27 Books Every Woodworker Should Read

We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.

The Selection Process For Our List

We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.

Here are the criteria upon which we have based our recommendations:

Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking

The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.

Comprehensive Coverage

The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.

Beginner-Friendly Content

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.

Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives

Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.

Our List

This list is not comprehensive. We would need much more time to list all possible books. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but are timeless.

  • “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: Hand-tool woodworking takes center stage in this book, presenting a range of projects that are perfect for those starting out. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
  • “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: This book will help you organize a woodworking storage system. It’s overflowing with practical tips for storage solutions and ideas for the perfect toolbox.
  • “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book emphasizes traditional woodworking techniques and skills.
  • “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: Focused on tools, this book recommends hand tools over modern powered tools. It also touches on the philosophy and mindset of the craft.
  • “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book showcases various workbench designs, providing inspiration and guidance for woodworkers looking to build or upgrade their workbenches. The book includes photographs and detailed plans.

Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure

A couple of additional titles stand out as particularly beneficial for woodworking novices, supplementing the books mentioned above with valuable information. We have some additional suggestions to offer you.

  • “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is aimed specifically at beginners and covers the basics of woodworking tools, techniques, and safety. Step-by-step instructions for everyday projects and practical advice to assist you in getting started are provided within this book.
  • “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: You have to start somewhere. This book is for those taking the first steps into the world of woodworking.
  • “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: If you’re looking for easy projects with practical applications that will make your spouse happy, this starter guide is for you. For those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials, you’ll find easy to understand instructions and tips on reclaiming natural materials.
  • “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book is a user-friendly guide that thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of woodworking. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.

Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book

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.” Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only shares his passion for woodworking but also offers readers invaluable insights into his experiences at his personal woodworking shop. Offerman’s book dives into his woodworking projects, providing readers with a glimpse into his creative process. Along the way, he generously shares tips, techniques, and adds a touch of humor with delightful anecdotes. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.

Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts

There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. These compact volumes often contain concise information as well as quick tips.

  • “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This compact reference book provides a wealth of information. This quick guide provides woodworkers with instant access to important information when working on their project.
  • “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket-sized book focuses specifically on pocket hole joinery, a popular technique in woodworking. This book offers detailed instructions for a variety of projects that can be created using a pocket hole jig.

While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.

In Conclusion

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. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.

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