Both beginner and experienced craftspeople who are looking for a well-written DIY wood project book will find something of value in the following five highly rated books. The majority of the projects covered in these books are of the knick-knack/decorative storage/small furniture variety, though a few are more specifically tailored towards narrowly defined forms of woodworking based on technique. Shoppers should keep in mind that the best DIY project books not only offer lots of illustrations, clearly delineated steps and comprehensive materials/tools lists, but also offer projects of varying levels of difficulty for those who gain confidence with each project.
The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking is a great, overall project book which covers a varied range of crafts, from decorative storage boxes to small pieces of furniture to homemade toys. The book is designed for the beginner, and carefully walks the reader through issues such as choosing the right wood for a project, cutting from patterns, and basic but important topics such as gluing and finishing. Each project listed in the book, and each of the steps involved in constructing them, is well illustrated, and comes with detailed patterns to work from. Each craft project also includes finish and surface decoration options top choose from.
The Civil War Woodworking project book is one of the more interesting niche-specific DIY craft books on the market, catering specifically to 19th century woodworking reproductions. Not all of the projects in the book are intended for novice woodworkers; the 17 projects listed in the book range from easy beginner crafts to more advanced projects of a moderately difficult nature. Projects listed in the book include ammunition boxes, folding camp tables, a chest, and even an officer's field desk. Readers will appreciate the well-illustrated, step-by-step instructions, while history buffs will appreciate the wealth of information on 19th century woodworking techniques.
For those who'd like to take on some fun woodworking craft projects that don't involve using lots of tools and equipment, it'd be difficult to find a more minimalist instruction book than The Little Book of Whittling. Author Chris Lubkemann, a 40-year whittling veteran, explains how to make eating utensils, animal figures, whistles and walking sticks. All projects are explained in an easy-to-follow and well-illustrated fashion, and the author thoughtfully explains basic but useful whittling information, such as choosing the best knife and the most user-friendly wood for the cause.
Handy Dad takes a wonderful father-and-son bonding approach to DIY woodcraft projects, offering 25 different plans that range from the easy to the complex and involved. Authored by Todd Davis, the host of HGTV's Over Your Head program, the book includes projects such as BMX bike and skateboard ramps, go-carts and tree houses. The book thoughtfully includes not only lots of full-color illustrations and detailed step-by-step instructions, but also comprehensive material and tool lists.
Written with both beginners and experts in mind, the Great Book of Woodburning covers the four basic techniques involved in pyrography: proper temperature of the burning tool, speed of the stroke, texture patterning and layering effects. The book also lists and explains the basic tools and materials needed for pyrographic crafts, preparation of the materials, and methods of finishing. Thirty different traceable patterns, varying in skill level, are also included with the book.