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 might need something to get you started right away. Or you’re already at an intermediate to advanced level and want to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your craft. Our handy guide will cover all bases.
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:
Relevance To Woodworking
These books are geared toward woodworking and cover a wide range of topics, including techniques, joinery, and projects. 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.
Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. Considering that not everyone is an expert, the list includes selections for those just establishing their foundation in woodworking.
Wide Range of Authors and Perspectives
The list represents a wide variety of authors and techniques covering many aspects of woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
Our Curated List
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. Some have weathered the test of time, and although they have seen some years, they still remain relevant to this day.
- “The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day: This guide contains a thorough coverage of all aspects of woodworking. It’s a well-known classic.
- “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley: This book delves into the science and properties of wood, providing valuable insights for woodworkers who want a deeper understanding of the material they work with.
- “The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery” by Terrie Noll: This comprehensive book focuses on joints, also called joinery.
- “The Essential Woodturner: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Skills, Tools, and Techniques” by Hilary Bowen: This book is for all those out there who love to see that lathe spin. 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. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Essential Books for Beginners
For beginners delving into woodworking, there are a few other titles worth noting. Here are a couple more suggestions for your consideration.
- “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. 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: This book covers all the basics with the absolute beginner in mind. You’ll get sample plans and inspiration to practice your newfound skills.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: When beginning a new hobby, such as woodworking, everyone starts from square one. It involves grasping the fundamentals. This book helps master those basics to master the art.
- “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. The reader can follow along and check their progress toward their project completion.
Woodworking Wisdom by Nick Offerman: A Noteworthy Mention
Who knew actor Nick Offerman has a flair for all things woodworking? So much so that he wrote 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. Offerman’s book dives into his woodworking projects, providing readers with a glimpse into his creative process. Along the way, he generously shares tips, techniques, and adds a touch of humor with delightful anecdotes. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
Pocket-sized woodworking books are available for woodworkers who are on the move. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: This small book is devoted to pocket hole joinery. It will help you discover the wide variety of projects that utilize a pocket hole jig.
- “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.
For the size-to-value ratio, these light and portable reference guides pack a punch. Chalked full of value in such a small size.
Woodworking, with its abundance of knowledge and boundless inspiration, serves as a captivating realm that nurtures the passions and fuels the creativity of both novices and seasoned 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 one or two of these fine books will enrich your woodworking journey!