We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. You might want something to get started as soon as possible. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. All aspects are covered in our easy and quick guide.
How We Came Up With 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.
Here are the criteria we used to base our recommendations on:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. The books are comprehensive and provide practical information to woodworkers.
The books chosen cover a wide range of woodworking topics so that readers will be able to understand what woodworking is all about. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Crafting for Newbies
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.
The selection includes books from various authors, each offering their unique perspective, expertise, and approach to woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
This list of book recommendations is by no means exhaustive. We have chosen a few of the best woodworking books, which are well-respected by both amateurs and professionals. They are timeless, even if some were not written during this decade.
- “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: This book emphasizes hand-tool woodworking and offers a collection of projects suitable for beginners. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
- “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: This book focuses on creating and organizing a woodworking toolbox or workshop 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 concentrates on woodworking using hand tools, with an emphasis on traditional techniques and abilities.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. The book also discusses the philosophy and mindset behind the craft.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
While the books previously mentioned are valuable for beginners, a few other titles specifically cater to those new to woodworking, offering them tremendous help. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: Tailored to suit the needs of beginners, this book offers an array of weekend projects perfect to start their woodworking journeys. 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: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. Within the pages of this book, you’ll discover how to best use tools and approach woodworking projects.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of woodworking, guiding beginners through various projects while emphasizing the importance of understanding and refining basic woodworking skills.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: By providing easy-to-do starter projects, this book offers readers a glimpse into the world of woodworking. It provides step-by-step instructions, tips, and guidance to ensure the successful completion of each project.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
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.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. It is a book that combines both a woodworking instruction guide and memoir.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
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 compact reference book provides a wealth of information. It covers all the essential topics, and it’s small enough to carry in the field for quick access.
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. 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!