Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? You might want something to get started as soon as possible. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
How We Selected Books For Our Collection
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:
Core Woodworking Principles
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. 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 allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
Handpicked List: Top Recommendations You Don’t Want to Miss
There are still many books left out of this list. We just couldn’t list them all. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. 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: 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: 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 Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book focuses on hand-tool woodworking, emphasizing traditional techniques and skills.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book is a guide to the most important tools for woodworking, and it emphasizes hand tools rather than power 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. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
Essential Books for Beginners
In addition to the previously mentioned books, a handful of other titles prove especially advantageous for woodworking beginners, providing them with valuable insights. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. 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: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound 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 emphasizes learning by doing by giving the reader easy projects to get started right away. With a commitment to reader success, it walks the reader through each step of the way, guiding them with tips and expert advice.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. Along with practical tips, he shares funny 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.
Handy References: Pocket Books Every Woodworker Should Have
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This compact reference book covers a wide range of woodworking topics, including tools, materials, joinery, finishing techniques, and more.
- “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. 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. If you have read this far, you clearly have a taste for this rewarding craft. So grab a copy of these books and enjoy a richer woodworking journey!