Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just beginning, we wanted to bring you the best woodworking books to help you grow in your woodworking journey. You might want something to get started as soon as possible. You may be at an intermediate or advanced level but want to learn more about your craft. Our handy guide will provide you with all the information you need to be on your way.
The Criteria That Guide Our Book Choices
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.
These are the criteria that we used to make our recommendations:
Relevance To Woodworking
The books recommended are specifically focused on woodworking, covering a range of topics such as tools and techniques. They provide comprehensive and practical information for woodworkers.
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.
Selecting Beginner-Friendly Books for Woodworkers
These books cater to both beginners and intermediate woodworkers. These books offer step-by-step instructions, basic techniques explained, and advice for beginners.
Each author offers a unique approach, perspective, and expertise to woodworking. Readers are allowed to find what works for them.
We Present Our List
This list does not include all possible books on the subject. So we went with a few that are well-known and revered in woodworking circles. 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: For all things regarding wood finishing, this comprehensive guide helps with applying various lacquers and varnishes to troubleshoot when things go slightly awry.
- “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. 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 is a guide to woodworking with hand tools, focusing on traditional skills and techniques.
- “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: While the previous book emphasized tools, this focuses on the craftsman’s workspace-specifically the workbench. Included are practical and easy-to-use workbench plans.
Handpicked Books to Kickstart Your Woodworking Adventure
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. With easy to understand instructions, this book guides you through typical projects and provides practical advice to kickstart your woodworking journey.
- “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: This book features a collection of weekend projects specifically designed for beginners. This book is an excellent choice for individuals who have an interest 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 explains tool usage and woodworking techniques and offers simple projects to practice and build skills.
Nick Offerman’s Woodworking Book: A Notable Addition to the List
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.” Offerman shares in this book his love for woodworking, and gives insights into his woodworking experiences. He discusses his woodworking projects, shares tips, and techniques, and includes humorous anecdotes. Blending elements of a woodworking guide and a memoir, this book showcases Offerman’s profound love for craftsmanship and creativity.
Compact Guides for Woodworkers: Essential Pocket-Sized Books
Sometimes a woodworker needs to reference tips and techniques in the field. That’s where pocket-sized books come in. Compact woodworking books are known for their ability to deliver concise information and handy quick tips.
- “The Handy Shop Reference: Useful Facts and Figures for Every Woodworker” by Tom Begnal: This compact reference book provides a wealth of information. It’s a quick and handy guide for woodworkers who want instant access to essential information while working on their projects.
- “The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book” by Danny Proulx: Seemingly like a play on words, this pocket book covers pocket hole joinery. You’ll get practical step-by-step projects using a pocket hole jig.
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. 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!