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Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning by Richard Raffan - Free PDF

The wood lathe is one of the oldest means of mass production, along with the potter’s wheel and metal casting. Round wooden objects so pervade our daily lives that we tend to forget that all those variations on spindles and knobs are turned.

Most turnery is now mass produced on automatic copy lathes, but almost within living memory most was done by hand on man-powered machines. In the 17th century, mechanically minded European aristocrats became the first hobby turners, working on lathes that cost more than most families earned in a year. And although small inexpensive hobby lathes were marketed through the great mail order catalogs of the early 20th century, it was not until the mid-1970s that woodturning started to become a popular retirement hobby.

Since the mid-1970s, interest in woodturning has increased exponentially and been transformed by a new breed of professional studio woodturner who creates one off objects rather than mass producing just a few standard items. In the 21st century, lathe-based art is working its way into art galleries. 

Much of the attraction of woodturning is the speed with which an object can be completed. Its very low establishment costs are also a factor, and the fact that raw material abounds often costing little more than your time to retrieve it. But a lathe only spins the wood.What is crafted from that spinning wood depends on the skill and vision of the individual at the lathe. This book can set you on the way to a new passion, and happy hours turning wood.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning by Richard Raffan - Free PDF

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening by Thomas Lie-Nielsen - Free PDF

 Sharpening common woodworking tools is not a difficult or complicated process. You don’t need a metallurgist’s understanding of steel, or serve a long apprenticeship, to produce durable, razor-sharp edges.Woodworkers will find a large selection of good tools and materials on the market, and the methods of getting the job done properly are usually straightforward. A bit of practice is necessary, but much less than it would take to perfect your golf swing.

Don't worry about ruining a blade. Steel tools are forgiving, and many of the mistakes you inevitably make in the beginning are easy to correct. A blade that has been over-heated and scorched on a bench grinder can be ground back, and a lopsided bevel can be straightened and squared. Even if your early attempts at sharpening a blade actually ruin it, you can always buy a new one. The experience you gain will be worth the price.

It is important first to learn the difference between a properly sharpened tool and a badly sharpened one. Shiny surfaces are not enough if the cutting edge is uneven or rounded over. A plane blade whose back is not flat will never be truly sharp even if it is polished to a mirror finish. Think of a razor blade -straight and sharp. Use a magnifying glass and good light so you can really see what you’re doing, and think in terms of simple geometry: the intersecting planes, lines an angles that produce a sharp working edge.

This book is not about turning sharpening into a hobby. Sharpening woodworking tools is a means to an end, and that end is woodworking. Your collection of sharpening tools and your work area should be arranged so it is convenient to use and designed to help you get accurate, predictable results in a minimum amount of time. If you succeed in doing that, you will be encouraged to sharpen often and not avoid it as people often do. 

An inevitable question is just how sharp a blade really needs to be. Competitors in planing exhibitions try to make the longest, thinnest shavings they can (usually in a cooperative species of wood). This is a fascinating exercise, but the point of knowing how to sharpen your woodworking tools is not to make specimen shavings but to accurately dimension and smooth wood. Honing a blade until it can remove a shaving of wood no more than one-thousandth of an inch thick is overkill when all you want to do is remove the high spots from a rough board with a scrub plane. On the other hand, if you’re trying to create a glassy smooth finish on hard maple with a handplane alone it will help to know how to prepare your blade. The trick is in knowing what kind of edge you really need. 

To that end, it is helpful to keep things simple, to focus on results, and not to worry too much about theory or opinion. The best way to sharpen is the way that works for you.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening by Thomas Lie-Nielsen - Free PDF

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Shaping Wood by Lonnie Bird - Free PDF

Shape is a fundamental of design. All furniture styles, even seemingly simple designs such as Shaker, use shape to enhance, increase function, and define style. For example, the sensuous curve of a chair back adds comfort as well as visual appeal, and the slender taper of a table leg creates lightness without sacrificing strength. Shape is critical to the ultimate success or failure of a piece of furniture. It simply can't be ignored. 

Before shapes can be created, they must first be visualized and then drawn. There are tools and templates available for drawing geometric shapes; but organic, free form curves are often best sketched freehand. Fortunately, the natural movements of the wrist and elbow make it possible for anyone to draw flowing curves with a bit of practice. As illustrated in this book, the choices available for shaping are numerous. And it's not necessary to have access to a shop full of power tools, either. Many woodworkers are rediscovering hand tools along with the pleasure and satisfaction that comes with their use. Planes, saws, chisels, and other edge tools all require patience and a degree of skill; but they yield a handmade look and texture as well as a deep sense of accomplishment.

Learning to tune and effectively use power tools can be satisfying, too. And many power tool techniques, such as template shaping, yield efficiency that is unmatched with hand tools. Machines are also a good choice for many labor-intensive tasks, such as planing and sawing stock to size, providing more time for creating details by hand that machines simply can't duplicate. For example, a bandsaw is an efficient choice for sawing a curve in preparation for refining and sculpting the same curve with a spoke-shave and a rasp. 

Complete Illustrated Guide to Shaping Wood by Lonnie Bird - Free PDF

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Period Furniture Details by Lonnie Bird - Free PDF

Furniture from 18th-century America continues to be among the most popular styles of all time. While other forms of furniture come into style and soon appear dated, period furniture continues as a best-selling classic. And for good reason-period furniture is rich with detail. It was produced during a time when there was a broad separation between classes of people. 

Those with means, just as with people today, sought ways to display their wealth and status in society. One of the primary ways to display opulence in the eighteenth century was through finely crafted furniture. In large, wealthy cities, such as Philadelphia, Boston, and Newport, Rhode Island, furniture makers crafted highly developed furniture art forms. Embellishment became the norm as artisans pierced, carved, sculpted, inlaid, and gilded what is recognized today as some of the finest examples of furniture ever produced. 

As you study, draw, and reproduce these classic examples of Americana, you can't help but to be immensely impressed with the period craftsman's sense of design and proportion, as well as his tremendous skill with a few relatively simple tools. 

As a woodworker, if you're not accustomed to using hand tools, then I encourage you to begin by accumulating the essential edge tools such as planes, chisels, and a dovetail saw and enjoying learning to use them. Furniture produced entirely with machines is void of the fine details that define period furniture. Quite simply, machines for all their sophistication can't duplicate what's created by a trained eye and a skillful hand. In other words, while it is acceptable and desirable to use machines to saw curves, shape moldings, and even cut some types ofjoints, hand tools are still required for many of the details. In the process you'll experience the delight of cutting a dovetail by hand and hearing the unique sound of a sharp plane as it slices the surface of a board.

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery by Gary Rogowski - Free PDF

We categorize our furniture making like we do so many of our other human endeavors. There are only so many ways to make a box after all. But we have in our imaginative way, made the most of all the possibilities. The fact is, there are only two basic joinery systems. Either we use box construction,
joining wide panels of solid-wood or plywood materials together, to make our car-cases, cabinets, or jewelry boxes. Or we use frame construction to build our chairs, tables, beds, and cabinets. These frames use smaller members fastened together with or without a panel captured within them.

From these two categories spring a wealth of joinery options. A project as simple as a box has a dozen ways to solve the joinery question, and many joints can be used interchangeably. So how do you choose which joint to use?

The function of the piece is the starting point for your joinery choices. Are you building a cabinet to old the crown jewels or a recipe box destined to be stained with the labors of the kitchen? Dovetail joints are the best way to join large panels, but a window box doesn’t need dovetails to be serviceable. Next, consider economy -the need for efficiency and speed in your building.

What’s your time frame? If it’s a weekend project, your choice of a joint will make a big difference. Hand chopping dozens of mortises is certainly not time-efficient, but it may be the perfect way to enjoy working at a leisurely pace in a harried world. The skill you bring to a project also determines which joint you choose, but learning a new method of joinery is a wonderful challenge. We tend to find our methods and stick to them; but remember that each time you cut a joint, you get a little better at doing it. 

Joinery affects the design in ways both obvious and quite subtle. That simple box can be built in a dozen ways, but a mitered corner doesn’t look anything like one that’s finger jointed together. Joinery will also help in the building of some pieces, offering shoulders and edges that help hold a piece together for gluing or pre-assembly work. Make your joinery choices based on all these factors. One method may work better one day and another method the next. 

Please also remember that this book is only a guide. No one process, jig, machine, or book can confer mastery. The way to mastering joinery is to make joints. It’s the time you spend learning, making mistakes, backing up, and starting all over again. The time you spend in the shop is the real pay-off; the furniture you build a wonderful bonus.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery by Gary Rogowski - Free PDF

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs and Fixtures by Sandor Nagyszalanczy - Free PDF

Before you can begin building your own jigs and fixtures, you need to know what to build and how to build it. A good way to start is to explore basics of jig design, appropriate materials and hardware, and good construction practices. Whether you plan to build jigs exactly as shown in this book or design your own customized devices, you’ll benefit from learning the functional approach to what jigs do, and how to go about choosing or creating jigs that suit your tools and particular work style. Once you’ve nailed down a design, you must choose from a wide assortment of wood and synthetic materials and hardware (fasteners, fittings, extrusions, etc.) to make a jig that’s accurate and functional. Finally, you must employ good construction practices to make your jig sturdy and durable. You’ll accomplish that by using strong joinery and solid woodworking practices, along with a few tricks gleaned from the machinist’s trade.

Finding an effective jig or fixture for a woodworking operation can be as elusive and time-consuming as designing a great piece of furniture, a sailboat, or a ukulele. It takes solid woodworking knowledge and some problem-solving skills, with a good dose of inspiration thrown in. Even a moderately complex setup can pose numerous choices:
  • What tool or machine is best for the operation? 
  • Should the jig move the wood over the machine or guide the machine past the wood? 
  • How does the workpiece need to be referenced and clamped?
  • Should the jig be adjustable? 
Most of the woodworkers delight in solving challenging jigging problems. But tackling these problems requires a basic understanding of jig function and design. Generally speaking, jigs are the devices that help us cut, shape, drill, and sand parts quickly and accurately, while fixtures are devices that hold parts firmly during machining and assembly (see the photo on the facing page). Used separately or together, these essential woodworking aids help us do everyday tasks like cutting boards to accurate length and width, as well as complex operations like pattern routing parts or sawing three-dimensional shapes.While we all own at least a few commercially made jigs (miter gauges, router edge guides, etc.), most woodworkers create their own jigs. In this section, we’ll examine the function of jigs and fixtures and how they help us perform woodworking tasks more easily, accurately, and safely.We’ll also explore some factors to consider when choosing the best jig for a particular job, as well as how to customize jigs to better suit your needs.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs and Fixtures by Sandor Nagyszalanczy

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture and Cabinet Construction by Andy Rae - Free PDF

Making furniture is one of the most satisfying ways to pass time: The schiiick of a plane iron on wood; the dizzying aroma of freshly sawn sugar pine or East Indian rosewood; the endless array of color, texture, and feel of woods from around the world; the tense but joyful final assembly, when all work and toil come together in a conclusive burst of completion. What excitement! This is the fine -and fun- art of woodworking. The reward is beautiful furniture.

To experience this excitement, you’ll need to have a degree of control over your work and your tools, command a working knowledge of your materials, and understand some basic design principles. Unlike most other crafts, furniture making and cabinetmaking demand vast knowledge -and attentiveness. You must know what tools and techniques to use and how to arrange the correct sequence, or order, of events when using them. You should listen with attentive ears and eyes to the material you’re working and choose wood wisely, allowing for its eccentricities. With its countless pieces and parts, cabinetmaking involves a high level of organization, and organizing your work and your shop space are part and parcel of the craft. By combining all your skills, you can make any type of furniture your dreams conjure up. You’re limited only by your imagination. I hope this book will provide you with a starting point for these skills. With practice, many small joys are waiting for you. They’re worth seeking.

Above all, be patient. It takes time to master some of the smallest things. There are tricks and shortcuts, of course. They come with experience, and many are shown in the pages ahead. More important is the awareness that comes from trying many approaches and finding one that works for you. In a very real sense, woodworking is a personal journey. That’s because there is no right or wrong way of making furniture. What counts is what works. Once you discover something that works, call it your own, and stand by it. You’ll have found something that will make your woodworking more pleasurable. And your fine furniture will reflect the results.

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing by Jeff Jewwit - Free PDF

Finishing. It's the aptly named final detail of making furniture. Finishes not only protect wood from stains, water damage, and other mishaps, they also make it look richer and deeper and add dimension and luster. Whether you get a tingly feeling from wiping a coat of oil or shellac on highly figured curly maple or excitement from matching an old finish, you will find finishing is one of the rewards of making things from wood.

This book will guide you through the finishing process and make it as exciting for you as. You will see that almost 30 percent of this book is devoted to surface preparation, techniques not often shown or elaborated on in other finishing books. Proper surface preparation is what makes great finishes heads above others. Then we;ll move on to coloring, which is where most finishing problems arise. A full chapter will be devoted to troubleshooting and overcoming staining problems. From there we'll lool at how to choose a finish by its physics and chemistry, as well as aesthetic qualities. We'll finally get to applying clear finish, and you will learn how to French polish, spray lacquers, and work with water-based products.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing by Jeff Jewwit - Free PDF

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