No matter if you’re an experienced woodworker or just getting started, we want to provide you with the best books on woodworking to help you progress in your woodworking career. You may need something to get you oriented and on your way as fast as possible. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
Criteria For Book Selection
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.
The standards on which we created our recommendations are listed below:
Relevance To Woodworking
The listed books contain a thorough coverage of a wide variety of woodworking topics. They are full of useful and comprehensive woodworker information.
Topics In Depth
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover important woodworking topics in depth.
Starting from Scratch
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.
Diverse Perspectives And Approaches
Several authors are represented, each with their own techniques and approaches to woodworking. The books allow readers to discover new techniques and explore various methods.
Handpicked List: Top Recommendations You Don’t Want to Miss
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 is a classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: There is a science to wood. This book helps us understand woodworking from that perspective.
- “The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This comprehensive guide focuses specifically on wood joinery techniques, providing detailed explanations and illustrations of various joints used in woodworking.
- “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. It’s chalked full of valuable tips to create beautiful projects.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features some very practical and creative workbench ideas. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
Books For Beginners
While the books mentioned above provide valuable information for beginners, a few other titles are particularly helpful for those new to woodworking. Below are a few more recommendations worth considering.
- “Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics” by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk: This book emphasizes learning by doing by giving the reader easy projects to get started right away. Equipped with easy to follow instructions and expert guidance, it ensures that readers can successfully complete each project confidently.
- “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Woodworking: Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by Gareth Branwyn: Designed with beginners in mind, this guide offers a thorough introduction to woodworking, covering all the necessary aspects.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: If you’re looking for easy projects with practical applications that will make your spouse happy, this starter guide is for you. It includes step-by-step instructions, photographs, and tips for working with reclaimed wood, making it an excellent choice for those interested in sustainability and repurposing materials.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: Don’t be insulted by the title. It’s humbling to start at square one. But also exciting. This read is for those embarking into the world of woodworking for the first time. It explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
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 book, Offerman shares his passion for woodworking and provides insights into his experiences at his woodworking shop. He shares his woodworking techniques, tips, and stories. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworking On-the-Go: Pocket-Sized Books for Woodworkers
Ideal for the on-the-move woodworker, small, portable reference guides are great for quick access. These compact books often provide concise information and quick tips.
- “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 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.
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 offers is rich with knowledge and inspiration for both beginners and experienced craftsmen alike. 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. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.