Furniture & Cabinet Construction

Book Review

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Furniture & Cabinet Construction



Book Type: Technique/Reference
Level: All Levels
Author: Andy Rae
Publisher: The Taunton Press

This book is a reference for designing and building furniture, providing useful design information for those who want to design their own furniture and step-by-step construction details for anyone who uses plans to build from. It provides a solid base of information either for creating new future designs or for modifying existing plans.

Divided into six parts, there are from two to six sections in each part, illustrating two to ten aspects of furniture construction. It packs a lot of information into each page, with lots of colour illustrations and step-by-step instructions.
 
There are also many tips throughout the book, as well as useful reference material (i.e. the characteristics of common glues, average furniture sizes, heights of various types of tables and the depths of cabinets). A reference table for maximum spans of shelving, based on different materials and thicknesses, is also provided.
 
The book starts off talking about the tools and materials, with particular emphasis on the materials, from buying to preparing, including hand work, sanding and layout methods. This is followed up with a discussion on dealing with wood movement, an important consideration when designing furniture.
 
The next part discusses box and case construction, a fundamental part of many types of furniture. In this part Andy talks about joinery, shelf options, clamping, drawer construction and fasteners. Many design and construction options are shown, providing you with an arsenal of techniques, along with tips to make them work.
 
Doors are next, including a discussion on frame and panel construction, hinges, pulls, locks and bumpers. Andy even shows how to make shop-made hardware such as hinges and pulls.
 
The next part focuses on bases, feet and stands. This includes basic “kitchen” cabinets, as well as more elegant and stylish furniture. There are many design options, ranging from simple to complex.
 
After that, Andy focuses on frame construction. This includes legs, frame and panels as well as chairs and stools. Legs, both for cabinetry and chairs, take a great deal of abuse and it is imperative to design them to last. Andy provides many different options and ideas, including some discussion on making tapered, curved and turned legs.
 
The final part discusses tabletops and work surfaces. He presents several different designs for tops, along with how to build them effectively. This includes how to keep the top flat, dealing with wood movement and different strategies for attaching the tops to your frame.
 
This book is very complete in its coverage of design and construction of furniture, combining a comprehensive list of topics with lots of colour illustrations and step-by-step instructions for making the components he discusses. This is rounded out with good background information, techniques and tips.

HARDCOVER, 9.25" x 10.875", 308 PAGES, $64.50 CDN

CONTENTS:
Tools and Materials
·      Shop Necessities
·      Woodworking Machines and Tools
·      Working Wood
·      Designing Furniture
Box and Case Construction
·      Basic Cases
·      Shelves
·      Nails, Screws and other Fasteners
·      Assembling Cases
·      Cutting and Attaching Mouldings
·      Drawers
·      Drawer Hardware
Doors
·      Building Doors
·      Fitting and hinging doors
·      Door pulls and hardware
Bases, Feet and Stands
·      Bases
·      Feet
·      Stands
Frame Construction
·      Legs and Aprons
·      Chairs and Stools
·      Face Frames
·      Frame and Panel
Tabletops and Work Surfaces
·      Making Tops
·      Attaching Tops

ABOUT THE BOOK’S AUTHOR:
Andy Rae has written numerous articles for American Woodworker magazine in addition to serving as senior editor. Designing and building for over two decades, he has received a fellowship for his furniture designs, and currently builds, teaches and writes about woodworking.




Michel Theriault
MICHEL THERIAULT is a Canadian writer and woodworker living in Guelph, Ontario.