Author: Christopher Schwarz and Woodworking Magazine Editors
Published by: Popular Woodworking
Published: 2014
Pages: 189
RRP: $39.99

If you can handle working in imperial measurements and like Shaker and Arts & Crafts style, Classic American Furniture is a good resource for mostly simple projects that build skill and deliver reasonably functional items.

An 18th century dry sink is not on everyone’s must-make list, but call it a sideboard and it could find a place in someone’s home. Tabourets, school boxes also translate well. There are two attractive chests, three cabinets, three tables, two stands, a bench, a mirror and several ‘this and that’ projects.

The point of this book is that it teaches you techniques ranging from stub and tenon doors, to spline, wedge tenon, mortise and tenon and through mortise joinery, and more. There are separate chapters on these technques additional to those that give plans and steps for building each of the 20 pieces featured.

Where the book excels is with the inclusion of the chapters on finishing that are interspersed throughout. Wipe-on finishes, aging techniques, a crackle finish, Arts & Crafts and painted finishes are covered.

There is much to learn from this presentation of projects that incidentally also make for enjoyable reading.

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