Tuesday, February 5, 2019

From Tree to Table

From Tree to Table is a tutorial guide from woodworker and outdoorsman Alan Garbers. Released 22nd Jan 2019 by Fox Chapel, it's 152 pages and available in paperback format.

There is a philosophical concept (widely represented in a lot of different cultures) that says that the act of making an object (especially handmaking) imbues it with a 'thusness'. The fact that each piece of  handmade furniture is unique (even if the crafter is aiming for conformity) gives it personality.  Rustic decoration has become very popular the last years. I believe this is in direct response to decades of disposable cookie-cutter furniture.  Handmade goods are generally more solid and well made than mass produced items and they are certainly more pleasing to live with and use.

This author 'gets it'. This book is full of personal anecdotes and tips from his experiences building furniture himself.

The book is split into sections. Each section is further divided into project chapters. Part 1 covers introductory how-to and tools. Besides a very basic chapter included covering safety and equipment, there are lots of technique and info sections on wood as a medium, why it behaves the way it does, how to form and shape it, sourcing and evaluating materials, etc.

Part 2 has the furniture tutorials. There are 7 moderately advanced projects up to and including a bed-frame. There is also a short bibliography and index.  The project tutorials presuppose a level of familiarity with woodworking and access to tools.  This is a lovely book, full of beautiful photographs of rustic furniture in a room setting. I would recommend it not only to woodworkers looking for a challenge, but also as inspiration to readers wishing to source custom crafted furniture.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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