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Review: The Workbench Book

The Workbench Book

Scott Landis

Taunton Press, 1987. 248 pp.

ISBN 0-918804-76-0

Originally published in American Lutherie #32, 1992 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

Even though this book was published several years ago and so is likely known to many of you, I thought it might be worthwhile to look at it specifically from a luthier’s point of view.

It is clear from the first glance that The Workbench Book is a truly remarkable book which will be of great interest to anyone making things from wood or working with wooden objects. From the experienced woodworking professional to the neophyte, everyone will find this an interesting and intriguing resource which in my library has the privilege of sharing, with only a few other books, a spot on my reference shelf.

The scope is immense. It begins with a brief history of woodworking benches worldwide (chapter 1). Then follow several chapters (chapters 2 through 7) which feature historical and modern designs with photos and drawings on their construction which are complete enough that an experienced woodworker could build a copy. It is especially helpful that interesting or unique details of many benches are explained clearly using photographs and drawings, because while you might not wish to copy the entire design, there may be aspects which you would want to use.

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