Woodworkers' Library

Books to help you build chairs and boxes and expand shop storage space.

Chairmaking & Design
Learn to build seven chairs with this revised edition of the how-to book that won the 1998 Stanley Golden Hammer Award. Miller comments in his introduction that building chairs is often seen as impossibly complex because of the angles, curves and joints to be dealt with. There’s also the fact that a chair is a larger project with a number of expectations: it must be comfortable, durable and good-looking. “Chair design at its most basic is an attempt to solve very practical problems: how to make a seat that is both comfortable and durable,” Miller writes. “An incredible variety of chair forms attempt to solve these problems. But chair design moves quickly beyond this into the very unusual territory of appearance. Here we find elements of power, philosophy, and history and also some whimsy and wonderful innovation, all mixed together in designing the way the chair looks. This challenge is what makes chair design such a special thing.” That said, Miller sets out to guide his woodworking reader in first learning the basics of chair design and chair making. Then he provides detailed instructions for making seven chairs of increasing complexity: dowel, right-angle, child’s ladderback, slat-back, neoclassical, café, captain’s and arm. Miller also includes a new gallery of chairs, instructions for applying an oil-and-wax finish and a discussion of the value of the design process. The softcover book comes from Linden Publishing and sells for $22.95. (800) 345-4447 lindenpub.com A companion video, Chairmaking Techniques, is available for $19.95 from Taunton Press, the original publisher of Chairmaking & Design. (800) 888-8286 taunton.com/store

Designing & Building Chairs
Techniques and projects from 17 top chair makers are presented in this 160-page book from The Taunton Press, part of The New Best of Fine Woodworking series. In the first section, chair makers address the basics: Sam Maloof (shaping the arm), Garrett Hack (simplified chair making), Will Neptune (compound-angle joinery), Harriet Hodges (working green wood and building a basic stool), Brian Boggs (jigs for joints and carving parts), Christian H. Becksvoort (comfort, a three-slat chair), and Rex Alexander (an Arts & Crafts style chair). Techniques for making chair seats come from: Dan Trimble (sculpting chair seats using a shopbuilt duplicator), Michael Fortune (making a slim, comfortable slip seat), Curtis Buchanan (carving a softwood seat), Judy Warner (weaving a cane seat), Charles Argo (coopering a chair seat), and Glenn A. Carlson (weaving Shaker tape seats). Projects include: Matthew Teague (light settee in cherry), Brian Boggs (post-and-rung stool), Ernie Conover (Shaker rocker), Randall O’Donnell (oval Chippendale stool), Harriet Hodges (bowback Windsor), and Mario Rodriguez (Shaker revolving stool). This softcover book sells for $17.95. (800) 888-8286 taunton.com/ store (800) 225-1153 woodcraft.com

The Ultimate Band Saw Box Book
Discover the secrets to building beautiful boxes in intriguing shapes using a only a band saw, sander and drill in this 224-page book. The author writes that a bandsaw is safer to use than a table saw, and its small, flexible blade can cut wood – a feature that removes straight and flat plane design restrictions. Menke devotes the first 68 pages to tools, design, construction and finishing, followed by 22 projects arranged in six box categories: basic, nesting, puzzle and sliding-lid, pivoting-top, hinged and drawered. She takes the shapes for several boxes from the environment: an apple, guppies, baby chick, butterfly, star, flower, man-in-the-moon, seashell and her home state –Texas. A set of bamboo boxes is built in vertical format, and a lovely, big leaf maple burl box is crafted in pleasing round lines with tiny legs. The Ultimate Box (on the cover) features hidden hinges, a drawer, a divided compartment and legs – a very challenging project not for beginners, Menke writes. The softcover book from Sterling Publishing Co. sells for $17.95. (212) 532-7160 sterling publishing. com; (800) 225-1153 woodcraft.com

Woodshop Storage Solutions
Laughton shares 16 projects that address storage problems he encountered in three woodshops of varying sizes that he has used. The finished projects are still in use. One of the more interesting projects is the downdraft table that Laughton explains is basically an empty box that has a lot of holes in the top and an extractor plugged into the bottom. “The idea,” he writes, “is to work on top of the table and let the airflow draw any extraneous dust down into the void below, through the hose and into the collection bin or bag of the extractor.” Other projects offered by the United Kingdom woodworker include a portable chisel rack, sandpaper press, small items chest, router-cutters storage cabinet, drill press cabinet, tool tote and stool, small offcuts storage trolley, wall-hung cabinet, downdraft table, clamp stand, table saw stand, outfeed table, freestanding cabinet, router trolley, router table, and computer stand. Lots of color photos and illustrations accompany the stepby-step project instructions in this 128-page, softcover Popular Woodworking Books selection that sells for $24.99. The book is available through F+W Publications at (877) 889-6290 and through commercial booksellers.

Back to blog