The Legacy of Patrick Spielman: Remembering a Woodworking Legend

Patrick Spielman
Patrick Spielman


Patrick Spielman was an American author and woodworker who left an indelible mark on the woodworking community. Known for his creative designs, insightful instructions, and expertise in woodworking, he inspired a generation of woodworkers through his books and articles.

Early Life and Education

Patrick Spielman was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 27, 1938. He grew up in the state and showed an early interest in woodworking. His passion for the craft led him to pursue a degree in Industrial Education at the University of Minnesota. After graduation, he worked as a high school woodworking teacher and later as a college instructor.

Career as a Woodworker and Author

Spielman's career as a woodworker took off in the 1970s when he began writing for woodworking magazines such as Woodsmith, Fine Woodworking, and Popular Woodworking. He wrote articles on various woodworking topics, from tool reviews to techniques for creating intricate designs.

In the 1980s, Spielman started publishing his books on woodworking, beginning with "The New Router Handbook" in 1983. He wrote over 65 books, many of which became bestsellers. His books covered various topics, including scroll sawing, pyrography, carving, and routing.

Spielman's books were known for their clear, concise instructions and creative designs. He was a master of the scroll saw, and many of his designs for fretwork and intarsia became classics in the woodworking community. He was also known for his innovative router use, creating intricate designs and patterns using this versatile tool.

In addition to his books, Spielman also produced instructional videos and gave seminars and workshops on woodworking. He was a frequent guest on television shows such as The Woodwright's Shop and Home and Garden Television.


Patrick Spielman passed away on October 11, 2004, at the age of 66. However, his legacy in the woodworking community lives on. His books and articles continue to be popular among woodworkers of all skill levels, and his designs have inspired countless woodworkers to take up the craft.

Spielman's contributions to woodworking were recognized by the National Woodworking Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 1995. He was also a founding member of the Woodworkers' Guild of America and was president from 1995 to 1998.


Patrick Spielman was a true pioneer in the world of woodworking. His books and articles helped to popularize the craft and inspire a new generation of woodworkers. His legacy lives on, and his designs continue to be admired and emulated by worldwide woodworkers. For those interested in woodworking, Patrick Spielman's work is a must-read.

Patrick Spielman authored over 65 books on woodworking during his career. Here is a comprehensive list of his books, in chronological order:

  1. The New Router Handbook (1983)
  2. Scroll Saw Handbook (1984)
  3. Creative Scroll Saw Segmentation (1985)
  4. Pyrography Handbook (1986)
  5. Intarsia: Artistry in Wood (1986)
  6. Victorian Gingerbread: Patterns and Techniques (1987)
  7. Puzzles and Games in Wood (1987)
  8. Classic Carving Patterns (1988)
  9. Relief Carving Workshop (1988)
  10. Scroll Saw Puzzle Patterns (1989)
  11. Wildlife Carving in Relief (1989)
  12. North American Wildlife Patterns for the Scroll Saw (1990)
  13. Creative Scroll Saw Fretwork Patterns (1991)
  14. Celtic Design: Knotwork, The Secret Method of the Scribes (1992)
  15. Wildlife Carving in Wood (1992)
  16. Wooden Puzzles: 31 Favorite Projects and Patterns (1992)
  17. Mastering Woodworking Machines (1993)
  18. The Router Book (1993)
  19. Classic Carving Projects (1993)
  20. Woodcarving Techniques & Projects (1993)
  21. The Art of Intarsia: Projects & Patterns (1994)
  22. Whirligigs & Weathervanes: A Celebration of Wind Gadgets With Dozens of Creative Projects to Make (1994)
  23. Intarsia Woodworking for Beginners: Skill-Building Lessons for Creating Beautiful Wood Mosaics (1995)
  24. Decorative Woodcarving: The Complete Course (1995)
  25. Making Wooden Baskets on Your Scroll Saw (1996)
  26. Outdoor Wood Projects: 24 Projects You Can Build in a Weekend (1996)
  27. Wildlife Carving in Relief, Second Edition Revised and Expanded (1996)
  28. Pyrography Workbook: A Complete Guide to the Art of Woodburning (1997)
  29. The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking: 150 Easy Projects (1998)
  30. The Big Book of Wooden Clocks: 29 Favorite Projects & Patterns (1998)
  31. The Ultimate Scroll Saw Handbook (1998)
  32. Scroll Saw Country Patterns (1998)
  33. Creative Scroll Saw Ornament Patterns (1998)
  34. Making Wooden Chess Sets: 15 One-of-a-Kind Designs for the Scroll Saw (1999)
  35. The Weekend Crafter: Woodcarving: 20 Great Projects for Beginners & Weekend Carvers (1999)
  36. Wildlife Portraits in Wood: 30 Patterns to Capture the Beauty of Nature (1999)
  37. Scroll Saw Picture Frames: 35 Designs (1999)
  38. Wildlife Carving in Relief, Third Edition: Revised and Expanded (2000)
  39. 300 Christian & Inspirational Patterns for Scroll Saw Woodworking (2000)
  40. Making Wooden Gear Clocks (2000)
  41. Wooden Bowls from the Scroll Saw: 28 Useful & Surprisingly Easy-to-Make Projects (2000)
  42. Artistic Intarsia Projects: Patterns & Pieces for 15 Beautiful Designs (2001)
  43. Wooden Chess Sets You Can Make: 9 Complete Designs for the Scroll Saw (2001)
  44. Scroll Saw Holiday Puzzles: 27 Seasonal Patterns for Christmas and Other Holiday Scrolling (2001)
  45. The Art of Fine Woodturning: Projects & Inspiration for Every Turner (2001)
  46. Scroll sawing for Woodworkers (2002)
  47. Wildlife Carving in Relief, Fourth Edition: Revised and Expanded (2002)

Patrick Spielman wrote hundreds of articles for various woodworking magazines during his career. Here is a list of some of his articles, organized by publication:

Better Homes and Gardens WOOD Magazine:

  • "Tablesaw Essentials," January 2001
  • "Router Essentials," May 2001
  • "Jigs and Fixtures," August 2001
  • "Band Saw Essentials," October 2001
  • "Drill Press Essentials," January 2002
  • "Lathe Essentials," March 2002
  • "Portable Power Tools," May 2002
  • "Shop-Made Machines," July 2002
  • "Router Jigs and Fixtures," September 2002
  • "Tablesaw Jigs and Fixtures," November 2002
  • "Scroll Saw Essentials," January 2003
  • "Finishing Essentials," March 2003
  • "Dust Control," May 2003

Popular Woodworking Magazine:

  • "Designing a Workbench," October 1992
  • "The Sawstop Story," October 2003
  • "The New American Woodshop: Meet Scott Phillips," October 2003
  • "The Incredible Shrinking Shop," December 2003
  • "The Shop of the Future," February 2004
  • "The Rebirth of Wooden Planes," August 2004
  • "The Secrets of French Polishing," October 2004
  • "The All-American Router Table," December 2004
  • "The Ultimate Sawhorse," February 2005
  • "Understanding Saw Blades," April 2005
  • "The Fine Art of Bandsaw Boxes," August 2005
  • "Router Table Essentials," October 2005
  • "The Secret Life of Drawers," December 2005
  • "The Incredible Folding Bench," February 2006
  • "Coping with Coping Saws," April 2006
  • "The Ultimate Router Table Revisited," June 2006
  • "Miter Saw Station Essentials," August 2006
  • "The All-American Bookcase," October 2006
  • "The Perfect Workbench," December 2006

Woodworker's Journal:

  • "Portable Power Tools," October 2001
  • "Mastering Miter Saws," June 2003
  • "Woodworking With Plywood," February 2004
  • "Mastering the Router Table," June 2004
  • "All About Woodworking Glue," February 2005
  • "Tablesaw Techniques," August 2005
  • "Mastering Wood Turning," February 2006
  • "The Power of the Lathe," October 2006

These are just a few examples of Patrick Spielman's magazine articles. He also contributed to several other publications, including Woodsmith, American Woodworker, and Fine Woodworking.



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