No matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or just getting started, we want to provide you with the best books on woodworking to help you progress in your woodworking career. You might want something to get started as soon as possible. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
How We Came Up With Our List
Our woodworking book suggestions aim to provide an unbiased list of popular and highly regarded books catering to different levels of skill and interest within the woodworking industry.
Here are the criteria upon which we have based our recommendations:
Woodwork At Their Core
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.
Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
Our Curated List
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. 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: For all things regarding wood finishing, this comprehensive guide helps with applying various lacquers and varnishes to troubleshoot when things go slightly awry.
- “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. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting 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. If you’re stumped for ideas on how to design your workspace, this can surely help.
- “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 discusses the tools that are essential for woodworking. From modern powered tools to historical but practical hand tools. Its method also highlights the perspective and mentality of working with wood.
- “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. The book includes photographs and detailed plans.
Essential Books for Beginners
A couple of additional titles stand out as particularly beneficial for woodworking novices, supplementing the books mentioned above with valuable information. Allow us to provide you with a few more recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Geared towards beginners, this book comprehensively covers the essentials of woodworking essential tools, techniques, and safety practices. This book provides clear, step-by-step instructions for common projects, as well as practical tips to help you begin your woodworking endeavors.
- “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 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: 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.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Who knew actor Nick Offerman has a flair for all things woodworking? So much so that he wrote a book called “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” In this book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his woodworking shop. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. 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.
Woodworking Essentials in Your Pocket: Pocket Books for the Craft
Pocket-sized woodworking books are available for woodworkers who are on the move. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “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 handy reference book is packed with information. This quick guide provides woodworkers with instant access to important information when working on their project.
For the size-to-value ratio, these light and portable reference guides pack a punch. Chalked full of value in such a small size.
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. 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!