We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast 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 cover all bases.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
Our woodworking book suggestions aim to provide an unbiased list of popular and highly regarded books catering to different levels of skill and interest within the woodworking industry.
Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
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 picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
While some books are more suitable for intermediate or advanced woodworkers, the recommendations include titles tailored to beginners. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches 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 of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of woodworking, including tools, techniques, joinery, and finishing. It’s a well-known classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: If we want to work with wood, we should understand the natural properties of the material we work with. This book helps us understand those natural properties.
- “The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This comprehensive guide focuses specifically on wood joinery techniques, providing detailed explanations and illustrations of various joints used in woodworking.
- “The Essential Woodturner: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Skills, Tools, and Techniques” by Hilary Bowen: This book is aimed at woodturning aficionados and offers a step-by-step guide to turning wood in a lathe. It covers the essential tools, techniques, and safety considerations for creating beautiful turned-wood projects.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book showcases various workbench designs, providing inspiration and guidance for woodworkers looking to build or upgrade their workbenches. 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. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: By providing easy-to-do starter projects, this book offers readers a glimpse into the world of woodworking. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: Ideal for those just starting out, this guide covers all basics starting at the beginning.
- “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 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: 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 illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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.” In this captivating book, Offerman channels his deep love for woodworking, sharing his passion and providing readers with unique insights into his experiences at his cherished woodworking shop. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. In a remarkable fusion of genres, this book intertwines a woodworking guide with Offerman’s personal memoir, revealing his deep-seated affection for craftsmanship and his limitless creativity.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
Sometimes a woodworker needs to reference tips and techniques in the field. That’s where pocket-sized books come in. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This compact reference book provides a wealth of information. It covers all the essential topics, and it’s small enough to carry in the field for quick access.
- “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. You’ll get practical step-by-step projects using a pocket hole jig.
For the size-to-value ratio, these light and portable reference guides pack a punch. Chalked full of value in such a small 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. So check one or two out. Browse them on Amazon. Pick up a couple that resonates with you, and enrich your woodworking journey!