We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. You might need something to get you started right away. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. This handy guide will cover everything.
How We Came Up With Our List
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:
Core Woodworking Principles
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
Our Curated List
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. Instead, we would like to present a few notable woodworking books highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but 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: A compilation of projects ideal for newcomers is featured in this book, with a strong emphasis on hand-tool woodworking. 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’s chalked with fresh tips on organization.
- “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 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: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
While the books mentioned above provide valuable information for beginners, a few other titles are particularly helpful for those new to woodworking. Allow us to provide you with a few more recommendations.
- “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. With a commitment to reader success, it walks the reader through each step of the way, guiding them with tips and expert advice.
- “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: If you’re looking for easy projects with practical applications that will make your spouse happy, this starter guide is for you. 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: Don’t be insulted by the title. It’s humbling to start at square one. But also exciting. This read is for those embarking into the world of woodworking for the first time. It takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
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.” 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. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. These compact books often provide concise information and quick tips.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This small book is devoted to pocket hole joinery. You’ll get practical step-by-step projects 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.
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. So check one or two out. Browse them on Amazon. Pick up a couple that resonates with you, and enrich your woodworking journey!