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. Need something to get you started right away? 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.
How We Came Up With Our List
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
Here are the criteria upon which we have based our recommendations:
Woodwork At Their Core
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. They are full of useful and comprehensive woodworker information.
The chosen books cover a broad spectrum of woodworking aspects, ensuring readers can understand the craft well. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
The recommendations include books that are geared toward beginners. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Books that Made the Cut
Far from comprehensive is our list. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. While some were not written in this decade, they are timeless.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This woodworking guide covers everything from tools to joinery. It is a classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: This book helps us think like scientists about the materials we work with.
- “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 covers doctrine and mindset.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features several workbench design ideas, offering inspiration and guidance to woodworkers who are looking to build that perfect workbench. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book emphasizes learning by doing by giving the reader easy projects to get started right away. Equipped with easy to follow instructions and expert guidance, it ensures that readers can successfully complete each project confidently.
- “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 features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. 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: Don’t be insulted by the title. It’s humbling to start at square one. But also exciting. This read is for those embarking into the world of woodworking for the first time. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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 book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his woodworking 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. 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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
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: This compact reference book covers a wide range of woodworking topics, including tools, materials, joinery, finishing techniques, and more.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This handy reference book is packed with information. This quick guide provides woodworkers with instant access to important information when working on their project.
While these books may not cover all aspects of woodworking in great detail, they can be valuable resources for quick tips, reminders, and project ideas when you’re on the go or need a handy reference in your workshop.
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. 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!