We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.
Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:
These books are geared toward woodworking and cover a wide range of topics, including techniques, joinery, and projects. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
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. The books cover essential topics such as woodworking fundamentals and tools.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Our Curated List
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. 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 masterpiece comes alive with finishing. Learn to master applications and troubleshoot common problems.
- “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. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting 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: We must not forget the system of storage on the workbench. This book covers that in detail. It offers insights into design considerations, storage solutions, and practical tips for efficient tool organization.
- “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 is a guide to the most important tools for woodworking, and it emphasizes hand tools rather than power tools. It also touches on the philosophy and mindset of the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features some very practical and creative workbench ideas. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
A couple of additional titles stand out as particularly beneficial for woodworking novices, supplementing the books mentioned above with valuable information. Allow us to provide you with a few more recommendations.
- “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.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: This beginner-friendly guide offers a comprehensive introduction to woodworking.
- “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. 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: 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.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Who knew actor Nick Offerman has a flair for all things woodworking? So much so that he wrote a book called “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. Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only discusses his woodworking projects but also shares valuable tips, techniques, and sprinkles in humorous anecdotes for an engaging reading experience. It is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This small reference book contains a wealth of information. It’s a quick and handy guide for woodworkers who want instant access to essential information while working on their projects.
- “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. It provides instructions for various projects created using a pocket hole jig.
These books are not comprehensive, but they do provide quick tips and ideas for projects. They can also be useful when you need to refer back to them in the workshop.
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. 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 one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!