1001 Tips for Woodworkers - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Good, practical, and useful tips that are easy to understand.

1001 Tips for Woodworkers

1001 Tips for Woodworkers

Percy Blandford must have a few insights into woodworking, after all, this is his 112th book. Really. On just about every woodworking topic it seems - carving, turning, furniture, boatbuilding, carpentry, outdoor furniture, toys, crafts ... the books go on. And he's not just an 'armchair' woodworker either. Percy is a gentleman of a certain maturity, with over 70 years of sawdust under his belt. Over these years he estimates that he has contributed over 2000 tips to woodworking magazines.
In this, his latest tome, Percy shares 1001 woodworking tips. Just about every topic is covered. Most of these tips consist of a short description (around 50 to 150 words), accompanied by an illustration - not much more than a simple line drawing. You won't find any dimensions specified. These are left up to the reader. What these tips do provide are insights into quick ways of solving a lot of basic issues that crop up in the workshop. Though some readers might find the text sparse, I find them concise. They are all clearly written and give you the information you need to apply the tip effectively. None of the tips in this book are difficult to understand or implement.
For example, Tip 365 shows how to make a Dovetail Trimming Jig. Percy begins by telling us that "...dovetails can have their appearance spoiled if they are trimmed unevenly." Which is of course, an important aspect of a well executed hand cut dovetail. He then goes on to tell us that the jig will keep the "...inner parts of a joint in line when being trimmed with a chisel." A lot of us learn to scribe a line to delineate the end of the tail sockets, and then use the line to align the chisel. The tendency for the chisel is to push back against the scribed line, invariably deforming the scribed line.
This is a problem that every novice woodworker has to learn to compensate for. One solution is to cut a very shallow notch ahead of the scribe line. Another solution is Percy's jig - essentially a solid brace to keep the chisel aligned. The final part of the text for this tip tells the reader (in 65 words) how to make the jig - make it wide enough to take the widest wood you expect to use; put a stop piece squarely across the end; the clamp piece needs slots for adjustment; and use coach bolts with washers and nuts. Finally, a single 28 word sentence tells the user how to use the jig.
This is a book that will primarily benefit the novice woodworker, DIYer or woodworking enthusiast. There is no index of tips, so searching for a specific tip can take a bit of time. Rather than a shop reference book, I think this book is best suited to be read in a leisurely fashion with a cup of tea. A lot of the tips will likely elicit responses such as "oh, that makes sense" or "so that's how its done".
A suitable subtitle for this book would be "Good, practical, and useful tips that are easy to understand."


  • Introduction
  • Preparation and Layout
  • Bench
  • Hand Tools
  • Workshop Techniques
  • Joints
  • Cramping
  • Hand Power Tools
  • Machine Tools
  • The Router
  • Hand Routing
  • Routing with a Table
  • The Lathe
  • Lathe work between Centres
  • Lathe work on Faceplate
  • Finishing
  • Sharpening
  • Household
  • English and American terms
  • Measurements
PUBLISHER:Linden Publishing
AVAILABLE FROM:Your local bookseller or online
FORMAT:Softcover, 276 pages
AUTHOR:Percy Blandford

Carl Duguay
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