Complete Woodworking – The Book By Chris Tribe

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Complete Woodworking | 6 Comments

Complete Woodworking By Chris TribeYou have reached the section of the website that contains companion resources to accompany my book, ‘Complete Woodworking’ published December 2016.

There is a discussion section where you are welcome to ask questions and discuss skills, techniques and projects in the book. I will try to drop in here as often as I can.

These companion resources and discussion area are important to me, and I hope to you, as without them it would not be complete woodworking.


The Book

I have tried to write Complete Woodworking as if I was standing by the reader in his workshop, instructing and helping with all the difficulties that can arise for the beginner. Why does my joint not fit even though I’ve done everything according to the book? Why doesn’t my plane cut smoothly? How can I make this cut on the router table without break out?

I hope I have predicted many of the issues that  arise for the novice woodworker and provided answers for many of these questions. However, there will inevitably be unanticipated difficulties and doubts that arise. Please use the discussion areas to raise these with myself and fellow woodworkers.

Buy It

The book is available from Amazon, however, I would encourage you to support your local bookshop who will be able to order it if not in stock.

Review It

If you find the book helpful then please leave a positive review on Amazon telling others how it has helped you.

The Projects:

Here you will find downloadable drawings and cutting lists for each of the projects in the book.

The drawings are made using software (an App) called Sketchup. You can download a free copy of Sketchup here. The free version you want is Sketchup Make for personal use. If you wished to amend the design of a project the sketchup drawing could provide a starting point.

Once you have downloaded a project drawing. Open the file in Sketchup where you can use it to view the drawing in 3D, rotating and zooming in on the detail as you wish. There is a Sketchup tutorial which is probably worth looking at and is probably the first port of call if you experience any difficulties. You can also adjust dimensions to suit your needs.

If you just want to view the drawings including zoom and rotate and not edit them then you may find the free Sketchup viewer simpler.

The dimensions on the drawings and cutting list are in millimetres. At school I was taught in imperial and started my woodworking career using feet and inches. But I came to realise that the metric system was so much easier to work in and have used metric for many years. It is simple to change to imperial measurements in sketchup. For each drawing go to Window/ model info/units where you can change the format and precision of the measurements.

The starting point for the cutting list was a plug in, or extension as it’s called in sketchup, called Cutlist. I then tweaked the spread sheet produced by Cutlist to remove the less useful information and add some extra details such as the rough cut dimensions. Apologies to imperialists that the cut list is in metric.

I have also given some additional Information for each project. If you find areas of a project need clarification please let me know and I may amend the additional information

Taking It Further:

I will add links to any relevant additional topics here:

Figure and Grain – Understanding the difference between figure and grain is important. The direction of the grain affects the quality of cut from edge tools, often people confuse figure with grain. This text was accidentally cut from the book so I am including it here.

The Design Chapter – It was originally intended to have a chapter on design in the book. But we ran out of space. The chapter was partly written when the decision was made so, for completeness, I finished it off and included it here. As it was not going to be in the book I have made the style a little more “chatty”, a bit more like my teaching style. Also, as it has not been to the publishers art department the artwork is a bit amateurish! However I hope it helps.

If you like what you've read or know someone who would,
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Thankyou, Chris.



  1. Chris Tribe
    16th January 2017

    Questions, ideas, comments on the book?

    Add them below, start a discussion.

    Reviews (good one’s)?

    Add to the Amazon book page here please.

  2. David Moody
    8th March 2017

    Hello Chris,

    I was just reading the the profile about you in issue 314 of Good Woodworking Magazine. I’ve been subscribing to this magazine for a year now, and Australian Wood Review for several months. Both magazines feature profiles, but yours was the most inspiring of all that I’ve read so far. I’m an I.T. Coordinator and teacher at QSI International School of Phuket, so most of my day is spent either behind a computer or teaching kids how to use a computer. I also do some I.T. Stuff for my church, including the weekly podcasts, now using YouTube. I’ve been doing Woodworking on and off all my life as time and resources permit, but he last year has seen me get more serious, devoting most of my saturdays to going outside and getting covered in sawdust! I can certainly relate to your comments about it being good therapy for desk pilots, for me it is almost a lifesaver!

    It is so good to see people like yourself standing up and making such positive life changes like this. Not only are you making things you can enjoy but you’ve got the immense satisfaction from seeing the joy in your students when they complete their skills learning and projects. Well done.

    I’ve been wondering for myself what I can do in the future, there’s never a guarantee that my current job will last, and there’s also the strict laws forbidding foreigners other than Burmese, Cambodians etc, from pursuing manual labour employment here in Thailand. Your profile story has certainly encouraged me to rethink future possibilities. So, thanks for the inspiration, and God bless you with great success in your own endeavors.


    • Chris
      9th March 2017

      Hi David

      Thank you for the kind words, it’s always good to get feedback about ones efforts.

      What sort of woodwork do you do? I was wondering if you practiced any of the skills of Thai woodworkers. Is Thai woodwork just about carving or do they have other techniques of their own? I have never been to SE Asia but my daughter has as a back packer. I get the impression that often there are courses aimed at tourists, she did ones on thai cooking and batik. If you had experience with Thai woodworking techniques perhaps courses on that would be a possibility.

      I wish you well with your woodworking.

      Best wishes

      Chris Tribe

  3. Rufai Muhammad
    30th July 2018

    I learnt how to improve the performance of my bench plane from you.
    It really made me happy. God bless!!

  4. Simon Haynes
    23rd August 2018

    Just bought a copy your book. Thank you for the clarity and also with your YouTube videos and the recognition that safety is important.

    I’m retired, live in Sydney and have found another expat who makes Windsor chairs without harming any power tools. I have 2 with more required across the family. I enjoy using hand tools but recognize the importance of a few power tools.

    My question is about block planes and their sharpening. There is a school of thought that the blade should be gently rounded rather than the conventional straight edge. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this?

    • Chris
      23rd August 2018

      Hi Simon

      Thanks for the feedback. Interesting that you mention safety, I am typing this with a large bandage on my right thumb where I had an argument with my circular saw yesterday, so yes, safety is important!

      Regarding curvature on plane blades. I tend to put a slight camber on my bevel down planes such as the jack and jointer but not on the block plane. This is only a few thou., introduced by applying differential pressure on either side of the blade when honing. This helps with planing square where you can cut shavings of varying thicknesses by biasing the plane to either side. I have a video on this which I notice is quite distorted on YouTube so I plan to refilm it sometime. I use block planes for detailed work where the camber is not really required.

      I hope that is useful.



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