Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications (May 1, 1980)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #565,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #75 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Dolls, Toys & Figurines > Dolls #130 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > Furniture #899 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Projects
This book is a reproduction of three Popular Mechanics Magazine publications from before WW I, at the height of the Mission furniture craze. It includes about 100 projects. Each one consists of a parts list, one to two pages of text (a total of about 200-500 words), a black-and-white shaded drawing of the finished piece of furniture (sort of like a bad photo) and minimalist plans. The plans are simple front and side elevations. Don't expect exploded views like one would find in a modern woodworking magazine.A paragraph from the text for a five-drawer dresser/mirror combination is illustrative of the brevity of much of the instructions:QUOTE: In working up the various parts, proceed in the usual manner. If not thoroughly familiar with the various tool processes involved, it will be necessary to investigate pieces of nearby furniture and to read up some good text dealing with the processes involved.In other words, don't buy this book if you are a novice woodworker looking to have your hand held, step-by-step through the construction process.What one really gets with the purchase of this book are two things. First, an interesting look at turn-of-the-century America and the arts & crafts period, from the perspective of a middle-class magazine for home craftsmen. Second, one gets a collection of designs for generic mission or arts & crafts furniture. To me, the vast majority of the designs are unappealing. At best, they seem just a little off target, as though a high-school woodshop class student were given an assignment to make an original mission furniture piece. However, there are a few interesting pieces.I bought this book because I buy *EVERYTHING* about Stickley/Mission/Roycroft furniture. I do not regret the purchase, but I will probably never make any of the projects, and if I did I would have to spend a half a day (at least) making production drawings of the parts for the furniture.
I recently bought this book because I was intrigued by its old-time style. It is a reproduction of three old how-to manuals from the early 1900's. The preface states that the writing was left alone, but that the indexes and page numbering were altered to make sense in this volume. I am well pleased with this purchase because of what it is and what it is not:IT IS - a great collection of Mission Style furniture plans, complete with materials lists and drawings to give a modern furniture maker plenty of ideas for design.IT IS NOT - a basic how-to manual which spends half of the book explaining the basics of tools and workshop safety. It is also not a step-by-step cookbook for building the furniture listed. In many places, this book states that you should save time by having the lumber dealer surface and cut all of your stock to size to save time and effort! (apparently this was cheaper in 1910!)The real value of this book is as an idea generator and an aid to someone trying to design their own furniture. It also provides some interesting insights into finishing practices common to this furniture in the good old days. Check it out, its worth a look.
This book succeeds at depicting furniture designs that in their time held a place in the Arts and Crafts movement along with the great designs of the Stickleys and a few other masters. Are these pieces as pleasing in form and sturdy in structure as those designed by Gustav and his brothers? Do they all adhere closely to the design principles of the Arts and Crafts movement? Is Harvey Ellis' influence apparent in any of these designs? Not to my eye. However, much of what's in the book appears simple to build, and some would be useful to have around the house. By way of contrast, I find the designs presented in Robert Lang's books and in the Bavaro and Mossman book to be more to my liking. Those books also include more information about construction processes and details.
I agree with most of Donald C. Thompson's review, but wanted to add a few points.If you are not skilled at making furniture, this is not the book for you, because the descriptions on how to make each project consists solely of a parts list, plus two to three small paragraphs. In some instances the plans are not accurate. If you are looking for examples of mission furniture, this is a good overview, but the pictures/illustrations are barely legible and there are many other much better books.In regards to the binding, this book is of substandard quality. Paying $18-24 for the hardcover version is not suggested. The binding is that of a cheap child's textbook with a plastic feel. After opening the book about 4-6 times, the binding is already showing stress. I would suggest purchasing the paperback version for about $10. I have a huge library of furniture books and furniture plans. As a note, this is one of many recent books I have purchased that are now printed and bound in China. I purchase all my books when possible in hardcover format to make them last longer, however in almost every instance of a hardcover book bound in China, I have been disappointed. The bindings break very easily on most of these books.
Several projects (200+) of mostly intermediate to high skill level. Seems to be an older book because there are no color illustrations.. only black and white. There are cut list and directions that are very detailed. This book is great for the seasoned wood worker or the beginer that is looking for more challenging projects.