Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just beginning, we wanted to bring you the best woodworking books to help you grow in your woodworking journey. Need something to get you started right away? Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.
These are the criteria that we used to make our recommendations:
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The chosen books cover a broad spectrum of woodworking aspects, ensuring readers can understand the craft well. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
While some books are more suitable for intermediate or advanced woodworkers, the recommendations include titles tailored to beginners. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. With such knowledge, a reader can find their happy place in the world of woodworking.
There are still many books left out of this list. We just couldn’t list them all. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. 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: The finishing details are some of the most rewarding. Learn to master application approaches.
- “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 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: The beauty of several books on this list is that they’re modular. They fit together. This one highlights the woodworker’s toolbox and the organization of the workshop. 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: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. 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. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. We have some additional suggestions to offer you.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: With a focus on easy-to-do starter projects, this book gives readers a practical and enjoyable way to dip their toes into the world of woodworking. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: Ideal for those just starting out, this guide covers all basics starting at the beginning.
- “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. 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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Who knew actor Nick Offerman has a flair for all things woodworking? So much so that he wrote 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. He shares his woodworking techniques, tips, and stories. This unique book seamlessly weaves together a woodworking guide and a memoir, providing readers with a captivating glimpse into Offerman’s unwavering passion for craftsmanship and boundless creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. They contain essential information when needed in the field.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket book concentrates on the popular woodworking technique of pocket hole joinery. This book offers detailed instructions for a variety of projects that can be created using a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Encompassing a broad scope of woodworking subjects, this compact reference book is a comprehensive resource that addresses tools, joinery techniques, finishing methods, and various other topics.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
Within the world of woodworking, a vast reservoir of knowledge and inspiration awaits, ready to captivate and enlighten individuals at every level of expertise, from beginners to experts. 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.