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Exploring Woodworking

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Exploring Woodworking
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Woodworking Books
Book Name: Exploring Woodworking

Author:Fred W. Zimmerman, Larry J. McWard

Publisher:Goodheart- Willcox Company, Inc.



# of Pages:235

Illustrations: Color photos and drawings

Experience Required: Beginner

Book Review

Exploring Woodworking is an all-encompassing book on woodworking that will benefit the beginner woodworker because it covers everything you need to know about woods, tools and other products you will be using. Also covered extensively are the techniques necessary to complete future woodworking projects you may choose to do. The authors take you through the woodworking process from beginning to end including the selection of woods for their specific properties (including color photos to assist you in the identification of wood types) to finishing your project with sanding, staining and sealing the wood to protect it for long use. Safety is paramount to the authors and this is especially evident because one whole chapter is dedicated to this issue. It covers everything from general safety practices such as wearing safety goggles when working on a woodworking project to working safely with tools and equipment, working with and around machines and fire protection.

The layout of this book is like that of a textbook because at the end of each chapter there is a section called Test Your Knowledge and an Activities section but this doesn't take away from the vast amount of valuable information provided for aspiring woodworkers. The release of information is gradual so you can absorb what you need to know and as much is necessary for the depth of woodworking you are looking to get involved in. After learning about wood you learn about the steps involved in the planning stage of your woodworking project. The next step, before you cut any wood, you need to learn about the layout of a woodworking project including the tools required to measure and mark the wood for the next steps of the project.

I like that the chapters on tools give you options. You are provided with extensive information on hand sawing, power sawing, boring and drilling, filing and chiseling, hand planing, power planing (including how it feels when shaping wood with these tools), wood joints, routing and shaping, wood turning, fasteners, adhesives and clamping, sanding, wood finishing, hardware and carving. Not only is this great amount of educational information provided on the above important parts of woodworking but for those who are interested there is information about automated manufacturing, entrepreneurship and manufacturing enterprise, and careers in woodworking industries.

The final chapter on woodworking products is where all your knowledge and learning comes together. There are references back to the steps of planning and design to refresh your memory and keep you on track to make your project a success. The complete directions are provided for two projects for you to try but the rest of the projects consist of only the drawings with the dimensions printed on them. This requires you to use the knowledge gained from Exploring Woodworking to complete the rest of the projects if you so desire. To some this may be a challenge and to others an inconvenience. Personally I would have preferred to have all the directions included for all of the project ideas because this would save time and energy so you can get right to working on your project. It all depends on how interested you are in the entire process of woodworking and how much time you have to invest in learning and completing the project that will determine how much you benefit from this book.


  • Letter or Napkin Holder
  • Jigsaw Cut-Outs
  • Salad Cutting Board
  • Bird Feeder
  • Children's Picnic Table

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