All posts filed under: Product Review

Book Review: Mark Edmundson, Pocket Hole Joinery

I use pocket screws and pocket hole joinery from time to time. For me, this joinery method is so dang simple and fast, it is hard not to use pocket screws. If there is such a thing as seductive joinery, pocket screws would be it. When I heard that Taunton Press, parent of Fine Woodworking magazine, was going to launch a book about pocket hole joinery, I felt the need to buy it. I wanted to see how a book from a company which writes about fine woodworking would approach this joinery method. The book by Mark Edmundson is simply titled, Pocket Hole Joinery. Some fine woodworkers have a hard time calling a piece made with pocket screws “fine” – I have heard at least three of the staff writers at Fine Woodworking talk with concern about this joinery method. But the back cover of Taunton’s new book says this about pocket hole joinery: its “strong, quick to learn, and easy to master.” So what’s up with that? How can it be strong and yet a joinery …

I Like ‘The Naked Woodworker’

New Lost Art Press video provides hope for the cash strapped newbie. Lost Art Press videos often feature lively bluegrass music. The other day I beat my wife home from work; I had the TV going and as she stepped into our family room, bluegrass is what she heard. She asks, “What are you watching?” I reply: “The Naked Woodworker.” She says, “That sounds kind of dangerous.” The visual which then popped into my mind is not one I will share here. The title of the latest video from Lost Art Press is The Naked Woodworker with Mike Siemsen. This is not a video filmed at the wood shop of a nudist camp. The idea is the beginning woodworker enters this craft naked: no tools; no workbench. The goal of this video is to show how a new woodworker can 1), acquire a basic set of woodworking tools; 2), use these tools to build a respectable workbench. And 3), accomplish both in a way which excludes having to borrow money from family and friends. As …

Tom Fidgen’s Made by Hand

This post is for anyone who wants to jump into the world of hand tools. A key book in my journey as a hand tool woodworker. I placed the glass of wine in the photo above for a reason. If you look closely at the cover of Tom Fidgen’s Made by Hand, Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Workshop, you’ll see an artistically designed table executed by hand tools. I tend to look at furniture in several ways these days, but mainly pieces fall into two categories: those that could easily be found in an art gallery and those that could be found in a furniture store. The piece on the cover of Fidgen’s book is of the art gallery type which the glass of wine signifies, but after reading the book, a bottle of beer could have been used as a prop due to Fidgen’s background as a power tool woodworker. I first ran across Fidgen when he was mid-way through the construction of a sharpening station featured at Fine Woodworking.com (see the multi-part series …