Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? Need something to get you started right away? Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
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:
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Starting from Scratch
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
Our Curated List
Far from comprehensive is our list. We have chosen a few of the best woodworking books, which are well-respected by both amateurs and professionals. 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.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: The finishing details are some of the most rewarding. Learn to master application approaches.
- “The Unplugged Woodshop: Handcrafted Projects for the Home and Workshop” by Tom Fidgen: This book emphasizes hand-tool woodworking and offers a collection of projects suitable for beginners. By emphasizing minimal tools and traditional techniques, it delivers detailed instructions and valuable insights for creating handcrafted furniture and accessories.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book concentrates on woodworking using hand tools, with an emphasis on traditional techniques and abilities.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “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.
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: Geared towards beginners, this book comprehensively covers the essentials of woodworking essential tools, techniques, and safety practices. 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: 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: If you’re looking for easy projects with practical applications that will make your spouse happy, this starter guide is for you. 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: With a slight chuckle at the title, this book is an ideal guide for beginners, providing a comprehensive overview of woodworking essentials. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
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.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. He discusses his woodworking projects, shares tips, and techniques, and includes humorous 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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
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: Encompassing a broad scope of woodworking subjects, this compact reference book is a comprehensive resource that addresses tools, joinery techniques, finishing methods, and various other topics.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This small reference book contains a wealth of information. It’s a quick and handy guide for woodworkers who want instant access to essential information while working on their projects.
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. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!