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. Need something to get you started right away? Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. This handy guide will cover everything.
The Selection Process For 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.
These are the criteria that we used to make our recommendations:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
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 selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Starting from Scratch
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
Diverse Perspectives And Approaches
This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
Our Curated List
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. Some have weathered the test of time, and although they have seen some years, they still remain relevant 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: A compilation of projects ideal for newcomers is featured in this book, with a strong emphasis on hand-tool woodworking. It offers in-depth guidance and valuable insights for crafting furniture and accessories by employing basic tools and traditional methods.
- “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: The beauty of several books on this list is that they’re modular. They fit together. This one highlights the woodworker’s toolbox and the organization of the workshop. You’ll walk away with some great ideas to build your perfect tool kit and workbench.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book emphasizes traditional woodworking techniques and skills.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book is a guide to the most important tools for woodworking, and it emphasizes hand tools rather than power tools. The book also discusses the philosophy and mindset behind the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features some very practical and creative workbench ideas. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
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.
- “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. The reader can follow along and check their progress toward their project completion.
- “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 features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. For those interested in sustainability and the environment, this book is for you, with beautiful photographs and instructions on working with reclaimed wood.
- “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. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book
Nick Offerman, the actor known for his role as Ron Swanson in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” has written a book on woodworking titled “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. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
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 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.
- “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. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for numerous projects that leverage a pocket hole jig.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
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. So check one or two out. Browse them on Amazon. Pick up a couple that resonates with you, and enrich your woodworking journey!