|Review by Craig Havran||posted 01-31-2014 06:14 PM||1407 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
I cannot accurately call myself a woodworker. I’m in love with woodturning, but aspire to gain more knowledge in several other fields of woodworking. As I continue to improve as a turner, I feel that I am at a point in my turning where I can start to tackle making the high end chess sets that got me into this beautiful art in the first place. My problem was/is that even after I create a set, how do I present it to a perspective customer? I doubt they will share my acceptance of using a purple Crown Royal bag to store chess pieces. So I started to stress out not knowing the first thing about making a box worthy of showcasing a chess set made of top quality materials. Dennis’ book has perfectly filled this void.
I was fortunate enough to get this book shortly after release. Initially, I didn’t think this was the right book for me, having seen his other work here on Lumberjocks. However, it was only twenty bucks (give or take) and I figured, “What the heck?” Upon receiving this book, I did what any grown man would do. I thumbed through it quickly to see the pictures. There are so many, full color “in action” photos, that this alone took me a while. So far, so good. I figured I could give it a read.
This is where I was blown away. Dennis’ love for his craft, and abilities as both an artist, and craftsman, clearly came through. Having seen the boxes, this was never in question for me. However, so did the techniques for accomplishing each task. This is where I had initially felt I would be left behind wondering, “Well that’s all fine and great, Dennis, but how the hell did you do it?” I figured he would be writing from assumptions that everybody reading knew what he knew. This isn’t the case. From jigs, tips, material selection, design, all the way through finish choices, all are explained in full. This is where I think other “How To’s” fail. Granted, they may have an excellent finished product, but it’s almost like the author left something out intentionally. Like asking a mother in law for their chocolate chip cookie recipe. You know they’re leaving something out so yours will never be as good as theirs. In Dennis’ book, he not only tells you, but shows you how everything is done. I cannot wait to post my first chess set and wooden box made with the skills gained from having this book.
I truly feel, that with the help of this book, I will be able to construct functional, structurally sound, unique beautiful boxes to go along with my future chess sets. You never know, I may even try my hand at marquetry.
I would recommend,”Wooden Boxes: Skill-Building Techniques for Seven Unique Projects” to ANY person interested in making a wooden box regardless of their knowledge and ability.
-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad