Best books and resources to learn woodworking

books and resources to learn woodworking

Whether you’re just starting your journey as a beginner woodworker or looking to sharpen your existing skills, having the right books and resources to learn woodworking is crucial. However, the information in books and online materials is so vast, varied, and overwhelming that it may keep you wondering where to start. That’s why we’ve taken the time to filter through these resources and compile a curated list of the best books and resources out there. These materials are guaranteed to get you off to a good start and keep you engaged as you move forward in your woodworking journey.

We have comprehensive resources covering everything from basic skills and project ideas to advanced techniques and tips. So, whether you’re looking at woodworking as a side project, hobby, or potential career path, we have the resources to steer you in the right direction. Let’s go ahead and dive in!

Top 3 Resources to Kickstart Your Woodworking Journey

You’re eager and committed, ready to embark on a thrilling journey into woodworking. You’re in the right place! Here’s a curated collection of the most enriching and educational resources to fuel your passion and ensure a smooth progression from a novice to an artisan in the woodworking industry.

1. Books that Shape Your Craft 

Unlike a well-written, comprehensive book, nothing offers depth and a broad understanding of woodworking. The Complete Manual of Woodworking is the quintessential book every woodworker must have in their arsenal. This laudable book is packed with over 1,800 drawings, diagrams, and photos that articulate detailed insights into the theory and practice of woodworking. 

Another invaluable resource is Woodworking For Dummies, an easy-to-read guide that can turn even the most inexperienced beginner into a confident woodworker. It’s written straightforwardly and friendly, making complex woodworking tasks appear accessible and enjoyable.

2. Online Education Platforms 

With the advancement of technology, many learning resources are now at your fingertips. Websites like the Woodworkers Guild of America and Popular Woodworking regularly update their platforms with educational articles and video tutorials. Additionally, online course platforms like Coursera and Udemy offer comprehensive woodworking courses that can significantly sharpen your skills and understanding of the craft. 

3. Social Media Communities 

Joining social media groups dedicated to woodworking can open up a treasure trove of collective knowledge. Platforms like Facebook and Reddit have numerous woodworking groups where experienced artisans and beginners share tips, advice, and their projects. You can learn invaluable lessons from their experiences and avoid common pitfalls.

Stepping into this world of intricate craftsmanship, superior techniques, and timeless beauty will require patience and practice. Yet, with these resources, your voyage will be guided, enriched, and deeply rewarding.

6 Woodworking Books Every Beginner Should Know

Embarking on your journey into woodworking can be both exciting and overwhelming. Deciding where to start and what resources to use could be daunting. But fear not, as we have rounded up some must-read books that will make your journey into woodworking much smoother. 

“Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship” by Peter Korn 

Woodworking Basics by Peter Korn is an ideal book for beginners. It introduces you to the world of woodworking with a combination of core techniques and fundamental principles. Illustrated instructions make it easy to understand, especially for the novice woodworker.

“The Complete Manual of Woodworking” by Albert Jackson and David Day 

This book is a timeless guide that covers everything, from detailed instructions on woodworking projects to clear illustrations of tools, techniques, and materials. As a beginner, this complete manual is beneficial and easy to navigate. 

“Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips, Techniques, and Secrets” by Randy Johnson 

The Great Book of Woodworking Tips by Randy Johnson is a treasure trove of practical tips, innovative ideas, and time-saving tricks. This comprehensive guide with over 650 tips will help you work more efficiently and save time on your woodworking projects.

“The Woodworker’s Guide to Hand Tools” by Peter Korn 

This book is a thorough overview of hand tools for anyone new to woodworking. Peter Korn walks you through how to choose, use, and maintain these tools effectively. It is a strong starting point for understanding and mastering the world of hand tools in woodworking. 

“Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley 

Understanding wood is an essential resource for your woodworking library. It delves into the science behind wood as a material. This knowledge will significantly enhance your ability to work with wood, helping you create crafts that are not only visually appealing but structurally sound. 

These books deliver rich insights and foundational theories rooted in years of professional experience. Reading them will give you the confidence to create projects, practice your skills, and evolve from a beginner to a seasoned artisan.

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

This book series is a proverbial treasure trove for beginners who aspire to delve headlong into woodworking. 

The unique selling point of Sellers’ creation is its perfect blend of theory and practical guidance. More so, it is written lucidly, making it easily comprehended by novices. 

In the first part of the series, you’ll be introduced to the tools essential to woodworking, an array of woodworking techniques, and finally, work on hands-on projects that gradually build up your confidence, speed, and precision. 

The second part, perhaps more crucial to the aspiring woodworker, offers lessons on more advanced techniques. Sellers hold your hand as you learn to design complex structures and demystify complicated woodworking conundrums with disarming simplicity. 

Apart from the text-based insight, Working Wood 1 & 2: The Artisan Course welcomes you into an immersive multimedia learning experience. It provides an accompanying DVD, giving you a more visceral grasp of woodworking lessons, from basic concepts to advanced techniques. To say Sellers’ brainchild is a masterstroke would be an understatement. 

So, if your desire to be a skilled woodworker must be accompanied by a persuasive mentor, Paul Sellers, through his ‘Working Wood 1 & 2: The Artisan Course‘ could be the coach you require. 


Can I teach myself woodworking? 

Absolutely! You can confidently teach yourself woodworking with the right resources, such as books and courses. Repeated practice and a good understanding of the craft are essential.

How long does it take to get good at woodworking?

The time frame largely depends on your learning pace and the time you can commit. You could become proficient in basic techniques within months with consistent practice and dedication. However, remember that mastery takes time, and each woodworker’s journey is unique. 

Are online woodworking tutorials practical? 

Yes. Online woodworking courses and tutorials are great resources and can be very effective. They offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace and often come with community support for additional assistance. 

What should I understand about wood before starting? 

It is essential to understand the characteristics of different types of wood, their unique traits, and how they respond to various woodworking techniques. Books like “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley are great companions for this. 

Can woodworking be a profitable hobby?

Indeed, many people turn their woodworking hobby into a profitable business. Given the right marketing strategy and quality craftsmanship, creating and selling unique wood articles can be rewarding. 

Is it expensive to start woodworking?

Costs can vary depending on your ambition, the complexity of the projects you choose, and the tools you procure. However, beginners can start with minimal investment, using essential hand tools and affordable wood types.


Learning woodworking can be a lifetime journey, with every project improving your skills and every mistake teaching you something new. So grab a book, join a course, or fire up that YouTube tutorial and dive into the fantastic world of woodworking. Your journey as a craftsman begins here, and these resources will ensure your consumption of knowledge is as smooth as a finely sanded piece of cherry wood.


I'm a seasoned woodworking professional with a lifelong love for wood. With years of hands-on experience crafting exquisite wooden pieces, I've honed my skills to bring you the finest woodworking artistry. Beyond the workshop, I channel my passion into creating insightful articles. Through my writings, I aim to share the technical aspects of woodworking and the stories, techniques, and inspirations that make this craft a proper art form. Join me as we explore the world of woodworking together, one article at a time.

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