Best Carpentry Books

Jamey Muller
May 7, 2021
best-carpentry-books

Below are 11 of the best carpentry books available for everyone. They have common features – illustrations, guides, and plans – as these are necessary when planning to take on a carpentry project at home.

The 6 Best-Selling Carpentry Books

11 Best Carpentry Books

1. The Very Efficient Carpenter: Basic Framing for Residential Construction (For Pros / By Pros)

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The Very Efficient Carpenter: Basic Framing for Residential Construction (For Pros / By Pros)
  • Haun, Larry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 10/01/1998 (Publication Date) - Taunton Press (Publisher)

The goal of Larry Haun’s The Very Efficient Carpenter: Basic Framing for Residential Construction (For Pros / By Pros) is to make you a more efficient carpenter. When buying a book, people always want to learn things and develop some skills, and this is what Larry Haun guarantees. The author shares his knowledge and expertise, having been a teacher in carpentry for more than 20 years and production framer for over 35 years. He presents a step-by-step carpentry work, based on the techniques he uses to frame a house. The Very Efficient Carpenter focuses on teaching how to cut and install posts and girders, how to cut, assemble, raise, and lay out walls, how to build different types of stairs, and how to frame gable roofs, hips and valleys, and truss roofs. Also, an entire chapter is dedicated to provide helpful information on plans, codes, permits, tools, lumber, and materials. There is also a portion that talks primarily on safety.

2. DEWALT Carpentry and Framing Complete Handbook (DEWALT Series)

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DEWALT Carpentry and Framing Complete Handbook (DEWALT Series)
  • Brackett, Gary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 02/27/2018 (Publication Date) - DEWALT (Publisher)

DEWALT Carpentry and Framing Complete Handbook (DEWALT Series) by Gary Brackett is the perfect resource for those who wish to become master builders. The book talks about floors, foundations, walls, rafters, roofs, stairs, railings, porches, decks, and so on in a fun and organized manner. DEWALT Carpentry and Framing Complete Handbook is filled with diagrams and pictures to make learning interesting and easy to follow. The book comes with a helpful bonus – free DEWALT Mobile Pro app for students, a construction calculator with reference materials allowing readers to access hundreds of additional add-ons and calculations. With all these added features, Gary Bracket is confident his handbook will be a big help to newbies and even expert carpenters. The author has spent 16 years in residential construction and was a teacher for SUNY Delhi’s carpentry program. He is an expert in light frame construction, advanced framing, cabinetmaking, millwork, finish carpentry, woodcarving, and more.

3. Carpentry & Building Construction, Student Edition, 2016

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Carpentry & Building Construction, Student Edition, 2016
  • Hardcover Book
  • McGraw-Hill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1120 Pages - 07/29/2015 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)

Carpentry & Building Construction, Student Edition, 2016 by McGraw-Hill is a comprehensive program for new and experienced carpenters and builders. With wealth of information and simple step-by-step techniques to improve one’s carpentry skills, Carpentry & Building Construction presents a program that focuses on residential construction, highlighting a number of procedures that apply to light commercial construction. Designed for students, the book provides informative and detailed text, helpful illustrations, step-by-step procedures and processes, and tests, reviews, and assignments for students. There is also an updated information on the most current building codes. The authors from McGraw-Hill come together to complete this helpful carpentry textbook for students. Contributing writers are all leading experts in their fields. Much more, they are dedicated to helping their readers improve their carpentry careers, interests, and competence. According to latest reviews from satisfied readers, “While studying for a licensing exam, this (book) was by far the most useful,” as the book is “formatted and organized for teacher/student use.”

4. The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips (Landauer)

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The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips (Landauer) Over 40 Easy-to-Follow Projects and Plans, 200+ Photos, and Carpentry Basics
  • Landauer Corporation
  • Tom Carpenter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 10/01/2001 (Publication Date) - Landauer (Publisher)

Readers and carpentry students appreciate a book that provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to getting the work done. This is such a book – The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips by Tom Carpenter and Mark Johanson. This is a helpful “how-to” book that provides tips, tricks, tools, and techniques, so that anyone and everyone could easily develop their woodworking skills. There are easy bits of expert advice on how to set up shop, how to maintain safety, how to use tools, and how to make jigs and joints, among others. There are over 40 indoor and outdoor furnishing projects to work on, with detailed plans and lists of materials, plus more than 1,200 photographs, helpful diagrams, and illustrations to make things even easier and more interesting. Some of the projects are picture frames, chairs, sun loungers, mantel clocks, and more. According to Library Journal, June 2002, “If you are going to buy only one woodworking book, this should be it.”

5. Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement, Updated Edition

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Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement, Updated Edition: Proven Money-Saving Projects; 3,400 Photos & Illustrations (Creative Homeowner) 600 Page Resource with 325 Step-by-Step DIY Projects
  • Hardcover Book
  • Editors of Creative Homeowner (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 600 Pages - 08/31/2016 (Publication Date) - Creative Homeowner (Publisher)

Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement, Updated Edition was written and completed by the Editors of Creative Homeowner, tech-reviewed by more than 20 industry experts. The result is a comprehensive 600-page home improvement manual with more than 320 step-by-step DIY projects with over 2,300 how-to photos and 800 drawings, and text that is practical and easy to understand. There is a special photo-illustrated section that focuses solely on contracts, contractors, and how to manage your remodeling projects. The book offers essential information on tools, materials, and basic home repair skills, with specific sections that comprehensively talk about wiring, plumbing and remodeling. Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement covers a wide range of topics, some of which are about tools, materials, how to conduct plumbing and electrical repairs, heating and cooling, roofing and siding, cabinets and countertops, and how to save money when remodeling, renovating, repairing, and maintaining your home. As additional help, the book has a thorough index and glossary.

6. Carpentry Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton’s Complete)

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Carpentry Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton's Complete)
  • Taunton Press
  • Engel, Andrew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 01/17/2012 (Publication Date) - Taunton Press (Publisher)

Carpentry Complete: Expert Advice from Start to Finish (Taunton’s Complete) by Andrew Engel talks about the nuts and bolts of carpentry. The book helps and guides homeowners in completing carpentry projects without needing the help of professional carpenters. Carpentry Complete is a comprehensive and easy-to-use reference that is full of authoritative and reliable information. It is designed to help anyone and everyone, including DIYers, to take on any home repair projects with confidence. The information outlined by Andrew Engel are well organized and easy to find. He also provided tips on how to handle things that can inevitably go wrong. The author is an experienced and highly skilled carpenter and home builder. He is a writer, editor, and building consultant. His book Carpentry Complete has been proven to be very helpful to its readers. A satisfied reader said, “As it stands, this is a thorough, well-illustrated book that gives you just enough information to get you going.”

7. Woodworking For Dummies

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Woodworking For Dummies
  • ISBN13: 9780764539770
  • Condition: New
  • Strong, Jeff (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 392 Pages - 10/31/2003 (Publication Date) - For Dummies (Publisher)

Woodworking For Dummies by Jeff Strong will help you create and build something that you can proudly show to your friends and family. Nothing is more rewarding than to complete a DIY project to improve your own home. As it names suggest, Woodworking For Dummies is for everyone who may not have even tried their hand on carpentry before. The book presents easy-to-follow steps and information on how to work on a plywood, hardwood, softwood, veneer wood, rift-cut wood, plain-sawn wood, quarter-sawn wood, man-made wood, and solid wood, among others. It also tackles practical advice on how to gear up with the right tools, how to maintain safety in your workshop, how to work with wood joints, adhesives and glue, sanding and filling, how to add color with stains and paints, how to protect your work with topcoats, and so on. There are also simple and helpful tips to help you measure and mark your wood, choose the right tools, speed things up, and get down to the nitty-gritty on nails.

8. Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects

Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects by Tom Carpenter has more than 1,200 pictures and illustrations, more than 30 complete plans, and easy-to-follow diagrams to make woodworking easy and fun. Carpentry and woodworking could mean a lot of work to many people, but not when you receive expert guidance from a master woodworker. This is what this book guarantees. In addition to the illustrations, the text and instructions are practical and easy to follow, with important essential beginner-friendly information on how to make correction measurements, what type of wood to choose, marking and making a layout, cutting, joinery, drilling, shaping, clamping, gluing, fastening, finishing and more. The book guides readers through each and every phase of a woodworking project, with tips on how to make a good design and how to use tools and essential techniques. There are 41 complete home furnishing project plans to work on.

9. The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling

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The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling
  • Wing, Charlie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 688 Pages - 01/23/2018 (Publication Date) - Taunton Press (Publisher)

Have you tried rebuilding or remolding your own home? If you are not a master builder, such a task is easier said than done. The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling by Charlie Wing provides tips, advice, and illustrations to guide you in completing your carpentry project. Building a home is not an easy undertaking. It is complex, labor-intensive, and requires precise skills, tools, and materials. There are so many things to consider, from drawing a design, building the frame, and installing the plumbing, to wiring, HVAC, and so much more. The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling can help you understand all of the necessary requirements and keep you on track when doing home carpentry work. Charlie Wing provides practical carpentry techniques in 25 chapters (688 pages), and 1,700 full-color illustrations and 300 quick-reference charts. Charlie Wing is a well-known figure in the industry. He is a PhD graduate of MIT, an investigator in NASA’s Apollo Lunar Program, and a physics instructor at Bowdoin College.

10. Complete Book of Framing: An Illustrated Guide for Residential Construction

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Complete Book of Framing: An Illustrated Guide for Residential Construction (RSMeans)
  • Simpson, Scot (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 04/16/2019 (Publication Date) - RSMeans (Publisher)

Complete Book of Framing: An Illustrated Guide for Residential Construction by Scot Simpson provides readers practical carpentry tips on how to frame floors, walls, roofs, doors, windows, and stairs, as well as nailing patterns, overall layout, engineered wood patterns, and green framing. It even talks about the medical and physiological factors of framing, plus a complete chapter on safety and the necessary tools and techniques when preparing for a job or managing a team. To guide newbie framers and to keep the expert framers interested, the book features hundreds of colorful pictures and illustrations to better explain master framing techniques. Complete Book of Framing is full of framer-friendly tips to explain how to complete framing tasks efficiently and effectively. Finally, to set this book apart, it talks about framing techniques of the 2018 International Building Code (IBC), International Residential Code (IRC), and updated OSHA rules, as well as information on electric tools and structural enhancements for natural disasters.

11. Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects

Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects by Tom Carpenter provides expert guidance on how to become a master woodworker. This title is actually two books in one: the first book talks about skills-building and the second book is a woodworking project manual. The book encourages newbies and families to work together in rebuilding and improving their homes, by providing 41 complete projects on indoor and outdoor furnishings and accessories. This means, a family can enjoy their handiwork and put on display 41 completed projects after they have gone through this book. There are hundreds of photos, illustrations, easy-to-follow diagrams, step-by-step instructions, time frames, and tools and materials lists to guide readers and families. Woodworking may seem daunting, but the goal of this book is to make it easy for everyone. Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Skills, Techniques, and Projects is a beginner-friendly manual that tackles practical skills such as measuring, marking and layout, cutting, joinery, shaping, clamping, gluing, fastening, finishing and more.

Final Thoughts: Best Carpentry Books

We love to learn things and develop skills on our own. It seems humans were naturally made to experiment with their hands and find satisfaction after accomplishing something without asking help from others. Carpentry and woodworking, however, is better learned from experts and books than from experimentation. Carpentry work half-done could be dangerous in the long run. One missing nail or one tiny mistake in measurement could be catastrophic. You wouldn’t want to risk the safety of your children by constructing a poorly-built treehouse, would you? Carpentry is a craft and a skilled trade, which means there is expertise and certain level of experience involved. It requires precise skills, such as cutting, shaping, framing, and installing, which involves the use of tools. Carpentry tools, when misused or mishandled, could cause accidents and hurt several people including the novice carpenter himself. Currently, female workers are doing well as carpenters, but generally, the industry is dominated by male laborers. According to research, 98.5% of all carpenters in the United States are male, and carpentry is the fourth most male-dominated occupation in the country. It is a rough trade as it involves carrying, cutting, framing, hammering, and so on. Anyone who wishes to engage in DIY carpentry projects should seek advice from an actual master builder or through easy-to-follow manuals, guides, and books.

Carpentry is an intense undertaking, as it is very rewarding. According to studies, carpentry and woodworking – or simply engaging in work that involves your hand – is very satisfying. It can make you feel good about yourself. You can productively spend your free time and get a sense of fulfillment, which is good for your mental and emotional health. Experts say the satisfaction you get from woodworking is better than good health. If you haven’t tried it or are preparing to engage in carpentry, get one of the books listed above to guide you and guarantee your safety and the safety of everyone else around you.

Jamey Muller
Jamey is a 24-year-old living in Houston, Texas. He's an aspiring financial analyst with a passion for anything finance related. Over the last few years, he has taken many digital courses and read books on anything he's interested in. In his freetime he likes to hang out with his friends and likes to play video games.

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