We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. 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 Selection Process For Our List
We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
Core Woodworking Principles
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
The chosen books cover a broad spectrum of woodworking aspects, ensuring readers can understand the craft well. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Diverse Perspectives And Approaches
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. With such knowledge, a reader can find their happy place in the world of woodworking.
Our Curated List
Far from comprehensive is our list. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. 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 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. You’ll walk away with some great ideas to build your perfect tool kit and workbench.
- “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 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: This book showcases various workbench designs, providing inspiration and guidance for woodworkers looking to build or upgrade their workbenches. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. Here are a couple more suggestions for your consideration.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Written with beginners in mind, this book covers the fundamentals of woodworking tools, safety, and methods. 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: If you’re looking for easy projects with practical applications that will make your spouse happy, this starter guide is for you. 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: With a slight chuckle at the title, this book is an ideal guide for beginners, providing a comprehensive overview of woodworking essentials. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.
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 captivating book, Offerman channels his deep love for woodworking, sharing his passion and providing readers with unique insights into his experiences at his cherished woodworking 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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. They contain essential information when needed in the field.
- “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 small book is devoted to pocket hole joinery. This book offers detailed instructions for a variety of projects that can be created using a pocket hole jig.
Although these books may not delve deeply into every aspect of woodworking, they serve as valuable resources for quick tips and helpful reminders.
The world of woodworking is a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration, catering to beginners and seasoned artisans’ needs and aspirations. The recommended books in this guide can serve as trusted companions on your woodworking journey. You can rely on the books recommended in this guide to help you along your woodworking journey.Consider the recommended books in this guide as steadfast companions on your woodworking journey, providing trusted guidance and valuable insights every step of the way. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!