Geoff Woodwork

for Students of Woodwork                                         

Resource List:

The following books are recommended and are available in good bookshops or on the internet at sites such as Amazon, etc.

In Association with

It is very important to read as much information from different sources as you can get hold of. The list below is a very good start! 

When you notice differences work out why. When you understand the differences, you are educated!

You will also find copies in local libraries in town or your local college.
It is recommended that you that you buy at least one or more of the major woodworking books suggested below:-

But please remember there are American and British English techniques and colloquialisms. Although nothing wrong with having minor differences, they may not always be reflected in current academic studies which ever side of the Atlantic you are studying.   They do however provide a colourful and varied alternative.   Note and find out the differences and learn from them but be aware when you are answering an examination question.

Cabinet Making

Ernest Joyce, The Techniques of Furniture Making , Batsford, 0 71344407 X (a definitive book)

This book may be obtained from USA (or Amazon) under the following title:

Encyclopaedia of Furniture Making - Sterling Publishing Co Inc - New York - it has a different ISBN ; 0-8069-6440-5 and 0-8069-7142-8 ( and is a third cheaper!)

And (yes both!)
Albert Jackson and David Day, Collins Wood Workers Manual , Collins, 0 00414005 2 (a definitive book)

If you come across any books by Charles H Hayward they are very useful and although a little dated they have an excellent pedigree.   I whole heartedly recommend them especially the titles listed below.   However be aware of the more obvious out of date writing and diagrams, etc. on Woodworking Machinery.   But you cannot fault the techniques and philosophy behind the writing of the hand techniques.   Some of the ingredients and recipes in Staining and Polishing may be now difficult to obtain ~ but there are specialist suppliers who may recognise the modern equivalents and even access to some of the more strange preparations.

Try to get those published by Evans in the 1960's through to the 1970's  and  under " Woodworker Handbooks "  I've paid about BPS 8.00 to BPS 12.00 in flea markets but they could be 12 to 20 BPS on the the internet sites depending on condition.   There were some paperback versions published also in the early 1980's.

by Charles H Hayward:
Cabinet Making for beginners
The Junior Woodworker  -  an excellent instruction book for the younger woodworker
Staining and Polishing
Woodwork Joints
Tools for Woodworkers
Practical Veneering
Antique Furniture Repairs
Woodworkers Pocket Book  ** a must for students
Antique or Fake?
English Period Furniture

Woodworkers Question Box

Another good book from the same period is Woodwork in Theory and Practice by John A Walton.  It is an Australian text book but you may find it available in second hand book shops and sites.   It is an excellent book with very good illustrations on techniques.  It also covers furniture design, style and period furniture.  My copy is the fourth (New Edition), 1970, but I prefer the third edition published in 1962 .  The New Edition has a number of new or enlarged topics to cover the full NSW syllabus but has unfortunately dropped some history topics.   I therefore now have both for completeness.

Books by Jeremy (Jez) Broun
The Encyclopedia of Woodworking Techniques (Voted a Top UK title in 1993)
The Incredible Router (the pioneer definitive best selling book published1989)
Woodwork Now (Batsford).

Advanced Cabinet Making: 

It is helpful to study how other craftsmen carry out their cabinet making.  This is not necessarily to copy them but to compare techniques and get a greater understanding of the differing nuances others approach a similar problem.   What one craftsman and author skips over, another considers more important and goes into greater detail.   The more you study the greater the depth of understanding you will achieve.  James Krenov and David Charlesworth are certainly a good place to start.

A Cabinet Makers Notebook , James Krenov ~ Official site

The Fine Art of Cabinet Making , James Krenov ~ Stirling Publications.   Both of these books are written in a 'narrative' style and give an account of how he makes his cabinets.

Furniture - Making Techniques Volume One , David Charlesworth ~ Guild of Master Craftsman Publications.

Furniture - Making Techniques Volume Two , David Charlesworth ~ Guild of Master Craftsman Publications. Both these books take a fresh look  at articles that were originally published in Furniture and Cabinet Making Magazine.

Fine Woodworking, Practical Design solutions and strategies  - The Taunton Press - ISBN 1-56158-344-8 (USA)

Fine Woodworking, Boxes, Carcases and Drawers - The Taunton Press 

Fine Woodworking, Making Period Furniture - The Taunton Press 

Wood finishing

Ian Hosker, Complete Wood finishing , Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, 0 946819335

For Woodworking machinery

Nick Rudkin, Machine Woodworking , Arnold, 0 34061423 4

For Timber Technology:

Brian Porter & Reg Rose, C&J Bench and Site Skills , Arnold, 034064528 8 (a definitive book)

And the following books if you want to study, identification, structure, properties and use of timber:

H.E. Desch and JMD, Timber, Structure, Properties and Use 7th Ed, Macmillan Press, 0-333-60905-0 (a definitive book)

R. Bruce Hoadley, Understanding Wood ~ (USA) Taunton, 1-56158-358-8

R. Bruce Hoadley, Identifying Wood ~ (USA) Taunton ~ An excellent book to understand the macroscopic identification of timber.

for understanding materials in general an excellent little book to de-mystify the subject is:

Structures or Why Things don't Fall Down - by J.E. Gordon - Penguin, and:

The New Science of Strong Materials or Why You don't Fall Through the Floor - by J.E. Gordon - Penguin

Both are extremely readable books that most practical people will love to read over and over again. 

Plane and Solid Geometry.
Practical Geometry for Junior Builders - Lee & Reekie - Edward and Arnold - out of print - try Abebooks.  Excellent for an introduction to geometry

Descriptive Geometry for Architects and Builders - Lee & Reekie - Edward and Arnold - out of print - try Abebooks - for more advanced geometry for setting out geometrical work in Carpentry and Joinery.

These two geometry books provide an excellent introduction and explanation of all that is required to understand plane and solid geometry.  These are the books the modern authors read to learn the techniques.  Up to date books are not up to the quality and content that Lee & Reekie produced.

Other geometry books:

Practical Geometry for Builders - A.B Emary
Building Geometry and Drawing - Frank Hilton
Geometry and Drawing - R Baylis

For Carpentry Joinery

Brian Porter & Reg Rose ~ Carpentry Joinery - Work Activities , Arnold, 0 340 69241 3 (a definitive book)

Carpentry & Joinery - Now updated by Chris Tooke and Brian Porter Vol. 1, 2 and 3.

Les Goring ~ The Arnold Manual of First & Second Fixing Carpentry , Arnold, 0 340 67773 2

Les's book is excellent for anyone taking on home extensions, improvements, etc.

George Mitchell ~ Carpentry and Joinery , Cassell, 0 340 70427 X

Magazines and Trade journals

Regular reading of woodworking magazines is excellent value for picking up techniques, ideas, drawings and tips and tricks from reader's world-wide.

Woodworking published by Nexus,

Practical Woodworking published by Nexus,

The Woodturner published by Nexus,

Router published by Nexus,

Furniture and Cabinet Maker published by GMC Publications,

Good Woodworking published by  Future Publishing,

Traditional Woodworking published by Peter Johns.

Please let me know of any new ones that I may have missed.

All these are very worthwhile buys - unfortunately we cannot afford to buy all of them every month!  Choose the one you like but browse through the rest regularly at your local newsagent to see what articles they are currently carrying so that you don't miss anything.

Books for Furniture History and design   required for C&G Hand Crafted Furniture  Progression award at Level 3:

Many of these books are out of print but I have found copies in second hand book sites on the internet quite often ~ see below:



Dictionary of English Furniture Ralph Edwards * s/h p/b of shortened version available for less than £50

English Furniture

John C. Rogers *

English Furniture

Stan Learoyd  *

Dictionary of Furniture John Gloag  *

English Furniture

John Gloag  *

The English Tradition in Design John Gloag  *  ~  a must for understanding English Furniture

Furniture (No. 3)

Gordon Russell  *

Looking at Furniture Sir Gordon Russell * ~ a must for understanding English Furniture


Charlotte & Peter Fiell  *#

Design of the 20th Century

Charlotte & Peter Fiell   *#

Pioneers of Modern Design

Nikolaus Pevsner   *#

Dictionary of 20th C Design & Designers Guy Julier  ~ Thames and Hudson * #

The Sources of Modern Design

Nikolaus Pevsner   * #

20th Century Design

Jonatham M. Woodham   *   #

Other good reading

English Furniture of 18th C.

David Nickerson

English Architecture

David Watkin  #

The Gothic Revival

Kenneth Clark  #

English Furniture by National Trust

Geoffrey Beard

Old Furniture

Edward Wenham

Antique Furniture

John Andrews

The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director Thomas Chippendale  yes you can get a paper back  for under £30 !

The Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer

Thomas Sheraton ~  paperback available

The History of Furniture

Sir Thomas Watson

International Style

Hason-Uddin Khan #

Discovering English Furniture John Bly   %

Going for a song

Arthur Negas       %

A Life among Antiques Arthus Negus talks to Bernard Priced   %

Note *  exceptional important reading.  # I have purchased new recently.   % Very good anecdotal reading with excellent tips on how to recognise the various periods, styles, etc. antiques.

For access to second hand and out of print books go to   Abebooks or Amazon.  

I  have had some very good results from both these sites and I have found them very efficient.  Abebooks however has the edge on getting second hand books.  I have bought books from USA, Australia and Canada without any difficulty and without charging me an arm and a leg ! 

You can buy Chippendale's 'Directory' from £28 up to £500 ! - and Thomas Sheraton's  'The Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer' ~ they come as originals or re-prints or even paperbacks ~  a paperback is quite enough for a craftsman but leave the originals for the collectors ! ~ you pays your money and you take your choice..............

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Last uploaded  25th November 2005