Woodshop Library

THE HOMEOWNER'S ULTIMATE TOOL GUIDE, by Sandor Nagyszalanczy, signifies the coronation of the ultimate "Tool Guy." Nagyszalanczy deserves some kind of distinction for this effort, which follows similarly thorough books on power tools and dust collection equipment. Hundreds of tools are presented in the categories of carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, painting, demolition, drywall, roofing and woodworking, along with professional tips regarding their use and making informed buying decisions. Nagyszalanczy has suggestions for stocking 14 tool kits, suitable for specific home improvement tasks. While hand tools dominate the book, there's also extensive information on routers, saws, drills, planers and lathes. Tools that snip, shape, pound, pry, measure and mark are also included, plus much more. The 282-page softcover sells for $19.95. Contact: Taunton Direct, 63 S. Main St., P.O. Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507. Tel: 800-888-8286. www.taunton.com

DECORATIVE WOODCARVING, by Jeremy Williams, is an instructional guide on the subject of decorative relief carving. This revised edition has color photographs, new products and changes in technique that have become popular since the book was first published in 1994. A second project has been added to the chapter on low-relief carving, and there's more information on carving flat surfaces. Aimed at the beginning or inexperienced carver, there are more than 200 illustrations and detailed explanations of basic cuts; design; low relief, high relief and pierced carving; finishing; polishing; and coloring wood techniques. There's also information on safety, selecting tools and materials, and sharpening. The carving lessons are accompanied by projects, which include patterns, step-by-step instructions and tips for success. The 152-page softcover sells for $19.95. Contact: Sterling Publishing Co., 387 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016-8810. Tel: 212-532-7160. www.sterlingpub.com

SMALL WOODWORKING SHOPS, from the editors of Fine Woodworking magazine, offers previously published articles on design, workflow considerations, tools and equipment. Authors include Michael Dunbar, Sandor Nagyszalanczy, Hank Gilpin and the magazine's editor, Anatole Burkin. Two articles focus on turning a garage into a workshop, while basement, stand-alone and pro-duction oriented shops are also covered. Heating and lighting solutions are explor-ed, and dust collection rates five articles. Nagyszalanczy's overview of small-shop dust collectors is particularly enlightening, while Burkin describes the necessary steps for creating an efficient and versatile homemade system. Shop safety is discussed with articles on first aid, hearing protection and proper work positions. Finally, the value of a sturdy workbench, bench vises and shop aprons round out this comprehensive effort. The 154-page softcover sells for $17.95. Contact: Taunton Direct, 63 S. Main St., P.O. Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507. Tel: 800-888-8286. www.taunton.com

TOLPIN'S TABLE SAW MAGIC, by Jim Tolpin, is now available as a second edition with new information about the latest saws, features and accessories. Tolpin is one of the best woodworking writers, and with a background of nearly 25 years as a custom cabinetmaker, ably conveys techniques suitable for novices and professionals. Set-up and maintenance is covered in great detail, while the importance and value of proper blade selection is stressed. The book promotes the versatility of the table saw, from ripping to crosscutting, but also for cutting grooves, dadoes, rabbets, curves and molding. There are lessons in joinery and safety, and the "magic" is revealed with instructions for building jigs and fixtures for cutting circles, tapers and raised panels, for example. It includes more than 150 detailed illustrations and photos, along with clear instructions for building over 40 jigs and fixtures. The 192-page softcover sells for $24.99. Contact: Popular Woodworking Books, F&W Publications Inc., 4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236. Tel: 800-448-0915. www.popularwoodworking.com

THE LOG HOME MAINTENANCE GUIDE, by Gary Schroeder, is a field guide for identifying, preventing and solving problems unique to a log homeowner. It provides step-by-step instructions, accompanied by illustrations and color photographs, on how to identify the damage done by bugs and other pests, and take corrective measures; strip an old finish from a log home by using sand or cob blasting, chemical strippers or sanders; choose and apply a finish to a log home; replace partial or whole logs; install and maintain caulking and chinking; and estimate the amount of materials that will be needed for various maintenance jobs. For those in the planning stages of constructing a log home, Schroeder also offers design ideas that can eliminate or reduce various maintenance problems before construction begins. The 176-page softcover sells for $24.95. Contact: The Countryman Press, P.O. Box 748, Woodstock, VT 05091. Tel: 800-245-4151. www.countrymanpress.com

DESIGNING FURNITURE, from the editors of Fine Woodworking magazine, covers the basics for designing for both form and function, and the correct approaches to successful construction design. Authors include Graham Blackburn, Christian Becksvoort, Garrett Hack, Philip Lowe, Jim Tolpin, Will Neptune and Mario Rodriguez. Blackburn leads off with an overview of furniture styles, then focuses on the Arts & Crafts movement. Design concepts, working with and without drawings, and model building are covered in the next section. Specific furniture design considerations are provided for dining tables, large case pieces, chests of drawers, and sideboards. The fifth and final section concentrates on designing for style and function. For example, Rodriguez shows how a basic chest can be dramatically changed when fitted with four different bases. Another highlight is Neptune's article on 18th-century top edge designs. The 154-page softcover sells for $17.95. Contact: Taunton Direct, 63 S. Main St., P.O. Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507. Tel: 800-888-8286. www.taunton.com