Public Domain Woodworking Books

We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.

The Selection Process For Our List

Our recommendations for woodworking books are intended to be a comprehensive list of highly-regarded and popular woodworking titles that cater to varying skill levels and woodworking interests.

Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:

Foundational Works

These books are geared toward woodworking and cover a wide range of topics, including techniques, joinery, and projects. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.

Complete Coverage

The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.

Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers

While some books are more suitable for intermediate or advanced woodworkers, the recommendations include titles tailored to beginners. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.

Unique Perspectives

This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.

Handpicked Selections for You

Far from comprehensive is our list. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.

  • “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This extensive guide covers every aspect of woodworking, such as tools, joinery, and finishing. The woodworking community considers it a classic.
  • “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: There is a science to wood. This book helps us understand woodworking from that perspective.
  • “The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This is an authority on wood joinery with illustrations and explanations of all things joinery.
  • “The Essential Woodturner: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Skills, Tools, and Techniques” by Hilary Bowen: For all of those that admittedly have, at one time or another, been entranced by the spin of a lathe, this book is for you. For those of you that want stunning results and smooth curves.
  • “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features several workbench design ideas, offering inspiration and guidance to woodworkers who are looking to build that perfect workbench. It includes detailed plans and photographs.

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. We have some additional suggestions to offer you.

  • “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is tailored specifically for beginners, offering a comprehensive exploration of woodworking tools, various techniques, and important safety measures. 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: This book focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of woodworking, guiding beginners through various projects while emphasizing the importance of understanding and refining basic woodworking skills.
  • “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book presents a curated selection of weekend projects exclusively for beginners, making it the perfect resource to kickstart their woodworking journey. This book is an excellent choice for individuals who have an interest in sustainability and repurposing materials.
  • “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.

Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking

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.” Through this book, Offerman opens up about his profound fondness for woodworking, inviting readers into his world and sharing insightful experiences from his shop. Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only discusses his woodworking projects but also shares valuable tips, techniques, and sprinkles in humorous anecdotes for an engaging reading experience. It is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.

Handy References: Pocket Books Every Woodworker Should Have

For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.

  • “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 compact reference book provides a wealth of 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.

In Conclusion

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. So, grab a copy, dive into its pages, and let these authors’ guidance and wisdom enrich your woodworking endeavors. Happy woodworking!

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