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. It may be that you need something to help get you going as quickly 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 Selection Process For Our List
Our recommendations for woodworking books are intended to be a comprehensive list of highly-regarded and popular woodworking titles that cater to varying skill levels and woodworking interests.
These are the criteria that we used to make our recommendations:
Core Woodworking Principles
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
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.
Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers
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.
This selection of books includes books by various authors who each offer their unique expertise and perspective on 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. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. While some are not on the best-seller list, and some are not even written in the last ten years, they hold up even to this day.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This woodworking guide covers everything from tools to joinery. It’s a well-known classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: This book provides woodworkers with valuable insight into the properties and science of wood.
- “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 highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. 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. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Essential Books for Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. Here are a couple more suggestions for your consideration.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Geared towards beginners, this book comprehensively covers the essentials of woodworking essential tools, techniques, and safety practices. With easy to understand instructions, this book guides you through typical projects and provides practical advice to kickstart your woodworking journey.
- “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 for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. 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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
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.” Through this book, Offerman opens up about his profound fondness for woodworking, inviting readers into his world and sharing insightful experiences from his 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. In a remarkable fusion of genres, this book intertwines a woodworking guide with Offerman’s personal memoir, revealing his deep-seated affection for craftsmanship and his limitless creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket Books
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This handy reference book is a great way to learn about a variety of woodworking subjects, such as tools and joinery. It also covers finishing techniques.
- “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.
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 is a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration, catering to beginners and seasoned artisans’ needs and aspirations. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!