No matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or just getting started, we want to provide you with the best books on woodworking to help you progress in your woodworking career. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. Or you’re well on your way to becoming an expert but still want to expand your understanding and love for your craft. All aspects are covered in our easy and quick guide.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
Our recommendations for woodworking books are intended to be a comprehensive list of highly-regarded and popular woodworking titles that cater to varying skill levels and woodworking interests.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. These books are ideal for woodworkers who want to get started. They provide detailed instructions and explain basic techniques.
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Handpicked Selections for You
This list is not comprehensive. We would need much more time to list all possible books. Instead, we would like to present a few notable woodworking books highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals. While some are not on the best-seller list, and some are not even written in the last ten years, they hold up even to this day.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: For all things regarding wood finishing, this comprehensive guide helps with applying various lacquers and varnishes to troubleshoot when things go slightly awry.
- “The Unplugged Woodshop: Handcrafted Projects for the Home and Workshop” by Tom Fidgen: This book spotlights hand-tool woodworking, accompanied by a selection of beginner-friendly projects. It offers in-depth guidance and valuable insights for crafting furniture and accessories by employing basic tools and traditional methods.
- “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: This book focuses on creating and organizing a woodworking toolbox or workshop storage system. If you’re stumped for ideas on how to design your workspace, this can surely help.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book explores the essential tools needed for woodworking and emphasizes hand tools over power tools. The book also discusses the philosophy and mindset behind the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. Allow us to provide you with a few more recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is tailored specifically for beginners, offering a comprehensive exploration of woodworking tools, various techniques, and important safety measures. With easy to understand instructions, this book guides you through typical projects and provides practical advice to kickstart your woodworking journey.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of woodworking, guiding beginners through various projects while emphasizing the importance of understanding and refining basic woodworking skills.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. It includes step-by-step instructions, photographs, and tips for working with reclaimed wood, making it an excellent choice for those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Actor Nick Offerman, best known for playing Ron Swanson, a character on the hit TV show “Parks and Recreation” has written a book called “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Through this book, Offerman opens up about his profound fondness for woodworking, inviting readers into his world and sharing insightful experiences from his shop. He shares his woodworking techniques, tips, and stories. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental woodworking techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This consolidated guide is a treasure trove of information. With all the critical information when you need it, this guide is a valuable addition to any woodworker’s library.
Although these books may not delve deeply into every aspect of woodworking, they serve as valuable resources for quick tips and helpful reminders.
Woodworking, with its abundance of knowledge and boundless inspiration, serves as a captivating realm that nurtures the passions and fuels the creativity of both novices and seasoned craftsmen alike. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. If you have read this far, you clearly have a taste for this rewarding craft. So grab a copy of these books and enjoy a richer woodworking journey!