Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Book Review: One Plank Woodworking Projects by Andy Standing

What can you make with a single plank of wood and some imagination? This is the simple challenge that the cover of this book suggests, though there is quite a lot more to this intriguing book from the ever popular GMC publications stable.

The basic premise is a series of projects that are made from a limited set of materials, in general a single plank with the occasional fixings. The projects have a good range of skill levels and combined, produce several really good practical and decorative pieces such as a toolbox and a lamp base.

Early chapters give an overview of both hand and power tools that you can use, as well as some handy tips on measuring and cutting techniques.  So is it a beginner’s guide? Not really, in our opinion, though if you are thinking of getting into woodworking but have yet to take the plunge (no pun intended), it’s a reasonable starting point in terms of tools you might need and projects you could have a go at.
The project section of the book has well set out pages with clear instructions and excellent photography, and if you have a well-stocked workshop quite a few of your tools will get an outing as you work your way through. The level of skill and experience required does vary quite a lot, though not necessarily increasing in the order the projects appear in the book, so it’s definitely worth a thumb through to find a project that you are comfortable with as your starting point. Also, as the book makes clear, the end point of each project is a bare wood item that will need some finish applied to be both practical and pleasing.

We did like this book from the standpoint of some straight forward practice projects using the one plank limitation as the thread to join them together. Where it could go in a second volume is to really push this theme and explore the real design challenge implied in the title. For established woodworkers it is real food for thought and from Triton it’s an open challenge; just what could you make from a single plank? Contact us via the website or leave a comment on the blog with your ideas.

One Plank Woodworking Projects by Andy Standing is available from GMCbooks.com and other retailers on line.

ISBN-978-1-86108-898-7