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. You might need something to get you started right away. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
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:
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
The chosen books cover a broad spectrum of woodworking aspects, ensuring readers can understand the craft well. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
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.
Handpicked List: Top Recommendations You Don’t Want to Miss
There are still many books left out of this list. We just couldn’t list them all. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but are timeless.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of woodworking, including tools, techniques, joinery, and finishing. It’s considered a classic in the field.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: If we want to work with wood, we should understand the natural properties of the material we work with. This book helps us understand those natural properties.
- “The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This extensive guide is devoted to wood joinery and includes detailed illustrations and explanations of the various woodworking joints.
- “The Essential Woodturner: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Skills, Tools, and Techniques” by Hilary Bowen: For all of those that admittedly have, at one time or another, been entranced by the spin of a lathe, this book is for you. This book covers the tools and safety concerns for beautiful turned-wood projects.
- “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
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Written with beginners in mind, this book covers the fundamentals of woodworking tools, safety, and methods. 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: 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 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. 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: 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.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
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’s book dives into his woodworking projects, providing readers with a glimpse into his creative process. Along the way, he generously shares tips, techniques, and adds a touch of humor with delightful anecdotes. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Handy References: Pocket Books Every Woodworker Should Have
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This small book is devoted to pocket hole joinery. It provides instructions for various projects created using a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This compact reference book covers a wide range of woodworking topics, including tools, materials, joinery, finishing techniques, and more.
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.
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. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!