We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
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:
Woodwork At Their Core
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Woodworking for Beginners
While some books are more suitable for intermediate or advanced woodworkers, the recommendations include titles tailored to beginners. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
The list represents a wide variety of authors and techniques covering many aspects of woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
Our Curated List
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. 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 extensive guide covers every aspect of woodworking, such as tools, joinery, and finishing. It’s a contemporary masterpiece in its field.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: Even if we’ve worked with wood before, we rarely have understood the science behind wood. This book demystifies wood and helps us see it from a deeper perspective.
- “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. The book also discusses the philosophy and mindset behind the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Books For Beginners
In addition to the previously mentioned books, a handful of other titles prove especially advantageous for woodworking beginners, providing them with valuable insights. Here are a couple more suggestions for your consideration.
- “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: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. It takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: You have to start somewhere. This book is for those taking the first steps into the world of woodworking.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: With a focus on easy-to-do starter projects, this book gives readers a practical and enjoyable way to dip their toes into the world of woodworking. The reader can follow along and check their progress toward their project completion.
The Art of Woodworking with Nick Offerman: Recognizing an Exceptional Contribution
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman 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. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. In a remarkable fusion of genres, this book intertwines a woodworking guide with Offerman’s personal memoir, revealing his deep-seated affection for craftsmanship and his limitless creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
Pocket-sized woodworking books are available for woodworkers who are on the move. These compact books often provide concise information and 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. With all the critical information when you need it, this guide is a valuable addition to any woodworker’s library.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This small book is devoted to pocket hole joinery. It will help you discover the wide variety of projects that utilize a pocket hole jig.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact 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. If you have read this far, you clearly have a taste for this rewarding craft. So grab a copy of these books and enjoy a richer woodworking journey!