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. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
These are the criteria that we used to make our recommendations:
Woodwork At Their Core
These books are geared toward woodworking and cover a wide range of topics, including techniques, joinery, and projects. 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. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Crafting for Newbies
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
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. While some were not written in this decade, they are timeless.
- “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: This book emphasizes hand-tool woodworking and offers a collection of projects suitable for beginners. By emphasizing minimal tools and traditional techniques, it delivers detailed instructions and valuable insights for creating handcrafted furniture and accessories.
- “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 explores the essential tools needed for woodworking and emphasizes hand tools over power tools. Its method also highlights the perspective and mentality of working with wood.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features some very practical and creative workbench ideas. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is aimed specifically at beginners and covers the basics of woodworking tools, techniques, and safety. Step-by-step instructions for everyday projects and practical advice to assist you in getting started are provided within this book.
- “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 includes a selection of weekend project ideas that are specifically designed for newbies. It includes step-by-step instructions, photographs, and tips for working with reclaimed wood, making it an excellent choice for those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book is a user-friendly guide that thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of woodworking. It takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book
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. He discusses his woodworking projects, shares tips, and techniques, and includes humorous anecdotes. 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.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
Pocket-sized woodworking books are available for woodworkers who are on the move. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “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.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This handy reference book is packed with information. Some may say this is a must-have resource since it’s packed with information and in a size that makes it portable for any project.
While these books may not cover all aspects of woodworking in great detail, they can be valuable resources for quick tips, reminders, and project ideas when you’re on the go or need a handy reference in your 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. 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. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.