WILLIAMSTOWN - A regular contributor to woodworking magazines, Williamstown resident A.J. Hamler already has several publications to his credits and recently added a new cover to his bookshelf.
Hamler, who has been writing since 1984 in different genres including science fiction and Civil War woodworking, was asked by publisher Popular Woodworking Books to write a new book, "The Box Builders Handbook." His latest contribution went on sale in November and provides woodworking techniques and 21 step-by-step projects. More information on the book is available on the publisher's webpage at www.shopwoodworking.com/product/box-builders-handbook/woodworking-books or on Amazon.
Hamler's two books from last year, "Civil War Woodworking" and "Easy to Build Birdhouses" have been accepted at the Tamarack bookstore.
"The Box Builder's Handbook" is a compilation of woodworking techniques for making decorative boxes.
"Boxes feature a variety of techniques and joints such as mitered corners, dados, wood bending or interlocking box joints, and the goal of the book is to teach these individual skills to the reader through a series of projects. To do this, I've presented 20 projects - most of my own design - with each project illustrating the process for one or more of these techniques," Hamler said. "For example, I cover wood bending in a project showing how to make an oval Shaker box, dovetailed corners for a child's puzzle box, and even woodturning techniques on the lathe for a series of potpourri boxes, to name just a few."
"As with my previous book, "Easy To Build Birdhouses," it was actually my publisher, Popular Woodworking Books, who came to me with the idea for the book. I've done a good bit of work for them over the years, and when they wanted to do a book on box-making techniques they asked me if I would design some original projects and write the book for them. I love building decorative boxes, so I was delighted to agree to do the book for them." Hamler said.
Among other projects, Hamler has been working on another book, "Civil War Woodworking Volume II," writing a twice-weekly blog for Woodshop News Magazine, writing and editing a special interest publication for Wood Magazine, writing a series of articles for Woodworker's Journal, plus articles for other woodworking magazines and some online home-improvement websites as well.
Hamler said his interest in woodworking began while taking wood shop in high school.
"After I finished all the required shop classes by ninth grade, I decided to take wood shop as an elective every year after that right through graduation. After high school and college I entered broadcasting as a career for several decades. I always had tools and enjoyed building things during those years, but didn't really start woodworking seriously until about the same time I started writing 20 years or so ago. I enjoyed it so much that I completely changed careers in 1997, leaving broadcasting behind for woodworking publishing where I was editor of two magazines over an eight-year period. I became a full-time freelance writer in 2005, specializing in woodworking and home improvement topics," Hamler said.
In addition to his newest book, Hamler continues writing magazine articles.
"I've published articles this year in Woodworker's Journal for which I've become something of a regular; Woodshop News, American Woodworker, and Handy Magazine. I'm currently at work on three different magazine articles; a special interest publication on outdoor projects for which I'm the publication editor and lead writer; a series of online articles for Woodworker's Journal; plus my twice-weekly blog for Woodshop News. I'm also about to wrap up my next book, volume-two of the Civil War Woodworking book," Hamler said.
Hamler's personal interests range from cooking, hiking and science to Civil War reenacting.
"I've found a good niche for my writing in the areas of woodworking and home improvement. Fast on the heels of the February 2010 appearance of "Civil War Woodworking" from Linden Publishing, "Easy-to-Build Birdhouses" came out last July from F&W Publications.