Review of “Furniture In The Southern Style” by Robert Lang and Glen Huey

I was at Popular Woodworking Magazine’s web site ( Popular Woodworking ) and I saw this new book titled “Furniture In The Southern Style”. The book was basically described as “27 shop drawings of furniture from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts” (Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina). The write up continued to note that the shop drawings were for furniture pieces built between 1710 and 1860.

I liked the idea of building a piece of furniture, putting it in my home, and being able to tell family members & visitors, yes that piece of furniture is a replicate of a piece built in say 1800. To me that’s just very neat. It’s the kind of reason that a lot of us got into woodworking to begin with, I believe.

Needless to say, I bought the book. It’s a great book, I think. It’s not going to get stuck on a bookshelf never to be looked at again by me.

Here are some specifics regarding this book:
1) Written by Robert Lang & Glen Huey
2) 159 pages in length
3) Covers 27 pieces of furniture, covering a span of time from 1710 to 1860.
4) Basically for each furniture piece, the following is provided:
a) A black & white photo of the furniture piece
b) Year the furniture piece was made
c) Who made it (If known)
d) What state it was made in
e) Type wood used to make the piece
f) A brief description of the construction of the piece
g) Detailed drawings of the piece, generally consisting of the following:
1) An Exploded View
2) Front View (Scaled)
3) Top View (Scaled)
4) Side View (Scaled)
5) Scaled Patterns and / or Details as applicable for each furniture piece.
5) Categories of furniture covered:
a) Tables & Chairs
b) Case Pieces
c) Cellarettes & Sideboards
d) Beds, Blanket Chests, & Lady’s Desk
e) Miscellaneous

Another thing I liked about the book was that the pieces were described as pieces that would have been found in your typical middle class home.

Verbiage in the book was limited to the following:
1) A three page “Forward” by Mack S. Headley, Jr, Master Cabinetmaker, Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop

Colonial Williamsburg. I found the “Forward” educational from both a woodworker historical perspective and also Mr. Headley’s take on the furniture pieces covered in this book.

2) A two page Introduction” by Mr. Lang & Mr. Huey. The authors briefly discussed the history of the 1700′s & 1800′s also from a woodworking perspective. The “Introduction” was also a good read.

It was for me anyway.

3) An eight page section titled “About The Furniture”. This section covered additional woodworking history details during the 1700′s & 1800′s. Construction methods & type lumber used during this time was also discussed. The authors discussed the process they went thru in putting the drawings together. It was also pointed out that it was not the purpose of this book to provide detailed instructions on building the furniture shown in the book.

4) A one page writeup for each of the 27 furniture pieces covered in this book.
Personally I like what the authors have done putting this book together. I found it to be a nice blend of history, furniture photos, and scaled furniture drawings.

This book can be found at the following Popular Woodworking Magazine link:
Search results for: ‘furniture in the southern style’ | ShopWoodworking

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Until next time, take care.