No matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or just getting started, we want to provide you with the best books on woodworking to help you progress in your woodworking career. It may be that you need something to help get you going as quickly 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 provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
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.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
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
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
The books are written by a variety of authors. Each one brings a unique perspective, experience, and approach to the woodworking world. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
Our Curated List
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.
- “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 well-known classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: This book delves into the science and properties of wood, providing valuable insights for woodworkers who want a deeper understanding of the material they work with.
- “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 gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Essential Books for Beginners
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “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. If recycling is near and dear to your heart, and you’d like to take that sentiment into your woodworking journey, this book is for you.
- “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 explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of woodworking, guiding beginners through various projects while emphasizing the importance of understanding and refining basic woodworking skills.
- “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. Equipped with easy to follow instructions and expert guidance, it ensures that readers can successfully complete each project confidently.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Actor Nick Offerman, best known for playing Ron Swanson, a character on the hit TV show “Parks and Recreation” has written 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. He discusses his woodworking projects, shares tips, and techniques, and includes humorous anecdotes. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
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.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This portable guide offers references for all the popular woodworking techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This consolidated guide is a treasure trove of 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.
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. 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 one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!