Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? 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. This handy guide will cover everything.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
Our recommendations for woodworking publications are designed to give a balanced list of books that appeal to different skill levels and interests.
Our recommendations were based on the following criteria:
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. They are full of useful and comprehensive woodworker information.
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Woodworking for Beginners
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.
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
Books that Made the Cut
This list is not comprehensive. We would need much more time to list all possible books. 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.
- “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: The beauty of several books on this list is that they’re modular. They fit together. This one highlights the woodworker’s toolbox and the organization of the workshop. It offers insights into design considerations, storage solutions, and practical tips for efficient tool organization.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. It also covers doctrine and mindset.
- “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. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Essential Books for Beginners
The above titles provide a wealth of information for new woodworkers. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: Specifically targeting beginners, this book delves into the basics of woodworking tools, various strategies, and the importance of 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: Everyone has to start at square one. And that usually means learning the fundamentals if that’s a language or, in this case, woodworking. This book sees the world of woodworking through new eyes.
- “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. This book is an excellent choice for individuals who have an interest in sustainability and repurposing materials.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Honorable Mention, Nick Offerman’s Book on Woodworking
Nick Offerman, the actor known for his role as Ron Swanson in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” has written a book on woodworking titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” In this book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his 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.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
Pocket-sized woodworking books are available for woodworkers who are on the move. Packed with condensed information and practical tips, compact woodworking books serve as go-to references for woodworkers.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This consolidated guide is a treasure trove of information. This quick guide provides woodworkers with instant access to important information when working on their project.
- “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. You’ll get practical step-by-step projects using 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.
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. If you have read this far, you clearly have a taste for this rewarding craft. So grab a copy of these books and enjoy a richer woodworking journey!