This is the 5 Best Woodworking Books for Beginners, and in this post I will share with you my top five picks for the best woodworking books that you can use to get a huge head start in your woodworking adventure. Enjoy.
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Best Woodworking Books for Beginners
The best woodworking books all have a few things in common, and that is they teach you about woodworking, and do it in a way that is fun, easy to follow, and makes you enjoy what you are learning. These books are definitely some of the best, and they are all great places to start.
The first three books are all beginner project books. They get you started with an introduction to tools and techniques, and then they get you right into building smaller projects, and things you can use around the house.
These books are great, because they give you the beginner woodworking knowledge that you need, and let you build something at the same time.
After that, I included one book that teaches you all about the different kinds of wood that is available in the world. If you are going to be a woodworker, you have to know your medium. This book ensures that you know all about wood, and how versatile it really is.
After that, the next one is my favorite wood finishing book of all time, written by the greatest wood finisher of our time. If you are going to learn woodworking, then you should also learn wood finishing right from the beginning.
Finally, a bonus book, my own beginners guide to woodworking that I wrote to help you get past all of the beginner hurtles and get right to the heart of the craft. It’s years and years of my wins and losses all in one book, and I’ll share that with you in the end.
The Complete Book of Woodworking
This was my very first woodworking book, and the one that launched my lifelong passion. I found it in a Home Depot of all places, and it caught me right as I was about to walk out. This one book was a revelation, because it showed me so much about woodworking that I didn’t know as a beginner.
The book starts out with a complete look at the common tools that you could use as a woodworker. Don’t let that overwhelm you though, because you can start with a few tools and still do a lot.
You can even start with all hand tools and though you may sweat a little more, your wallet will be happier for sure.
After you get acquainted with the different tools and techniques, you also get several project plans that can help you put to use what you just learned. Some of the projects can be a little tough for a beginner, but they are all good for your character, and to help you to start earning those beginning woodworker stripes.
The Complete Manual of Woodworking
This book is a little older in style, but don’t let that worry you one bit. Some of the best woodworkers that the world has ever seen worked by candle light and never knew electricity other than when they saw the occasional lightning bolt.
A truly all encompassing manual on woodworking, it gives you a lot of knowledge, and some of it may even feel like too much depth for a beginner, but trust me the more you know about your craft, even the obscure details, the better you will perform.
This truly has its place among the best woodworking books in the world, but you really need to read it to get the benefit. I know that it might sound odd, but most people only buy books to collect them. If you want to get the lifetimes of knowledge that are packed into this book, plan on reading it from cover to cover.
The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking
I included this one because you can always use a slam dunk project to get your momentum going, especially as a new woodworker. In the beginning, finding projects that are fun to do and that match your skill level can be tough.
The problem is that nobody wants to be a beginner, they are almost embarrassed by it. If this is you, then you need to get over that right away. Enjoy and embrace being a beginner, and instead of looking for ways to fail at being an expert, look for ways to excel at being a beginner.
It sounds funny, but picking advanced projects as a beginner is a recipe for frustration, and quitting. Instead of being a bad representation of something you are not, be a good representation of something you are, and that’s a beginning woodworker.
These projects will keep you in the sandbox for a little while, and that’s a good thing. Plus, even though they are on the easier end, there are still a lot of good looking and useful projects to pick from. No more making door stops and coasters. It’s time to make something that will help you through the beginner stage without being boring, or too advanced that you give up.
The Real Wood Bible
If you were a sculptor and knew nothing about marble, then you would be a pretty crappy sculptor. If you are going to be the best woodworker you can be, then you need to know your medium.
Wood is a surprisingly versatile material, and it comes in a wide range of colors, densities, figures and textures. For beginning woodworkers, it may come as a complete surprise that there is green wood, red wood, purple wood, and even completely black wood.
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There are also so many shades in between and so many figures and textures that you could live your whole life a dozen times and never see them all.
Even if you make something really simple, you can make it stand out from the crowd by knowing your material better than anyone else, and this book is your head start. You can truly make a woodworking project stand head and shoulders above the rest with nothing other than wood choice.
The same project could have been made by a hundred other people, and made the exact same way, but the wood choice is what will make it stand out. This is your ticket to knowing your wood.
Understanding Wood Finishing
Wood finishing is the same as woodworking. You can’t have one without the other, and for that reason, you should start learning about wood finishing right from the beginning.
If you don’t, you could end up with a project that you finally complete, and then ruin right at the last minute as you try and fumble through a finish. Don’t be that person.
Instead, start with the absolute best book ever written on wood finishing, and for that reason one of the best woodworking books of all time.
This was my first finishing book, and I only bought a few others to broaden what Flexner already taught me.
It’s that good. I promise. You can start on the right foot, and learn what you need to know about wood finishing right from the best, and when it comes time to finally finish one of your projects, you won’t have to worry about needing to burn it afterwards.
A Beginners Guide to Woodworking
Finally, a bonus book. I wrote A Beginners Guide to Woodworking to help new woodworkers make better projects. Inside, I share my decades of woodworking experience in a way that skips all the stuff that the other books have already taught you, and get’s right down to the stuff you need to know.
This is not a colorful picture book filled with tools and projects. It’s the kind of book you need to actually read in order to get the benefit.
However, if you do read it, you will compress years of woodworking experience into days, and give yourself a gigantic upper hand as you learn about woodworking.
I’m so confident that you will gain years of woodworking knowledge from this book that I even posted the entire book for you to preview before you buy it.
That’s right, the entire thing, in about fifty posts, all nearly 600 pages worth, just to share the ideas with the new woodworkers out there that need a helping hand.
All I ask is that if I gave you value in what you read, buy a copy so you have it all in one place and you don’t have to click through fifty posts in order to read it.
It’s better looking as a book anyway, and you can get sawdust on it much easier than your laptop or phone.
5 Best Woodworking Books for Beginners Wrap-Up
There you have it, the 5 best woodworking books that will make the learning process a lot easier for any beginning woodworker. The list started off with a few introduction and project books, and those are a great way to get to know the tools, and make a few easy projects.
After that, there is a really good book on learning about wood types, followed by the best book on finishing ever printed.
Finally, my book, which is a nearly 600 page monster that will show you how to make good decisions as a woodworker, and get down to the business of making projects that you’ll love.
If you have any questions about the post, or any of the books, you can email me, and I will be glad to help.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
- 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
- Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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