We’ve compiled the best woodworking titles to help you in your woodworking journey. You might want something to get started as soon as possible. Or you’re well on your way to becoming an expert but still want to expand your understanding and love for your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
How We Selected Books For Our Collection
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 upon which we have based our recommendations:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. These books address topics as diverse as woodworking fundamentals, joinery, wood characteristics, and project completion are also included.
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
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.
Handpicked Selections for You
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. Instead, we would like to present a few notable woodworking books highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals. 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 extensive guide covers every aspect of woodworking, such as tools, joinery, and finishing. It’s considered a classic in the field.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: Even if we’ve worked with wood before, we rarely have understood the science behind wood. This book demystifies wood and helps us see it from a deeper perspective.
- “The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This is an authority on wood joinery with illustrations and explanations of all things joinery.
- “The Essential Woodturner: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Skills, Tools, and Techniques” by Hilary Bowen: This book offers woodturning enthusiasts an easy-to-understand approach to turning on a lathe. This book covers the tools and safety concerns for beautiful turned-wood projects.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Books For Beginners
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 a couple more suggestions for your consideration.
- “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. 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.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: You have to start somewhere. This book is for those taking the first steps into the world of woodworking.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book gives readers a taste of woodworking by offering easy-to-do starter projects. To ensure the successful completion of each project, it provides step-by-step instructions, valuable tips, and expert guidance.
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. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and 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 Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This small reference book contains a wealth of information. It covers all the essential topics, and it’s small enough to carry in the field for quick access.
- “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. It will help you discover the wide variety of projects that utilize a pocket hole jig.
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. So, grab a copy, dive into its pages, and let these authors’ guidance and wisdom enrich your woodworking endeavors. Happy woodworking!