Top 10 #goodwoodbooks on HOW

HOW = Information

The following "How" books are my favorite instructional woodworking books. I'll be sharing more in-depth reviews of these books individually in the future but I feel its important to list these here to be an example of excellent "How" books.

So if you, or someone you know, is excited to get woodworking but is slightly intimidated by one aspect of the craft, pick up one of these books for a big boost!

Lets get into the list! 

These books are listed in no particular order. I love them all!!

Working Wood 1 & 2

Paul Sellers

Understanding Wood Finishing

Flexner

The Essential Woodworker

Wearing

A Cabinetmaker's Notebook

Krenov

How to Build Shaker Furniture

Moser

Woodworking Wit & Wisdom

Tolpin

Making & Mastering Wood Plane

Finck

Chairmaking & Design

Miller

The Nature & Aesthetics of Design

Pye

Chairmaker's Notebook

Galbert

 

Well, there is the list. Comment below with your favorite instructional woodworking books.

Check out the other Top Ten lists by clicking the links below.

Top 10 Why

Top 10 What

David

Top 10 #goodwoodbooks on WHAT

WHAT = INFORMATION

The following "What" books are my favorite informational woodworking books. I'll be sharing more in-depth reviews of these books individually in the future but I feel its important to list these here to be an example of excellent "What" books.

So if inspiration has struck you, or someone you know, grab one of these books to discover projects that you can confidently pursue.

Lets get into the list! 

These books are listed in no particular order. I love them all!!

Classic American Furniture

Christopher Schwarz & the Editors of Woodworking Magazine
 

Making Swedish Country Furniture & Household Things

Keikser

Fine Woodworking - Furniture - 102 Contemporary Designs

Editors of Fine Woodworking

American Furniture of the 18th Century

Greene

Great Designs from Fine Woodworking

Taunton

Blanket Chests

Gibson & Turner

Building Traditional Kitchen Cabinets

Tolpin

Building Traditional Country Furniture

Editors of Popular Woodworking

Country Pine Furniture Projects

Hylton

Greene & Greene Furniture

Mathias

 

Well, there is the list. Comment below with your favorite informational woodworking books.

Check out the other Top Ten lists by clicking the links below.

Top 10 How

Top 10 Why

David

Top 10 #goodwoodbooks on WHY

WHY= Inspiration

The following "Why" books are my favorite inspirational woodworking books. I'll be sharing more in-depth reviews of these books individually in the future but I feel its important to list these here to be an example of excellent "Why" books.

So if you, or someone you know has gotten into a woodworking "funk", pick up one of these books for a big boost!

Lets get into the list! 

These books are listed in no particular order. I love them all!!

Soul of a Tree

George Nakashima

Reverence for Wood

Eric Sloane

Why We Make Things and Why It Matters

Peter Korn

The Anarchist's Tool Chest

Christopher Schwarz

A Splintered History of Wood

Spike Carlsen

A Handmade Life

Bill Copperthwaite

Eshrick, Maloof, Nakashima - Homes of the Master Wood Artisans

Skinner and Whitsitt

Contemporary American Woodworkers

Stone

Sam Maloof - Woodworker

Maloof

The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking

James Krenov

Well, there is the list. Comment below with your favorite inspirational woodworking books.

Check out the other Top Ten lists by clicking the links below.

Top 10 How

Top 10 What

David

Welcome to #goodwoodbooks

Welcome.

Hello and welcome to the #goodwoodbooks blog. This blog is about books that are about wood.

The purpose of this blog is to share reviews of my favorite #goodwoodbooks. The writings here will blend my two biggest passions, woodworking and life-long learning

If you're ready to dive into some of the BEST woodworking books I've read, jump to these Top Ten lists.

Top 10 How

Top 10 Why

Top 10 What

Still with me?

Perhaps you'd like to know a bit more then.

My name is David. I've been a woodworker since 2003. My woodworking education has mainly come through reading books.

When I first started off, I got the advice to READ AS MANY BOOKS AS YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON!

I took that advice, and over the years, I've read A LOT of books about wood and woodworking.

Some have been life changing. Others .... eh .... not so much.

I'm a "book learner". I'm often too intimidated to attempt "hands on" learning until I've read a couple books. At the very least, I like to have a general understanding of the "lingo". Google is a good search tool, but it works so much better when you are search the right words.

You'll learn more about me as you read the book reviews, so let me share a bit about the reviews themselves.

So Many Books!

Woodworking is a big subject and people have been writing about it for a long time. There is plenty to write about and I can't wait to share my favorite books with you.

Top Tens

To get started, I'd like to share three Top Ten lists, one for each of the "How - Why - What" topics. These are the books that I feel epitomize the categories. If you'd like to improve your knowledge base in any of these areas, I highly recommend checking out these books. Click the links below to check them out.

Top 10 How

Top 10 Why

Top 10 What

 

More About The Categories

How - Why - What

Each book review will include an image like the one below. I call this the How - Why - What Venn Diagram. I think the best woodworking books hit that sweet spot right in the middle. They Inspire, Instruct and Inform in a way that makes you want to get out to the shop and make shavings!

HOW

Instruction

A book will rank high in the "How" category if it is instructional in a general way. A pure "How" book would cover individual techniques outside the context of actual projects.

WHY

Inspiration

A "Why" book is inspirational. It might be a life story or a book about historical periods.

WHAT

Information

The "What" category is reserved for books that are project based but lack information about the techniques required to build the projects.

Thank You

If you enjoy books and wood as much as I do, you might enjoy merging the two by getting a wooden bookmark. Check out the latest featured bookmark on the For Sale page to see what I've been working on. 

Featured Bookmark

 

David

P.S. If you'd like to keep up with reviews on #goodwoodbooks and featured bookmarks, join the mailing list.

Subscribers get the inside scoop on how I make wooden bookmarks.

Also, as a subscriber, you get first dibs on the latest wooden bookmark.

Thank you so much for reading! Read MORE!!

Down at Angel's

Wow!

I was nearly at a loss for words after finishing this book. This CHILDREN'S book!! 

No Spoilers

I was so impressed by the story arch and its touching ending and I want you to have the same experience when you read this book, so no spoilers here. Just be prepared because, like a pull-at-the-heart-strings Pixar movie that makes parents weep and children laugh in consecutive beats, this book contains a powerful story.

A story about how everyone has something to offer.

A story that strengthens my appreciation for the skills God has given me and the impact it can have on those who receive my work.

South Dakota Heritage

Perhaps one of the reasons I was so moved by this book is the author's South Dakota heritage. Sharon Chmielarz (man, I thought I had a rough last name) was born and raised in South Dakota and now lives in MN. You can find out more about her on her website, http://www.sharonchmielarz.com/

Sharon's story is the inverse of my own. I was born and began my early education in MN, but was soon transplanted to South Dakota. I was in MN long enough to develop a deep love of trees, lakes and hills COVERED IN TREES!!! Landing in the prairie, I felt like a fish out of water. WHERE are all the TREES? WHY are those trees all standing in straight ROWS?

That was many years ago now, and I've learned to appreciate South Dakota and all it has to offer. While reading this book, I assumed that the story was taking place on the East Coast. Somewhere with more TREES, more WOODWORKERS! What a wonderful surprise to read that this book tells the story of South Dakota's woodworking heritage. Something I do my little part to keep alive every day.

Be a Good One

I'm going to skip my typical "How - What - Why" rating for this book, but let me just say, this book is a FIRM reminder of WHY I choose woodworking over so many other (constructive or destructive) things I could do with my life.

Conclusion

Children's books about woodworking are few and far between (excluding Bob the Builder). If you have a Midwest connection, this book will be even more meaningful. 

Thanks for reading,

David

A Splintered History of Wood

Spike Carlsen, a magazine editor, Minnesotan and all-around cool dude is the author of the book "A Splintered History of Wood". 

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

In this book, Mr. Carlsen takes you on a wide ranging exploration of wood. Ultimately, what this book gave me was R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for what CAN be done with wood, but little in the way of HOW or WHAT to make myself. The amount of information presented in the numerous practical applications of wood greatly expanded my woodworking knowledge base.

How - Why - What

This book leaves me asking "Why NOT use wood?" when problem-solving the little difficulties encountered in day to day life. Wood has proven it's worth as a material for many years and by learning more about it, we can ensure it has a place in our future as well.

hww - spike copy.png

About the Author

Spike doesn't mind taking the "scenic route" in order to make a point. The good news is that you will be thoroughly entertained along the winding path and the payoff is always worth it. So strap in, and get ready to kick up some mud on the backroads of woodworking history.

About Wood

Most "How to.." woodworking books begin with a section about the properties of wood and tips on selecting and cutting boards. This book also begins by looking at the properties of wood, but from a different perspective. Spike looks at subjects like the "World's Most Expensive Board Foot" and "The Grass That Thinks It's a Wood".

Belt-sander Races, Blind Woodworkers & Baseball Bats

This subtitle is your first indication that anything related to wood is fair game for this engaging and entertaining book. 

This isn't a short book, it is over 358 pages in length. It is a well researched book. The bibliography is 8 pages of small font.

Spike also takes care to include notes along the way if you want to dig deeper on any topic with 13 pages of end notes and 9 pages of references.

Chapters

I'm going to list the chapters of the book here, just so you can gain an appreciation for how many subjects are covered in this book.

Note: All this information is available, with the subsections of each chapter, on th Amazon.com book preview.
Extraordinary Woods
The Wacky World of Woodworkers
The Tools That Work the Wood
Wood in the World of Music
Wood in the World of Sports
Wood as Shelter
Wood in Day-to-Day Life
Wood, Weapons and War
Wood by Land, Air and Sea
Wood in Unusual Uses and Peculiar Places

Bias

I'll admit some potential bias for Spike's particular sense of humor. I'll chalk it up to our shared love of all things Minnesota (Spike has another book out about building a cabin on Lake Superior called "Cabin Lessons", and I highly recommend it).

And although I can generally confirm that "Minnesota Nice" is a real thing, it can sometimes get lost in translation. This is generally due to the fact that language and trends change a lot faster in other parts of the country. I personally didn't get the memo that the word "interesting" had gone through a "Late '90s, bad means good now" style metamorphosis until I told someone that their hat was interesting. The sour look on their face was enough to tell me that I had inadvertently delivered an insult. I happen to like interesting things, but the word had changed into a sort of backhanded compliment. Not my intention and I apologized immediately in typical "Minnesota Nice" fashion.

Why I got this book

I got this book back in 2009 after woodworking for about 5 years. It fulfilled my desire to know more about the many ways wood has impacted life as we know it.

Woodworkers apt to reminisce about the good-ole-days will like the chapter "Wood in Day-to-Day Life", particularly the subsection "When Wood Was Everything and Everything Was Wood"

Conclusion

This book will make you a better woodworker, and here is why.

According to a recent NYTimes article (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/opinion/sunday/how-to-raise-a-creative-child-step-one-back-off.html), evidence shows that creative contributions depend on the breadth, not just depth, of our knowledge and experience.

 This book will greatly expand your breadth of knowledge about wood and delivers so many great examples of the possibilities present within this humble material.