No matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or just getting started, we want to provide you with the best books on woodworking to help you progress in your woodworking career. 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. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
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:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
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.
Topics In Depth
The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
The books are written by a variety of authors. Each one brings a unique perspective, experience, and approach to the woodworking world. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Books that Made the Cut
There are still many books left out of this list. We just couldn’t list them all. We would rather present some notable woodworking titles highly regarded both by professionals and enthusiasts. 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.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This woodworking guide covers everything from tools to joinery. It’s a well-known classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: If we want to work with wood, we should understand the natural properties of the material we work with. This book helps us understand those natural properties.
- “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. The book also discusses the philosophy and mindset behind the craft.
- “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. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Books For Beginners
While the books mentioned above provide valuable information for beginners, a few other titles are particularly helpful for those new to woodworking. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Written with beginners in mind, this book covers the fundamentals of woodworking tools, safety, and methods. With easy to understand instructions, this book guides you through typical projects and provides practical advice to kickstart your woodworking journey.
- “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: This book presents a curated selection of weekend projects exclusively for beginners, making it the perfect resource to kickstart their woodworking journey. For those interested in sustainability and the environment, this book is for you, with beautiful photographs and instructions on working with reclaimed wood.
- “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. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book
Funny man and woodworking aficionado has come out with a book titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” In this book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his woodworking shop. Offerman takes readers on a captivating journey as he delves into his woodworking projects, generously sharing tips, techniques, and injecting humor through entertaining anecdotes. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. They contain essential information when needed in the field.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This small reference book contains a wealth 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: Seemingly like a play on words, this pocket book covers pocket hole joinery. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for numerous projects that leverage a pocket hole jig.
While these books may not cover all aspects of woodworking in great detail, they can be valuable resources for quick tips, reminders, and project ideas when you’re on the go or need a handy reference in your workshop.
The world of woodworking is a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration, catering to beginners and seasoned artisans’ needs and aspirations. Allow the recommended books in this guide to be your reliable companions on the path of woodworking, offering invaluable guidance, unwavering support, and a vast array of knowledge to enhance your skills and enrich your woodworking experience. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.