Check out the book trailer for the latest edition of Christopher Schwarz’s “Handplane Essentials.” Chris was kind enough to take some time to hang out with us and do a voiceover. The video turned out great (shout out to PW video editors David Thiel & Jacob Motz) and the book itself is a fantastic reference for anyone who works with handplanes, whether you prefer a hand tool only approach to woodworking or you incorporate them into a combined approach with power tools.
Several books that I had the recent pleasure of editing are now available – if you’re getting the itch to build something here are a few titles that might just be the instruction or inspiration you’ve been looking for to start your summer project.
“The Practical Workshop” by Christopher Schwarz and the editors of Popular Woodworking is a great book for anyone who is looking to set up a shop, no matter the size of your space. Whether you’re a beginner or a woodworker who is simply relocating your woodworking shop, the book is a great tool that can help you think through workshop setup and build some shop furniture and fixtures that can help you streamline your workflow. From building a workbench to thinking through your floor layout for efficiency, this book covers everything you need.
The tiny house movement continues to be a popular trend driven by an increasing need for environmental responsibility and sustainable lifestyles – not to mention a need for a simpler life. “Building Small” by David & Jeanie Stiles is a fun book for anyone interested in building a small structure. The book has plenty of advice and building techniques for taking your project from start to finish, as well as several plans for tiny homes and backyard buildings and a inspirational gallery of completed tiny house builds.
“Simple & Stylish Woodworking” offers 20 smaller scale projects that make great home accents or to give as gifts. From clocks and lamps to mirrors and picture frames, this book offers great ideas for practicing your woodworking skills while building something that will make a lovely addition to any home.
Within a week or so the new edition of “Handplane Essentials” by Christopher Schwarz should be available. This book was such a pleasure to edit and I’m excited to see how it is received. Chris added a ton of new material to the book (just check out his list of updates here). It was a great book to begin with, but now has been brought up to date since its last printing with new tool reviews and revisions throughout. Woodworkers looking to demystify handplanes and find out just how efficient and precise these tools can be need look no further.
This modular “Sugar Cube” house is one of the tiny house designs included in “Building Small” by David & Jeanie Stiles (pub date: 7/24/17).
In addition to the woodworking books I edit, I occasionally get to work on something a little bit different. Last year I edited a book on building treehouses – and now I’m delving into the world of tiny houses. “Building Small” by David & Jeanie Stiles offers construction methods and best practices for building small structures. While many tiny house books on the market explore the dream of downsizing and living small, this book digs into actually building a tiny house. Coming July 2017, “Building Small” will offer plenty of general building practices, plans for seven small structure designs, as well as success stories from tiny home builders and advocates of the tiny house lifestyle.
The latest book I had the pleasure of editing is a new edition of “The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home” by Kent Lester & Dave McGuerty. This book has been around for a while but we had the opportunity to do a relevant update by adding a whole new section on green and sustainable building practices. There’s a ton of new information about how to not only build in environmentally friendly ways, but also to reap the benefits of energy savings. Great stuff for anyone building a new home (or even if you’re doing some rennovating or just to be an informed home buyer).
“With Saw, Plane & Chisel” is a great book for anyone interested in creating furniture by hand. Period furniture expert Zachary Dillinger walks you through six classic American furniture projects using hand-tool construction and period-accurate joinery methods.
I learned a lot about old school methods editing this book and recommend it for woodworkers who are interested in hand-tool methods or recreating period details in their furniture.
The newest book I had the privilege of editing is A.J. Hamler’s “The Woodworker’s Kitchen.” It’s a fun book of woodworking projects for decking out your kitchen with handmade items—from small accents like vintage-looking recipe boxes and wooden utensils to larger pieces including a grill cart and a kitchen island. Check it out if you’d like to build something for your kitchen or dining room—or if you’re looking for a handmade gift idea for foodie friends (just in time for the holidays).