WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Complete Guide To Furniture & Cabinet Construction

The Complete Guide To Furniture & Cabinet Construction
by Andy Rae

Taunton Press: 2001
Hardback, 308 pp., $39.95
ISBN 1-56158-402-9

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     One in a series of three, this is part of Taunton Press' revamping of the Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking series. The difference is that each of these full-color, hardback volumes is written from the perspective of a modern woodworking master, with his own hints, tips and jigs included.
     Furniture & Cabinet Construction is set up in twenty-three sections, covering fundamental tools, workshop necessities, design of projects, and individual construction procedures. If you need guidance on drawers, trays, or interior dividers, on hardware, pulls, catches or bumpers, the information is easy to find. Separate sections illustrate doors, bases, feet, moldings, chairs and stools, face frames, legs, aprons and more.
     Each procedure is illustrated in color, and though the photos are sometimes small, they are clear and a good highlight to the text. The procedures are more machine-oriented here, featuring for example, raised panel doors done on a shaper or router table rather than with hand planes. The book covers more modern concerns, such as computer hardware, building TV swivels, and installing various types of drawer slides.
     Andy Rae shares his woodworking knowledge in all facets of furniture construction. He describes how to strengthen bed rail supports by adding curved beams between the rails and topping it with plywood to support a mattress. He illustrates a door-hanging jig to assist with door alignment in casework, and shows how to build a sacrificial plywood fence for box-style tablesaw rip fences.
     Covered subjects include leg tapers, quirk beading, angled mortises and tenons, extended face frames for built-ins, and even how to attach and tool leather on a desktop. Line drawings illustrate variations in rail accents, leg styles and possiblities for different molding attachments to solid wood. Hints for efficient assemblies, jigs for accurate use of tools, and standard orders of procedure in cabinet construction, are all features of Rae's coverage of the material.
    It was time to update Tage Frid's classic instructions to include more modern concerns. Furniture & Cabinet Construction does just that, without sacrificing age-old tradition.

. . . Barb Siddiqui