Not everyone has the time or money to attend woodworking classes—good thing woodworking books & guides are available for anyone who wants to learn.
We’ve compiled the best woodworking books to help you hone the necessary skills to craft the perfect carpentry gifts. They also equip you with the know-how to transfer your learnings to other carpentry projects.
Reviews of the Top 5 Wooodworking Books
1. GOOD CLEAN FUN: MISADVENTURES IN SAWDUST AT OFFERMAN WOODSHOP
If you haven’t heard of Nick Offerman, he’s had two bestseller books of carpentry while moonlighting as an actor, comedian, cohost of an NBC crafting competition show Making It. He’s popularly known as Rob Swanson in the TV Series Parks and Recreation.
There are a variety of ways to purchase his book, a good old fashioned hardcover, an audio CD or book. It’s also available on Kindle!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or a learner at this time. Within the Offerman Woodshop, you will find projects for all woodworkers.
You can follow everything step-by-step when making different items. Overall, Good Clean Fun is the best book you’ll find in the market.
2. THE COMPLETE MANUAL OF WOODWORKING: A DETAILED GUIDE TO DESIGN, TECHNIQUES, AND TOOLS
If you’re looking for informative titles filled with detailed content and project ideas, this popular publication is a joint book from Albert Jackson, David Day, and Simon Jennings is what you need.
Building furniture in a woodworking shop can actually be an easy endeavor if you have a detailed starter guide instructing you on all you need to know about this form of art.
This includes easy to follow wood shop tips, diagrams, photographs, and drawings to help you craft fine pieces of art. Whether you own an impressive table saw priced around $1000 or not, you can find a project here in The Complete Manual of Woodworking.
3.THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WOODWORKING: STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL WOODWORKING SKILLS
Expert advice on everything from setting up shop to identifying and using hand tools safely (e.g. professional chainsaws) can be found inside this book.
Other than basic information about wood craft, you also get forty ready to go woodworking projects in The Complete Book of Woodworking.
They come with detailed plans, tool list, and materials needed to make indoor and outdoor items. And to help beginners, 1200 images were included to help them better understand the entire process.
With what this offers, it sure is one of the best books for beginners as they learn their way in the woodworking world.
4.WORKING WOOD 1 & 2: THE ARTISAN COURSE WITH PAUL SELLERS
The author of Working Wood 1 & 2, Paul Sellers, has over 40 years of experience in the field under his belt. He tailors the perfect content that discusses the step-by-step process on how to shape and shave wood to learning about hand tools.
The woodworking knowledge you will receive from this expert veteran can be transferred to a variety of other fields. For other tips from veterans in the industry, you might want to check out America’s Woodworker’s Guild.
The paperback includes detailed and easy to understand diagrams and can even be purchased alongside the 7-DVD series (sold separately).
5. GREAT BOOK OF WOODWORKING TIPS: OVER 650 INGENIOUS WORKSHOP TIPS
This is the equivalent of a workshop bible—a great resource that provides tips for every type of woodworker. It has list of cool and easy woodworking projects for beginners, as well.
From how to sharpen your equipment to the finer details like how to rout edge joints and clamp and glue miters, this will give you tips and tricks on almost everything.
Not only will you learn essential skills and info, you will also realize how to avoid common errors and pitfalls that beginner (or even expert) woodworkers make. With all this, the Great Book of Woodworking Tips is fit for any library too.
Woodworking Book Buyer's Guide
What to look for when buying Woodworking books
When buying woodworking books for beginners or experts, you need to be sure that what you purchase will offer you as much woodworking ideas as possible so you can craft different pieces. It is like you are attending the top-rated online woodworking classes where you can learn carpentry with ease and finesse.
However, it’s a no-brainer that you can’t read a title before you buy it, so follow the tips below to make sure the books you buy are right for you.
While most woodworking books for beginners are advertised to cater to a variety of woodworker skill levels, you need to make sure you’re getting something that provides information that matches the level of difficulty that you need to improve.
Woodworking books should have things and programs for all woodworkers’ needs – from how to set up shop and introducing the proper apparatus to carving skills that would benefit a pro woodworker. Some woodworking books like one from Bill Hylton or Ana White may require the use of professional equipment, so make sure you know.
Make sure that the carpentry book or woodworking magazine will cover the information and advice that you’re looking for.
If you want to build small woodworks at home such as picture frames, birdhouses, cutting boards, and mantle clocks, then you shouldn’t purchase something geared towards finishing larger things that require complicated wood types such as a lounge chair, accent table, or dining table. Some titles may also discuss the concept of advanced technologies, and if you’re a novice craftsman, you may not be able to make sense of it yet.
Aspiring woodworkers should also consider looking for a specific skill such as router techniques, joinery, whittling, woodcarving, or finishing. Joinery is a useful skill that most woodcarvers work on. Woodworking with the router is also a useful skill for a furniture maker. Alternatively, there’s a CompleteStarter Guide on Whittling if you want to work on having sound knowledge in this area.
On the other hand, the title “Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects” by author Tom Carpenter is one of the good woodworking books for beginners that discuss a broad range of topics.
Does the content cover safety tips, basic workspace setup, cutting list, and a wide range of other categories? Is there a part that introduces hand tools, materials, and equipment and what they are used for? You can learn to work with a powerful scroll saw.
We know one or two woodworkers that could really benefit from that information. And if you need a hand beyond the how-to’s, books on woodworking like Michael Pekovich’s carpentry title explore why you should explore the woodworking world and be a craftsman.
While you can get most books at an affordable price (at under $50), you still need to be able to establish a budget. It’s not even worth it paying $5 for something that will contribute no information to your expertise. If you’re looking for woodworking books for beginners, make sure the book contains information fit to the skill level of novice woodworkers. It really depends on your needs, so get your hands on titles that will actually help you to hone yourself as a craftsman.
Pictures and Illustrations
We cannot stress the importance of this useful section in best books. While experts may understand what’s being said on these pages, many people prefer seeing for themselves rather than visualize what the project would look like. Photos in a publication are easier to follow for many readers, especially if you’re working on a workshop task like creating different joints or other joinery methods.
If you thought putting together furniture from Ikea or similar stores was tough, try building things of your own in a woodworking shop with just one or two photos or drawings. And Ikea instruction manuals come with pictures!
If you think of it that way, you will understand the purpose of these illustrations and pictures in a publication and why they make sense in woodworking books for beginners.
Does the book or woodworking magazine provide project plans you can work on? Are those plans carefully thought out and the list of instructions illustrated and clear? Also look at the different craft pieces given as we mentioned before and decide if that’s what you want. Some books may have a part that discusses youth projects such as toys or wood box organizers as well, which make for perfect woodworking gifts.
If you don’t own a collection of large tools or heavy duty equipment in your workshop, then steer clear of books targeted at making advanced craft projects. These machines may also require strength, and some may not be a one-person job.
However, you may also get started with investing in some small and medium-sized machines that can do the job, like a top-rated mini circular saw, if you’re serious about woodworking. Highly-detailed woodworking guides from popular sources like Bob Flexner (author of “Understanding Wood Finishing), Bob Moran, and Scott Landis are worth looking at for people who need a hand in starting a woodworking business.
For some readers, you can also discover a bit of the why and how of woodworking from a publication like American Woodworker magazine. That’s usually a good place to start for many people if you don’t want a library of books just yet.
People like learning what interests them, that’s why many want to work their hands on woodworking even at home. Safety is an important part of this, and any title worth it’s salt will happily outline all the safety precautions you should take especially at home.
Whether you are a professional or a beginner, woodworking safety shouldn’t be ignored by every woodworker. Finding the right title or article with the right piece of information will be a big part in helping you create a collection of amazing craft pieces to come!
our top pick for a woodworking book: Good Clean Fun: Misadventures In Sawdust At Offerman Woodshop
Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman is the perfect woodworking resource for beginners and experts alike. This provides the essential rudiments of woodworking, along with a number of different projects that will hone every woodworker’s skills. You are guaranteed to find this useful, as it is well-loved and highly recommended by many woodworkers.