LaymarCrafts Woodturning Books


The Wood Handbook or The Real Wood Bible, as it is known in different parts of the World, by Nick Gibbs is sub-titled "An Illustrated Guide to 100 Decorative Woods and Their Uses" and as the title suggests full of useful information on all things Wood with full page photos of the Woods in question.

However the "100" stated in the sub-title is incorrect as the Index indicates their to be 98   Principle Woods and 22 Secondary Woods with an additional section covering Special Effect Woods of which their are over 50.

The Book starts with an Introduction which covers such items as "The Family of Woods" and then discusses how to Choose Wood and then onto Working Safely with Wood.

Sustainability is covered in some depth listing Woods that are endangered and Timber Certification, the Book also lists relevant Web Sites for more information and advice on these subjects.

Short Chapters follow on Buying Wood with a useful list of Abbreviations used in the Timber Industry, whether for Buying, Grading or Identifying. Trees to Boards covers the many ways Timber can be Cut, Shrinkage Rates of Common Woods are listed including Shrinkage you can expect in your Workshop and finally a Chapter on Wood Storage, all useful stuff.

The Woods themselves are divided into Groups the first of which is, Principal Woods, defined as Species that are commercially available from around the World and most commonly used by Woodworkers.

As I said above this section Describes and Illustrates 98 different Hard and Soft Woods with the more popular Species fully detailed and illustrated over two pages one of which is a full page Picture of the Wood as Cut, information given includes both Common Name and the Botanical Name, the Woods Strengths and Weaknesses, it's Key Characteristics plus the Availability and Sustainability with a Key to it's major uses.

We then have the Secondary Woods Section, which are defined as Woods that are not Widely Available and those that are of less importance to the Woodworker, however I see Woods here that we as Woodturners use regularly and therefore in the Woodturners World these would be recognised as "Principle Woods"

The final section is for Woods with Special Effects, these are Woods that are covered in the main section of the Book but due to such things as Disease, Figuring, Burrs and Cutting Methods take on a whole new Look.

Plenty here for everyone using Wood with many links to Web Sites of Interest.

The Wood Handbook by Nick Gibbs  
Published by Apple Press.   ISBN 1-84543-001-8


The Real Wood Bible by Nick Gibbs
Published by Firefly Books.   ISBN 1-55407-033-3


Japanese Bowls, A Western Perspective is the Catalogue from the recent Exhibitions held at the AAW Symposium 2007 in Portland, Oregon and also at the AAW Gallery in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

This Catalogue shows the result from 40 well known Woodturners that had  been presented with a Rough Turned Traditional Japanese Bowl, used for Urushi Ware, with the brief to use the Shape to make and finish a Bowl in a style of there choosing.

The real benefit you get from this small booklet is the diversity of Design and Shapes you can get from a Single Bowl Design, and I'm sure there are many more if you open up your mind.


A number of the interpretations are readily associated with particular Woodturners who have used there traditional Signature Style in the Design of the Bowl, Jigsaw Cutouts from Art Liestman, intricate Piercing by Binh Pho and the bold Carving's of Ron Fleming , all instantly recognisable.

These Bowls are really quite small and the final picture in the Catalogue, as is the picture on the front, shows the Bowl approximately Full Size, as the Catalogue is only 150mm x 150mm [6" square] you will appreciate how small is small

This Gem is only available from the AAW, see there  Web Site, and is well worth the money.

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Last update 12 August 2007
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