Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? Need something to get you started right away? Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. All aspects are covered in our easy and quick 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 upon which we have based our recommendations:
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. These books address topics as diverse as woodworking fundamentals, joinery, wood characteristics, and project completion are also included.
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.
Diverse Perspectives And Approaches
The selection includes books from various authors, each offering their unique perspective, expertise, and approach to woodworking. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
Our Curated List
Far from comprehensive is our list. We have chosen a few of the best woodworking books, which are well-respected by both amateurs and professionals. 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: The finishing details are some of the most rewarding. Learn to master application approaches.
- “The Unplugged Woodshop: Handcrafted Projects for the Home and Workshop” by Tom Fidgen: This book spotlights hand-tool woodworking, accompanied by a selection of beginner-friendly projects. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
- “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. If you’re stumped for ideas on how to design your workspace, this can surely help.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book concentrates on woodworking using hand tools, with an emphasis on traditional techniques and abilities.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: Focused on tools, this book recommends hand tools over modern powered tools. The book also discusses the philosophy and mindset behind the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features several workbench design ideas, offering inspiration and guidance to woodworkers who are looking to build that perfect workbench. The book includes photographs and detailed plans.
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. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Geared towards beginners, this book comprehensively covers the essentials of woodworking essential tools, techniques, and safety practices. It offers easy-to-follow instructions for simple projects, along with practical advice to help you get started.
- “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: Tailored to suit the needs of beginners, this book offers an array of weekend projects perfect to start their woodworking journeys. This book is an excellent choice for individuals who have an interest in sustainability and repurposing 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. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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.” In this book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his 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. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Handy References: Pocket Books Every Woodworker Should Have
Sometimes a woodworker needs to reference tips and techniques in the field. That’s where pocket-sized books come in. These compact books often provide concise information and quick tips.
- “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 will help you discover the wide variety of projects that utilize a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental woodworking techniques.
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. 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.