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The 10 Best “How-To” Books For Woodworking Beginners

Today, instantaneous web content means that occasionally valuable resources are neglected. No matter your degree of experience, there is a helpful book out there for novice woodworkers. You may learn to make exquisitely created items with the help of these superb woodworking how-to books.

The best advice and how-to tutorials for novice woodworkers have been compiled from specialists all over the world. You can avoid common pitfalls and gain an expert’s perspective from the get-go by consulting the information included in these publications.

In this article, I will provide you with a shortlist of the greatest books for novice woodworkers, each of which has step-by-step guides for a variety of essential woodworking techniques.

Why Books Are Essential For Beginners

You might be wondering why you should spend money on books when there are seemingly hundreds of videos covering every potential scenario on YouTube and social media places like Reddit.

Books are superior to online guides because they provide knowledge in a more complete, step-by-step fashion, based on the author’s personal experience, and written in language that anybody can comprehend. They’re practical, inexpensive, and long-lasting.

Authors like Robert Weaving, Tom Carpenter, R. Bruce Hoadley, and Miles Adkins have decades of combined knowledge with various facets of woodworking, providing them an edge when breaking down complex topics into manageable bites of information. Expert woodworkers share their knowledge in their own words for you to learn from.

The Woodworkers Guild of America is another excellent resource, with numerous books and videos available. If you want to know if it’s worth it, I wrote a review and you can find it here. The findings are unexpected!

The importance of how-to books for woodworking cannot be overstated, especially for beginners. Having these tips and guidelines in printed form is helpful because you can take them with you while you work and utilise the words and photos as guidance to generate the finest items possible.

They can also be passed down through the generations to help inspire the next set of woodworkers.

As a beginner, I found this manual to be an invaluable resource.

Our 10 Book Recommendations For Beginner Woodworkers

These ten books on woodworking technique are written by authors who take different approaches to the craft. All of these are excellent starting points for someone looking to acquire knowledge that will prove useful later on.

Information for both indoor and outdoor tasks, as well as how to’s, tool safety, and more, are all included. All specs are extracted straight from the product’s sales page.

1. Robert Wearing, The Essential Woodworker

Material Type: Octavo (Hardcover)

Total Page Count: 159

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Planing \sSawing
Different abilities, resources, and equipment
Essentials of a Project
The principles and techniques presented in this book can be applied to the design of any piece of furniture or other object. It covers the fundamentals, such as the required knowledge, equipment, and resources. Illustrations accompany the text in this book to aid in comprehension.

For those who grasp concepts best by applying them to a concrete example, this is the book for you. When teaching the fundamentals of woodworking, Wearing focuses on four different cabinet projects.

Second, Peter Korn’s Woodworking Basics: A Master’s Guide to the Foundational Skills of the Craft.
Top 10 Books for Novice Woodworkers Type(s) of File: Books in Paperback and the Kindle Formats

There are a total of 192 pages in this book.

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Factors to consider when purchasing wood
Types of Joinery, Effects of Wood Movement, and Related Topics
Exposure to more than a dozen woodworking tools
An Overview of Over a Dozen Different Hand Tools
Construction of moderate-sized endeavours
Milling 101
Carving out mortises, tenons, and dovetails
Peter Korn writes woodworking books that are easy to follow along with and teach the fundamentals of the craft without overwhelming the reader.

This book deserves consideration if it is your only woodworking resource. It’s a resource that can help people of varying levels of expertise and knowledge for years to come. Peter Korn, who advocates for striving for the highest standards of excellence in one’s job, did his best with this book. It provides comprehensive, comprehensible information on a wide variety of topics.

Reasons Why You Should Put It on Your Shelves: Instructions that are both detailed and easy to follow make it obvious what the final product should look like and how to get there through the use of clear images and text.

Tom Foster’s Woodworking for Beginners is a great resource for those looking to get their feet wet in the craft.

Available in a number of formats, including Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

A total of 101 pages are included.

Topics Mostly Discussed:

DIY Kits & Handmade Tools
Tools with electric motors
Fundamentals of Woodworking
Mechanics for Working with Wood
Managing your workshop’s tools Keeping yourself safe when woodworking
Polishing and sanding
The Three Essential Tasks
With the knowledge you gain from this book, you’ll be able to construct high-quality wooden products while avoiding common hazards. This book offers a wealth of information on a wide variety of subjects.

There is a strong focus on user safety and the maintenance of tools, which is useful for learning techniques that can reduce the cost of using equipment over time.

For those who have struggled with the clinical step-by-step descriptions found in other works, the author’s conversational tone and straightforward style will come as a welcome relief.

Jeff Strong’s Woodworking For Dummies is the fourth best woodworking book.

Available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Total Page Count: 392.

Topics Mostly Discussed:

An Overview of Woodworking
How to Cut Wood
Choosing and arranging one’s tools
The use of adhesives, coatings, and sanding
Some fundamental initiatives
Avoiding pitfalls
Several Supplemental Materials
There are times when we require information that is crystal clear and provided in a way that anyone can understand it. Most people have some experience with the “…For Dummies’Dummies’ book format. Each chapter includes advice, and the author discusses the whole topic.

This is a book about woodworking, not a book for novice woodworkers, therefore it contains tips and techniques that may be used by anyone. Whenever possible, this series also provides supplementary materials; among these are links to relevant websites and recommendations for further reading.

You should add it to your library since “…For Dummies” books are known for their high quality and easy readability. You don’t need to have any prior understanding of the jargon or any familiarity with any aspect of woodworking before taking up this book because it is written specifically for someone who is new to the topic.

5. The Whole Guide to Woodworking: A Comprehensive Resource for Learning the Basics and Beyond authored by Mark Johanson and Tom Carpenter

Available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Total Page Count: 480

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Establishing a Location for Your Store
Planning and creating things
The Basics of Wood
Assembly and Connectivity
Measuring, marking, and chopping to size
Indoor tasks
Tasks in the Open Air
Structures crafted from wood (e.g., sawhorse, workbench, etc.)
Tables, boxes, benches, and picture frames are just few of the many common woodworking tasks that Tom Carpenter and Mark Johnson present. Get your footing in the woodworking industry with the help of this book. The instructions are simple, to the point, and accompanied by visuals. The directions in this book are obviously prepared from the author’s own experience, as seen by the level of depth and breadth of the covered material.

Reasons Why You Should Put It on Your Shelves: It’s like if you’re having a conversation with a trusted buddy about a topic on which they’ve spent a lifetime gaining expertise. The authors dissect woodworking from the perspective of those who have been there, done that, saving you the trouble.

Sixth, R. Bruce Hoadley’s Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology.

Kindle, and/or hardcover editions

It has 288 pages in all.

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Science and technology of wood materials
Construction tools for working with wood
The topic matter and writing style are both more intricate. Hoadley, who has a Ph.D. in wood technology, investigates in great detail how wood will respond to different pieces of machinery and other conditions. When it comes to learning about wood and the tools used to work with it, this is one of the best books available.

Having a thorough understanding of the wood you’ll be working with is essential, and this book is a great supplement to a beginner’s guide to the craft. Though it is not required reading for novices, this book will help you avoid common pitfalls.

7 The Complete Manual of Woodworking, by Albert Jackson and David Day; a Detailed Guide to Design, Techniques, and Tools for the Novice and Professional

Availability: Both Hardcover and Paperback

Total Page Count: 320

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Designing With Materials
DIY Kits & Handmade Tools
Tools with electric motors
Mechanical devices
Setting up a garage workshop
Carvings in wood
Equipment and supplies
In this book, pictures play a crucial role in guiding the reader. Those just starting out in woodworking, who may never have seen the finished product or used the process before, will find this quite beneficial. As the authors touch on many key aspects of the pastime, this is a great guide for those just getting started. This book is a must-have for any woodworker’s library.

This book is essential for your collection if you are a visual learner. There are countless pictures, illustrations, and diagrams that will be of use to you. This book may not be the ideal choice for readers who are easily distracted by pictures and diagrams and would prefer have everything laid out for them in clear, concise English.

8 Woodworking 2020: A Two-in-One Book for Novices and Professionals Reveals Every Secret for Making Stunning Do-It-Yourself Creations Miles Adkins’s paperback novel

Available in a number of formats, including Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

A total of 222 pages can be found in this work.

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Protection and upkeep
Equipment and supplies
Organizing a Meeting
Craftsmanship in Joining and Finishing
Important Workshop Components
Helpful hints and techniques
Indoor tasks
Tasks in the Open Air
In the world of woodworking, this is the holy grail of how-to manuals. It’s really two books in one, with the first one devoted nearly entirely to familiarising you with the setup and tools you’ll be using, and the other one describing simple projects you may use to practise various methods.

Reasons Why You Should Put It on Your Shelves: These two volumes provide an excellent mix of theoretical background and practical application. More than 60 unique things can be made following the detailed directions provided.

Michael Pekovich’s The Why & How of Woodworking: A Practical Guide to Creating Artful Objects

Kindle, and/or hardcover editions

Word Count: 224

Topics Mostly Discussed:

Techniques for managing time Artistic talent Woodworking
Assorted Containers
Casework \sTables
Finally Completing the Metric System’s Equivalents
The book is wonderful to look at, and the author’s voice comes over loud and clear. Michael Pekovich’s tone is one of patience and experience as he explains how to acquire new abilities and master new approaches. This book will teach you everything you need to know to get started, and it will give you a glimpse behind the scenes at what makes woodworking so special, even after years and years.

Reasons Why You Should Put It on Your Shelves: This course is great for those who learn best by doing because it emphasises practical applications of concepts. If you’re a student who wants to get better at what you do by reading professional advice, this is the book for you. Michael Pekovich provides helpful guidance for juggling woodworking with other aspects of life.

Ten Woodworking Projects for Novices: A Step-by-Step Introduction to the Craft and Its Techniques. The author, Robert Mahogany, offers advice on staying safe when working on projects both inside and outside.

Available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Total Page Count: 194

Topics Mostly Discussed:

An Overview of Woodworking
An Overview of Equipment
Starting a Workshop
Steps of Measurement, Marking, and Completion
Guidelines for Personal Security
Preparing for Indoor Tasks
Tasks in the Open Air
The art of avoiding traps
Robert Mahogany discusses the tools, techniques, and life-enriching applications of woodworking. By following the clear, concise directions in this book, you may construct a TV stand from the wood of your choice, equip a home workshop, and get started on your woodworking project right away. More than twenty-five distinct and useful projects are described in depth with photos and written instructions.

Why You Should Keep It on Your Shelve: Discover the joy of woodworking. Right off the bat, the authors of this book get into the specific skills you’ll need and the many reasons woodworking will bring you lasting satisfaction. Learn from a writer with a genuine interest in woodworking while gaining useful experience.

Books For the Love of Woodworking

Knowing more about woodworking techniques is important, but it’s not the only way to keep your passion alive. For anyone who share this interest, I recommend the following two novels. There’s a humorous take on what it takes to become a carpenter and some useful advice for getting started.

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

Nick Offerman is well-known for his acting and comedy, but he is also an accomplished carpenter. This intimate glimpse at a studio session will make you laugh and teach you something.

The book covers topics such as the development of woodworking and the value of finding the bright side of adversity. This entertaining book not only features Nick Offerman, but also provides detailed directions for completing a wide range of construction projects.

Available in Hardcover, Kindle, and Audiobook Formats

Number of Pages: 352

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin

The protagonist of Hammer Head is a self-taught woman. Nina MacLaughlin’s story is told, and in it we see how she fell in love with working with her hands, which she discovered to be both a hilarious and serious trip.

The book is about the author’s journey to rediscover her inspiration and purpose in the creative process. There are a lot of other women authors here, too. All skill levels will benefit from reading this excellent book.
Available in a number of formats, including Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

Total Page Count: 240

The Advantage of Buying Multiple Books

As you may have observed, I did not choose ten books to recommend that all teach the same set of skills in the same way. Instead, I gave you a wide variety to choose from so that you can discover a beginner’s guide that works for you no matter your learning style or preferences. Having access to a wide selection of material can be facilitated by purchasing multiple books.

Every writer isn’t expected to cover every single detail of woodworking. The distances involved are too great.

This means that most books will have a narrow concentration, such as on constructing simple furniture for beginners or on some other aspect of woodworking. Investing in a library’s worth of books allows you to gain a deeper understanding and more comprehensive knowledge of a variety of topics.

Every writer has their own distinct style when it comes to woodworking and related matters like planning, techniques, and hints. Hearing from a variety of people will help you learn more about a topic and give you a head start.

If you’re serious about learning carpentry, it’s best to invest in several books.

What to Expect From These Book Guides

The titles and summaries of these ten books should give you a good idea of what they’re about: educating the reader about the many facets of woodworking.

The vast majority of them (but not all) are designed to provide readers an inside look at a workshop by revealing typical activities, common problems, and effective strategies for boosting efficiency. Either one will have you ready to plan, construct, and complete your first woodworking endeavour.

Books and videos from the Woodworkers Guild are excellent.

You’ll get the fundamentals down, including how to pick the correct materials, save money without sacrificing quality, and stay safe in the process.

Are Books Worth It?

When comparing the value of a book to that of, say, a free YouTube video, some readers may baulk at the former. In a word, yeah.

The advantages of having a physical library close at hand are not limited to the immediate future. At least you know there’s a place to look up the answer to whatever issue pops up in the middle of your project, giving you peace of mind as you get started.

All the information you require will be in one location, and because it is tangible, you can make notes in the margins, put bookmarks in places you may want to refer back to, and so on.

These materials are likewise unlikely to vanish any time soon. It is possible to remove websites, make movies private, and remove online guides.

Why These Books and Authors?

Writing a how-to book takes extensive research, expert-level expertise, and a clear, concise style. All of those qualities are magnificently displayed in the works of these authors. Learn exactly what you should be doing and what you should avoid.

I have made a point to pick reading material that caters to various learning preferences (e.g., visual, hands-on, etc.). You can go from woodworking newbie to seasoned pro with the help of these books and their easy-to-follow directions.

To accommodate those who may not want to invest heavily in a library until they know how often they will be working with wood, I made an effort to select books that are available in more than one format.

The books here offer a wide variety of topics and writing styles, making it easy to find something that will interest you.

What Subjects Should A Good “How-To” Book Cover

There are a few things to think about when stocking your workshop’s bookshelves.

The following are topics that you should know, therefore if a book you buy doesn’t cover them, look for another one that does. In order to develop as a woodworker, you will need information in the following areas.

Setting Up Shop and Buying Tools

In order to get your feet wet as a woodworker, you must first establish a dedicated work area and stock up on the necessary equipment and supplies.

Some books skip over this topic while others provide in-depth guidance on how to get started off on the right foot.


Before you start dealing with wood, you should learn about the different materials. Among the many things you should learn more about are the ones listed below.

Wood \sResin \sAdhesives
Coatings and stains for moulding
Hardware for fixing things up
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the material sections in beginning woodworking books will cover the different types of wood and how to decide which one to use for a given task.

You should also make sure that the book you buy at least briefly discusses the other resources, as you will be using them frequently.


The use of every kind of tool, whether it be manual, electric, or mechanical, presents some degree of risk. You should be careful around things like knives, scissors, and hammers, all of which have sharp edges, spin quickly, and love to smash thumbs.

Every year, more than 50,000 accidents involve machine tools, according to the Woodworkers Guild of America. Approximately 39,700 injuries a year are attributed to table saws alone. Keep everyone safe.

Books on woodworking should cover how to set up a secure workshop, what safety gear is necessary, and how to handle popular power tools and machinery without injury.


Although books can be helpful, nothing beats getting your hands dirty when it comes to learning how to deal with wood and produce magnificent works of art. All future projects you work on will benefit from the lessons you learn from your initial ones.

It’s a great learning tool, and you can find directions for at least a few simple projects in most basic woodworking books.

Many of the books we’ve recommended offer dozens of projects, both general and specialised, for indoors and outdoors. Products like benches, chairs, bookcases, storage, compost bins, and picture frames are practical additions to any home.

The beautiful thing about including these is that you can always refer back to them; for example, if you need a coffee table ten years from now, you can simply pull out your copy of Woodworking Projects For Beginners and get to work.

Tips and Tricks

Of course, everyone is interested in learning the secret techniques that can help them save both time and money. Experienced woodworkers have spent years, if not decades, learning the hard way what not to do and how to improve the beauty of your finished product with minimal effort.

Books ought to offer some unique perspectives that you couldn’t learn elsewhere.

These tidbits of wisdom could be novel approaches to common woodworking tasks, or they could pertain to less central concerns like time and tool management.

Each of these aids is useful and can help you save effort, money, or both as you work to hone your abilities.

Using Other Formats For Learning About Woodworking

Depending on your goals and current skill level, each format has its own set of pros and cons for learning woodworking.

For those who enjoy learning new skills on the weekend and want to impress their friends and family with some impressive displays of expertise, there is no shortage of books, online videos, and image tutorials that provide clear, detailed directions.

In my article about the Woodworkers Guild, I provide links to many helpful resources, including videos and tutorials, that you may find useful.

Stronger resources, including as books, classes, and workshops, may be necessary for those who desire to develop their passion into a career or additional source of income.

Since there is no definitively superior method, you should feel free to combine approaches and draw motivation and direction from a variety of sources as you work to expand your understanding. Books like Woodworking For Dummies will often offer other helpful resources, like as websites, at the back.


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