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A book so good, it must be spoken of in whispers...

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Review by StumpyNubs posted 234 days ago 2573 views 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A book so good, it must be spoken of in whispers... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Am I the only one that can’t say “The Wood Whisperer” without giggling? I picture one of those close talkers, the guy who leans in to say something with an extra dose of breath and spit. Well, I am here to tell you, Marc Spagnuolo is not one of those guys. He’s the “good” kind of wood whisperer, the kind that has useful secrets to share, and always does so at a comfortable distance. Until recently, Marc only whispered those secrets at slumber parties and on his popular internet woodworking videos. But now he’s a bona-fide author, and I was lucky enough to snag an early copy of “Hybrid Woodworking”. It took me a week to finish since I only read in you-know-where, but now that I’ve perused every last page, I am prepared to give my honest opinion. Get ready…

My favorite part has to be the words. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also full of some wonderful pictures, which I’ll get to in a moment. But these days, far too many books are just a collection of photographs slapped between two covers with poorly written text to fill in the blank spots. Build a bird house, take some snapshots, write a step-by-step and a few captions… sell a book. Not so with Hybrid Woodworking. Marc actually has something to say, and what’s more, we WANT to hear it! From front to back he lays out his philosophy of modern woodworking. What is that philosophy? Imagine a hypothetical child of Norm Abram and Roy Underhill. He’d have a mustache, I think we all can agree on that. But he’d also have a workshop where the power tools do the grunt work, while the delicate tasks are reserved for hand tools. He’d cut the parts for his project with a table saw, but then he’d finish it with smoothing planes and scrapers, and he’d probably cut himself, just like dear old dads. He wouldn’t be a power junkie like Norm, or a traditional guy like Roy, he’d be a hybrid, and perhaps the greatest woodworker to ever live. Want to be like Noroy Abramhill? Then this is the book for you.

Hybrid Woodworking doesn’t tell you which tools you SHOULD use. It helps you figure out which tools you WANT to use. It reminds us that it’s ok to mix it up. Use a dado set to cut that tenon, then tune it to a perfect fit with a shoulder plane. If you’re exclusively a power tool guy, you’ll see that you may be missing out on some easier, better, or more enjoyable ways of working. On the other hand, if you’re one of those guys who refuse to use anything but hand tools, you may be legally insane. (Marc didn’t say that, but he should have. Have you ever tried to mill all your rough stock with only hand planes? Nuts, man…) Actually, Marc is careful not to wade too deeply into the power vs. traditional tool debate, because that’s not what the book is about. He wants you to expand your horizons, wherever they may take you.

To help us become “Hybrid Woodworkers”, Marc demonstrates how to compliment your power tool work with some specific hand tools that he uses every day. He makes good use of high quality photographs to illustrate the tips and techniques that have made his own woodworking more efficient and more enjoyable. Walking us through a selection of projects designed to put those techniques into practice, he fills every page with genuinely useful information. And he does it all with the laid back style that he’s become known for.

Bottom line is, “Hybrid Woodworking” is a book you’ll want to read, underline, even write some notes in the margin, because it’s full of lots of stuff worth “whispering” about.

(Stumpy Nubs is a professional woodworker, blogger, and the host of the internet show: Blue Collar Woodworking)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com




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StumpyNubs

6116 posts in 1398 days



25 comments so far

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nailbanger2

952 posts in 1741 days


#1 posted 234 days ago

I’m beginning to think YOU should write a book! Very entertaining review, and definitely a book I can see myself reading in the not too distant future.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

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Gene Howe

5393 posts in 2026 days


#2 posted 234 days ago

Thanks, Nubs. That’s a book I will read.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Pete504's profile

Pete504

19 posts in 1934 days


#3 posted 234 days ago

“Hybrid Woodworking doesn’t tell you which tools you SHOULD use. It helps you figure out which tools you WANT to use.”
That quote from StumpyNubs sums it up nicely and is why Marc is my ‘go to’ for everything woodworking.

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StumpyNubs

6116 posts in 1398 days


#4 posted 234 days ago

I thought I was your “go to for everything woodworking”... Is it because he has cool tatoos and I don’t? :)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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CharlesNeil

1113 posts in 2468 days


#5 posted 233 days ago

I have the book as well and think Marc did a good job. Its a good book for anyone, but especially for beginners and intermediate woodworkers.

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WhoMe

1078 posts in 1841 days


#6 posted 233 days ago

Stumpy, thanks for the “colorful” review. I wasn’t sure what the book was about and had not looked into it much. But your overview has gotten me interested inn reading this book.
In your opinion, it’s this a good book for an electronic reader? It sounds like it may be since it is less of an instructional book where diagrams don’t work well on electronic formats.
I would be interested in your opinion on that.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies and the wall gets in the way.. - Mike -

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#7 posted 233 days ago

Thanks for the review Jim

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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StumpyNubs

6116 posts in 1398 days


#8 posted 233 days ago

I have the PDF version and the photos look great. I haven’t tried it on my smart phone, but a 10” tablet would be fine. I am not sure if it’s in epub format.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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doordude

1085 posts in 1581 days


#9 posted 233 days ago

OMG! another book, to must read; so says stumpy. well if stumpy says buy, I gots to buy!
can I wait till after Christmas at least…

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Rick M.

3777 posts in 978 days


#10 posted 233 days ago

Nowadays I don’t see a strong dichotomy between hand and power users, many folks are out there mixing it up. It seems to be a how-to guide for what most of us are already doing. What’s in it for woodworkers who have been “hybrid” all along? The review was entertaining.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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WhoMe

1078 posts in 1841 days


#11 posted 233 days ago

Thanks Stumpy. Appreciate the feedback.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies and the wall gets in the way.. - Mike -

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1787 days


#12 posted 233 days ago

Nice review, Have followed him for yrs and he is to blame for the cutting board sickness I have tried to kick…. LOL…. Sounds like anoher great book for the woodworking shop collection…. Thx and you keep up the great job as well. We love watching your videos here at work in between flights.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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pintodeluxe

3268 posts in 1411 days


#13 posted 232 days ago

Thanks for the review. I’ll add this to my book list for the new year, along with Nick Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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StumpyNubs

6116 posts in 1398 days


#14 posted 232 days ago

I have Nick’s book too! I started it, but haven’t gotten far. I’m not fond of celebrity biographies, so the early going about his childhood is a little hard to get through. I’m hoping to get to some woodworking stuff soon… :)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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Texcaster

624 posts in 272 days


#15 posted 232 days ago

“Hybrid Woodworker ” is an unfortunate term, it always makes me cringe and is a slur on good mules everywhere! Krenov covered this ground a lifetime ago. I was doing an apprenticeship when his 1st book was new. He changed my working method forever.

-- Bill....... I listen very closely to the timber and then impose my will.

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