We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. 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. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
Criteria For Book Selection
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 we used to base our recommendations on:
Relevance To Woodworking
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Starting from Scratch
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
The books are written by a variety of authors. Each one brings a unique perspective, experience, and approach to the woodworking world. With such knowledge, a reader can find their happy place in the world of woodworking.
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. While some were not written in this decade, they 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: Beginners will find a variety of projects in this book that focus on hand-tool woodworking. By emphasizing minimal tools and traditional techniques, it delivers detailed instructions and valuable insights for creating handcrafted furniture and accessories.
- “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: This book will help you organize a woodworking storage system. It’s overflowing with practical tips for storage solutions and ideas for the perfect toolbox.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book emphasizes traditional woodworking techniques and skills.
- “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. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “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.
Books For Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. 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. The reader can follow along and check their progress toward their project completion.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: This guide offers a complete introduction to the art of woodworking.
- “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: Despite the title, this book is a beginner-friendly guide that covers the essentials of woodworking. It explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Actor Nick Offerman, best known for playing Ron Swanson, a character on the hit TV show “Parks and Recreation” has written a book called “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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
Pocket-sized woodworking books are available for woodworkers who are on the move. 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 will help you discover the wide variety of projects that utilize a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Encompassing a broad scope of woodworking subjects, this compact reference book is a comprehensive resource that addresses tools, joinery techniques, finishing methods, and various other topics.
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. So, grab a copy, dive into its pages, and let these authors’ guidance and wisdom enrich your woodworking endeavors. Happy woodworking!