Read your book, Paul, what now?


 Really enjoyed your Foundational Course book. Kind of deflated now that I have read through it twice and it sounds like it is not going to be until 2013 when you release the next book. So, just wondering if you could recommend some other books to those looking to increase their skills with hand tools as well as getting a better understanding of furniture design and proportion.



Interesting reads are hard to come by in woodworking without tripping over a shop full of dull machine work. I have read the following books in my earlier days and though they are well known, I think not as well read as they could be. The first one I like is by an old friend Aldren Watson. He and I have had many conversations about his work as an illustrator. I would never be without his book on my bookshelf and close to hand. I never tire of reading it:

Aldren Watson’s Hand Tools Their Ways and their Workings. This is a most excellent, simple and informative book.

On more philosophical levels:

The Nature and Art of Workmanship by David Pye (ISBN 1-871569-76-1) and

The Nature & Aesthetics of Design by David Pye(ISBN 0-906969-27-1) Also I enjoy Jim Krenov’s books:

A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook. Studio Vista. ISBN 0-289-70754-4.

The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking. Studio Vista. ISBN 0-289-70797-8.

The Impractical Cabinetmaker. Van Norstrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-24558-0.

James Krenov: Worker in Wood. Van Norstrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-26336-8.

Krenov; Janofsky (2000). With Wakened Hands. ISBN 1-892836-06-8.


I think that will keep you going for a while. I have some other thoughts too, but for now, we should look at these men’s work and ethic and see what we can glean from them.

2 comments on “Read your book, Paul, what now?

  1. Paul,

    Are you familiar with Graham Blackburn’s woodworking books?  I’ve heard good things about them from other sources, and they look interesting to me, but they’re a bit pricey.  Just wondering how you would compare them to some of the books you’ve listed above.

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