Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. 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.
How We Came Up With Our List
We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.
Here are the criteria upon which we have based our recommendations:
These books are geared toward woodworking and cover a wide range of topics, including techniques, joinery, and projects. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
The list represents a wide variety of authors and techniques covering many aspects of woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
Handpicked List: Top Recommendations You Don’t Want to Miss
Far from comprehensive is our list. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but are timeless.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This guide contains a thorough coverage of all aspects of woodworking. The woodworking community considers it a 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 Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This extensive guide is devoted to wood joinery and includes detailed illustrations and explanations of the various woodworking joints.
- “The Essential Woodturner: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Skills, Tools, and Techniques” by Hilary Bowen: This book provides a detailed guide for woodturning lovers, demonstrating how to turn wood on a chuck. It’s chalked full of valuable tips to create beautiful projects.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
While the books mentioned above provide valuable information for beginners, a few other titles are particularly helpful for those new to woodworking. We have some additional suggestions to offer you.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: By providing easy-to-do starter projects, this book offers readers a glimpse into the world of woodworking. With a commitment to reader success, it walks the reader through each step of the way, guiding them with tips and expert advice.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: This beginner-friendly guide offers a comprehensive introduction to woodworking.
- “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. For those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials, you’ll find easy to understand instructions and tips on reclaiming natural 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. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
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. 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. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and 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. These compact volumes often contain concise information as well as quick tips.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This portable guide offers references for all the popular woodworking techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This handy reference book is packed with information. It covers all the essential topics, and it’s small enough to carry in the field for quick access.
For the size-to-value ratio, these light and portable reference guides pack a punch. Chalked full of value in such a small size.
The world of woodworking offers is rich with knowledge and inspiration for both beginners and experienced 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!