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. This handy guide will cover everything.
Criteria For Book Selection
Our woodworking book suggestions aim to provide an unbiased list of popular and highly regarded books catering to different levels of skill and interest within the woodworking industry.
Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
The recommended books cover topics like techniques and projects. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
Topics In Depth
The chosen books cover a broad spectrum of woodworking aspects, ensuring readers can understand the craft well. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Crafting for Newbies
While some books are more suitable for intermediate or advanced woodworkers, the recommendations include titles tailored to beginners. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
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. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of woodworking, including tools, techniques, joinery, and finishing. It is a classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: If we want to work with wood, we should understand the natural properties of the material we work with. This book helps us understand those natural properties.
- “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: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
In addition to the previously mentioned books, a handful of other titles prove especially advantageous for woodworking beginners, providing them with valuable insights. 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 helps beginners learn woodworking through hands-on projects. 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: 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. For those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials, you’ll find easy to understand instructions and tips on reclaiming natural 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
Funny man and woodworking aficionado has come out with a book titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. He discusses his woodworking projects, shares tips, and techniques, and includes humorous 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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. These compact volumes often contain concise information as well as quick tips.
- “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. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for numerous projects that leverage a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: This portable guide offers references for all the popular woodworking techniques.
Although these books may not delve deeply into every aspect of woodworking, they serve as valuable resources for quick tips and helpful reminders.
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. We hope that one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!