Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. This handy guide will cover everything.
The Selection Process For Our List
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:
Woodwork At Their Core
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
Topics In Depth
The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Crafting for Newbies
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
The list represents a wide variety of authors and techniques covering many aspects of woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
Our Curated List
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. While some were not written in this decade, they are timeless.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: The masterpiece comes alive with finishing. Learn to master applications and troubleshoot common problems.
- “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 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. It’s chalked with fresh tips on organization.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: Like the Amish, this book focuses on historical techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book discusses the tools that are essential for woodworking. From modern powered tools to historical but practical hand tools. It also covers doctrine and mindset.
- “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. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Essential Books for Beginners
While the books previously mentioned are valuable for beginners, a few other titles specifically cater to those new to woodworking, offering them tremendous help. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book gives readers a taste of woodworking by offering easy-to-do starter projects. Equipped with easy to follow instructions and expert guidance, it ensures that readers can successfully complete each project confidently.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: Designed with beginners in mind, this guide offers a thorough introduction to woodworking, covering all the necessary aspects.
- “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. It explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
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.” 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 discusses his woodworking projects, shares tips, and techniques, and includes humorous anecdotes. 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.
Woodworking Essentials in Your Pocket: Pocket Books for the Craft
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.
- “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.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket-sized guide focuses on pocket joinery, one of the most popular techniques 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.
Whether you are a beginner taking your first steps into the world of woodworking or an experienced craftsman seeking new avenues of inspiration, this field is teeming with knowledge and creative ideas that are sure to ignite your imagination. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!