American Country Furniture: Projects from the Workshops of David T. Smith

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Overview

Fifty step-by-step projects for popular furniture projects from master craftsmen, including a dry sink, harvest table, Shaker candlestand, pie safe, ladder-back chair, and more. Build David T. Smith's most popular furniture reproductions. Includes common woodworking techniques.
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American Country Furniture: Projects From the Workshops of David T. Smith (American Woodworker)

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Overview

Fifty step-by-step projects for popular furniture projects from master craftsmen, including a dry sink, harvest table, Shaker candlestand, pie safe, ladder-back chair, and more. Build David T. Smith's most popular furniture reproductions. Includes common woodworking techniques.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
For anyone who loves to build long-lasting country furniture comes a thoroughly illustrated handbook from the master craftsmen at The Workshops, a well-known Ohio provider of Early American reproductions. David T. Smith, and the folks who work with him have emerged as outstanding historians, designers and artisans. American Country Furniture is a collection of their combined experienced, and reveals their outstanding woodworking techniques, as well as the history behind each of the 50 pieces of furniture included.

American Country Furniture, by Nick Engler and Mary Jane Favorite, features plans for 50 projects from the workshops of David T. Smith. Projects include a dry sink, Shaker candle stand, pencil-post bed, pie safe, ladder-back chair, trestle table, spice cupboard and more. Each projects includes a clearly illustrated diagram and step-by-step instructions detailing how to cut and assemble each part. The book describes common woodworking techniques and offers insight on how the furniture was used. Of particular interest is the finishing section, highlighted by instruction for achieving an antique or distressed appearance. Engler made traditional American musical instruments before he began to write about woodworking. Favorite is a woodworking artist best known for her furniture designs, hudnreds of which have been published in woodworking magazines and books.

This Month's Book Review: American Country Furniture.
(The projects in this book are from the workshops of David T. Smith and the book is written by Nick Engler and Mary Jane Favorite.)

This second of the set of books provided by Fox Chapel Publishing is quite interesting. Not only do you get 50 plans but also a little history on American country furniture, as well as tips regarding wood, hardware and finishing techniques.
I really enjoyed reading the information provided about the wood selection and design elements that are used to create that authentic American Country look. The introductory pages talk about types of hardware that were used during different eras, tools that would have been used, and construction techniques. One element that I found particularly interesting was the way pieces were put together to stay together. A simple example is the bench that I made for the Summer Awards. The legs were not only nailed onto the bench, but glued as well and cut so that the pieces fit together. If one element fails there are two back-up components to keep it together.

As for the plans, themsleves, well, I think that my bench says it best: it took less than one hour to build. The plans and directions were so precise and easy to follow that it was just a simple measure, cut, secure. I think that this project was the easiest thing Rick and I have ever made and I give the credit to the clarity of the plans. Also, for the bench, not only did we get the basic plans but tips on what to do for different lengths, which really helped regarding stability concerns.
My Garden Bench Entry

Each of the plans comes with a story - a little history, some rationale behind certain elements, and other tidbits of interest that add to the understanding of the construction and the use of the piece of furniture. For example, with the Five-Board Bench, above, I learned that it is based on a stool from the Middle Ages and was built for multiple purposes and was used for working on as well as for sitting. Intriguing little facts!

Then, there is the section on finishing. We all know that a great project can be made or ruined by the finishing process. This section of the book discusses techniques to make or copy the look of authentic American country furniture. Again, the information is very interesting as well as helpful in understanding how to make our projects extraordinary.

If you like American country furniture, then this book is a great resource for you, not only for the many plans but also for understanding what you are building and how to make it look American Country.

My Ratings of The Book
Layout and Appearance: Perfect balance of pictures, diagrams, and words. I also like the size of the book (9.25" X 7.5" inches). Thumbs Up!
Instructions: Easy to follow; precise plans. Thumbs Up!
Project Selection: A wide variety, from small to large pieces. Thumbs Up!
Overall: Thumbs Up!

Fox Chapel's American Country Furniture will appeal to all lovers of this style.

Canadian Woodworking Magazine E-Newsletter

For anyone who loves to build long-lasting country furniture comes a thoroughly illustrated handbook from the master craftsmen at The Workshops, a well-known Ohio provider of Early American reproductions.

Woods
Each project includes a clearly illustrated diagram and step-by-step instructions detailing how to cut and assemble each part.
Lumberjocks.com
If you like American country furniture, then this book is a great resource for you, not only for the many plans but also for understanding what you are building and how to make it look American Country.
Furniture & Cabinetmaking Magazine (UK)
Fox Chapel's American Country Furniture will appeal to all lovers of this style.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565234321
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Series: American Woodworker Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,178,594
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Engler is the founder of Hands On! magazine and writes articles for Fine Woodworking and American Woodworker. He has published 48 books on woodworking, including the Workshop Companion series. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mary Jane Favorite is a folk artist, a woodworking designer, and an illustrator. She has contributed hundreds of her furniture designs to various woodworking books and magazines and is the coauthor of 50 Storage Projects for the Home and Country Woodworking. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

CONSTRUCTION
Tools, Materials, and Techniques

FOR EATING AND DRINKING
Trestle Table
Joining Breadboard Ends
Shaker Dining Bench
Shoe-Foot Settle Table
Spoon Rack
Knife Caddy

FOR READING AND WRITING
Lap Desk
Making Hand- Cut Dovetails
Bookshelf
Shaker Candle Ledge
Making Bentwood Boxes
Ratchet Candlestand
Meal Bin Filing Cabinet
Shaker Candlestand
Routing Dovetail Mortises and Tenons
Plantation Desk
Attaching Moldings

FOR DRESSING AND SLEEPING
Keeping Box
Pencil-Post Bed
Making Pencil Posts
Chest of Drawers
Shaker Cradle
Six-Board Chest
Fretwork Mirror
Turned-Post Bed

FOR SITTING AND REFLECTING
Ladder-Back Chair
Weaving a Tape Seat
Splay-Leg Side Table
Pouting Chair
Sofa Table
Wing-and-Arm Chair
Five-Board Bench
Occasional Tables

FOR COOKING AND BAKING
Bucket Bench
Pie Safe
Making Tin Panels
Water Bench
Herb Cupboard
Dry Sink
Making Backboards
Salt Box
Spice Cupboard
Driving Square Pegs in Round Holes

FOR STORING AND KEEPING
Hanging Corner Cabinet
Using Square-Cut Nails
Pewter Bench
Ohio Corner Cabinet
Chimney Cupboard
Hanging Corner Shelf
Plate Shelf
Whale Shelf
Step-Back Cabinet
Installing Glass in Cabinet Doors
Pipe Box

FINISH
Finishing Philosophy
Traditional Finishes
Museum-Quality Finishes

Sources
Index
Credits

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    The content itself is 5 stars.  There is a huge variety of proje

    The content itself is 5 stars.  There is a huge variety of projects for varying skill levels.  The author provides some fascinating historical background on what the pieces were originally used for and how they were made.  The projects are illustrated with measurements and explosion views so you have a better idea of exactly how they all fit together.  there are also special sections with the projects giving more detail on how to do the more unusual or complicated parts.  

    Unfortunately, the formatting does not work on Nook.  There's no way to expand the pages so that you can actually read it.  On the Nook, the writing is so tiny that I could barely make it out..  I was sort of able to read the descriptions with great effort, but I would not trust that I could see it clearly enough to use the measurements.  I can't even see if maybe it shows up larger online since it currently isn't available on Nook for web.  If there had been a preview available to have realized that this was a problem, I would not have bought it in the first place.  as it is, I will probably ask for a refund and see about just buying a hard copy.  Very disappointed. 

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