The Woodworkers Visual Handbook
A vast number of clear illustrations is the strong point of Jon Arno's wide ranging treatise on
woodworking. Black and white drawings on every page help clarify a well-written text to guide the reader through use of
individual tools, joinery techniques, finish characteristics, and jig building.
|by Jon Arno
Reader's Digest Books, 1999
Hardcover, 435 pp., $29.95
This book includes useful tables on things such as maximum deflection in a single shelf span of
hardwood compared to softwood, plywood, or laminate particleboard in several thicknesses. Arno discusses standard design
dimensions for dining tables and chairs, coffee tables, office furniture and chests of drawers. He has a short section on
furniture styles, and describes characteristics of each style with illustrations.
Hand tools and power tools are covered individually, and the book is useful in its 'Quick Tips'
sidebars, describing how to accurately line up a handsaw blade or prevent tear-out when planing end grain. Lumber grading is
explained, with a list of common wood defects, their causes, and solutions. There is even a list of warping tendencies in common
domestic woods. Over thirty pages are devoted to a full color gallery of wood types, with origins, weight and common uses of the
Throughout the text, Arno offers hints and tips to assist in projects: a drawer-slide positioning
jig, ways to extend the reach of clamps at glue-up time, how to trouble-shoot problems with a sprayed finish or how to build a
This is an ideal 'starter book' for the beginning or intermediate woodworker. The illustrated
introduction to setting up a shop, tools and hardware, milling and seasoning wood, joinery, veneering and finishing, is enough
to guide anyone into safely experimenting on their own, which is the best way to learn any skill. It is well indexed and contains
an illustrated glossary.
Originally published by Rodale Press in 1995, the reprinted version by Reader's Digest Books is said
to be a direct re-issue of the original, and is currently available on amazon.com. One could also do a used book search for it