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 might want something to get started as soon as possible. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. All aspects are covered in our easy and quick guide.
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.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Crafting for Newbies
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.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on woodworking. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
Handpicked List: Top Recommendations You Don’t Want to Miss
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. Instead, we would like to present a few notable woodworking books highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but are timeless.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: Finishing is a true fine art. This book addresses application techniques.
- “The Unplugged Woodshop: Handcrafted Projects for the Home and Workshop” by Tom Fidgen: Beginners will find a variety of projects in this book that focus on hand-tool woodworking. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
- “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 explores the essential tools needed for woodworking and emphasizes hand tools over power tools. 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. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
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.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book includes a selection of weekend project ideas that are specifically designed for newbies. 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: 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: 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 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book gives readers a taste of woodworking by offering easy-to-do starter projects. 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 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.” Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only shares his passion for woodworking but also offers readers invaluable insights into his experiences at his personal woodworking shop. 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.
Woodworking On-the-Go: Pocket-Sized Books for Woodworkers
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “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 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.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact 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!