We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. 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. 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 cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
Topics In Depth
The selected books are comprehensive and cover many aspects of woodworking. This ensures readers have a solid grasp of the art. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Woodworking for Beginners
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.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
The list represents a wide variety of authors and techniques covering many aspects of woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
We Present Our List
This list is not comprehensive. We would need much more time to list all possible books. We have chosen a few of the best woodworking books, which are well-respected by both amateurs and professionals. While some were not written in this decade, they are timeless.
- “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 a well-known classic.
- “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 caters to woodturning enthusiasts, offering a step-by-step approach to turning wood on a lathe. This book covers the tools and safety concerns for beautiful turned-wood projects.
- “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. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
Must-Read Books for Novice Readers
While the books mentioned above provide valuable information for beginners, a few other titles are particularly helpful for those new to woodworking. We’d like to share a few more recommendations with you.
- “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: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. It explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build 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: With a focus on easy-to-do starter projects, this book gives readers a practical and enjoyable way to dip their toes into the world of woodworking. Equipped with easy to follow instructions and expert guidance, it ensures that readers can successfully complete each project confidently.
Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book
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.” 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. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworkers Pocket 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. With all the critical information when you need it, this guide is a valuable addition to any woodworker’s library.
- “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. It provides instructions for various projects created 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.
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 one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!