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. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. You might have an intermediate skillset but want to understand your hobby or trade better. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
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.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
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.
The books are written by a variety of authors. Each one brings a unique perspective, experience, and approach to the woodworking world. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
There are still many books left out of this list. We just couldn’t list them all. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. 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. By emphasizing minimal tools and traditional techniques, it delivers detailed instructions and valuable insights for creating handcrafted furniture and accessories.
- “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’s chalked with fresh tips on organization.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: Like the Amish, this book focuses on historical techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. It also covers doctrine and mindset.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
In addition to the previously mentioned books, a handful of other titles prove especially advantageous for woodworking beginners, providing them with valuable insights. We have some additional suggestions to offer you.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: With a focus on easy-to-do starter projects, this book gives readers a practical and enjoyable way to dip their toes into the world of woodworking. With a commitment to reader success, it walks the reader through each step of the way, guiding them with tips and expert advice.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: This beginner-friendly guide offers a comprehensive introduction to woodworking.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book presents a curated selection of weekend projects exclusively for beginners, making it the perfect resource to kickstart their woodworking journey. 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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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. 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. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworking On-the-Go: Pocket-Sized Books for Woodworkers
Sometimes a woodworker needs to reference tips and techniques in the field. That’s where pocket-sized books come in. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This handy reference book is a great way to learn about a variety of woodworking subjects, such as tools and joinery. It also covers finishing techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This consolidated guide is a treasure trove of information. With all the critical information when you need it, this guide is a valuable addition to any woodworker’s library.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
The world of woodworking offers is rich with knowledge and inspiration for both beginners and experienced 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. So check one or two out. Browse them on Amazon. Pick up a couple that resonates with you, and enrich your woodworking journey!