Essential Joinery

Everything a novice woodworker needs to know about wood joinery.

Essential Joinery

Essential Joinery

PUBLISHER:Spring House Publishing
AUTHOR:Marc Spagnuolo
FORMAT:Softcover, 213 pages

Marc Spagnuolo, as The Wood Whisperer has been producing videos on a wide range of woodworking topics for over a decade. The videos are geared to novice and intermediate skilled woodworkers, and they're very well done - highly informative and entertaining. He's also written articles for various woodworking magazines along with a previous book ('Hybrid Woodworking') on blending hand and power tools to more efficiently build furniture.

His new book, subtitled 'The Fundamental Techniques Every Woodworker Should Know' is a comprehensive guide to the basic joinery techniques common to furniture and cabinet construction. Marc covers just about every variation of the common joints: butt, rabbets, dadoes, grooves, mortises and tenons, half laps and bridles, and dovetails. Each joint variation consists of a very short introduction (literally two or three sentences) of what the joint is used for, a list of the tools you need to make the joint, and anywhere from a couple to half a dozen photos showing the steps involved in making the joint. A concise description accompanies each photo. Occassionally he throws in a tip, and there are instructions on making a couple of useful jigs, include a miter key jig, a mortising jig, and a shooting board.

While there are other very good joinery books on the market, this book, in my view, ideal for novice woodworkers. There is enough information to understand how each joint goes together without overburdening the reader with extraneous detail. 

My only complaint is that the table of contents sucks. It only lists the 5 categories of joints - none of the variations. If, for example, you want to find out how to cut a tenon on a bandsaw you have to either thumb through the book, or search through the index (pages 122 to 125).

Still, Marc has done a great job and anyone new to the craft will likely find this a highly useful shop accessory.

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