Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 1/15/00

A book review: By R. J. Spomer

Title: Doormaking- a do-it-yourself guide

By John Birchard

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0-0869-9583-1
Price Softcover: $19.95 (Canada $20.95 )
191 pages

Do-it-yourself sounds simple. What you will find is a great collection of photos, illustrations and descriptions of doors complete with how-to text. This book contains beautiful photos of more than fifty doors. You will find doors of all kinds from the simple batten door to the complicated panel and french doors. The author, besides being a gifted craftsman, is also an expert photographer. Most of the photos are black and white but the center section contains photos of over twenty beautiful entry doors.

This is an example of an attempt to put together a complete book, from design to caring for the door after its installed, in only 191 pages - an impossible task but well done. The author is a true craftsman and the work shows in the photos, but I found the book a little hard to follow. He starts out with basic design issues, touches some on installing a door and then on to the door's construction. Each door is taken through a guide to building it in only a few paragraphs and illustrations.

This is a great idea book, stimulating the creative thoughts of a designer. I have used it for this and have enjoyed the book greatly. If there had been more effort put on the organization of the chapters the book would read much better. One note - a professional, equipped with a shaper, router, bandsaw and a very good comfort level with their hand tools, should tackle most of the doors which are shown.

The book is a softback, well made and produced with heavy quality pages.

Personally, I like the book as a source for design ideas and I would buy it for that reason alone. This will be a book that I will turn to often.

R.J. Spomer
RJ Fine Woodworking

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You!

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