Through 12 unique projects that depart from those typically presented in how-to guides, Fidgen outlines his approach to woodworking using only hand tools, sharing his know-how as well as his passion for creating beautiful, useful objects by hand.
As a basis for the projects, he begins with the fundamentals, detailing the steps he takes to dimension rough lumber so it is square and smooth on all six sides, followed by a section on preparing and applying hide glue and finishes.
The balance of the book offers detailed instructions on building unusual yet practical pieces for the home and workshop. They include a sawing bench, an architect's table, an artist's pochade box (a portable sketching case), several wooden planes, a medicine chest and a card catalog, through which Fidgen demonstrates a wide range of techniques, from sawing and planing to joinery, banding and veneering. All include dimensioned drawings and cutting lists, with clear color photographs showing every step.
As inspiring as it is instructional, this is an exceptional book.
Hardcover, 8 1/2" × 11", 233 pages, 2013.