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Most of the books we’ve published in 2014, along with a few older ones that I quite like.


I’m looking for a gift list to give to my mom, brother, etc., and I like books – the old-fashioned kind. Paper. Ink. Binding. Words on a page. So, I want to know your favorite woodworking book buys of 2014…or the books you’d like to get (perhaps the ones on your list!). And they needn’t have been published this year.

Limit it to maybe five? Otherwise, this may get a little unwieldy. (And please respond by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15 – why? See below.)

And once I have your suggestions below, I’ll update the spreadsheet we created in 2011, for a running list of reader “must-haves,” and post it next month.


Oh, and see that four-volume paperback set “The Practical Woodworker” above? On the morning of October 16, I’ll give it away to and randomly chosen commenter to this post.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 35 comments
  • owenpt

    Not sure if you’re into chairs, but my two favorites are Drew Langsner’s “The Chairmaker’s Workshop” and Alexander’s “Make a Chair From a Tree.”

  • Matt_Rob

    I have two that are new to me. Number one is Tom Fidgen’s First book, Made by Hand. Number two is James Krenov’s,A Cabinetmakers Notebook. Both are great reads, not just about woodworking as the authors relate stories of the journey taken to be the woodworkers they became at the time when the books were written.

  • Shawn Nichols

    Chris Schwarz’s The Anarchist Toolchest
    Tom Fidgen’s The Unplugged Woodshop
    Marc Spagnuolo’s Hybrid Woodworking

    They are the three books I’d recommend to anyone getting into woodworking. In fact, I bought ATC for a friends earlier this year and he’s progressing nicely into the craft. He said it rang true in so many ways.

  • gomad2

    Hi Megan my new book from 2014 that I like is John Wilson Making Wood Tools. I also like Jim Kingshott Making & Modifying Woodworking Tools Last but not least are Sandor Nagyszalanczy Tools Rare and Ingenious and The Art of Fine Tools

  • humanjoe

    I have to say I really Enjoy (and frequently reference) the Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking book series. Get for shop reference!

  • Jonas Jensen

    Hmm, a few of my favourites are those mentioned below, but it depends on what I would like to build which book I consult.

    Measure and construction of the Japanese house (Heino Engell)
    Das Zimmermannsbuch (Theodor Krauth & Franz Sales Meyer)
    Woodworking magazine book No 1 (multiple authors, FW media as far as I remember)
    Shaker furniture (Kerry Pierce)

    The Studley tool chest book will make a fabulous gift, but it hasn’t been published yet though..

    By the way, what happened to the “make something out of my mother’s moulding” competition?


  • Dan

    I can’t say I really have a favorite. I tend to read mostly magazines and the few woodworking books I have used haven’t been ones that I would say are “top-5” material. I would like to give the Practical Woodworker set a try though – I’ve been intrigued by them since I heard about them here. (hint hint )

  • ChrisJ

    I found a copy of Antique & Collectible Stanley Tools Guide to Identity & Value by John Walter for $15 at a flea market (where I also found a dead straight, no chips Disston No. 12 x-cut for $5!!). I’m really enjoying it. Meghan- do you know if the 3rd edition will happen or not?

    The other that I’m enjoying that few may know of is the gorgeous American Wood & Metal Planes: From the Collection of the D’Elia Antique Tool Museum by Andy D’Elia. I was fortunate enough to pass near his museum in Scotland, CT on my way to a conference and he gave me a personal tour of his 1,400 piece museum of American patent planes. Andy and that museum are top notch and his book with expert design and photography is equally good!

  • BLZeebub

    “With Hammer In Hand: The Dominy Craftsmen of East Hampton, New York” $200 on Amazon. Such a deal. I’ll keep looking awhile longer.

  • Mstohler

    Can’t get enough Greene and Greene. Just bought your Greene and Greene package and I love any commentary or articles by Darrel Peart and/or Dale Barnard. Both of them are excellent woodworkers and knowledgable on the materials and techniques it takes to do anything in Greene and Greene style. More importantly, they’ve translated that style into more modern, beautiful works that Charles and Henry Greene never thought of. (Pool tables, Grandfather Tall Clock, Blanket Chest…..etc.)

  • Dave

    Random comment hoping to be randomly chosen.

  • bmccroskey

    The Woodwrights Shop – Roy Underhill (and all of the other books he has published)
    Workbenches From Design & Theory to Construction & Use – Christopher Schwarz
    The Toolbox Book – Jim Tolpin

  • re.koch

    Workbenches From Design & Theory to Construction & Use By Christopher Schwarz
    To Turn the Perfect Wooden Bowl The Lifelong Quest of Bob Stocksdale By Ron Roszkiewicz
    To Make as Perfectly as Possible: Roubo on Marquetry
    The Art of Joinery, Revised Edition Lost Art Press
    Mouldings in Practice By Matthew Sheldon Bickford

    That’s the short list. So many books so little time.

  • caober

    The Impractical Cabinetmaker: Krenov on Composing, Making, and Detailing by James Krenov followed by Tom Fidgen’s Made by Hand: Furniture Projects from the Unplugged Woodshop and Unplugged Woodshop, The: Hand-Crafted Projects for the Home & Workshop.

  • pmac

    By Hand and Eye – Walker and Tolpin
    Making and Mastering Wood Planes – Finck
    The Foundations of Better Woodworking – Miller
    Moldings in Practice – Bickford
    Guitar Making Traditions and Technology – Cumpiano and Natelson

  • DBell

    As a beginner I found Working Wood by Paul Sellers very good for just getting stuck in…

    And of course I’m really enjoying the Lost Art Press output (particularly The Joiner and Cabinetmaker and Campaign Furniture so far) and Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s Guide.

  • hmerkle

    I got to see an advanced copy of Beautiful Boxes: Design and Technique by Doug Stowe REALLY great book!
    Both Workbench Books by Christopher Schwarz
    Understanding Wood – R. Bruce Hoadley (MUST have in everyone’s library!
    Turning Wood with Richard Raffan by Richard Raffan
    Turning Projects: with Richard Raffan (Fine Woodworking DVD Workshop) by Richard Raffan
    Turning Boxes: with Richard Raffan (Fine Woodworking DVD Workshop) by Richard Raffan

  • keithclark1964

    Coffin-Making and Undertaking. by Paul Hasluck, A very uplifting read that you can really bury yourself in.

  • gumpbelly

    “The woodworking Bible”
    Understanding Wood – R. Bruce Hoadley – ISBN: 0-918804-05-1

    Anything Shaker, Country, Early American, Farm, Southern, furniture. I’ll go for. But I probably already have them, sigh……….

    I like that idea of all the oldie tool catalogs pressed into a coffee table book, or 10. Maybe like 1890 to 1895 with all of the available catalogs from that period. 1895 to 1900, etc. Or even 10 year stretches. You know a guy who has all the literature, just make a deal to bind them together 🙂

  • mpete

    sitting in the shop is Learn to turn : a beginner’s guide to woodturning from start to finish by Barry Gross. hopefully it will be opened up before too much clutter develops over and around it.

  • Bill Lattanzio

    By Hand and Eye-Tolpin and Walker
    A Museum of Old Tools-Eric Sloane
    Classic Arts and Crafts Furniture, 14 Timeless Designs-Robert Lang
    Making and Mastering Wooden Planes-David Finck
    Tool Making Projects for Joinery and Woodworking-Steve Olesin

    Purchased all of these within the past year and I wouldn’t have a problem recommending any of them.

  • bpdean

    I’m hoping to see John Whelan’s ‘Making Traditional Wooden Planes’ re-released. It’s way too pricey on the used book market.

  • jsbergner

    I am in the midst of reading
    The Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Christopher Schwarz
    I am finding it incredibly enjoyable. His perspective on how and why we work as we do and the way the workbench becomes a reflection of that interaction has been a pleasure to read. His style makes it fun as well as educational.

  • Jim McCoy

    Make A Chair From A Tree
    Any of Charles Hayward’s books
    Watson’s Country Furniture and his Hand Tools book
    This may sound dumb but I wish there was a collection of good reproductions of the old Stanley, Diston, Miller Falls, etc. manuals in book form, with histories of the companies. I get a kick reading those that I’ve downloaded and so far I haven’t tired of going through them. Might make a nice coffee table book for woodworkers.

  • cam1297

    Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings. Amazing illustrations.

  • sdp

    “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” By R Bruce Hoadley
    Finally I can visualize why wood cups the opposite direction from the growth rings, the rays create the stability in the radial direction. Rays don’t just look nice, they are part of the primary structure, light bulb on! Borrowed from the county library system, there are a surprising number of wood working books across all the libraries, sometime fairly old ones. Although I think this one should be on my bookshelf permanently.

  • Edward Clarke

    Mouldings in Practice, Mathew Sheldon Bickford – ISBN 978-0-9850777-1-6
    Understanding Wood – R. Bruce Hoadley – ISBN: 0-918804-05-1
    The Anarchist’s Tool Chest – Christopher Schwarz – ISBN: 978-0-578-08413-8

    I like the two Workbench books by Schwarz also, but the above three are absolute must haves.

  • dkratville

    The Joiner and Cabinet Maker, I loved this book.


    “Calvin Cobb, Radio Woodworker” is the one I am tell my family to buy for me this Christmas, but Lost Art’s Robou and Moxon books are on my personal list.

  • b_houf

    It’s hard to find for a reasonable price, but Aldren Watson’s “Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings” is pretty awesome. The drawings alone are worth it.

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