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About the Book

Beyond the Book

192 pp., 8.5 x 11, 307 drawings, 1 table, appends., bibl., index

The Woodwright’s Guide

Working Wood with Wedge and Edge


For thirty years, Roy Underhill's PBS program, The Woodwright's Shop, has brought classic hand-tool craftsmanship to viewers across America. Now, in his seventh book, Roy shows how to engage the mysteries of the splitting wedge and the cutting edge to shape wood from forest to furniture.

Beginning with the standing tree, each chapter of The Woodwright's Guide explores one of nine trades of woodcraft: faller, countryman and cleaver, hewer, log-builder, sawyer, carpenter, joiner, turner, and cabinetmaker. Each trade brings new tools and techniques; each trade uses a different character of material; but all are united by the grain in the wood and the enduring mastery of muscle and steel.

Hundreds of detailed drawings by Eleanor Underhill (Roy's daughter) illustrate the hand tools and processes for shaping and joining wood. A special concluding section contains detailed plans for making your own foot-powered lathes, workbenches, shaving horses, and taps and dies for wooden screws.

The Woodwright's Guide is informed by a lifetime of experience and study. A former master craftsman at Colonial Williamsburg, Roy has inspired millions to "just say no to power tools" through his continuing work as a historian, craftsman, activist, and teacher. In The Woodwright's Guide, he takes readers on a personal journey through a legacy of off-the-grid, self-reliant craftsmanship. It's a toolbox filled with insight and technique as well as wisdom and confidence for the artisan in all of us.

About the Author

Roy Underhill is host of the popular PBS show The Woodwright's Shop, now approaching its fourth decade of production. He is author of six previous books, including The Woodwright's Shop: A Practical Guide to Traditional Woodcraft and The Woodwright's Workbook: Further Explorations in Traditional Woodcraft (both from the University of North Carolina Press). He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.


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