Published by The Taunton Press, Connecticut, USA.
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 170
In practically every field there is nothing quite so important as experience. Unfortunately it is often the case that there is also nothing quite so expensive.
In a sense, all woodworking books are about experience. The author offers the reader the opportunity to gain insight into a subject by presenting information and advice gleaned from the work he or she has done over a period of probably years, if not decades.
Sometimes, however, a book goes even further. It deliberately garners the experience of a number of people so as to present readers with a variety of information from different sources which they can explore and compare.
This is the nature of Best Workshops, a Fine Woodworking book that gathers together a wide range of informative articles which had their genesis in an equally wide range of workshops.
The articles are grouped into five Parts - Locating Your Shop, Setting Up A Comfortable Shop, Accessorizing Your Shop, Smart Storage and Shop Safety.
While the first article in Part One has little relevance to woodworkers here (there aren't a lot of basements in this region), the others deal with the common problems of either converting an existing building (a garage) or building anew.
The Smart Workshop - From the Ground Up is a model of careful planning that appears to extract every last centimetre of space and put it to work, for it not only includes a fully equipped workshop but an office and toilet.
In this and other articles in Part 1, there are many innovations to consider - a closely planned workshop in a closet for example, and a castor-based cabinet with a worktop that mainly serves as an outfeed table for a dropsaw. When required, however, the tabletop rotates to reveal a sizeable thicknesser.
Part 2 begins with advice on wiring a workshop. Despite the differences in mains voltage and wiring specifications, much of the advice given is applicable here. Things that are not relevant would be quickly sorted out when discussing a project with an electrician. A similar comment may be made about the information given in the next article which covers the lighting of a workshop.
Part 2 continues with notes on topics such as the selection of suitable flooring and finishes with an illuminating exploration of modern dust collection.
Most of the remainder of the book can be described as innovative solutions to problems that arise in the operation of a workshop - from storage of timber and tools, to personal protection.
This is a book for every woodworker who dreams of putting together a more effective and enjoyable working environment.
Units of Measurement: Imperial
One - Locating Your Shop
Two - Setting Up A Comfortable Shop
Three - Accessorizing Your Shop
Four - Smart Storage
Five - Shop Safety