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 may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. You might have an intermediate skillset but want to understand your hobby or trade better. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
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:
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
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.
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on woodworking. 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 is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. 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.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This extensive guide covers every aspect of woodworking, such as tools, joinery, and finishing. It is a classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: This book helps us think like scientists about the materials we work with.
- “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. Its method also highlights the perspective and mentality of working with wood.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
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. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “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 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: This book is a user-friendly guide that thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of woodworking. It explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book emphasizes the essential skills and techniques of woodworking, providing guidance for beginners as they embark on various projects. It highlights the significance of comprehending and honing fundamental woodworking skills.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book helps beginners learn woodworking through hands-on projects. With a commitment to reader success, it walks the reader through each step of the way, guiding them with tips and expert advice.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman wrote a book called “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. 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.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
Sometimes a woodworker needs to reference tips and techniques in the field. That’s where pocket-sized books come in. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This handy reference book is a great way to learn about a variety of woodworking subjects, such as tools and joinery. It also covers finishing techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This small reference book contains a wealth of information. It covers all the essential topics, and it’s small enough to carry in the field for quick access.
Although these books may not delve deeply into every aspect of woodworking, they serve as valuable resources for quick tips and helpful reminders.
The world of woodworking offers is rich with knowledge and inspiration for both beginners and experienced 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!