. I would often put this book down for extended period of time before picking it back up to continue. I did struggle to push through certain parts.
The good part.
This book is filled with ideas, opinions, theories, thoughts, processes and out right ramblings about wood working. It made me think in a whole new way about putting pieces together. The way I look at wood grain will never be the same after reading this book. The way I think about putting pieces together will now require a lot more thought.
If your looking for a great “How to” woodwork book from a traditional step by step using tools and techniques, this isn’t it. If, however, you want to start to “think” about how you select projects and the wood that goes in them, then this book will work for you.
I have built several project since reading this book because. I built a different sharpening rest for my grinder based on this book and a smoother that was detailed. The directions were vague, and as I said in the blog posted to building this plane, you’ll need some help with the instructions.
This book is a “why” you build it, not so much a “how” you build it. This is the kind of book you may struggle to get through, but you won’t want to skip a part, just in case the next thought provoking idea is in the section you think you could skip.
Its absolutely worth the time to read it.
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