Written by one of the most respected authorities on Shaker design and construction methods, this book is a distillation of woodworking wisdom gained over Becksvoort's half-century career in the craft.
It begins by examining wood's structural properties and how to compensate for wood movement, followed by a chapter on the importance of developing skills through reading, training and regular workshop practice.
A section on furniture-making essentials discusses full-panel and frame-and-panel construction, doors, backs, moldings and other elements, and gives a range of practical tips on everything from making shop jigs to cutting dovetails.
Becksvoort also tackles the concept of craftsmanship, weighing the merits of power tools and hand tools, and explores the factors to consider when designing a piece of furniture, including function, scale and classical proportions. He even delves into the practicalities of the woodworking business, offering sound advice on workshop set-up, dealing with customers and suppliers, marketing and pricing your work, and more.
The final section presents several of Becksvoort's pieces, some inspired by Shaker style and some reproductions, including tables, counters, cabinets, clocks, stands, chests of drawers, a low-post bed, a bookcase, a shop stool, a ring lamp and a flight of shelves, each with a photo, dimensioned drawings and brief commentary. It also shows a gallery of various original Shaker pieces that typify the Shaker aesthetic.
Hardcover, 8 1/2" x 11", 166 pages, 2018.