Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just beginning, we wanted to bring you the best woodworking books to help you grow in your woodworking journey. It may be that you need something to help get you going as quickly as possible. You might have an intermediate skillset but want to understand your hobby or trade better. All aspects are covered in our easy and quick guide.
Criteria For Book Selection
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.
The standards on which we created our recommendations are listed below:
Core Woodworking Principles
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. These books address topics as diverse as woodworking fundamentals, joinery, wood characteristics, and project completion are also included.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
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.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Our Curated List
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. 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: Beginners will find a variety of projects in this book that focus on hand-tool woodworking. It offers in-depth guidance and valuable insights for crafting furniture and accessories by employing basic tools and traditional methods.
- “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: This book focuses on creating and organizing a woodworking toolbox or workshop storage system. It offers insights into design considerations, storage solutions, and practical tips for efficient tool organization.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book highlights traditional techniques, skills, and methods of woodworking.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: Focused on tools, this book recommends hand tools over modern powered tools. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Books For Beginners
While the books previously mentioned are valuable for beginners, a few other titles specifically cater to those new to woodworking, offering them tremendous help. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Written with beginners in mind, this book covers the fundamentals of woodworking tools, safety, and methods. This book provides clear, step-by-step instructions for common projects, as well as practical tips to help you begin your woodworking endeavors.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: Everyone has to start at square one. And that usually means learning the fundamentals if that’s a language or, in this case, woodworking. This book sees the world of woodworking through new eyes.
- “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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman wrote a book called “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only shares his passion for woodworking but also offers readers invaluable insights into his experiences at his personal woodworking shop. Offerman takes readers on a captivating journey as he delves into his woodworking projects, generously sharing tips, techniques, and injecting humor through entertaining anecdotes. It is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. These compact books often provide concise information and 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 book focuses specifically on pocket hole joinery, a popular technique in woodworking. It provides instructions for various projects created 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. 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. So check one or two out. Browse them on Amazon. Pick up a couple that resonates with you, and enrich your woodworking journey!