Written by Roy Underhill, host of the long-running PBS show The Woodwright’s Shop, this novel tells the story of Calvin Cobb, a 1930s agricultural researcher whose day job is studying what happens when soil amendments hit the broadcast fan. Through a misunderstanding, he gets involved in a different kind of broadcasting: presenting a radio woodworking show. But that’s where the trouble starts – to keep the show on the air he has to contend with Nazi sympathizers, government cutbacks, FBI investigations and a quartet of female WWI veterans intent on building a supercomputer.
Not only is the book packed with action and laughs, it includes measured drawings and instructions for four of the interesting and useful projects presented on Cobb’s radio show – a triangular dovetailed box, a folding ladder, a uniquely constructed mallet and an easy-to-make sawhorse. It also includes a contemporary map and photos of Washington DC and other locations visited in the book to help bring the setting to life. A quick, lighthearted read.
Hardcover, Smyth sewn, 6" × 9", 365 pages, 2014. This may be the world's first woodworking novel!