Series: Projects Book
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Taunton Press (October 12, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #761,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #164 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > Furniture #1184 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Projects #2311 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Design & Construction
This book contains lots of information about building tables. There are several detailed plans, and not of just one style either. There are Shaker, Arts & Crafts and more styles. Small end tables, dining tables, ovals and glass topped tables.As with most information from Taunton, it is very thorough. At the begining of the book is a section on the different ways to connect a table top to the base, and when you would want to use each.Different methods are discribed in making the tables, and as usual for Taunton, there is a lot of hand tool usage.
I'm a big fan of Thomas Moser, although I think his furniture is priced a little over my league. So I thought I could make some pieces similar to his to replace the junky stuff I bought when I first got out of college. I bought this book because I liked the basic Shaker projects and I wanted to adapt them to my needs. This book is instructive in a generic sense (although I wish there would be a little more theory on chosing lumber, dimensioning the aprons and joinery, and building table tops) and it also has soom good projects, particularly in the Shaker style, although there are some contemporary and Craftsman style pieces as well.I built the two variations of the table on the front cover. The first one I built with a drawer and finished it with Tried and True Oil Varnish. The second one I built without a drawer, shortened the aprons and finished with polyurethane. One thing he suggests is that you take your time when gluing up the legs and aprons to make sure that they are square. When I built the first table I measured for squareness then applied more pressure on the clamps. Being green to table building, I did not realize that this would throw off the squareness. It did, and by the time I realized it the glue was set. The moral of the story: the next time I used slow-setting white glue and took my time after the clamps were applied to meticulously test for squareness.His best advice in the book is to not stain cherry, which I totally agree with. Cherry darkens nicely with age, so oil or polyurethane make it look very nice.
I expect this to be a very useful book...and I look forward to trying a few of the projects. However, right from the start I find some misleading disappointments.From the Intro chapter I quote: "If you own a table saw and a few fundamental hand tools, you'll do just fine." And then the very first project calls for a router, drill press, band or jig saw and a lathe. Sorry, but most medium-equipped work shops don't include a lathe.Also, the Intro chapter presents five examples of "typical trestle tables" yet only the last project is in the trestle style, and it appears rather difficult...again calling for a lathe.How about some honesty in the Intro section...as presented in the "Search Inside" found on the web page?
I understand the comments of at least one other reviewer that the list of hand tools needed, as presented in the introduction, is misleading or, at least, incorrect. That is a correct observation. You don't get far beyond that intro before being told you need a table saw, lathe, routers, biscuit jointer, etc.Moving beyond it, I must say I am always amazed by reviews associated with almost any woodworking book expecting that you can make something as fine as a table without having the power tools mentioned, above! Of course you do! A table is a somewhat exacting bit of fine woodworking. To build them you need the right tools. You should expect this!This is a good book and I know I will get a lot of use out of it. Instructions and photos are clear and informative. Typical to Taunton publications the assumption is made that more of the work will be made by hand tools than by those requiring power, but that is O.K. I'll do some of the work with the hand tools because I see superior results and I enjoy creating by hand, and I will in other cases interpret their instructions into the best way to do the same work in less than half the time and with 90% less tedium when a power tool will present a final product of equal quality.Buy the book. It is great.
I bought this book because I wanted to make a coffee table for my living room, a concrete piece of furniture I have never done before.The book was all I have hoped for, as it has provided me with much more than just plans for building a table, it has rather taught me how to make a table in general. I am most happy to say I succeeded and quite successfully so. I was able to plan my own coffee table and construct it. It has served me and my family well in the past months and it is beautiful and useful.This is actually one of the highlights of the author, his careful eye for details and beauty and his love for the woodworking craft in general. A craft that goes beyond sanding a piece of furniture to extreme. It made me buy another book written by him.
I'm generally disappointed with this purchase.....but some material is 'okay' at best. I have several other woodworking books from Taunton press that I'm very pleased with. The quality of this print struck me as quite poor versus the other books I've enjoyed (it feels like someone was working overtime on their color copier.....paper is thin, cover flimsy, and figures out of place...candle stand & end table, for example).As to the material....the Table Building basics (first 17 pages) are helpful but the projects a bit disappointing. None of the Table projects include a lower shelf (ie. what would be typical of lots of coffee tables, nightstands, hallway tables, couch tables, etc.).....so this design detail isn't covered anywhere in the book.In short....I'm still looking for the reference book to help with my design project. I was hopeful this would help......but just not quite there.
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