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 might have an intermediate skillset but want to understand your hobby or trade better. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
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
These books are geared toward woodworking and cover a wide range of topics, including techniques, joinery, and projects. They are full of useful and comprehensive woodworker information.
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
Our Curated List
Far from comprehensive is our list. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: The masterpiece comes alive with finishing. Learn to master applications and troubleshoot common problems.
- “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. It offers in-depth guidance and valuable insights for crafting furniture and accessories by employing basic tools and traditional methods.
- “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 covers doctrine and mindset.
- “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.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
In addition to the previously mentioned books, a handful of other titles prove especially advantageous for woodworking beginners, providing them with valuable insights. We have some additional suggestions to offer you.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Specifically targeting beginners, this book delves into the basics of woodworking tools, various strategies, and the importance of safety. It provides step-by-step instructions for everyday projects and practical advice for getting started.
- “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 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: 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 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 book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his 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.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. 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 consolidated guide is a treasure trove of information. Some may say this is a must-have resource since it’s packed with information and in a size that makes it portable for any project.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket book concentrates on the popular woodworking technique of pocket hole joinery. This book offers detailed instructions for a variety of projects that can be created using 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. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.