The Woodworker - Volume 3
is the third volume of reprinted articles from the British woodworking magazine, The
Woodworker, which includes the work of Charles Hayward and several other noted British
woodworkers from the years Hayward was its editor. Following the
two earlier volumes
reviewed last year
which focused on tools and techniques, this one is devoted exclusively to woodworking
joints. It contains nearly all the material from Hayward's classic Woodworking Joints
plus much more in addition. The result is a compact explanation of how to cut a wide
variety of joints and avoid common mistakes in doing so.
Like the first two volumes in the series from Lost Art Press, this book is characterized by
Hayward's succinct yet clear descriptions and exquisite hand-drawn figures. Together,
they leave the reader in no doubt as to exactly what he means and how the joints can
best be cut and assembled.
The first section addresses edge joining panels, including jointing them by hand, gluing
them and ways to strengthen edge joints. The reader will need to get past a few British
expressions—cramps for clamps, for instance—but after that there's much wisdom to
be gleaned from this short section about joining thin pieces, avoiding warping and
minimizing the need for clamps during glue-up, among other things.
A far more substantial section on frame joints follows. It opens with mortise and tenon
joints and demonstrates a number of variations, including blind, wedged, haunched and
mitered mortises and tenons. This is succeeded by coverage of miters and scribed
joints, ways miters can be strengthened, door joints and loose tongue joints. Treatment
of grooves, stopped grooves and rabbets follows. This section on frame joints
concludes with consideration of halved joints, casement window joints, bridle joints,
one-third lap joints and other lesser-used joints.
The next section, also substantial, addresses dovetail and carcass joints. The lengthy
section on dovetails presents several ways for cutting them, including sawing pins and
tails in a single operation, jigs for cutting them, making them fit right off the saw, and
avoiding common problems in cutting and fitting them. A number of types of dovetails are explained: mitered dovetails, secret miter dovetails, lapped and double-lapped
dovetails and decorative dovetails among them. The section concludes with treatment
of dovetails in carcass corners, legs and rails, and with the bureau joint.
A final short section covers a miscellany of joints, including the knuckle joint, rule joint,
splined joint, third lap joint, scarf joint, coopered joint, scribed joint, cabriole leg joint
options and a few others.
Like its predecessors, this volume is beautifully bound in green cloth and letter-sized so
the text and drawings are clear and fully readable. Though the articles—drawn from
The Woodworker's contents over a 28-year period—contain some overlap and even an
occasional contradiction, they nonetheless represent a wealth of authoritative instruction
that will be invaluable to hand tool woodworkers and even those who choose machines
for their work. If you can get past the implicit assumption that woodworking is an
exclusively male domain and its frequent references to "the man" in the woodshop,
you'll find this to be an outstanding resource on joinery.
This book is perhaps too advanced for the very beginning woodworker, though the
section on dovetails will be valuable to those cutting their first pins and tails. But
intermediate and advanced woodworkers, and any woodworker using
, will find
this book not only highly useful but even essential as a resource and guide. Like its
predecessors, I give it a high recommendation.
Find out more and purchase
The Woodworker - The Charles Hayward Years - Vol 3
J. Norman Reid is a woodworker, writer, and woodworking instructor living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife, a woodshop full of power and hand tools and four cats who think they are cabinetmaker's assistants. He is the author of
Choosing and Using Handplanes
He can be reached by email at
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