books of the month newgen books for YA readers
Search our site
The Course of History Ten Meals That Changed the World by Struan Stevenson, Tony Singh Read the opening extract of the brand new Struan Stevenson, Tony Singh book before its publication on 24/10/2017

Bench Planes (Missing Shop Manual) with DVD by Ernie Conover

Bench Planes (Missing Shop Manual) with DVD

RRP £19.79


Bench Planes (Missing Shop Manual) with DVD by Ernie Conover

This title includes information on choosing, setting up, tuning and using bench planes. This is a durable, pocket-sized manual that is ideal for quick reference. It provides a complete overview of bench planes and their accessories from master woodworker Ernie Conover that includes information on everything to do with bench planes: choosing, setting up and tuning and using. It also features plans for shooting boards and other useful plane accessories and jigs. This is a durable, pocket-sized manual that will show readers how to get the most for their money by getting the most from their equipment and is ideal for quick reference.


I love woodworking. I'm not great at it - I figure it'll take me another 15+ years to hit that magic 10,000 hour mark in the shop to reach an expert's level of craftsmanship. But in the meantime, I try to always have something going on in the shop that either allows me to learn a new skill or get a bit more practice with an older one. Right now, I'm enjoying learning how to properly use my router table. I know how to use a router as a stand-alone device, but the table is going to allow me to branch out and really do some interesting stuff. But mounting the router underneath the table brought with it some questions that required me to dig out the router manual a big white heap of pages that answered my question but not with a lot of enjoyment. I've done this in the past, breaking out my stack of manuals to remind myself how to tune my table saw or replace the blade correctly in my band saw. The operator manuals that come with tools are definitely useful, but they have one glaringly obvious drawback - the manual will tell you how to properly and safely operate a tool, but it won't tell you how to really use it. You won't get the advice that a pro can offer when you're first getting your feet wet with a new tool (well, unless you have access to a few pros). This is exactly the situation I found myself in when I first purchased my circular saw, my table saw, my band saw, and my router. I tell you all this so you'll understand (and not poke too much fun at me) why I grabbed the box from the UPS guy and beat a path to my man cave to tear into the care package sent to me from Fox Chapel Publishing. They've got books on a lot of different subjects from Mennonite Cookbooks to Sewing to Winemaking to Woodburning. But it's their woodworking titles that make me drool, with subjects ranging from furniture making to pinewood derby cars. Tucked in the box were ten little books I've been itching to read and review, and I've just completed the entire set after just a little over a week. If that sounds like a lot of reading in a short time, rest assured that these ten little books are short, easy to read, and sure to be of interest to anyone who has stared at a power tool and wondered how to operate it, how to maintain it, and ultimately how best to use it. The series is called The Missing Shop Manual, and while I certainly hope the library continues to grow, you'll likely find at least one of the books that matches a tool in your shop maybe more. The series claims you'll wish this was the manual that originally came with your insert-tool-name-here. I can't speak for all ten books as I've not yet got a jointer, shaper, or lathe (my wife is grimacing right now as she realizes I don't yet have all the tools I really want), but I can tell you that the claim holds true for my band saw (2-page manual, I kid you not), my router (a bit better manual, but no actual usage examples), and my drill press (a little better with a 3-page manual but half of it was warnings and troubleshooting steps). I'll go ahead and say it - I wasn't really certain how much these little books (most of them averaging less than 150 pages) were going to really help me when I started reading. But after completing the Router and Table Saw books, I couldn't stop smiling. I had already picked up on some of the advice in these books, but there was new stuff in there (to me). Stuff I know I would likely never have figured out without someone with experience telling me. But since I typically work alone and am of the I'll-figure-it-out-on-my-own mentality, I tend to make mistakes often. That's how I learn, I guess. But let's take the Band Saw book, for example. I thought using a band saw was pretty straight forward. I knew how to operate it, how to tighten the blade, and how to do a few tricky cuts. But I never thought to check the blade wheel alignment. I guess the manufacturer just figured it would be perfect from the factory. (Wrong.) This little book even showed me how to test for (and fix) an out-of-round blade wheel. There was zero mention of this in the manufacturer's manual fortunately my blade wheels were round but the alignment was a bit off. I fixed it per the book's instructions and did a test cut on a piece of hardwood that had been giving me trouble. Immediate improvement that I could tell just by feel. I can go on with more examples. The Circular Saws and Jig Saws book (two tools in one book) gave me a much better understanding of two of the tools I use most in my shop. Again, I thought I knew all there was to using these tools, but the little manual proved otherwise by offering me some tips on how to make specific types of cuts with these (at times) not so accurate cutting tools, especially the jig saw. The Table Saw book I read twice. I honestly could not believe how little I knew about the maintenance and operation of one of the most expensive tools in my shop. I mean, seriously - how hard would it be for tool manufacturers to provide some DVDs and mini-projects to help us learn how to use our new tools better? Thankfully, it's never too late to learn and I can point to the Table Saw book as a prime example of where The Missing Shop Manual is a worthy investment. I started reading the Glue and Clamps book as I was waiting for my wife to get ready to go shopping - she gave me the funniest look when I put a bookmark in and took it with me. Yes, I actually enjoyed reading about gluing and clamping techniques while sitting and waiting for her to finish her shopping. I even had one guy pass by me, give me a strange look, and then ask me if the book was any good! I've never done any drawer assembly, but now I know what to buy (and why) should I ever try to put together a box. All of the books contain a mixture of color photographs and color line drawings to demonstrate techniques or concepts. They're also, as I said earlier, short and sweet. You can typically read an entire book in less than 45 minutes or, in the case of the Jointer book's 77 pages, about 20 minutes. The books range in price from $9.95 to $12.95, with the exception being the Bench Planes book that comes with a 55-minute DVD showing techniques and proper usage. After reading all ten books, I'm thinking I'd really like a lathe. The Lathe book was fun to read, even though I don't own one. I know what's involved (to a point), so it was interesting to read a detailed overview of how the tool works, how the various cutting tools are used, and some of the interesting things I can do with it. The Missing Shop Manual series is well done. Most of us who enjoy woodworking are not professional woodworkers, so it's nice to have little books like this available to help refresh our memory on operation, cleaning, tuning, and proper usage. I know I'm guilty of getting lazy here and there and operating a tool improperly, so I think I'm going to make myself a promise to review these books once a year to keep me on my toes and keep my tools in proper working order. Take a look at your own tools and find the one that gives you the most trouble or the one that you tend to take for granted that you know everything there is to know about it. Pick up a copy of the matching Missing Shop Manual and give it a read - I'll be curious to know what you think. The ten books in the series include: Jointer Lathe Shaper Glue and Clamps Band Saw Circular Saws and Jig Saws Router Table Saw Drills and Drill Presses Bench Planes

About the Author

Ernie Conover is a professional woodworker and the author of many woodworking titles. He teaches and provides academic oversight at Conover Workshops, a craft school that has taught thousands of students the craft of woodturning, founded by the Conover family.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2011


Ernie Conover

More books by Ernie Conover
Author 'Like for Like'


Fox Chapel Publishing


48 pages


DIY: carpentry & woodworking



Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

Lovereading takes the guesswork out of finding your next read with "if you like you'll love" and extracts to help with your decision.

Sarah Bruch

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

Lovereading always comes up with great suggestions and has introduced me to enjoyable books and new authors to discover.

Gaynor Passmore

I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch