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. 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 Criteria For How We Choose The Books
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.
The standards on which we created our recommendations are listed below:
Woodwork At Their Core
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
Topics In Depth
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Starting from Scratch
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. 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
The books are written by a variety of authors. Each one brings a unique perspective, experience, and approach to the woodworking world. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. 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: Beginners will find a variety of projects in this book that focus on hand-tool woodworking. By emphasizing minimal tools and traditional techniques, it delivers detailed instructions and valuable insights for creating handcrafted furniture and accessories.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book highlights traditional techniques, skills, and methods of woodworking.
- “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 touches on the philosophy and mindset of the craft.
- “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. 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. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Specifically targeting beginners, this book delves into the basics of woodworking tools, various strategies, and the importance of safety. It offers easy-to-follow instructions for simple projects, along with practical advice to help you get started.
- “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: 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. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
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. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound 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 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. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for numerous projects that leverage a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This portable guide offers references for all the popular woodworking techniques.
Although these books may not delve deeply into every aspect of woodworking, they serve as valuable resources for quick tips and helpful reminders.
The world of woodworking offers is rich with knowledge and inspiration for both beginners and experienced craftsmen alike. Allow the recommended books in this guide to be your reliable companions on the path of woodworking, offering invaluable guidance, unwavering support, and a vast array of knowledge to enhance your skills and enrich your woodworking experience. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.