WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Specialized Joinery

Specialized Joinery
by Corkhill and Duckworth

Algrove Publishing (Lee Valley Reprint Series): 2002
Paperback, 310 pp., $6.95
ISBN 1-894572-55-6

     In the Publisher's Note, Leonard Lee states, "The six-volume set from which we extracted the enclosed six sections, had much material that was out of date…but in the very best sense. We now do things quite differently, but not always better. The writers of these sections were top authors of their day and much of the material covered can no longer be found in print anywhere else." The six sections Lee is referring to are from a carpenter's set of volumes originally published by Pitman & Sons, London, between 1929 and 1935.
     In Joints, Fastenings and Fixings, the authors show joints for increasing widths, counter battens, angle joints, scribed joints, keyed joints, dovetail applications and how to attach wood to concrete and masonry. Doors, Frames and Paneling covers types, alternatives and interior constructions of all three. Framed moldings, beaded panels, raised panels, gothic doors, sliding doors, porches and hoods, gates, gateposts and hinge hardware are all presented with explanatory drawings.
     House Fitments reflect "the tendency to prefer permanent built-in fitments as against the massive movable furniture of a few years ago," showing cupboards and wardrobe fittings and built-ins. A section on ornamentation shows how to structure a coved ceiling, how to put up 'sham' beams, or attach decorative brackets beneath display shelves.
     Church Fittings is fascinating, with black and white photographs and line drawings of classic English church pews, bench ends with linenfold carvings, chancel screens, ornate cornices and tracery moldings. Section V is devoted to Design and Ornament, with geometric drawings of moldings labled Cyma Recta, Cyma Reversa, Ovolo, Cavetto, Scotia, Fillet, Torus, and Bird's Beak. Moldings used in period woodwork are explained, and staircase balusters and newel posts discussed.
     The last section is on Ship Joinery, with explanations of deck houses and fittings constructed to allow for deck curvature. Sliding doors, bucket racks, guard rails with half-lapped and mitered corner joints, skylights, deck ladders and bulkhead framing, all make interesting reading. Plans for stateroom doors, a folding lavatory and pullman berths are included.
     Each section is individually indexed at the back of the book. For the price, many selections in Lee Valley's Reprint Series are worth owning. This one on Speicalized Joinery is a true education on how things are done well, not how they are done in a hurry.

. . . Barb Siddiqui
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This book is only available from Lee Valley.]