All woodworkers know that improving their bench skills and learning new workshop techniques are necessary parts of becoming a better woodworker. Just as important but often overlooked, however, is developing your design skills. I’m always eager to improve my knowledge of furniture design and further develop my eye. Whether your tastes lean toward ornate pieces from the 18th century or the clean lines of ultra-modern pieces, being able to make informed design decisions is key to improving your work. Better yet, you can hone your design skills in the hours that you aren’t able to spend in the shop.
Whether you’re a sucker for design books like me or are just beginning to develop your design skills, you should take a serious look at the Fundamentals of Design Value Pack at shopwoodworking.com. Not only is the set of over 10 books, DVDs and articles for sale at more than 50% off, but it’s also a great collection. From Robert W. Lang you’ll find Drafting and Design for Woodworkers, as well as three different titles on Google’s free design software, SketchUp (all together, Bob covers everything from SketchUp 101 to advanced techniques). Other favorites found here are the books Practical Design and Illustrated Cabinetmaking, as well as two DVDs from Popular Woodworking Magazine’s own George Walker on traditional design. If I hadn’t already bought all of these books (almost all of them at full price), I’d certainly be taking advantage of this sale myself. The whole collection, which should retail for over $240, is now only $119.99. But act soon – only 100 kits are available.