We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. It may be that you need something to help get you going as quickly as possible. If you are already an intermediate to advance level artist and wish to improve your knowledge and skills in the field, our guide will help. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
How We Came Up With Our List
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
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.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
Our Curated List
Far from comprehensive is our list. Instead, we would like to present a few notable woodworking books highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals. 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: 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. You’ll walk away with some great ideas to build your perfect tool kit and workbench.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “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 touches on the philosophy and mindset of the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. The book includes photographs and detailed plans.
Essential Books for Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. For those interested in sustainability and the environment, this book is for you, with beautiful photographs and instructions on working with reclaimed wood.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. It takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book emphasizes the essential skills and techniques of woodworking, providing guidance for beginners as they embark on various projects. It highlights the significance of comprehending and honing fundamental woodworking skills.
- “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.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
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.” 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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
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. With all the critical information when you need it, this guide is a valuable addition to any woodworker’s library.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket book concentrates on the popular woodworking technique of pocket hole joinery. It provides instructions for various projects created using a pocket hole jig.
These books are not comprehensive, but they do provide quick tips and ideas for projects. They can also be useful when you need to refer back to them in the workshop.
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!