We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
How We Came Up With Our List
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.
Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:
Woodwork At Their Core
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
Topics In Depth
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.
Starting from Scratch
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. With such knowledge, a reader can find their happy place in the world of woodworking.
Our Curated List
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. While some were not written in this decade, they are timeless.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This extensive guide covers every aspect of woodworking, such as tools, joinery, and finishing. It’s a contemporary masterpiece in its field.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: Even if we’ve worked with wood before, we rarely have understood the science behind wood. This book demystifies wood and helps us see it from a deeper perspective.
- “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 provides a detailed guide for woodturning lovers, demonstrating how to turn wood on a chuck. This book covers the tools and safety concerns for beautiful turned-wood projects.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Books For Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book includes a selection of weekend project ideas that are specifically designed for newbies. 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: With a slight chuckle at the title, this book is an ideal guide for beginners, providing a comprehensive overview of woodworking essentials. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
- “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 emphasizes learning by doing by giving the reader easy projects to get started right away. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman wrote a book called “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Through this book, Offerman opens up about his profound fondness for woodworking, inviting readers into his world and sharing insightful experiences from his shop. Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only discusses his woodworking projects but also shares valuable tips, techniques, and sprinkles in humorous anecdotes for an engaging reading experience. 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
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. They contain essential information when needed in the field.
- “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.
- “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.
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.
Woodworking, with its abundance of knowledge and boundless inspiration, serves as a captivating realm that nurtures the passions and fuels the creativity of both novices and seasoned craftsmen alike. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.