Recommended Woodworking and Furniture Books 

By Joe Dusel

I've got a fairly extensive (expensive) collection of woodworking and furniture related books that I have acquired over the years.  A lot of them are real duds, especially those related to European/frameless cabinetry.  The following is my list of favorites that I seem to refer to on a regular basis. If you would like more information about a book or would like to purchase it either click on the book image or the hyperlinks.

Japanese Cabinetry - The Art and Craft of Tansu

David Jackson and Dane Owen

We are fascinated with the Japanese Tansu style of furniture. This book is always close at hand. It is probably the best book on Japanese Tansu furniture that is in print.

 Japanese Cabinetry

Understanding Wood Finishing
How to Select and Apply the Right Finish

Bob Flexner

This is another book that I refer to all the time (whenever I forget something about finishes I rarely use).  It covers all types of finishes in great detail. What I find lacking in the edition I've got is the information on water based finishes.  These finishes are about all that I currently use and they have changed drastically over the years.

The Complete Manual of Woodworking  

Albert Jackson, David Day and Simon Jennings

This book covers a wide array of woodworking topics from wood information to joinery to furniture dimensions.  I have referred to this book many times as a woodworking professional.


Designing Furniture: 
rom Concept to Shop Drawing:
a practical guide

Seth Stem

This is probably one of the best (and one of the only) books on furniture design. It covers topics such as design development, form, composition, proportion, dominance, repetition, color, repetition, style and more.  It's well worth having if you can find a copy on Amazon or eBay since it's out of print.

Designing Furniture by Seth Stem

Understanding Wood - A craftsman's guide to wood technology 

R. Bruce Hoadley

This is a must have reference for anyone who works with wood.  It's not a "how" book, but a "why" book.  For instance - why did that nice looking straight piece of maple just clamp down like a pair of vice-grips on my table-saw blade and end up giving me two wildly curved pieces?

The book contains great information about the properties of wood and how to deal with them, such as coping with wood movement, strength of wood,  joining and  finishing.  There are also charts on moisture content and shrinkage.

 Understanding Wood By Bruce Hoadley

Making Joints - Techniques, Tips and Problem Solving Tricks

Ian Kirby

There is no doubt about it, Ian Kirby is a master. I personally have all of his books.

 Making Joints By Ian Kirby

The Complete Dovetail

Ian Kirby

This is the ultimate guide to hand cut dovetails. It covers everything you need to know, plus stuff you never knew you didn't know - like how to cut secret miter dovetails.  Having seen Ian cut all of these dovetail varieties in person I can tell you that he's the master!

 Ian Kirby Complete Dovetail


Vista, California

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