Woodworking is not an easy job. You will need to research as much as possible to get enough knowledge before starting any project.
In all types of learning sources, books are perhaps the most popular. The following recommended list will bring about the most complete manual of woodworking.
#1. The Essential Woodworker: Skills, Tools and Methods
This deserves to be one of the best woodworking books for beginners.
You will learn all the basic skills and techniques applied in the most fundamental projects and get an answer for every question you might have.
The book mainly concentrates on traditional techniques, using hand tools and solid wood instead of using plywood and power tools.
That’s what you should start from as a beginner.
The first 37 out of 160 pages are concerned with how to use a plane.
The author gives a very detailed instruction from sharpening the iron to adjusting the plane, then how to true, smooth, and joint wood.
After that, he moves to joinery, using dowels, mortise and tenon, dovetails, and other traditional techniques.
You will soon know how to make a table, a carcase, drawers, doors, and other components of traditional furniture through the skills you learned.
This book is great, but perhaps it would be best for beginner woodworkers. For more experienced carpenters, maybe you have already known enough basic knowledge to cover certain projects.
You can see the following summary pros and cons to decide if you need it or not:
- Helps beginners to understand the most fundamental techniques and skills
- Written in a very detailed way that every reader can comprehend
- Reasonable price
- Most suitable for beginner
- Not contain much information on how to use power tools
- Not contain specific plans
#2. Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish
This is the most practical, comprehensive book on finishing ever published on the market.
With its clear writing and engaging style, there will be no problem for you to understand the content.
The book will bring to you the latest technical updates on materials and techniques – from spray guns to French polishing, so you will walk through applying every kind of finish from beginning to end.
Almost every instruction and explanation are illustrated in more than 300 color photos, together with 40 must-have reference tables and troubleshooting guides.
They will help you to distinguish between products, make decisions, and solve problems by yourself.
However, if you are a beginner, you will see a lack of details on precisely when you should use each technique in this book.
Perhaps it is only suitable for students who are not absolute beginners and wanna work in the furniture industry.
Of course, everything has pros and cons, and this book is not an exception, as you can see below:
- Mentions the latest technical updates on materials and techniques
- Detailed instructions and explanations
- Contains color photos, reference tables and useful charts
- Not detailed enough for beginners
#3. Know Your Woods: A Complete Guide to Trees, Woods, and Veneers
Before starting any woodworking project, you will need to research and understand everything about the type of wood that you are gonna use.
Since each type has their own unique characteristic, if you treat them in the same way, the result of your work would be different.
This book can be a solution! It brings about a detailed examination of over three hundred wood types and how to recognize each one.
The book includes 384 pages divided into different chapters, describing details about the trees, knowing trees by name, physical appearance of wood, how to recognize each type, etc.
The information is explained in an easy-to-understand way, so you won’t have any problem.
If you are wondering whether this is suitable for your level or not, I would recommend it for beginners.
Once you begin with understanding all types of woods, you will manage your project better.
- Reasonable price
- Provide enough necessary information about many types of wood
- Has photo illustration
- The photos are black and white, so sometimes hard to see
- A bit old-fashioned
#4. The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery
Many woodworkers still struggle to choose the ideal joint for their woodwork. If you have the same problem, this book can be the best choice!
It will show you a sound knowledge of this area through step by step explanation on how to create various joints such as edge and scarf, lapped and housed, miters and bevels, dowels and biscuits, etc.
The content is written very clearly, you will easily get improvement in your joint making skills without having to research yourself from different sources on the internet.
You will see more than 70 different joints presented in this book with illustrations, photographs, and diagrams so you can even practice while touching your own materials.
Since everyone needs to know wood joinery, this book may be suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced woodworker.
However, beginners may find it a bit difficult in some instruction.
- Attractive price
- Great to master woodcarver
- Well written instructions on over 70 joints
- Proper guidelines for power tools and machine usage
- The book is mainly about joints
- Some instructions are hard for beginners
#5. Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects
The title of this book might attract you a lot because it seems to be very detailed.
But it really is! I would recommend this as a beginner-friendly guide which walks you through every phase of the woodworking process.
It provides almost every essential information on choosing wood, measuring, marking and layout, cutting, joinery, drilling, shaping, clamping, gluing, fastening, finishing and more.
Using the book is also extremely easy. It plays two roles as a skills-building book and a woodworking project book, so after learning enough knowledge you can start right away to practice.
With over 1200 photos, illustrations, and easy-to-follow diagrams, together with step-by-step instructions, plus time frames for completion and tools & materials lists, everything would become easier than ever.
- Good to inspire beginner woodworkers
- Detailed and easy to follow
- Cover all the fundamentals, making it a useful tool for serious amateurs and professionals alike.
- Most of the plans called for the use of expensive tools
#6. The Complete Book of Woodworking
This is a great step-by-step guide to essential woodworking skills, techniques, tools, and tips.
I’m sure you will be able to learn more from this book than you do in your woodworking class at the college.
The book is very well written with excellent color graphics.
It has detailed plans for 40 stunning projects for woodworkers of all levels, and also includes expert information on workshop set-up and safety, how to use tools, how to make joints, and more.
You can consider it as a combination of most basic books on the market.
Since the content is quite general and the author does not focus on any special field of woodworking, everyone at every level can find this as a useful resource.
- Good price
- Suitable for anyone interested in woodworking
- Go into detail on each plan
- Way too much basic instructional woodworking
#7. Great Book of Woodworking Tips
Finally, the list of the best books to learn woodworking should absolutely include this.
It will improve your woodworking skills in terms of drilling, sawing, routing, clamping, gluing, joinery, finishing, etc.
You can also avoid common pitfalls and solve everyday problems with materials, tools, techniques, shop organization, and maintenance.
Here you will see all the secret tips for:
- How to rout fitting edge joints, every time.
- How to sharpen every kind of blade and bit.
- How to move, store and saw 4×8 sheets all by yourself.
- How to make drawer slides that really glide and never wear out.
- How to joint and plane to thickness without maddening snipe.
- How to clamp and glue awkward miters and curved parts.
- How to flatten warped wood.
This comprehensive guide offers more than 650 ingenious solutions to common woodworking problems, so it’s suitable for anyone working in the wood industry.
No matter who you are, which level you’re at, you still have your own challenging problems, and this book will give you all the answers.
- Incredible resource of how to build and get things done more efficiently
- The tips can even inspire other ideas
- The wisdom comes from woodworkers who have a lifetime of experiences in using the best practices in woodworking and shop methods.
- Some items are repetitive
That is all
Do you feel the 7 above books are enough to get started? If yes, just go on with one of them and practice with your first plan!!!