Beach Reads for Woodworkers

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Do you check Rockler’s website two, three times a day?

Is there an identifiable trail of sawdust going from the garage to the bathroom, to the fridge and back to the garage?

Do you dream in oak?

If you have a passion for woodworking, it likely doesn’t stop when you’re on vacation.  For those of you who love this hobby or career to a point of near obsession, we have some wood-related books you’ll love to read on the beach – and not a single one is a how-to!

First up is A Splintered History of Wood by Spike Carlsen. In this book, Carlsen explores the wild world of wood and wood uses. He jumps from colorful example to the next, including the roles wood has played in our greatest stories (from military battles to forensics), spotlights craftsmen across the country (including a blind cabinet maker), and how wood is used in some of the most mundane (matches) to extraordinaire objects (a fully functional wood-carved Ferrari). Get this for just $18.21 at Amazon.

Another pick isOak: The Frame of Civilization by William Bryant Logan. If oak is your wood of choice, this book is your bible. Within it, Logan explores this tree from acorn to cabinet. You’ll learn the long biography of the oak tree – where it came from, what sets its wood apart from other types, its earliest uses and the impact it had (and continues to have) on the human path. You can pick this book up for just $10.85.

Last, but most definitely not least isThe Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworkers Reflections by George Nakashima. Written in 1988, this is a book many woodworkers have on their shelves. It’s definitely a more “touchy-feely” take on woodworking, with several allusions and references to eastern spirituality – but even the most hardened woodworker can appreciate the book’s core message of taking the time to stop and enjoy the splendor of the material you have in your hands. It is available on Amazon for $31.68.

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About Jen

Jen (but never “Jenn”) Byck, aka the Fix'n Vixen, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communication consultant who is undoubtedly home fixated (she is also TV fixated, really bad TV fixated and donut fixated). Her approach to home improvement has been rather trial and error, the latter of which is evidenced by the amount of spackle she buys on an annual basis.

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2 thoughts on “Beach Reads for Woodworkers”

  1. Great list. My favorite one is A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook by James Krenov. In it he digs really deep into the art, craft, and philosophy of woodworking and somehow doesn’t sound like a fruitcake.


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