Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 12/5/00

A book review: By David Goodman

Title: Tablesaw: Methods of Work
Editor and Illustrator:
Jim Richey

Published by: Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, PO Box 5506
Newtown, CT 06470-5506
ISBN 0-0869-9583-1
Price Softcover: $12.95 (Canada $20 )
256 color pages

I have been an amateur woodworker for just about a year, and jump at the opportunity to learn something new. I was given the chance to review Tablesaw: Methods of Work edited and illustrated by Jim Richey. Some of you might recognize the "Methods of Work" from the column by the same name in Fine Woodworking Magazine. That is because this book is a collection of the "best tips" from the past 25 years from that column. All thirteen chapters are devoted to the tablesaw; the workhorse of most shops.

Topics covered include everything from setup & maintenance to cutting plywood. There are sections on safety, mobile bases, infeed/outfeed tables, all the safety devices, and jigs for various types of cuts. The layout of a topic is unique in that it is in the form of an answer to a reader's asked question. There is one answer for each question but multiple questions pertaining to the same topic. I liked this because it provides a variety of ways to accomplish the same task.

Tablesaw is 250 pages with roughly 225 pictures and/or charts. The pictures have the appearance of being hand sketched and are detailed enough to provide the reader a sense of what is going on. This is needed as there are very few detailed instructions accompanying the drawings; hence 'best tips', not 'best plans'. Most of the verbiage explains what is trying to be accomplished and gives enough direction to get there. I am still scratching my head over a few but I figure I don't need to understand all of them to appreciate most of them.

Some of the tips will be 'old hat' for many but I came away with many good ideas that will be implemented between projects. If you are a person who needs detailed drawings and instructions in order to build something, Tablesaw is probably not for you. If, however, pictures really do speak a thousand words to you and you are looking for ways to more fully utilize your tablesaw in a safer manner, then Tablesaw should be on your bookshelf.

David Goodman

Editor's Note: You can purchase a copy of Jim Richey's Book from Taunton Press for $12.95 (US)

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