Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Woodworking and Furniture Repair - Repairs and Utilities - War Department Technical Manual TM 5-613

Woodworking and Furniture Repair is a reformatting and reprint of a war department manual originally published in 1946. Due out 28th May 2019 from F+W media and Popular Woodworking, it's 144 pages and will be available in flexibound paperback format.

The book has a forward written by Popular Woodworking's Editor in Chief, with some interesting historical notes about the original purpose and use for the manual.

The manual itself seems to be a facsimile or the original typeset with the same illustrations, technical drawings, and photos. It's neat to see the machinery and tools, which have changed remarkably little in the intervening 73 years. It was also fun to see the woodworkers demonstrating the techniques. Many of them were wearing fedora hats and neckties (safely secured, of course).

The book includes diagrams, materials lists, cutting/measurement lists, and photographs for more than 20 fairly advanced designs. The supporting chapters cover the construction, gluing, joinery, etc in very general terms. This manual aimed to be used for furniture repair also, and includes a number of specific cutting lists for the types of furniture (beds, tables, desks, chests, shelves, chairs of several types) as well as maintenance advice for existing furniture. There is also a well illustrated short chapter on repairing upholstered furniture (the illustrations are chiefly line-drawn).

Some of the drawings and photographs are dated; it's a product of its period. I found it very interesting from a historical standpoint as well as for the woodworking and furniture detailing information.

It must be noted for the modern woodworker that proper safety procedures are an absolute must. Much of the information in this manual includes the use of primers and solvents which have been found to be highly carcinogenic in the intervening years.

Some really neat info included in this book. It would make a great gift, library book, or addition to the traditional woodworker.

Four stars.

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

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