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. Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. Or you’re well on your way to becoming an expert but still want to expand your understanding and love for your craft. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
Woodwork At Their Core
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.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. These books address topics as diverse as woodworking fundamentals, joinery, wood characteristics, and project completion are also included.
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
This list is not comprehensive. We would need much more time to list all possible books. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. While some were not written in this decade, they are timeless.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: For all things regarding wood finishing, this comprehensive guide helps with applying various lacquers and varnishes to troubleshoot when things go slightly awry.
- “The Unplugged Woodshop: Handcrafted Projects for the Home and Workshop” by Tom Fidgen: This book spotlights hand-tool woodworking, accompanied by a selection of beginner-friendly projects. It offers in-depth guidance and valuable insights for crafting furniture and accessories by employing basic tools and traditional methods.
- “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 discusses the tools that are essential for woodworking. From modern powered tools to historical but practical hand tools. It also touches on the philosophy and mindset of the craft.
- “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.
Essential 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. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: Tailored to suit the needs of beginners, this book offers an array of weekend projects perfect to start their woodworking journeys. 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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
- “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: This book gives readers a taste of woodworking by offering easy-to-do starter projects. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman 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. 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 is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket-sized guide focuses on pocket joinery, one of the most popular techniques in woodworking. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for numerous projects that leverage a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Encompassing a broad scope of woodworking subjects, this compact reference book is a comprehensive resource that addresses tools, joinery techniques, finishing methods, and various other topics.
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. 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!