Bibliomaniac’s Guide to Geometry, Architecture and Building

I suffer from Bibliomania.  I just can’t get enough information about woodworking.  I’ve got books about woodworking stacked up all over the place.  Seems like every other piece I build is a bookcase.  Gramps told me that you have to keep studying the craft if you’re going to master it.  I’ve been studying for more than a half century now, I’m still learning and I’m still delighted in books on the subject.

Trevor commented on a recent post and asked if I’d share some suggestions on books that I believe are especially influential.  I am happy to comply with that request.  The list of what I would consider to be essential reading for any woodworker is extensive.  So I’ve decided to break it up by subject and put it in several posts, lest it become simply overwhelming.

My motto has always been that “I would be happy to pay $100 for a book, as long as it gave me just one good idea”.

Enjoy.

GEOMETRY,  ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING

The Elements – Euclid

The Golden Ratio – Mario Livio

The Ten Books on Architecture – Vitruvius – A classic

The Classical Orders of Architecture – Robert Chatham

The Architect , or Practical House Carpenter – Asher Benjamin – Leader of Greek Revival Architecture in North America

The American Builders Companion – Asher Benjamin

The Country Builder’s Assistant – Asher Benjamin

The Steel Square – Frederick Hodgson – Essential

Circular Work in Carpentry and Joinery – George Collings

Modern Practical Joinery – George Ellis – An incredible resource

Specialized Joinery – Thos. Corkhill and S.G. Duckworth

Modern Practical Stairbuilding and Handrailing – George Ellis

A Treatise on Stairbuilding and Handrailing – W&A Mowat

A Simplified Guide to Custom Stairbuilding and Tangent Handrailing – George R. diCristina – Be wary when anyone says it’s a “simplified” guide. It’s definitely NOT. But, it might be the best staircase book available.

Illustrated Interior Carpentry – Graham Blackburn

The Complete Japanese Joinery – H. Sato & Y. Nakahara

The Art of Japanese Joinery – Kiyosi Seike  –  Beautiful B&W photos of tradition lengthening and connecting joinery as still practiced by Japanese“Temple” Carpenters.  Note that many of the same joints were used in the West, as well.

Decorating with Architactural Details – Schmidt&Walker

and when all else fails to motivate;

1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die – Dominic Roskrow

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2 Comments on “Bibliomaniac’s Guide to Geometry, Architecture and Building”


  1. Does the Roskrow book come with samples?

  2. Nickolas Says:

    I relish, cause I found just what I was looking for.

    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye


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