Woodworking book recommendations??

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Forum topic by bues0022 posted 12-16-2009 06:29 AM 1718 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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250 posts in 3613 days

12-16-2009 06:29 AM

I’m a relative newbie with woodworking. I am able to hack-and-slice a project together pretty well, but I think it’s about time I figure out some more proper ways to do things. What is a good woodworking book that will help me learn, but not be just a waste of money? I was at Barne’s and Noble today and they had some, but I didn’t know which ones would be worthwhile and which ones just look good on the bookshelf. For example, some books had a majority of the book dedicated to just wood types, and though this is cool, can’t I just google this information? Others were more dedicated to plans, and I tend to make my plans for my own projects – or I’ll look up plans for something I want to make. I don’t see myself making a dozen things from the same book. Suggestions?

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

14 replies so far

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Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4166 days

#1 posted 12-16-2009 06:37 AM

You may want to check out the forty some odd review of books here at LJs. There is a wealth of information here, at one point one LJ recommended we compile all the wisdom deposited here and create a book….who knows that LJ may actually be doing it? That’s a book I think I’d buy!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18639 posts in 4129 days

#2 posted 12-16-2009 07:08 AM

Nick Engler’s Woodworking Wisdom is the only book you’ll need for general purpose woodworking.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4551 days

#3 posted 12-16-2009 07:19 AM

What type of woodworking are you planning to do? Do you have your shop set up?

Also, take a look at Lots of woodworking books there….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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250 posts in 3613 days

#4 posted 12-16-2009 04:04 PM

In reverse order….My shop is basically set up, but I don’t have much for equipment. Table saw, band saw, router, and hand tools. I get tools as I go along and convince my wife that I NEED something :) Since I don’t have much for equipment I’m going to do more simple projects – small boxes, cutting boards, who knows. I’ve looked through some of the reviews already, but didn’t know if there was one that stuck out more than the others for quality.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View knotscott's profile


8302 posts in 3829 days

#5 posted 12-16-2009 04:14 PM

There’s a guy who frequents many of these forums named Tom Hintz who’s developed a very useful website, and wrote a book that I found to be a very good read. He touches on what tools are best suited for certain tasks, cutters & blades, shop layout, shop electrical, wood selection, joinery, finishing, safety, basic skills, tips, and many other topics.

The New Woodworker

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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207 posts in 3852 days

#6 posted 12-16-2009 10:42 PM

Rumor is that this Hintz guy si cute also. But maybe that’s just my Mother…
My site and book are aimed at the new woodworker but the site has sort of gotten away on me and now caters to anyone that likes woodworking. It does still have lots of info aimed at the newer woodworkers though. I really do try to keep everyone in mind when creating the materials for the site.

-- Tom Hintz,

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4551 days

#7 posted 12-16-2009 10:54 PM

I am currently reading The Essential Woodworker by Robert Wearing. It is a good choice if your looking for a book. May be hard to find without paying an arm and a leg.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4102 days

#8 posted 12-17-2009 08:28 AM

Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking – and oldie, but everything still holds, and holds WELL. great book in my opinion. and I read it AFTER I knew most techniques.

it’s a series of 3 books, last I checked volumes 1 and 2 are now bundled together into a single book, and the 3rd volume which is furniture design is a separate book.

welcome the woodworking, and welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3613 days

#9 posted 12-17-2009 04:10 PM

I was at Barne’s and Noble just two days atto looking at the New Woodworker, but didn’t know how the book stacked up. I also like the look of the Frid book. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to try to find both for a little reading material.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4102 days

#10 posted 12-17-2009 04:53 PM

I have an account at the local library, you can go online, search the library, and request for books to be put on hold for you – thats how I read all my ww books. the ones I favored – I bought later on. you might want to try your local library for something similar.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4319 days

#11 posted 12-17-2009 06:53 PM

The Popular Woodworking “I Can Do That” manual is a good place to start and it is free. You can download it here:


-- He said wood...

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3676 days

#12 posted 12-17-2009 07:20 PM


I am also new to woodworking and when I started getting books, I forgot all about the library! Looking back now, I doubt I would have actually purchased a book. Between the library, the internet, and of course this forum, there is more knowledge floating around than I can keep up with! There are a lot of great books out there, but now that I have pilfered through several I have found that books that are 30-40 years old have just as good of information as books that are new on the shelf. What is gained from the new books is additional information from new tools – but for the most part the basic techniques are the same today as they have been for a long time.

Regardless of what books you end up with, I hope you have as much fun learning this stuff as I have been!

-- James -

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3561 days

#13 posted 12-18-2009 10:59 AM

Libraries are like the internet in paper form with a 5400 baud modem :D

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4121 days

#14 posted 12-18-2009 05:09 PM

There are a set of woodworking books by Taunton. The complete illustrated guide series. I recommend Joinery, Furniture Making and Hardware. Those three will coach you through most any project. The joinery book for instance shows every concievable joint and then shows you how to cut it with the different tools you may own. Straight forward and right to the point and easy to reference. No woodowrking philosophy or witty banter, just directions to reach and end point.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

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