Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
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.
Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. These books address topics as diverse as woodworking fundamentals, joinery, wood characteristics, and project completion are also included.
Starting from Scratch
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
The selection includes books from various authors, each offering their unique perspective, expertise, and approach to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Handpicked Selections for You
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. We have chosen a few of the best woodworking books, which are well-respected by both amateurs and professionals. Some have weathered the test of time, and although they have seen some years, they still remain relevant to this day.
- “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” by Bob Flexner: Finishing is a true fine art. This book addresses application techniques.
- “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. It offers in-depth guidance and valuable insights for crafting furniture and accessories by employing basic tools and traditional methods.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: Like the Amish, this book focuses on historical techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: Focused on tools, this book recommends hand tools over modern powered tools. It also gets philosophical and talks about the mental state of woodworking.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book showcases various workbench designs, providing inspiration and guidance for woodworkers looking to build or upgrade their workbenches. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Essential Books for Beginners
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is aimed specifically at beginners and covers the basics of woodworking tools, techniques, and safety. Step-by-step instructions for everyday projects and practical advice to assist you in getting started are provided within this book.
- “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 includes a selection of weekend project ideas that are specifically designed for newbies. 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. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
The Art of Woodworking with Nick Offerman: Recognizing an Exceptional Contribution
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman wrote a book called “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only shares his passion for woodworking but also offers readers invaluable insights into his experiences at his personal woodworking 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. 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.
Woodworking Essentials in Your Pocket: Pocket Books for the Craft
There are pocket-sized books available on woodworking that can be handy references for woodworkers on the go. These compact books often provide concise information and quick tips.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This pocket-sized book focuses specifically on pocket hole joinery, a popular technique in woodworking. This book offers detailed instructions for a variety of projects that can be created using a pocket hole jig.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental woodworking techniques.
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.
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. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.