I recently ordered the title "Fine Woodworking on proven shop tips".
It appears this book is a catalogued collection of user submitted ideas in
their "methods of work" or other similar columns. I enjoy reading books
like this when flying in my job as a traveling consultant. Well, I've spent
a couple of hours reading the book. Its composed completely of hand drawn
sketches and verbal descriptions. I picked up a decent idea for a cabinet
cart that I decided to build. However, the book is heavy with novel and
even quirky ideas that I don't think are all that great. It seems that the
editors were charged to produce a book of a certain size and they randomly
grabbed articles just to create the volume.
Examples of what caused me to question the value of this publication:
- wax your stationary tool cast iron surfaces with automotive polish such
- a shop made eccentric router base to allow cutting different width slots
with the same bit - you must maintain the router in a fixed orientation
against the fence by hand to set the width. One slip or sneeze and your slot
just got wider or narrower.
- five different jigs for routing dados
- a complicated rig for making dowels that requires a router and electric
- a slow speed sharpening tool made by gluing abrasive to a 26" bicycle
wheel and driving it with an electric motor.
I guess I'd expected a book full of really high quality shop tips carefully
screened to the 'best of the best' - something a little higher quality than
doing a google search and sifting through mounds of variable quality ideas.
Not so here. Save your money.
Oh come on! There are 1.000 books of shop tips, and only so many useful
tips. They have to fill it up with quirky stuff that is not terribly
practical, or they couldn't put a book out. You have to read it for fun, and
hope that there are a few tips that give you other ideas.
That said, yes, it is much better to borrow the book from a library than to
I've heard you recommend the library many times. I tried it. Even though I
live in a very large city, I found the selection of books on woodworking to
be extrememly poor. I was surprised. I must live in a desert. That's why I
end up buying books.
Sorry to hear that. I live within 10 miles of 3 libraries with pretty good
woodworking selections. And any of them will bring in books from any of the
libraries in the area for $0.50; so there is almost no book I can't have in
about 2 weeks. Maybe that explains my tax bill.
Well, here's another, certainly not original to me thought. And it even
seems to work better if you have to travel a lot: Used bookstores.
Walked into one yesterday, near closing time. Asked the owner if he had
any books on furniture building or design. He said, maybe one or two. We
found, together, a dozen in less than 5 minutes. None more than $5. None
currently in print.
I feel a lot better about a $4 book than a $25 book, since I get most of
what I'm going to get out of it in the first reading. $4 books go to the
club library when I'm done with them, unless they are a real find. But $4
books are almost always a better deal than a magazine.
Sorry about the weird woodworking tips.
currently not on the road so much, thank God.
I've used them, but you pretty much have to know what you're searching for,
and wait for the item to come in the mail/UPS/whatever.
The beauty of the used bookstore is finding something that you didn't know
The beauty of doing it when you have to be traveling anyway is that you
discover a bunch of neat people and places, rather than hang out at the
hotel, between meetings, airplanes, etc. Traveling on business generally
sucks, and not in a good way. Something to read while on the road makes it
slightly more bearable.
And now I read the next part - shopping while traveling. yes, a great
idea. Right now I'm working Minneapolis and have no car. Maybe I can
find something downtown connected to one of the gerbil trails (overhead
enclosed walkway throughout downtown).
Mon, Jan 31, 2005, 2:13am (EST-1) email@example.com
<snip> The beauty of the used bookstore is finding something that you
didn't know about, cheaply. <snip>
Or, even that you did know about. I've often suggested used
bookstores. Can often find as-new books there, for a fraction of what
the new stores charge. Downside, not all of them have a good selection.
The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at
the men he has around him.
- Niccolo Machiavelli
And don't forget Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. Our local
Goodwill's price hardbacks at $.99 and paperbacks at $.59, at the
ones I frequent regularly. Some have gone up to the outrageous
price of $.99 for paperbacke and $1.39 for hardbacks. Even though
the 22nd Edition of Machinery's Handbook has a thin cover it
counted as a hardback. But the pile of near new programming books
were all paperback at $.59.
Here's my "secret weapon" for locating for cheap books and local bookstores.
I spend some time browsing Ebay's offerings, find what i like, and order
from here for way less.
I am in no way affiliated, just a happy customer! --dave
i really enjoy reading these handy shop hints and proven shop tips
books ...i admire peoples creativity in invention on a limited budget
and have had my inventiveness sparked by others ideas
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