Need the best woodworking books to guide you on your journey? Getting started and quickly oriented may be what you need. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. This handy guide will cover everything.
How We Came Up With Our List
Our woodworking book recommendations aim to provide a well-rounded list of popular and highly regarded woodworking books catering to different skill levels and interests within the woodworking community.
The standards on which we created our recommendations are listed below:
Relevance To Woodworking
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. The books cover most woodworking topics in great depth.
Thoroughly Covers Each Topic
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. They address essential topics like woodworking fundamentals, tools, joinery, wood properties, and project execution.
Beginner-Friendly Woodworking Resources
Some books are better suited for advanced or intermediate woodworkers. However, there are titles that are specifically designed for beginners. These books provide step-by-step instructions, explanations of basic techniques, and guidance ideal for those starting their woodworking journey.
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. This allows readers to explore different methods and find the techniques that resonate with them.
This list is anything but comprehensive. We’d be here all day if that were the case. Rather than quantity, we went with quality-a few top recommendations revered by beginners and experts. Some of these books were not published in the current decade but are timeless.
- “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: Beginners will find a variety of projects in this book that focus on hand-tool woodworking. By emphasizing minimal tools and traditional techniques, it delivers detailed instructions and valuable insights for creating handcrafted furniture and accessories.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book focuses on hand-tool woodworking, emphasizing traditional techniques and skills.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book discusses the tools that are essential for woodworking. From modern powered tools to historical but practical hand tools. It also covers doctrine and mindset.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: Scott so eloquently covers the physical space around the woodworker, emphasizing the workbench. You can look forward to some beautiful and detailed drawings.
Books For Beginners
A couple of additional titles stand out as particularly beneficial for woodworking novices, supplementing the books mentioned above with valuable information. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is aimed specifically at beginners and covers the basics of woodworking tools, techniques, and safety. This book provides clear, step-by-step instructions for common projects, as well as practical tips to help you begin your woodworking endeavors.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: This book focuses on the fundamental skills and techniques of woodworking, guiding beginners through various projects while emphasizing the importance of understanding and refining basic woodworking skills.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. 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 takes the beginner through sample projects and provides ideas and plans to whet the appetite.
Crafting with Offerman: Exploring Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book
Actor and comedian Nick Offerman 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. He shares his woodworking techniques, tips, and stories. In a remarkable fusion of genres, this book intertwines a woodworking guide with Offerman’s personal memoir, revealing his deep-seated affection for craftsmanship and his limitless creativity.
Portable Wisdom: Must-Have Pocket Books for Woodworking Enthusiasts
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. They contain essential information when needed in the field.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Encompassing a broad scope of woodworking subjects, this compact reference book is a comprehensive resource that addresses tools, joinery techniques, finishing methods, and various other topics.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This compact reference book provides a wealth of information. With all the critical information when you need it, this guide is a valuable addition to any woodworker’s library.
For the size-to-value ratio, these light and portable reference guides pack a punch. Chalked full of value in such a small 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. 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!