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The 5 Best Woodworking Books For Everyone This 2020

Woodworking is a fun hobby for people of all ages to take on, although not all of us have the time and money to attend woodworking classes. For those looking to save on some time and be able to learn from home, you can refer to awesome woodworking guides!

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!

Before we proceed the detailed reviews, here’s a summary of the great woodworking books of today:

#1 Book (Best)
GOOD CLEAN FUN
Technical Info
THE COMPLETE MANUAL OF WOODWORKING
Beginner-Friendly
WORKING WOOD 1 & 2
Good for Projects
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WOODWORKING
Best Tips
GREAT BOOK OF WOODWORKING TIPS
With woodworking projects of beginner-expert difficulty, making it a user-friendly book for all levels of woodworkers.
With discussions about wood type, technique, and tools, this book will make you knowledgeable on technical details of woodworking.
From long-time woodworker, this book has specific instructions and step-by-step info to teach the essentials of woodworking.
Filled with more than 40 projects, you will have tons of options for creative projects to put your skills into work.
An easy resource for all kinds of woodworking tips, this book will lessen mistakes in every project!
#1 Book (Best)
GOOD CLEAN FUN
With woodworking projects of beginner-expert difficulty, making it a user-friendly book for all levels of woodworkers.
Technical Info
THE COMPLETE MANUAL OF WOODWORKING
With discussions about wood type, technique, and tools, this book will make you knowledgeable on technical details of woodworking.
Beginner-Friendly
WORKING WOOD 1 & 2
From long-time woodworker, this book has specific instructions and step-by-step info to teach the essentials of woodworking.
Good for Projects
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF WOODWORKING
Filled with more than 40 projects, you will have tons of options for creative projects to put your skills into work.
Best Tips
GREAT BOOK OF WOODWORKING TIPS
An easy resource for all kinds of woodworking tips, this book will lessen mistakes in every project!

Top 5 Woodworking Books – Reviews & Buying Guide

1 – Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

If you are even remotely interested in woodworking, then you must have heard of the great 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, but he is first and foremost a woodworker. 

There are a variety of ways to purchase the book, a good old fashioned hardcover, an audio CD or book depending on which you prefer, and it’s also available on Kindle. 

His workshop not only produces artisanal furniture that is handcrafted, but his other shop products range from ukuleles to even mustache combs!

It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a layman at this time, within these pages you will find woodworking projects that every skill level can use.

Not only will the text tell you how to create amazing woodworking projects of your own, but the words are paired with informative pictures to make sure you understand the instructions clearly.

You can follow everything one step at a time when making different projects. Overall, Good Clean Fun is one of the best woodworking books you’ll find in the market.

PROS:

  • Projects contained in the pages are for every skill level.
  • The woodworking guide gives examples of popular woodworking projects
  • Beginners and experts can benefit from the colorful pictures and illustrations.
  • A book by bestselling author Nick Offerman himself.
  • One of the most highly rated woodworking books out there.
  • There are plans that are simple and do not require the use of power tools, like hybrid table saws.

CONS:

  • Many readers find the book less informative and more for entertainment purposes.

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2 – The Complete Manual of Woodworking: A Detailed Guide to Design, Techniques, and Tools

Now if you were looking for informative woodworking books that are jam packed full of rich knowledge, then look no further than this popular woodwork book from Albert Jackson and David Day.

Within the pages of this best woodworking book are wood shop tips, techniques, diagrams, photos and drawings to help you craft fine pieces of art.

Bill Hylton has written quite a few best books as well that require the use of power tools. That’s why we decided to go for online options that are more traditional and cater to people of all skill levels that may or may not own these large pieces of equipment. So whether or not you own an impressive table saw priced around $1000 or not, you can find a project here for you.

Building furniture in a shop can actually be an easy endeavor if you have a detailed guide instructing you on all you need to know about this form of art. Seek and find new inspiration within the hardcover or paperback book.

PROS:

  • Not only are the techniques discussed, but even the differentiation of hardwoods and softwoods.
  • The techniques involved include jointing, bonding, fastening, etc.
  • Learn how to choose the right wood and tools for your new project.
  • Clear instructions.

CONS:

  • The book might be a little dated without good organization.

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3 – Working Wood 1 & 2: The Artisan Course with Paul Sellers

What’s important for a person looking for a woodworking guide or a woodworking magazine is to see what sorts of skills they can gain. Many readers have found that the best books are those that cater to people of all skill levels. 

The author, Paul Sellers, has over 40 years of experience in the field under his belt. He tailors the perfect guide that details the step-by-step process on how to shape and shave wood to learning about hand tools.

The 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 diagrams and can even be purchased alongside the 7-DVD series (sold separately). 

PROS:

  • People of all skill levels can take away valuable expertise on how to craft wood.
  • The paperback can be purchased alongside a 7-DVD series.
  • The knowledge you gain can be transferred to other different projects.
  • Complete with diagrams and clear instructions from an authority in woodworking.

CONS:

  • The graphic design of the book may be a bit messy.

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4 – The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills

Other than learning one thing or two, you also get forty ready to go woodworking projects with detailed plans with different materials needed to make indoor and outdoor projects.

Sometimes it could be hard to depict something with just words alone, so the photographs, over 1200 to be exact, work wonders for beginners who need help making their projects.

Acquire expert advice on everything from setting up shop to identifying and using tools safely (e.g. professional chainsaws) and to finally finishing the project. If you like larger pieces such as chairs and lounges, there is something for you.

There are even smaller woodworking projects as simple as picture frames included in the book.

If you’re new to woodworking at this time, this is one of the best books to guide you on your way. Go from beginner to master with this comprehensive book that holds your hand every step of the way!

PROS:

  • With over 1200 photos available, who could turn this book down?
  • Beginners will learn to set up shop and get to learn all the basics from one of the best mentors
  • Even expert woodworkers will learn something new and probably further develop their woodworking techniques.
  • Get a taste of finishing every type of project small and large for indoors and out.

CONS:

  • It might not be the book for woodworkers only looking to use hand tools.

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5 – Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips

This is the equivalent of a workshop bible and should be kept at your fingertips! Speaking of tips, this great book is full of them!

From how to sharpen your tools to the finer details like how to rout edge joints and how to clamp and glue miters, this is one of the best woodworking books you can find if you want to learn a bit about everything!

Not only will you learn essential skills and information, you will also realize how to avoid common errors and pitfalls that beginner (or even expert) woodworkers make.

Giving you the knowledge of what to do is easy, but not everyone tells you want to avoid and how to prevent it.

If you think you know everything, think again. This is one of those woodworking books where we’re sure that even the most experienced professionals will have a lightbulb moment or two.

PROS:

  • Learn what to do and what not to do.
  • Learn the woodworker basics and the difficult details.
  • You will benefit from the experience and advice of others.
  • The woodworking book comes with 800 colored photos.

CONS:

  • It seems like the book is better for more advanced woodworkers.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Woodworking Books

It’s agreed upon that anyone buying woodworking guides is looking to improve their craft and learn a thing or two. You need to be sure that what you purchase will offer you as much information and advice as possible so you can make different projects.

However, you can’t read a book before you buy it, so follow the tips below to make sure the woodworking book is right for you.

Skill Level

While most books are advertised to cater to a variety of woodworker skill levels, you need to make sure.

The books should have something for everyone from how to set up shop and introducing the proper tools to extra techniques that would benefit a pro. Some books like one from Bill Hylton may require the use of power tools, so make sure you know.

What’s Covered

Make sure the book or woodworking magazine covers what you are looking for.

If you want to build small woodworks such as picture frames, birdhouses and mantle clocks, then you shouldn’t purchase a book geared towards finishing larger projects such as lounge chairs and dining tables.

Does the book cover safety tips, basic setup and a wide range of other categories? How about introducing the hand tools and equipment and what they are used for? You can learn easily how to work with a powerful scroll saw.

We know one or two woodworkers that could really benefit from that information.

Price

While you can get most books at an affordable price (at under $50), you still need to establish a budget. It’s not even worth it paying $5 for one book that will contribute nothing to your expertise. So think about what you are willing to pay for a new skill set.

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, it’s always better to be able to see for yourself rather than visualize what the project would look like. Photos are easier to follow.

If you thought putting together furniture from Ikea or similar stores was tough, try building something of your own with just one or two photos. And Ikea instruction manuals come with pictures!

If you think of it that way then you will understand the importance of these illustrations and pictures.

Projects

Does the book provide project plans? Are those plans carefully thought out and instructions illustrated and clear? Also look at the different projects given as we mentioned before and decide if that’s what you want.

If you don’t own any power tools or heavy duty equipment, then steer clear of books targeted at making those projects.

However, you may also start investing in some small and medium-sized tools, like a top-rated mini circular saw, if you’re serious about woodworking.

Conclusion

Everyone likes learning something that interests them, and woodworking is the same. Safety is of the utmost importance and any book worth it’s salt will happily outline all the safety precautions you should take.

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, woodworking safety isn’t something to be ignored. Finding the right book with the right information for you will help you create many amazing projects to come!

If you want to teach your children basic woodworking for young ones, we also have a fun selection of woodworking projects for kids.

Robert

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