Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. All aspects are covered in our easy and quick guide.
How We Came Up With Our List
Our woodworking book recommendations aim to provide a well-rounded list of popular and highly regarded woodworking books catering to different skill levels and interests within the woodworking community.
These are the criteria that we used to make our recommendations:
Woodwork At Their Core
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
Topics In Depth
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Starting from Scratch
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
The list represents a wide variety of authors and techniques covering many aspects of woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
Far from comprehensive is our list. 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: Finishing is a true fine art. This book addresses application techniques.
- “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. It provides detailed instructions and insights into creating 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 offers insights into design considerations, storage solutions, and practical tips for efficient tool organization.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book concentrates on woodworking using hand tools, with an emphasis on traditional techniques and abilities.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: Focused on tools, this book recommends hand tools over modern powered tools. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features several workbench design ideas, offering inspiration and guidance to woodworkers who are looking to build that perfect workbench. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Books For Beginners
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: Tailored to suit the needs of beginners, this book offers an array of weekend projects perfect to start their woodworking journeys. If recycling is near and dear to your heart, and you’d like to take that sentiment into your woodworking journey, this book is for you.
- “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 explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: When beginning a new hobby, such as woodworking, everyone starts from square one. It involves grasping the fundamentals. This book helps master those basics to master the art.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book helps beginners learn woodworking through hands-on projects. With a commitment to reader success, it walks the reader through each step of the way, guiding them with tips and expert advice.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Nick Offerman, the actor known for his role as Ron Swanson in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” has written a book on woodworking titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” In this book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his woodworking shop. Offerman takes readers on a captivating journey as he delves into his woodworking projects, generously sharing tips, techniques, and injecting humor through entertaining anecdotes. In a remarkable fusion of genres, this book intertwines a woodworking guide with Offerman’s personal memoir, revealing his deep-seated affection for craftsmanship and his limitless creativity.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
Sometimes a woodworker needs to reference tips and techniques in the field. That’s where pocket-sized books come in. These compact volumes often contain concise information as well as 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 small reference book contains a wealth of information. It’s a quick and handy guide for woodworkers who want instant access to essential information while working on their projects.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
The world of woodworking is a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration, catering to beginners and seasoned artisans’ needs and aspirations. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. So, grab a copy, dive into its pages, and let these authors’ guidance and wisdom enrich your woodworking endeavors. Happy woodworking!