Best book for a novice?

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Forum topic by ejvc posted 01-20-2013 09:40 AM 1281 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 2194 days

01-20-2013 09:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi, it’s come to my attention that my skills are in need of improvement (by which I mean, I actually need some skills).

I’d love to have a book that can help me develop those skills. I prefer to work with hand tools (no room for the big stuff) and I’ll be building some simple things to start with. Like not a dining room table, but maybe a child’s step stool, some simple toys, a swing?

Is there a book you would recommend as a good “course” in woodworking given these parameters? Or if this has been discussed could you point me to the right thread? Much obliged.

-- Building stuff with my daughter (6). Pretty new to woodworking, I mostly sew...

9 replies so far

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 01-20-2013 09:42 AM

Did you try the Review forum under books ?

Here is the link—> Book Reviews

Also there is a book called The Complete Woodworker that is popular, especially good for

hand tools as it doesn’t cover power tools. Probably can get it at your public library.

Been in print forever. Would be a good place to start I would think.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1063 posts in 2546 days

#2 posted 01-20-2013 11:40 AM

Try the books by David Charlesworth, they are very good on technique. Also, The Technique of Furniture Making by Ernest Joyce is a goldmine of information.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30128 posts in 2572 days

#3 posted 01-20-2013 11:46 AM

Virtually too many to menton. First you need to decide which type of woodwork you’re looking to start with and search for that. Whether it’s carving, turning, furniture, etc….

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3186 days

#4 posted 01-20-2013 12:15 PM

View ejvc's profile


107 posts in 2194 days

#5 posted 01-20-2013 02:52 PM

Thank you for the references to both specific books and to the thread on book reviews.

-- Building stuff with my daughter (6). Pretty new to woodworking, I mostly sew...

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3882 days

#6 posted 01-20-2013 04:16 PM

The Woodwright’s Shop books have a lot of cool projects
done with hand tools. I learned a lot from reading them.

View DocSavage45's profile


8731 posts in 3076 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 05:38 PM

Don’t know what your budget allows? You can purchase many books through the Amazon site. My internet home away from LJ’s. As Monte pointed out “where do you want to start?”

I believe you mentioned being an educator and like to sew? Did a question with the MN woodworkers Guild, to find out how they learned todo woodworking. Books are great. I have way too many.

Look at what Mafe does with hand tools in an apartment if that is your limitation. If you really want basic there is the Readers Digest Book of Handtools.

You can check out Charles Neil woodworking or the Woodwhisperer, for video instruction which are informative, but mostly power tool oriented.

Taig Fried has a great book which he used when he taught.

Good Luck.

Mark Adams was an educator and now owns and manages the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, but again he is more powertool oriented. The Woodwright Shop is all about handtools!

Gonna stop now…LOL

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2422 days

#8 posted 01-20-2013 08:04 PM

A lot of books put out today are “cookie-cutter” books. Some of the older books out there might contain better information but they will also have a lot less pictures.

Lee Valley Tools sells a lot of good woodworking books.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2798 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 02:11 AM

this is a great book to start with touches on just about everything nicely with enough, but not an overwhelming amount of detail

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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