Closer look at “The Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture”

August 22, 2012

Recently I mentioned the release of Bob Lang’s new compilation “The Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture”. A complete work of his 1st, 2nd and 4th books of complete craftsman furniture shop drawings.

Since my first post about its availability, I’ve had an opportunity to peruse the book’s pages and read several of the chapters.

While admittedly I’m not the best book reviewer and critic of what should or shouldn’t be between the covers I can tell you I was blown away by the amount of detail and knowledge Bob brings to the subject.

The first few chapters are a wealth of information on topics such as; the origins of the Craftsman movement and much of its philosophy, materials selection, hardware selection, and woodworking techniques.

While you maybe tempted to skip right over them and dive directly into the proceeding chapters filled with detailed shop drawings, you really should sit down at the end of a long shop day to read and appreciate them.

Understanding the history behind the movement will give you a greater appreciation of every aspect of the build. But if learning about the history behind the shop drawings has absolutely no appeal to you what-so-ever, at least take the time to read the chapters on reading and understanding the shop drawings and also on the materials and hardware.

These chapters, in my opinion, will make the all the difference in how you’ll use this book in your own shop to replicate the pieces you’ll find in subsequent chapters.

And in regards to those drawings, “The Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” is filled with some of the most detailed shop drawings anyone could ask for. The level of detail can only be out done by the original plans themselves, and with that said…I think I still would prefer to have these.

To get your copy of “The Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” (including signed copies from the author) order directly from Bob’s website at

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Comments (8)

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  1. John Verreault (aka JohnnyVee) says:

    Hi Matt

    Great little review! From one history buff to another, I thoroughly agree with your statement on understanding the history of the Arts and Crafts movement as being critical to understanding what you are building. If you don’t know why a technique is being done the way it is, then you are just “photocopying” not truly being creative.

    Now I need to round up a copy of this tome for myself.


  2. Bruce says:

    I just received my copy in the mail and it will be a great reference and inspiration for for both projects in the book and as “parts and pieces” of other projects. I am still curious about what happened to book #3. 😉

  3. aj says:

    It some really bad reviews on Amazon. Many essential dimensions are missing and there are serious proof reading errors.

  4. Dave King says:

    I also read the reviews about the book on Amazon, and so far they’re not very flattering in terms of the printing omissions / errors I’t s so hard to know when people are being hyper critical or if they have a justified complaint. If there are errors…. perhaps Bob could post the corrections on his website ? We’d all like our creations to be perfect first time out, but hopefully they’ll be corrected in future editions. My own experience with his work has been positive. I have the original books and one on his built ins and they’re great for getting your head around the mechanics of how they were put together. I’m not that bothered about exact dimensions, because more than likely I’d make minor changes to suit my needs and tastes.

    • Matt says:

      I feel very much the same way about the dimensions of any project or plan. I like to make small tweaks that make it work better with the materials I’m using or the place it’ll be sitting.

    • Bob Lang says:

      There were some issues with the first printing of this book, that have been corrected by a second printing. The negative reviews on Amazon refer to the first printing, even though they show up on the page for the “revised edition”. You can read all about it here:

      Look for a yellow tag in the lower right corner of the front cover that says “Revised Edition”. You can get a signed copy directly from me, and if you purchased the first printing from me, get in touch and I’ll replace it.

      Bob Lang

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