We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. This handy guide will cover everything.
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.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
This list is not comprehensive. We would need much more time to list all possible books. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but are timeless.
- “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: Hand-tool woodworking takes center stage in this book, presenting a range of projects that are perfect for those starting out. 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: This book emphasizes traditional woodworking techniques and skills.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. 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. The book includes photographs and detailed plans.
Essential Books for Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. We have some additional suggestions to offer 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. It includes step-by-step instructions, photographs, and tips for working with reclaimed wood, making it an excellent choice for those interested in sustainability and repurposing 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 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. Equipped with easy to follow instructions and expert guidance, it ensures that readers can successfully complete each project confidently.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman wrote 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. Offerman’s book dives into his woodworking projects, providing readers with a glimpse into his creative process. Along the way, he generously shares tips, techniques, and adds a touch of humor with delightful anecdotes. This unique book seamlessly weaves together a woodworking guide and a memoir, providing readers with a captivating glimpse into Offerman’s unwavering passion for craftsmanship and boundless 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. These compact books often provide concise information and 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 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.
While these books may not cover all aspects of woodworking in great detail, they can be valuable resources for quick tips, reminders, and project ideas when you’re on the go or need a handy reference in your workshop.
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. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!