I have read a few books on woodworking but in no way do I consider myself “well read”. Books that I do not like are not kept. Those make good gifts or donations.
Of all my woodworking books, one stands far above the rest for a few reasons. “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker”. If you don’t know about it, check out the description at Lost Art Press. Why is it my favorite? Here’s my top 5
1. It literally changed the way I work wood. Somehow, reading it made me believe that I could go ahead and build projects that I thought I would have to wait and build later when I was “good enough”. I had never cut any joint by hand before reading this book and building the schoolbox.
2. I want to be friends with Mr Anon (anonymous) because I like his way of thinking. “All these (workmen) are useful, each in his way; and all that are useful to others, and beholden to none, have a very good right to hold up their heads as respectable and necessary members of society.” Nice.
3. The original text tells lots of great info and makes it more fun than typical by putting it in a story form. It is no cliffhanger, but there is a hero and a villain.
4. The new “how to” section is well done. There is enough info given for any brand new hobbiest to build the pieces. Seriously. And even if you don’t “need” a schoolbox, you need to let one build you.
5. The historical perspective from Joel is neat. It really can put a few things about former times in perspective better than a history book.
So, if you like woodworking, or think you may want to give it a try, get the book. No, you cannot borrow mine.