We wanted to share the best woodworking guides with you, whether you are a woodworker who is a pro or just starting. 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.
Criteria For Book Selection
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:
Grounded In The Foundations Of Woodworking
These woodworking books, cover a variety of woodworking topics, including joinery and tools. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
The picked books go over many aspects related to woodworking, ensuring readers can understand the trade. They cover topics such as the fundamentals of woodworking, tools, joining, wood properties, and the science of wood.
Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers
Beginners can benefit significantly from some of the titles, while some are for more advanced woodworkers. These books are ideal for woodworkers who want to get started. They provide detailed instructions and explain basic techniques.
Covering the Gamut of Expertise
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. This gives readers the opportunity to learn about different techniques and discover where they would like to focus.
Books that Made the Cut
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. Instead, we would like to present a few notable woodworking books highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals. While some were not written in this decade, they 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: Hand-tool woodworking takes center stage in this book, presenting a range of projects that are perfect for those starting out. Step-by-step instructions and valuable insights are provided for crafting handcrafted furniture and accessories using minimal tools and traditional techniques.
- “The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems” by Jim Tolpin: This book will help you organize a woodworking storage system. It’s overflowing with practical tips for storage solutions and ideas for the perfect toolbox.
- “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing: This book is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz: Focused on tools, this book recommends hand tools over modern powered tools. 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. It includes detailed plans and photographs.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
While the books previously mentioned are valuable for beginners, a few other titles specifically cater to those new to woodworking, offering them tremendous help. Here are some additional recommendations.
- “The New Woodworker Handbook” by Tom Hintz: This book is tailored specifically for beginners, offering a comprehensive exploration of woodworking tools, various techniques, and important safety measures. It provides step-by-step instructions for everyday projects and practical advice for getting started.
- “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn: Everyone has to start at square one. And that usually means learning the fundamentals if that’s a language or, in this case, woodworking. This book sees the world of woodworking through new eyes.
- “Woodworking for the Weekend: 20 Projects Using Reclaimed Timber” by Mark Griffiths: Tailored to suit the needs of beginners, this book offers an array of weekend projects perfect to start their woodworking journeys. If recycling is near and dear to your heart, and you’d like to take that sentiment into your woodworking journey, this book is for you.
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Woodworking” by Reed Karen: This book is a user-friendly guide that thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of woodworking. It illuminates using tools and various woodworking techniques, presenting readers with simple projects to practice and enhance their skills.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
Nick Offerman, the actor known for his role as Ron Swanson in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” has written a book on woodworking titled “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. Along with practical tips, he shares funny stories. This unique book seamlessly weaves together a woodworking guide and a memoir, providing readers with a captivating glimpse into Offerman’s unwavering passion for craftsmanship and boundless creativity.
Handy References: Pocket Books Every Woodworker Should Have
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.
- “Woodworker’s Pocket Reference” by Charles Self: Covering a diverse array of woodworking topics, this compact reference book encompasses all fundamental woodworking techniques.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This handy reference book is packed with information. Some may say this is a must-have resource since it’s packed with information and in a size that makes it portable for any project.
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.
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. Think of the recommended books in this guide as trusted allies accompanying you on your woodworking journey. We hope that a few of these books can provide guidance and wisdom to elevate and enhance your woodworking pursuits.