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very craft has at its heart a collection of essential information about design, tools, techniques, and materials. This is the core knowledge for that craft, that fundamental know-how you need to be a competent and successful craftsman.

This web site provides the core knowledge for the woodworking craft. During the thirty years I have spent writing about and teaching woodworking, I found myself explaining certain key concepts over and over again. These, I came to realize, were the foundation of woodworking. No matter what you set out to build from wood, you need to understand this essential information to make intelligent decisions and anticipate problems as your project progresses. Without it your craftsmanship diminishes, and with it your hope of building something of lasting beauty and utility.

This indispensable woodworking wisdom falls into four categories. And for those who want to go beyond the core, there is a fifth:

Before you cut your first board, you must have a design to achieve the results you're after. To create a workable design, you must understand important properties of the wood you will be using, methods for joining that wood, typical construction techniques that are appropriate for the type of project you are building, styles of craftsmanship that will enhance and compliment the environment where this project will be used, and finally how to think through and plan a project.
bullet The Nature of Wood
bullet Joining Wood
bullet Furniture Construction
bullet Built-In Construction
bullet Architectural Trim & Finish Work
bullet Special Constructions
bullet Styles of Craftsmanship
bullet Planning a Project
More so than many other crafts, woodworking gives you an amazing variety of tools you can use to build a project -- hand tools, portable power tools, and stationary power tools. Oftentimes, there are a dozen or more different tools that will accomplish the same task. To achieve the best results, you must understand the available choices, organize them in an environment where you can use them safely and effectively, and maintain them so they will produce satisfactory results.
bullet The Workshop Environment
bullet Workbenches & Shop Furniture
bullet Hand Tools
bullet Stationary Power Tools
bullet Portable Power Tools
bullet Jigs and Fixtures
bullet Tool Maintenance
bullet Sharpening
Almost every woodworking project evolves though the same steps -- cutting lumber to size, creating the joinery and decor, assembly, surface preparation, and finishing. Within these steps, there are hundreds of different ways to use a tool or combination of tools to help accomplish each step. These woodworking techniques fall into two categories -- methods that produce decorative results and those in which the results are more utilitarian and general.

General Methods:

bullet Jointing & Planing
bullet Sawing
bullet Drilling & Boring
bullet Routing
bullet Making Wood Joints
bullet Gluing and Clamping
bullet Sanding, Scraping, and Filing
bullet Finishing

Decorative Methods:

bullet Shaping & Molding
bullet Scrollwork
bullet Lathe Turning
bullet Bending Wood
bullet Veneering & Laminating
There are thousands of wood species in the world, and hundreds of them are commonly used for woodworking. Additionally, there are dozens of "wood products" that are made from wood for construction and metal hardware designed specifically for woodworking projects. To make the wisest possible choices, you should know not only what is available to you, but how it is prepared.
bullet Sawing & Preparing Lumber
bullet Hardwoods & Softwoods
bullet Plywood & Sheet Materials
bullet Veneers & Laminates
bullet Woodworking Hardware
bullet The Wood Handbook
Woodworking Resources
When the core knowledge isn't enough -- and it soon won't be if your craftsmanship grows -- there are many places where you can find additional information. At the ends of each section, we've included books, web sites, and other sources for more information on the topic of that specific section. We've also put together a list of more general resources.
bullet Woodworking Online
bullet Woodworking Publications
bullet Woodworking Schools
bullet Woodworking Institutions and Organizations
bullet Woodworking Tool Manufacturers
bullet General Woodworking Supplies
bullet Specialty Woodworking Supplies

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 "Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be without wood."
Eric Sloane in Reverence for Wood


Woodworking Know-How/Design/Tools/Techniques/Materials/Resources
 for the Workshop Companion,
essential information about wood, woodwork, and woodworking.
By Nick Engler.

Copyright © 2009 Bookworks, Inc.