Best Woodworking Books 2019 [Updated Version]

If you are into the art of making crafts with wood and are planning on mastering your skills or learn from scratch, you may as well be interested in woodworking books. You have the internet, but not everything on it is trustworthy. Books, on the other hand, have a more solid approach.

The best woodworking books have special instructions, tips, and tricks that you won’t have access to anywhere else. Besides being useful for you, it also makes for a wonderful gesture as a gift for someone you know who also loves woodworking. Keep reading to learn about the best books on woodworking.

Best Woodworking Books Review

Here, we’ll review the books that we think are the finest woodworking books on the market right now.

“Working Wood 1 & 2: The Artisan Course” By Paul Sellers

The first up on this list is a bestseller brought to you by the woodworking icon himself, Paul Sellers. With his almost 50 years of experience, you can’t go wrong with the vast wisdom he intelligently comprises into a 320-page book of woodworking knowledge.

Working Wood 1 & 2: the Artisan Course with Paul Sellers

His experience includes teaching over 3000 woodshop students, so you know that every single thing that he shares in this book is worth a read.

The ability of Paul Sellers to engage easily with any eager-to-learn student of literally any age is highly reflected upon on his book. He entices students of his lessons with comedy, but at the same time, there is a lot of depth so that you won’t get bored and neither will you miss out on any of the details.

It is known to be one of the best woodworking books for beginners.

You are sure to be enlightened by this piece even if you are not into woodworking or just starting out at woodworking, as just the amount of facts and techniques mentioned in this will have you hooked. The love that Paul Sellers has for woodwork and crafts can easily be felt radiated from each word imprinted in the book.

Highlighted Features

  • Learn by steps
  • Includes in-depth information
  • Easy to read
  • Learn about joints, various tools, and woodworking techniques
  • Comes with learning diagrams
  • Complete with HD photos
  • Great for beginners
  • Well written instructions
  • Use of bright and interesting graphics

“Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter” By Nina Maclaughlin

If you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of woodworks and crafts, but you need the perspective of someone who has been in it for the long run before you dive into it completely, this book is for you.

This book teaches you that even if you have no idea about woodworking, you can still start from scratch and learn from the basics no matter what.

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

Written like a story, the author Nina Maclaughlin, explains all the ups and downs she has been through to realize her love for home improvement and renovation. It also includes the story of her changing professions entirely to follow her passion of being a carpenter.

So, this book will be totally relatable to those who have absolutely no idea of what it’s like to work with wood as Nina had faced the same in her life.

Nina, prior to being a carpenter, was an editor, which explains the use of articulacy in literature. This book teaches us that we can do anything we set your mind to, regardless of our age, background, or where we stand in life.

It is an easy read and a great confidence booster that will keep you engaged with hardships and achievements all throughout.

Highlighted Features

  • Inspiring content
  • Written like a novel
  • Very relatable
  • Includes analogies on various topics related to woodworking
  • Includes historical facts as an added bonus to the story

“Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish” By Bob Flexner

This is one of the best guides you can get your hands on that will provide you with techniques starting from the classics to the modern. The book is up-to-date with woodworking standards and will make sure you catch up with the latest trends.

It is also published by one of the best companies in the industry, Fox Chapel Publishing, so you know you will be blessed with beautiful and bright photos to give you visuals alongside the instructions.

Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish (Fox Chapel Publishing) Practical, Comprehensive Guide; Over 300 Color Photos and 40 Reference Tables & Troubleshooting Guides

Another point worth noting about this handy book is that it includes nicely designed guides and tables of references for readers to look back into if they ever need to fact check any measurements or tips.

Each chapter covers a common style or method used in woodworking. So you can be sure that this isn’t one of those books that you’ll never pick up again after you have read it once.

Consequently, the materials in this book are so well put and on-trend that it is even used as reading material for students in woodshop classes. Bob Flexner, the writer, has made sure to include thoroughly researched information that will be useful to both professionals and amateurs alike.

Highlighted Features

  • Up to date on various techniques
  • Everything is thoroughly explained
  • High definition photos
  • Guided reference
  • Specialized chapters on different methods in the art of woodworking

“Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop” by Nick Offerman

You may know him for his incredibly hilarious role in the popular television sitcom, Parks and Recreation, but what you may not know is that Nick Offerman is also a proud carpenter extraordinaire. When he’s not making people laugh on camera, he’s making cool stuff out of wood.

As the nation’s funny man, you might expect him to bring his fun-loving personality into his crafts, and you won’t be wrong about that because he’s known to make products such as ukuleles and kazoos.

Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

In this book, not only does he teach you methods to fine furnishing but he does so with his light-heartedness, so you feel like he’s talking to you like a friend who is showing you the ropes.

He doesn’t only give insights on his own experiences but also shares stories from peers who are into the same thing. You will be getting a spectrum of woodworking perspectives.

Moreover, you will be inspired by the many projects that have been explained throughout this book and learn about the blood, sweat, and tears behind each one.

There’s a project for everyone to do so you don’t have to worry about your expertise in the subject. This New York Time’s bestseller is sure to knock you off your feet with its entertaining content and enlightening tips and tricks.

Highlighted Features

  • Easy to understand instructions
  • A great read for beginners
  • A witty take on woodworking
  • It has documented the backgrounds of various woodworking artists

“The Complete Manual of Woodworking: A Detailed Guide to Design, Techniques, and Tools for the Beginner and Expert” By Albert Jackson And David Day

If you’re looking for a more visually pleasing guide, then this is just the book for you! This book is full of photographs, drawings, and diagrams that have been compiled together to give you the best and the easiest learning experience.

The Complete Manual of Woodworking: A Detailed Guide to Design, Techniques, and Tools for the Beginner and Expert

With this, you’ll be able to grasp the many woodworking concepts and the various ways to hold tools and the results you will get from each technique used. Everything has been broken down beautifully with clear images. Even if you are a first-timer, and you are looking for some directions, this book has the guidance you need.

It also gives you a heads up on the types of tools that could be the best for you.

The authors of this book are both well-known artists and have a great reputation for creating useful DIY books in the past. Deemed excellent by readers worldwide, the information provided feels almost endless. Whether you want to learn how to join, laminate, or fasten a wood piece, the authors have it all ready in this book.

Highlighted Features

  • There are lists of recommended products
  • It gives the reader background information on the process of woodworking
  • It notes the uses of different types of woods
  • The book mentions features of each kind of tool and their advantages and disadvantages

“Woodworking Basics – Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” By Peter Korn

This book is deemed as one of the best woodworking books of all time by hundreds of readers. Just like its title, this book will definitely teach you from the ground up and take you to an expert level.

All the secrets you need to know to become a successful craftsman is written articulately inside this book, all easy enough for anyone to grasp.

The price is also extremely affordable, so you’ll be ensured with volumes of knowledge without even coming close to breaking the bank. Not only will you be learning the greatest ways and means to woodworking, but you will be learning the proper methods.

Woodworking Basics - Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship - An Integrated Approach With Hand and Power tools

There are also projects scattered throughout the book to give the reader something to practice and brush up their skills.

With its proper instructions, you will learn about the spot-on way to cut and fasten wood materials. Besides correct techniques, you will also learn about safety in terms of environment and of course, the equipment that you will be using for these sorts of crafts.

Highlighted Features

  • It has information on different types of wood glues
  • It provides information on different woodworking machinery
  • Has the fundamentals of craftsmanship
  • Teaches you a lot of technical terms

“Hybrid Woodworking: Blending Power & Hand Tools for Quick, Quality Furniture” By Marc Spagnuolo

Another one knocking out all the other books from the shelves is Marc Spagnuolo’s masterpiece, “Hybrid Woodworking”. This book is your go-to for all things related to the woodshop, refined to match the technology of this day and age.

Most woodworking guidebooks are all very outdated and are difficult to follow for the youth, but this one will easily capture the eyes of the younger generation and spark their love for woodshop.

Hybrid Woodworking: Blending Power & Hand Tools for Quick, Quality Furniture (Popular Woodworking)

This literary marvel has the magic of teaching you the most efficient ways of woodworking techniques. Not only will it save you lots of time, but it will allow you to get down and dirty to create a bunch of projects on your own. Even beginners will be able to produce fine finished high-quality furniture.

Marc Spagnuolo will explain right to the bone what kinds of tools are best for the different kinds of furniture. With word-by-word demonstrations, you won’t ever be making silly mistakes with cutting and joining wood.

Woodworking requires a lot of strength and focus, but it doesn’t have to be so hard, and this book teaches you to do all these things with lots of fun.

Highlighted Features

  • Great for people who are new to woodworking
  • Teaches you all the basic knowledge you need to get started
  • It provides you with a list of minimum and inexpensive tools and equipment you need

“Illustrated Cabinetmaking: How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works” By Bill Hylton

The last book review I have for you is another one from ‘Fox Chapel Publishing’ so if you haven’t read the previous contenders on this list already, you’ll know that this will have amazing imagery and graphics.

Apart from the beautiful picturesque visuals, it gives you all the knowledge of basic ergonomics and measurements which you could use as a basis for advanced level projects.

Illustrated Cabinetmaking: How to Design and Construct Furniture That Works (Fox Chapel Publishing) Over 1300 Drawings & Diagrams for Drawers, Tables, Beds, Bookcases, Cabinets, Joints & Subassemblies

This author’s take on woodworking is thoroughly diagrammatic, which is a great way for students to take in the many concepts of woodworking that may be difficult to understand with just words.

One thing this book offers that the others don’t is solutions to commonly occurred and timeless problems faced by woodworkers. It will provide you with step-by-step instructions so that you can avoid the same mistakes that predecessors of woodshop craftsman have made time after time.

Highlighted Features

  • Provides you with plans to different types of furniture design
  • Gives you solutions to problems faced by woodworkers
  • Teaches you basic measurements
  • Inspires you with various detailed drawings and diagrams of furniture

 

Buying Guide For The Best Woodworking Books

Never judge a book by its cover. You want to be able to get as much useful information as you can from guidebooks such as these. The following are things to look for when searching for a woodworking book that will give you the most out of its pages.

Targeted Towards Beginners

It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur or a long-term craftsman. If you buy books that are targeted towards beginners of this field, you might come across many things that you may not find anywhere else.

Of course, these books are already targeted towards a specific audience, but the ones that have been designed to teach from scratch could surely be helpful to you in brushing up techniques and recap anything that you might have missed.

Learn The Basics

It is impossible to advance properly in the world of woodworking if you don’t have your basics right. Look for books written or at least compiled by highly experienced authors so that you’re certain of all the knowledge they share with you. They definitely know what they are talking about.

Also, look for books that are neatly organized and have a separate section for elementary methods and techniques.

Practice Projects

Practice makes perfect. We all have been taught that, right? Well, with a task like woodworking, in order to polish your skills, you would need to practice. Look for books that have exercises or practice projects.

Projects will help you build your understanding of various techniques better as well as keeping you far from boredom from constantly reading paragraphs.

Find Something Fun

With such a technical activity like woodshop, you might sometimes feel like you are beating yourself up trying to master all the cutting, joining, fastening, and bonding techniques. Constantly going back and forth with instructions can be tedious.

Learning can definitely be interesting, and if a book has a more light-hearted approach to woodworking, it makes the whole thing a lot more fun. You’ll be looking forward to picking up the book more than anything else, and it can encourage you to make use of every chance you get to practice woodworking.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is the best writer in regards to woodworking books?

Different people have different choices. But Paul sellers, Bob Flexner, Nina Maclaughlin are very good writers to name a few.

  1. What kind of glue is the best for woodworking?

The thicker the wood, the stronger the glue you’ll need. Otherwise, PVC glue (for wood) works just fine.

  1. Which one is the best woodworking book?

There are a great number of books on the market. It’s difficult to pinpoint one and say this one is the best book. But if you ask my opinion, the one by Paul Sellers is the finest book I’ve read on woodworking.

  1. What tools should a beginner woodworker start with?

A beginner would need chisels, saws, and drills of any shape, size, and power (depending on the kind of work they will be doing).

  1. What are the different kinds of woodworking out there?

There are works done on hardwoods, softwoods, and man-made woods.

Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner or have loads of experience, knowledge is always power. And I can assure you, each of the books mentioned here is incredible.

I hope you have found these book reviews helpful and that at least one of them has caught your eye as your next read.

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