Newbie looking for great woodworking book.


I feel pretty certain that this question has been asked a million times in this group, and being the very next bozo to do it, I apologize.
Basically, I am looking for a comprehensive text that will function as a reference book for the beginning woodworker. That is, I have used some tools before, have made a few crude items, but don't know all the possible joinry options, make frequent beginner mistakes (some of which might be avoided by reading a good text on the subject), still have plenty of techniques to learn, etc.
So any recommendations on a great book for a person of my level (which I would describe as just a hair above complete newbie), I would sure appreciate the advice.
TIA
James
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A couple of good ones to start off with might be Leonard Lee's sharpening book, Earnest Joyce' s Encyclopaedia of woodworking, Yeung Chan's joinery book (hand and machine), Krenov's Impractical cabinet maker, David Charlesworth has a couple that are pretty good that deal with tools/design/joinery....good luck. I don't think there's any one book that covers everything....
Cheers,
Andy
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that
With the exception of Joyce, too esoteric. The basics as in Fierer are what you need to begin with.
My recommendation, go to the nearest used book store, the hobby section, and pick up the one that's not quite fully a mystery to you. Or, since a lot of "project" books pad with techniques and general principles, you could start there.
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I'll add another vote for Feirer, with the caveat, well-stated in this thread elsewhere and acknowledged by the OP, that no book does it all. Feirer was the first book I got, and it is good for lot of basic principles. After learning those principles, I find I seldom go to it any more. The title of the book, _Cabinetmaking and Millwork_, should tell you that it is not for everyone. I found it much too oriented to production work. Probably unbeatable (if a little dated) for an industrial arts curriculum, but books aimed at hobbyists and [would-be] artisans are of more relevance to the work I [want to] do.
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I don't know a _single_ book that does this. Frid is about the best, with some others on finihsing (Flexner) and on each of the big machines you might use. http://codesmiths.com/shed/books/woodworking.htm#begin_here
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I DO!!! This was my first woodworking book -- and I swear by it!!! =-)
Book Title: "The Complete Manual of Woodworking" Authors: Albert Jackson, David Day, Simon Jennings Press: Knopf ISBN: 0-679-76611-1 List Price: $25 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=3U6loAJBba&isbn 79766111&itm=1
Some of the book's contents are these: - Woods of the world - Designing and planning - Hand tools - Power tools - Machine tools - Woodturning - Workshops - Joints - Bending - Veneering - Marquetry - Carving - Finishing - Working in other materials - Supplies and fittings
This book is an EXCELLENT all-around woodworking book. True, it won't go into as much detail on any particular topic, but it's a great resource for beginner/intermediate woodworkers. Also, it is fully illustrated showing you step-by-step how to do most things. I bought it the first time I needed to make an edge-to-edge joint. The book fully explained how to do all sorts of joints using both hand tools or power tools.
This is by far the best all-around woodworking book on the shelf.
X_HOBBES
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How big is your budget???
My suggestion is to spend the money and get back issues of Woodsmith Magazine. Issues 20 thru about 60 or 70 have a lot to teach you about woodworking, jig and fixture making, finishing, and many other things. Don't get me wrong, all back issues of Woodsmith are great, but those first few years of issues were good teaching and training.
EBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 147&itemi58868722&rd=1 (watch for line wrap) http://tinyurl.com/8386f
Phil
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I like "Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship" by Peter Korn. However, I think after you read thos one, you'll go on with some more specialized books. Some of Jeff Jewitt's finishing books, maybe "The Table Saw Book" ot the "Bandsaw Book" or the Router Book".
Tauton Press has some grate offerings: http://www.taunton.com/store/index_fwbv.asp
If you are into hand tools, Lie-Nielsen has some good video, DVD, and books on their web site.
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/toolcat.html?cat 
Lee Valley has a large selection, too: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&cat=1&pF096
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Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking books 1&2 bound together.

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Try "Cabinetmaking and Millwork" by John L. Feirer, Chas A. Bennett Company. It was a textbook in a college cabinetmaking class I took during the late 1970's. I think you can still find it on Amazon and in some bookstores. I saw an updated version on Amazon a year or so ago with a teaching guide.
My version is obviously dated but a lot of the information will never change. In 900+ pages it covers everything from wood properties to machines and machine processes, cabinet assembly, drawers, finishes, etc. I dig it out for reference often.
I noticed an earlier poster mentioned Feirer in passing and suspect this is the book.
RonB
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Go to the public library! They probably have many books that will be interesting on woodworking. Browse the 684 (i think) section.
Peter
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Understanding Wood Finishing, How to Select and Apply the Right Finish, by Bob Flexner
Plus Woodsmith mags!!
Chuck

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WOW! Thanks to everyone for all the input. Due to all your helpful advice I have already gotten my hands on a couple of the mentioned texts and am already learning a lot. Judging from the rapid, considerate, and copious help I have so far received, I am led to believe that woodworkers must comprise a fabulous community. I am looking forward to learning more and becoming a part of it all.
Again, thanks for all the advice.
James

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Enjoy it! It's a very rewarding activity. It's a very nice escape from everyday stresses.
X_HOBBES
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X_HOBBES wrote:

And fall into some Not Everyday Stress? I'm thinking of complicated glue up specifically. Here's an example of The Clock's Ticking, The Glue Is Setting and ..."
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MT/CBbench18.html
But back to the original poster's question - what kind of stuff do you want to do? If it's sheet goods and face frames with framed ply doors and drawer slides things are a bit simpler than doing solid wood furniture with traditional joinery. For whatever reason, are you limited to hand tools and hand power tools or is a joiner, planer and table saw in the plan, along with a plunge router and maybe a router table set up?
Either way, there are some basic fundamentals (don't you just love that redundancy) which seem to be assumed as "common knowledge" by most authors of woodworking books and therefore not even mentioned. Stock prep for example. Parts marking is another overlooked piece of critical info (anyone want to swear that they've never made two "lefts" or cut a dado/rabbet-rebate/ mortise on the wrong end or face of a part?). How about layout, tools and techniques? What about kickback? Or how about something that appears to need no explanation - how to use a handsaw or how to use a chisel for - chopping - paring - mortising ...
So here's some of the basic fundamentals for free
Stock prep http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/CabProcess3.html
Layout - in a mortise and tenon example, including layout tools - but applicable to a lot of other things http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MTprimer7.html
If you're going to use a table saw, be it a contractor's saw or a full sized, 3 or more horsepower cabinet saw and understanding of the factors that can lead to a piece of wood taking off - at high speed and in unpredictable directions - this might help http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/KickBack1.html
Want to try handcut dovetails? http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/DovetailDrawer0.html
AS for books,
Di Cristafora's book on joinery illustrates almost every type of joint you'll ever encounter let along even consider making. Falls a little short on when and how they're used and why but will provide good into to mentally file away for later.
Krenov's books will give you one man's "why" rather than "how". There's very little in print on the "why" part of woodworking.
The Encyclopedia of Furniture Making (I think that's the title) will show how most solid wood furniture is put together when done right.
I've got shelves of woodworking books and none cover everything well and the ones that try fail miserable when you go to apply what you think they've shown you.
Bottom line, it's like asking for a book that covers Engineering (hell, I've got an engineering books that's mainly just steam tables (did you know that there's such a thing as dry steam?)
The sunject of woodworking has several lifetimes of things to learn - which is the fun of it - the finished projects are merely sign posts and post cards from the journey.
Jump in - but be safe. When in doubt stop and think things through. If the little voice in your head's screaming DON'T DO IT! back off and find another way.
Welcome to the slippery slopes.
charlie b
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Thanks for the info (and particularly the free stuff). You hit the nail on the head (okay, that pun was not intended, but I will leave it in anyway) when you mention the fundamentals that are assumed to be known by so many authors. That was the impetus behind my original post. As just one little example, I just recently learned about having the good face of plywood up or down depending on the tool used to cut it. There are tons of those sort of little tid bits that I don't yet know. Your info has put me on the path of learning many of those things.
To answer your specific questions (which in retrospect I should have done in my original post), I am currently limited to power hand tools, and even then I don't have it all (currently no router, for example). But both budget and expertise level mandate a slow growth of this hobby for me. As to what I want to do, well for the moment my choice of projects are being determined by several criteria: cost of materials, available tools, and practical use. So some of my first projects have been/still are basic shelving units, simple work benches, etc. Basically, the first projects are making things that I can use in my little new workshop area.
Thanks again for your help and advice. Oh, BTW, as off topic as it is, what the hell is dry steam? :)
James

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Great way to start!
Don't go out one day and decide that you're going to buy ALL of the tools you'll ever need for your woodshop -- you'll probably regret most decisions. It is far wiser (in my opinion) to purchase one tool at a time and get familiar with it. As you purchase more tools and build skill with each, you will learn of new things to look for in future tools. Besides, it will give you something to put on your wish list for your next shopping experience. All of a sudden you've become easy to shop for -- HomeDepot gift cards!!! =-)
As for starter projects, I really do recommend a few woodshop basics (carts for power tools, assembly table, cabinets and shelves for your tools, etc.). Also, as you've probably noticed, wood is VERY expensive! Learning can be costly due to frequent mistakes. I suggest for some of your woodshop projects -- especially if you're building something that needs to be free of knots and warps, use MDF -- you can buy a full 4x8 sheet at HomeDepot for around $20. It's very easy to work with, but you won't learn the characteristics of wood (expansion, warping, cupping, blade drifts, etc.). For your real wood projects, if you're trying to get familiar with wood characteristics without spending a lot of $$$, use pine -- not the prettiest, but you'll definitely learn how to deal with some characteristics! Something a bit nicer -- poplar. These materials are probably cheapest at HomeDepot and Lowes than most other places since they sell so much of them. A real pleasure to work with -- oak. =-)
I still highly recommend "The Complete Manual of Woodworking" by Albert Jackson, David Day, and Simon Jennings.
You're off to a great start by querying the great minds on this newsgroup -- most of these folks really know what they're talking about! I learn something new every day!
Good luck! X_HOBBES
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Get "WOODWORKING BASICS: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship" by Peter Korn.
My best friend Ernie recently bought this book for his 17 year old son. The book is a nice survey of woodworking, covering the fundamental basics of the craft. It includes two useful projects, a bench and a table. Plenty of illustrations are included.
VK
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