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. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. You might have an intermediate skillset but want to understand your hobby or trade better. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
Our woodworking book recommendations aim to provide a well-rounded list of popular and highly regarded woodworking books catering to different skill levels and interests within the woodworking community.
The standards on which we created our recommendations are listed below:
Relevance To Woodworking
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
Topics In Depth
The chosen books cover a broad spectrum of woodworking aspects, ensuring readers can understand the craft well. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. With such knowledge, a reader can find their happy place in the world of woodworking.
Our Curated List
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. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.
- “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: Beginners will find a variety of projects in this book that focus on hand-tool woodworking. 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 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. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features some very practical and creative workbench ideas. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
While the books previously mentioned are valuable for beginners, a few other titles specifically cater to those new to woodworking, offering them tremendous help. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “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. 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: This book is a user-friendly guide that thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of woodworking. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
- “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 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. It provides step-by-step instructions, tips, and guidance to ensure the successful completion of each project.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Funny man and woodworking aficionado has come out with a book titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Through this book, Offerman opens up about his profound fondness for woodworking, inviting readers into his world and sharing insightful experiences from his shop. He shares his woodworking techniques, tips, and stories. This unique book seamlessly weaves together a woodworking guide and a memoir, providing readers with a captivating glimpse into Offerman’s unwavering passion for craftsmanship and boundless creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. These compact volumes often contain concise information as well as quick tips.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: Seemingly like a play on words, this pocket book covers pocket hole joinery. It provides instructions for various projects created using a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This compact reference book covers a wide range of woodworking topics, including tools, materials, joinery, finishing techniques, and more.
While not as immersive as some of the other titles on our list, the handy guides provide lots of value in a compact size.
Within the world of woodworking, a vast reservoir of knowledge and inspiration awaits, ready to captivate and enlighten individuals at every level of expertise, from beginners to experts. 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!