Fox Chapel Publishing has done it again with it’s new :

“Back to Basics”


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In its never ending quest to bring quality instructional material to woodworkers today, Fox Chapel Publishinghas released another set of books in its “Series and Sets” line. This set is called “Back to Basics”(Straight Talk for Today’s Woodworker) and that’s exactly what it is, a series of books dedicated to the basics of woodworking and beyond.  And if you’re thinking that you’re beyond the basics, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all of the information and illustrations that has been packed into this series.

I received five of the books in this series, each of the soft covered books is 7.5”X 9” and I’ve not put them down since they came to the door.

The five books that I received are:

 1. Constructing Kitchen Cabinets

2. Setting up Your Workshop

3.Woodworker’s Guide to Joinery

4.Woodworking Machines 

5.Woodworker’s Guide to Wood


Please Note: Thumbnails can be clicked to view a larger image.

Constructing Kitchen Cabinets:





Are you considering building your own kitchen cabinets but are concerned about what it takes to do the entire job. Well relax; it’s all here in this book. Starting from the kitchen layout & cabinet design through the construction of cabinet boxes, drawers  and doors, right up to the installation of your new cabinets including the  countertop……………it’s all covered here in this book. This book doesn’t gloss over the critical aspects of kitchen cabinet design, construction and installation; it gives the reader all the necessary information needed to conquer one of the most difficult household renovations for any woodworker to tackle. Of the 144 pages of this book there are 22 pages dedicated to the installation of kitchen cabinets and those pages are filled with numerous illustrations and tips from the pros on how to make your cabinet installation go smoothly. And if you think that this book is for those who are building just kitchen cabinets, you’re mistaken. The design, construction and installation techniques presented in this book can be applied to other projects like entertainment units, office furniture and even bedroom furniture. This book is a must read for anyone considering building their own kitchen cabinets and other cabinetry.



Setting Up Your Workshop:




A woodworker’s workshop is a personal space and in my experience, I’ve never seen two workshops with the same layout and machinery placement but there are similarities to all workshops.  This 150 page book is jammed packed full of great ideas on layout designs, storage, work surfaces, safety and shop accessories. No matter what your space limitations are, this book is a must for anyone setting up a workshop. The chapter on workbenches covers 23 pages, full of illustrations that discuss workbench construction and workbench accessories. Tool placement, work flow and how to maximize your woodworking space are covered in depth in this book. An excellent chapter on workshop safety rounds out this book. If you’re considering building a workshop, no matter what size or you’re looking to maximize your woodworking space, I encourage you to pick up a copy of “Setting Up Your Workshop”.


Woodworker’s Guide to Joinery:



Excellent joinery skills are paramount when it comes to woodworking and every woodworker must be able to execute precision joinery skills where needed. This book not only covers a myriad of woodworking joints and their variations, it explains how to become proficient at making them. It also includes countless tips on successful joinery through the use of shop built and store bought jigs.   Gluing and clamping techniques are discussed along with joint stress and how to deal with it. How to cut perfect fitting joinery on the table saw, table mounted or hand held router or even by hand, it’s all covered here, presented in a clear and concise manner with hundreds of illustrations.

This book happens to be my favorite of this series and one that I’m constantly going back to.


Woodworking Machines:



A well tuned piece of woodworking machinery not only performs well, it’s safer to use. When was the last time you gave your table saw a tune up……………….. Do you know how? If you’re unsure how to maintain your woodworking machinery, this book is for you. Not only does this book cover in detail how to maintain and adjust your woodworking machinery, it also includes maintenance tips for portable power tools. There is also a chapter on sharpening blades and router bits. This book also includes several jigs and methods for getting the most out of your woodworking machinery.

There is an excellent chapter on the table saw, its maintenance and a number of tips on the proper use of this piece of equipment. Some of the machinery covered in the book are, table saw, band saw, jointer, router, circular saw, radial arm saw, drill press, mortiser, wood lathe, shaper, scroll saw, etc.


Woodworker’s Guide to Wood:



Having an intimate knowledge of the material we as woodworkers work with is extremely useful and this book gives us just that. Understanding the theory of wood movement is just the start to this insightful and resourceful book. Flat sawn, rift saw and quarter sawn methods and what those methods mean to woodworkers is also included in this book. Understanding lumber grades, how to build a solar kiln, portable sawmill cutting, estimating wood movement,  storage racks, a wood directory that provides useful information on commonly used lumber and working with man made materials and veneers are also covered. This 156 page book is the bare facts, no nonsense book on the unique properties of wood and how to work within the limitations of those properties. Know the material you work with intimately and you’ll become a better woodworker…………………..