We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. It may be that you need something to help get you going as quickly as possible. Or perhaps you’re at a more advanced level but would like to understand better and appreciate your craft. We address all areas in our convenient guide.
The Criteria For How We Choose The Books
We wanted to list timeless and highly regarded woodworking books for all skill levels.
Here are the criteria upon which we have based our recommendations:
Woodwork At Their Core
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. They offer comprehensive and useful information for woodworkers.
Topics In Depth
The chosen books provide a comprehensive overview of the woodworking craft, helping readers to gain a thorough understanding. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Starting from Scratch
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. Using simple explanations, the authors walk the reader through step by step.
The books are written by a variety of authors. Each one brings a unique perspective, experience, and approach to the woodworking world. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
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. 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: This book is a comprehensive guide to wood finishing techniques, covering different types of finishes, their application methods, and troubleshooting common issues.
- “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 emphasizes traditional woodworking techniques and skills.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: This book highlights using hand tools instead of power tools to explore woodworking. Its method also highlights the perspective and mentality of working with wood.
- “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis: This book features some very practical and creative workbench ideas. This book contains detailed plans and photos.
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 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: With a slight chuckle at the title, this book is an ideal guide for beginners, providing a comprehensive overview of woodworking essentials. 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: 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: 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.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
Funny man and woodworking aficionado has come out with a book titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Through this book, Offerman opens up about his profound fondness for woodworking, inviting readers into his world and sharing insightful experiences from his shop. Within the pages of this book, Offerman not only discusses his woodworking projects but also shares valuable tips, techniques, and sprinkles in humorous anecdotes for an engaging reading experience. It combines a woodworking guide and a memoir, showcasing Offerman’s love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Woodworking On-the-Go: Pocket-Sized Books for Woodworkers
For woodworkers on the go, pocket-sized books on woodworking serve as convenient and portable references that can be easily accessed whenever needed. These compact books often provide concise information and quick tips.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This small reference book contains a wealth 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. This book offers detailed instructions for a variety of projects that can be created using a pocket hole jig.
While these books may not cover all aspects of woodworking in great detail, they can be valuable resources for quick tips, reminders, and project ideas when you’re on the go or need a handy reference in your workshop.
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. So, grab a copy, dive into its pages, and let these authors’ guidance and wisdom enrich your woodworking endeavors. Happy woodworking!