We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. You might need something to get you started right away. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
Grounded In The Foundations Of 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.
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
Handpicked Selections for You
There are still many books left out of this list. We just couldn’t list them all. 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.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: For complete coverage of all aspects of woodworking. It’s a well-known classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: This book provides woodworkers with valuable insight into the properties and science of wood.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book explores the essential tools needed for woodworking and emphasizes hand tools over power tools. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “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. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Essential Books for Beginners
In addition to the previously mentioned books, a handful of other titles prove especially advantageous for woodworking beginners, providing them with valuable insights. Here are a couple more suggestions for your consideration.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: Tailored to suit the needs of beginners, this book offers an array of weekend projects perfect to start their woodworking journeys. If recycling is near and dear to your heart, and you’d like to take that sentiment into your woodworking journey, this book is for you.
- “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 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: Everyone has to start at square one. And that usually means learning the fundamentals if that’s a language or, in this case, woodworking. This book sees the world of woodworking through new eyes.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book helps beginners learn woodworking through hands-on projects. The reader can follow along and check their progress toward their project completion.
Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman wrote a book called “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. He shares his woodworking techniques, tips, and stories. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Handy References: Pocket Books Every Woodworker Should Have
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. They contain essential information when needed in the field.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: Seemingly like a play on words, this pocket book covers pocket hole joinery. It provides instructions for various projects created using a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This portable guide offers references for all the popular woodworking techniques.
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. 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!