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Forum topic by dawgsfan posted 10-13-2014 05:27 PM 1126 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 1361 days

10-13-2014 05:27 PM

I know this is probably a matter of opinion,I am wanting to know if there is a book that folks would reccomend a new guy starting out that may have how to:tips,tricks,plans,jigs etc… I am llike a sponge rite now trying to learn and soak up as much as possible.

12 replies so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile


551 posts in 3137 days

#1 posted 10-13-2014 05:54 PM

A lot depends upon what you plan to do. All hand tools, all power tools or a combination? Small items or do you want to jump right into building furniture?

If you have a library near you, go check out the woodworking book section. Even my small town library (pop under 400) has 8 or 10 good woodworking books and one down the road in a bigger town has at least two dozen.

After you get a free taste then you will know what style of book fits best and you can follow up by finding more books from that author or publisher.

Don’t overlook used books . I have a shelf full of WW books and except for a few gifts I got them all used at flea markets or through Amazon book sellers.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2715 days

#2 posted 10-13-2014 06:32 PM

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5910 posts in 3219 days

#3 posted 10-13-2014 06:42 PM

After a rather long apprentice ship (I taught myself), and getting some good practice under my belt (so to speak), after about 2-3 years, I decided I would like to try and build some furniture, since I had done a lot of small projects….And more practice…..I choose the Shaker style , because I didn’t and don’t care for gawdy styles like Queen Anne and Victorian….I’ve been doing Shaker style for several years now, and that was my choice….What I’m saying is: Read and watch everything you can get your hands on, i.e. books, magazines, ww videos, etc. Then after you’ve had some practice under your belt, then choose the type and style of things you want to do, and try different things to help you along….Then you can narrow it down to what you like best and least, and go from there…...In my case….Shaker….The Shakers were a simple people, who believed that “simple” should follow form and function….That’s why I like it….clean lines and east to build…..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View dawgsfan's profile


32 posts in 1361 days

#4 posted 10-13-2014 07:00 PM

ok thanks,some great advice and i will be visiting the local library.
im still on small projects and working my way up

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#5 posted 10-13-2014 07:23 PM

James Krenov inspired me a lot when I was getting
started. His books are sort of about >why<
do this or that with wood. Kind of philosophical.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4149 days

#6 posted 10-13-2014 08:34 PM

The books that most blew my mind and changed the way I work is the Dave Gingery Build Your Own Metalworking Shop From Scrap series.

Not because I went out and built a blast furnace in my back yard, but because in reading through the “build your own lathe/scraper/milling machine” I learned different ways to approach design and construction and precision, and it expanded my thinking to “oh, a machine/jig/tool isn’t something I buy off the shelf, it’s something I can use off the shelf parts to evolve more quickly”.

So, yeah: When I need to build a tapered mast, I grab a couple 2×6s and build an ad-hoc 10’ long router lathe. I start to think about odd-angled glue-ups in terms of ways to do different clamping jigs. Or different ways to control and guide a router. Or a saw.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View MissouriOutdoors88's profile


334 posts in 1362 days

#7 posted 10-14-2014 01:59 AM

I’d like to know some book recommendations as well. Dawgsfan-I’m a newbie too!

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View Woodknack's profile


11775 posts in 2404 days

#8 posted 10-14-2014 04:33 AM

The Taunton Press books are excellent.

But for a new guy, start with the 3 Tage Frid books, then a good finishing book (Understanding Wood Finishing by Flexner is a good one but not the only one). Those 4 books will answer 90% of the questions you will ever have. After you’ve been woodworking for awhile, go back and read Tage Frid again.

-- Rick M,

View skatefriday's profile


418 posts in 1507 days

#9 posted 10-14-2014 03:52 PM

The library is your friend here. I checked out about a dozen cabinet making
books before I settled on one and bought it from Amazon. Most of the
books were complete and utter crap. Hence get them for free from the
library and then support of the author of those books that you find well
written and useful.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#10 posted 10-14-2014 04:08 PM

There’s a lot of information to absorb. There are
a few books like the “Encyclopedia of Furniture Making”
that try to explain everything, but at the cost
of inadequate illustrations and things like that.

I too read a whole lot of books from the library
when I was starting out. Then I bought books
on special woodworking topics over the years,
plus reading a lot of back issues of Fine

View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2376 days

#11 posted 10-14-2014 05:46 PM

Go over to Pop WW they have an amazing selection of books.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2341 days

#12 posted 10-14-2014 06:49 PM

Understanding Wood by Bruce Hoadley is the only one I absolutely recommend. Almost everything else depends upon what sort of work you wish to do but if you don’t know the properties of your material of choice (wood), you can’t be a proficient woodworker.

It can be a dull read and most of the information isn’t necessary to memorize. It will change the way you design your work though and that will be for the better.

-- See my work at and

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