Five Books Bob Likes | Popular Woodworking Magazine
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Our online bookstore added a new virtual wing over the weekend, with hundreds of additional titles now available. My Shop Drawings series of books is now available, as is my book on kitchen cabinets. I spent some time browsing yesterday, and came across some old favorites – books you may not be aware of, but are well worth perusing. Here are my five favorites:

The Art of Japanese Joinery is a visual treat; a study in black and white photographs of a variety of traditional Japanese joints. It’s an interesting look at different ways two pieces of wood can connect, and intricate work from the other side of the world.

Cabinetmaking, the Professional Approach by Alan Peters is an overall look at what it takes to earn your living working wood. Peters was a British craftsman, trained in the Arts & Crafts tradition and best known for his work on updating the Ernest Joyce classic “Encyclopedia of Furniture Making.” This isn’t just how to make stuff, it’s how to make quality stuff efficiently.

Every now and then someone suggests that I do a book on the furniture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Complete Furniture Drawings & Interior Designs is the reason I won’t. This comprehensive volume details Mackintosh’s work with original drawings and photos. It isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth investing in if you’re a Mackintosh fan.

One of the things that helps to understand furniture of a given period is to study the techniques of the time Modern Cabinet Work is a reprint of an early 20th-century text, and a valuable guide to how things were made in the Arts & Crafts period.

Everybody needs a hero, and The Furniture of Sam Maloof is an in-depth look at the work of mine. Full of detailed photographs, this is an inspiring resource for the work of one of the best craftsmen of our times.

– Robert W. Lang

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  • Bob Lang

    That’s one of my "bucket list" trips. My dad’s parents came from that part of Scotland; they left for America about the time the Glasgow School of Art was being built.

  • Don Williams


    I’m right there with you on three — Japanese Joinery, Mackintosh, Maloof. I hate to travel, but one of these days I am going to Glasgow to get my Mackintosh fix.


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