Popular Mechanics Workshop:
Woodworking Fundamentals:
The Complete Guide

1. Popular Mechanics Workshop: Miter Saw Fundamentals: The Complete Guide

Woodworkers trust Popular Mechanics to give them the information they need—and the Workshop series, written by respected DIY author Rick Peters, has proven invaluable. Each title covers a single tool in depth, with photos and exploded views, instructions, charts, and sidebars. This new entry covers the popular miter saw—a relatively new piece of equipment that has become a must-have on every job site and woodworking shop. That’s no surprise: it covers a wide variety of tasks with great precision. Peters helps woodworkers identify which saws and accessories best fit their needs; teaches basic and advanced techniques; and shows how to make jigs and fixtures that expand the tool’s capabilities. Attractive projects include a simple desk frame, beveled tray, and end table.

Customer Review - For someone who had never used a miter saw before this is a great book...but for those of you who know how to use a miter saw this book is a waste of time... I had never used a miter saw before so this book was great help for me, this book is for people who have no idea what a miter saw is. Highly recommended for the newbie but not so much for anyone that knows how to turn a miter saw on. -SS



2. Popular Mechanics Workshop: Jointer & Planer Fundamentals: The Complete Guide

It happens all the time: woodworkers proudly survey their handiwork only to discover gaps in the glue joints and between parts. The solution? This comprehensive guide. It delves into every aspect of each tool—basic anatomy, features, motor sizes, dust ports, maximum cut, and more. Check out bench-top, stationary, and portable models of each; accessories, such as push sticks and knife-sharpening jigs; and all the must-know techniques, including face and edge jointing and staggered cut planing. There are advanced procedures, too—from rabbeting and tapering a post to ganged cuts and molding—as well as fixtures to make, maintenance and repair advice, and exciting projects.

Customer Review - This is an excellent book and a Great reference to have in your wood shop. Novice and experienced wood workers will appreciate this book. This book will walk you through the process of choosing and, more importantly, using a jointer or planer safely. A must-read if you plan to use either tool and are not sure on the proper technique to use. -CC



3. Popular Mechanics Workshop: Router Fundamentals: The Complete Guide


This is the manual you wish had come with your new router, done in the easy-to-follow and comprehensive Popular Mechanics style. As always, the magazine’s experts put all the necessary information at readers’ fingertips, with loads of sidebars and plenty of color illustrations. There’s detailed, exhaustive information on how to use the router, including a variety of handheld and table-mounted techniques, what accessories are available (and how to use them, too), plans for shop-made jigs and fixtures, maintenance and troubleshooting guidelines, and even a couple of projects for getting acquainted with the tool. And, for those who haven’t yet purchased their router, the advice on selecting a model will help them make the right choice.

Customer Review - If you own a router, this is a good book to have. It will eliminate any hesitation to try different uses by giving detailed instruction for different bits. -NT



4. Popular Mechanics Workshop: Band Saw Fundamentals: The Complete Guide

Woodworkers trust Popular Mechanics to give them the information they need—and the Workshop series, written by respected DIY author Rick Peters, has proven especially invaluable. Each title covers a single tool in depth, with hundreds of photos, detailed instructions, charts, and sidebars. This new entry covers every aspect of the always practical band saw, from choosing the right one (be it portable or bench-top, open or closed base) to basic and advanced techniques. Find out about its capabilities, different motors, and useful accessories, as well as how to make a variety of simple and compound cuts. See how to construct shop-made jigs and fixtures, and maintain the saw for long life. Beautiful projects include a dovetailed stool, cabriole leg table, and herringbone jewelry.

Customer Review - I've used bandsaws in my youth but just recently purchased a 19 inch General Bandsaw and wanted a good reference book. I reviewed several titles and was disappointed after purchasing books reviewers described as "must have". Several books I read had missing text and poor organization with antiquated information. I was advised by a friend to purchase the Popular Mechanics Workshop series, and did. This is a very well written book describing the pros and cons of different machines, purchasing guidelines, machine set-up, maintenance & tuning, blade selection guidelines, educational projects to build your expertise and jigs to enhance your machine. All-in-all a very good book with only a few editing errors, unlike some other band saw books I've read. I liked this book so much I purchased the miter saw and table saw books. -D. VanAntwerp

5. Popular Mechanics Workshop: Scroll Saw Fundamentals: The Complete Guide

With expert advice, color photos, drawings, and exploded diagrams, Popular Mechanics reveals exactly what the endlessly versatile and extremely popular scroll saw can do. By first explaining how the scroll saw works, then offering basic techniques, and finally presenting simple projects, this invaluable manual provides an education that woodworkers can draw on for years to come. Everything about this must-have tool is covered: cutting wood to precise dimension, enlarging and reducing patterns, pattern and template placement, inside and outside cuts, and advanced techniques, such as bevel and compound sawing. There's even a visual "anatomy" of available scroll saws, along with guidance on maintenance and troubleshooting. The great projects include a potpourri box, collapsible basket, plate holder and compound-cut chess set.

Customer Review - This book is one of the best for beginners. It goes into detail on choosing a saw, accessories, and teaching you some basic and advanced techniques, maintaining and troubleshooting. The last 30 pages are seven projects you can work on. Almost 90% of the book goes into the major topics, and the most information is regarding saw techniques and making jigs and fixtures.  But keep in mind this is a beginner's book, nothing too fancy. -HSF



6. Popular Mechanics Workshop: Lathe Fundamentals: The Complete Guide

With more than 300 color photos, this fourth authoritative Popular Mechanics Workshop tool book helps woodworkers take full advantage of this most essential piece of equipment. No guide will give them a better start: do-it-yourself author extraordinaire Rick Peters discusses every aspect of the lathe, from the simplest function up to the most advanced techniques. He examines the various brands and models, as well as all their features and accessories, and then puts woodworkers through their paces. Peters delves right into the details of spindle, faceplate, bowl, and embellishing turning; finishing; making jigs and fixtures; and doing maintenance and troubleshooting. With those skills honed, woodworkers can turn to fine projects, including a lidded box and 2-tier candy dish.



Customer Review - In my quest of learning to turn, this seemed to be a nice addition to my lathe library, it is a very well laid out and abundantly illustrated handbook. Definitely right for the novice, if anything it is a bit broad in the range of topics. It is plain and direct in its approach, and felt written with the garage-guy Popular Mechanics in mind, so a lot of concepts are somewhat oversimplified and the tone is comfortably Average Joe. I had already passed the entry-level by the time I read this, but if I can get even a handful of tips from a book, it is a success. There are sections on set-up and maintenance, sharpening, and even a great collection of plans for shop-built accessories. I am sure I will be referring to it when I hit a question down the road. -PA
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