By Robert Wearing
Becoming proficient at handwork isn’t just about muscle memory and learning to sharpen. It’s also about building a handful of effective “appliances” (jigs, fixtures and the like) that assist your saws, planes and chisels for repeatable work.
One of the foremost experts on these appliances is Robert Wearing, who wrote extensively about them for Woodworker magazine and published a number of books on the topic. Earlier this year we approached Wearing about collecting the best of the appliances for handwork into one new book, and he agreed.
The result is “The Solution at Hand: Jigs & Fixtures to Make Benchwork Easier,” a hardbound book of our favorite jigs from Wearing’s career. The book covers a wide swath of material, from building workbench appliances for planing, to making handscrews (and many other ingenious clamps), some simple tools that you cannot buy anywhere else, to marking devices that make complex tasks easier.
In all, there are 157 jigs, all of which are illustrated with Wearing’s handmade drawings. The book is designed as more of a reference book than something you read straight through. Already after editing the book, I now find myself returning to it and thinking: I know Wearing had a solution for this problem. And he did.
“The Solution at Hand” is 200 pages long and is in a 6” x 9” format (like Wearing's “The Essential Woodworker”). The pages are casebound, sewn for long-term durability and wrapped in hardback boards that are covered in cotton cloth. As always, our books are produced and printed entirely in the USA.