We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. Need something to get you started right away? You might have an intermediate skillset but want to understand your hobby or trade better. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
The Selection Process For Our List
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.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
Relevance To Woodworking
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
Topics In Depth
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Books that Made the Cut
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. 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: Finishing is a true fine art. This book addresses application techniques.
- “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. You’ll walk away with some great ideas to build your perfect tool kit and workbench.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book focuses on hand-tool woodworking, emphasizing traditional techniques and skills.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book discusses the tools that are essential for woodworking. From modern powered tools to historical but practical hand tools. It also touches on the philosophy and mindset of the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book showcases various workbench designs, providing inspiration and guidance for woodworkers looking to build or upgrade their workbenches. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: If you’re looking for easy projects with practical applications that will make your spouse happy, this starter guide is for you. 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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. It takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: When beginning a new hobby, such as woodworking, everyone starts from square one. It involves grasping the fundamentals. This book helps master those basics to master the art.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book helps beginners learn woodworking through hands-on projects. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
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 captivating book, Offerman channels his deep love for woodworking, sharing his passion and providing readers with unique insights into his experiences at his cherished 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. In a remarkable fusion of genres, this book intertwines a woodworking guide with Offerman’s personal memoir, revealing his deep-seated affection for craftsmanship and his limitless 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 Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This compact reference book provides a wealth of information. It covers all the essential topics, and it’s small enough to carry in the field for quick access.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket book concentrates on the popular woodworking technique of pocket hole joinery. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for numerous projects that leverage a pocket hole jig.
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. 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. 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!