Check It Out: Books for home improvement

April 26, 2012|By Andrew Kachaturian

If you have been meaning to start some projects around the house, or learn more about even just basic woodworking, the Newport Beach Public Library has many new titles that can help!

The library stocks many books on introductory information, orientation to various tools, wood identification, and projects of all kinds.

"The New Woodworker Handbook" by Tom Hintz is a good starter book for would-be woodworkers. Hintz discusses workshop safety and organization, tool selection, buying tips, and maintenance, wood selection and finishing, and even basic joints. This 253-page book contains many color illustrations and tackles each section with description and explanation. This book also contains a basic glossary of terms and index.

One popular way to enter learning a craft is learning from masters. Just as Norm Abram brought "This Old House" to a wide audience in the past, Tommy Mac now hosts WGHB Boston's "Rough Cut —Woodworking with Tommy Mac."


His new book of the same name brings many helpful custom projects (lazy susan, bread box, blanket chest, etc.) to a 184-page book, complete with descriptive photos and step-by-step instructions. Intended for an audience with a some woodworking experience, this book may be just the inspiration a beginner needs to get started.

"Wood Identification and Use" by Terry Porter is a great resource for those just learning the craft. An essential part of woodworking is pairing the right kind of wood with the project and this book can help.

Each entry contains a description, a list of that wood's properties, seasoning information, durability, and typically usage. Each entry also has a nice detailed photograph which helps to distinguish the grain and tone. An informative side panel also lists the area of growth of that kind of tree, typical height and truck diameter as well as any potential health risks.

Any discussion of modern woodworking has to include power tools and "Working with Power Tools" by Paul Anthony is a recent publication that incorporates a wide variety of such tools. From portable and benchtop machines such as sanders, scroll saws, and jigsaws to routers, table saws, band saws and more, this book contains a plethora of information!

Full of color illustrations and detailed information, this book can be a valuable resource to anyone just learning the ropes or seeking to improve their knowledge and skill. The library also owns many books on individual tools like jointers, routers, and table saws, as well as hand tools!

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