I started to be interested in working with wood at an early age. I remember at an age of 10, after seeing a wooden model of a navy battleship built by two brothers in neighborhood, I spent a whole summer building a similar one; on a small balcony of my parents’ apartment, I did drafting, wooden board measurement, handsaw cutting, and assembling and gluing all by myself. It was a lot of fun. However, the wooden battleship ends up falling apart terribly after putting in water. What I did not realize at that time was 1) yellow glue won’t be able to hold the boards together in water 2) proper design of joinery is critical for the integrity of the structure 3) water proof paint is necessary to prevent warping and cupping of the boards.
I guess doing it to have fun and really knowing the stuff are two different things. Like everything else, mere enthusiasm isn’t enough to succeed in making a high-quality product; learning the trade through books is an effective way of getting there. A partial list of my favorite woodworking books include: 1. Joinery, by Gary Rogowski. 2.Furniture & Cabinet Construction, by Andy Rae. 3. Illustrated Cabinetmaking – How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works, by Bill Hylton. 4. Shop Drawings for Greene and Greene Furniture:23 American Arts and Crafts Masterpieces, by Robert Lang