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.
How We Selected Books For Our Collection
Our woodworking book recommendations aim to provide a well-rounded list of popular and highly regarded woodworking books catering to different skill levels and interests within the woodworking community.
Here are the criteria upon which we have based our recommendations:
Relevance To Woodworking
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Woodworking for Beginners
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
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
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. 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: This book is a comprehensive guide to wood finishing techniques, covering different types of finishes, their application methods, and troubleshooting common issues.
- “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. It provides detailed instructions and insights into creating 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: 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: 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 touches on the philosophy and mindset of 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. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
Essential Books for Beginners
While the books mentioned above provide valuable information for beginners, a few other titles are particularly helpful for those new to woodworking. Allow us to provide you with a few more recommendations.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book emphasizes learning by doing by giving the reader easy projects to get started right away. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: Ideal for those just starting out, this guide covers all basics starting at the beginning.
- “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 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: 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 takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. 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 is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.
Woodworking On-the-Go: Pocket-Sized Books for Woodworkers
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. These compact volumes often contain concise information as well as quick tips.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental 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. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. If you have read this far, you clearly have a taste for this rewarding craft. So grab a copy of these books and enjoy a richer woodworking journey!