Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 2/19/00

A book review: By Charles W. Davis

Title: Table Saw: Workshop Bench Reference

Roger W. Cliffe

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0806997796
Price Softcover: $17.95 (Canada $25.95 )
160 color pages

On first receiving this book for review, I thought: "There can't be much in this small package." After spending several hours with it, I was haunted by the old clichè being repeated over and over in my mind: "You can't judge a book by its cover."

This book, and others in this series, was designed for use in the shop. From the materials used in its manufacture, to the easily grasped chapter heading tabs, to the content that was provided by Mr. Cliffe, members of the intended audience will benefit greatly from its use. While most of the subject matter was naturally drawn from his 1984 book, Table Saw Techniques, it has been updated to recognize the changes in saw blade design. In the intervening sixteen years, the price of excellent carbide tipped blades has been significantly reduced. This is especially true were one to take inflation into account.

The information is presented in the order a beginning woodworker will need. In each chapter, there unfolds a natural progression of information presented in the order that one would expect a beginner to question.

Generally the information is presented in a clear concise manner. However, I was a bit surprised that Mr. Cliffe did not mention carbide tipped blades with a 3/32-inch kerf for use on saws with 1 horsepower ratings. These blades remove 25% less material than a blade with an 1/8-inch kerf. This results in significant usability improvement. When used in combination with stabilizers, the quality of cut is not compromised.

The presentation of safety features and procedures throughout the text are among the best. However, a few of the photographic images detracted from the text. Specifically, the ripping of a plywood panel on a Unisaw that will tip dangerously off the back of the table before the cut is complete. The workpiece must be supported on the out feed side.

I recommend this book to anyone that needs some assistance in the shop. For the lone woodworker in the shop on weekends or during the evening hours, it may just be the item to get the job completed.

By Charles W. Davis
Co-author of Modern Cabinetmaking

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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