Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just beginning, we wanted to bring you the best woodworking books to help you grow in your woodworking journey. It may be that you need something to help get you going as quickly as possible. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
The standards on which we created our recommendations are listed below:
Relevance To Woodworking
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
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.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
The selection includes books from various authors, each offering their unique perspective, expertise, and approach to woodworking. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. 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: 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: A compilation of projects ideal for newcomers is featured in this book, with a strong emphasis on hand-tool woodworking. Detailed instructions and valuable insights are included to assist in the creation of handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
- “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 is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “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. Its method also highlights the perspective and mentality of working with wood.
- “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.
Books For Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “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. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: Ideal for those just starting out, this guide covers all basics starting at the beginning.
- “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. 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: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Nick Offerman, the actor known for his role as Ron Swanson in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” has written a book on woodworking titled “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’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. It is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
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.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental woodworking techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This handy reference book is packed with information. It’s a quick and handy guide for woodworkers who want instant access to essential information while working on their projects.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
Whether you are a beginner taking your first steps into the world of woodworking or an experienced craftsman seeking new avenues of inspiration, this field is teeming with knowledge and creative ideas that are sure to ignite your imagination. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. So, grab a copy, dive into its pages, and let these authors’ guidance and wisdom enrich your woodworking endeavors. Happy woodworking!