Building & Living Small

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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.

 

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Contracting Your Home

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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).

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With Saw, Plane & Chisel

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“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.

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Woodworker’s Kitchen

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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).

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2 New Books for Building Woodworking Skills

I’ve had my head down working on getting a couple of books off to the printer and haven’t had chance to post. I’ve finally come up for air and wanted to mention the two latest books I worked on that are now (or soon) available.

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Furniture Fundamentals: Casework is a new book in a series of 3 books that cover the most commonly made furniture forms. The first two books tackle Chairs & Benches and Tables. This new book rounds out the series by focusing on casework—essentially box-based furniture (dressers, chests, cabinets, bookcases, and so on). It’s a great addition to the series and covers an essential topic for building the core skills needed for making a wide range of furniture.

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Next up is I Can Do That! Woodworking Projects, 3rd Edition. This is a great book for beginners or for DIY enthusiasts who want to build a quick weekend project. The techniques aren’t overly complicated and the tools and materials can be easily acquired at your local home goods store. This edition has 10 new projects.

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Building Bookcases

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I love books (I guess that’s kind of obvious, given my chosen profession). But beyond just loving books, I love the lifestyle that goes hand in hand with being a bibliophile: books in every room; books doubling as home decor; books stacked up the stairs; books propping up antique furniture that you’ve been meaning to fix… (Well maybe those last two are more an indication of a problem—one that any self-respecting bibliophile would seek to solve with an exploratory trip to the bookstore).

The latest book I edited is for bibliophiles in need of help (and who are also a bit handy). You know who you are. “How to Build Bookcases & Bookshelves” compiles 15 book storage and display projects from the pages of Popular Woodworking Magazine and American Woodworker. From a few simple but sturdy bookcases to more elaborate bookcases based on popular furniture styles to built-in shelves, you’ll find a wide array of ideas for adding bookshelving to your personal library.

It’s a great book to add to your bookshelf—after you use it to build one, of course.

 

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Go build a treehouse…

One of most fun books I’ve edited lately is Django Kroner’s The Perfect Treehouse: From Site Selection to Design & Construction. Django knows his stuff—he runs the Canopy Crew, a Cincinnati-based treehouse and tree care company. He builds rental treehouses in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and his designs are simply amazing.

And now for those looking to build their own treehouses, he has a guide. So many books on treehouses are inspiration books and offer little practical guidance—which is admittedly tough to do as every treehouse is different and your build is based on working around the organic shape of your host tree (or trees). So a book on building is a pretty tall order.

What Django offers is a book that leads you in the right direction and gives you the foundation you need to explore the world of treehouse building for yourself (which is basically what you have to do if you’re serious about your build). He covers tree selection, location, materials, common mistakes and design considerations that you need to keep in mind. The Perfect Treehouse isn’t a project book or a book of plans, but instead a helpful guide to dreaming big, carefully thinking through your design and build, and ultimately making your dream treehouse a reality.

Here’s a sneak peak:

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