5 Best Woodworking Books for CNC Machinists

 One of the great things about the rise of the internet is the opportunity it provides creative people to learn an entirely new craft. One of the reasons the maker community is flourishing today is, in no small part, thanks to YouTube, social media, and blogs. 

Bite-sized content allows people to find topics that interest them, discover new techniques or ideas, and explore a wide range of possibilities. However, there’s a lost appreciation for the value and knowledge that can be found in a good book, the author of which has put thousands of hours into research, writing, and editing.

So we’ve compiled a list of books for all skill levels of woodworking. Many of them provide a more comprehensive, in-depth, or even philosophical view of the craft than you might find in a YouTube instructional video or blog article. Here are some of the best books on woodworking for aspiring CNC machinists.

The Why & How of Woodworking: A Simple Approach to Making Meaningful Work

In The Why & How of Woodworking: A Simple Approach to Making Meaningful Work, Mike Pekovich teaches readers how to find value in woodworking and produce work that sticks out to your audience. The Why and How of Woodworking doesn’t shy away from details that novices can really take advantage of.

Containing everything from shopping tips to choosing your wood, cutting joinery to applying the proper finish, this book is a comprehensive guide to creating truly memorable pieces. Its many well-produced photos and designs make it a beautiful work in and of itself, perfect for novices to learn how to find beauty in simplicity and create work that provides value. 

Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

Written by none other than Ron Swanson himself, actor and craftsman Nick Offerman provides a fun and useful modern survey of woodworking with tips and projects for various levels of woodworkers.

Chalked full of easy-to-follow instructions, high-quality photographs, essays, and a bit of woodworking history, this guide to woodworking is a humorous and useful guide to craftsmen of all skill levels.

The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery

The Joint Book is exactly what it sounds like: the seminal book on creating joints that blows our old post on woodworking joints out of the water.

With over 70 types of joints, quality photos and diagrams, detailed descriptions, and step-by-step instructions, The Joint Book is the perfect resource for any craftsman. Whether you’re using power tools, hand tools, or a CNC machine, keeping this book near your workbench will help you find the perfect joint for your project well into your woodworking career.

Whatever your woodworking experience or skill level, there’s surely something valuable to find for everyone within these pages.

The Complete Book of Woodworking

As its title suggests, The Complete Book of Woodworking is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject. With nearly 500 pages of projects and principles, Tom Carpenter and Mark Johanson provide a little something for everyone. 

Beginners will find value in the numerous step-by-step instructions, learning how to set up shop, the basic principles, safety, and more. While even the most experienced craftsmen will be able to find something new or useful in the many tips and tricks they explore.

There are more than 40 projects worth of strategies, lessons, and inspiration tucked inside these pages.

Getting Started with 3D Carving: Five Step-by-Step Projects to Launch You on Your Maker Journey

Our last entry is geared towards CNC machining specifically from Inventables' own Zach Kaplan. Getting Started with 3D Carving provides an overview of CNC machining for beginners.

Readers will learn the basics of these machines as well as the values of the growing maker community, how to design for CNC with Easel software, the tools you’ll have at your disposal, and much more! It’s a perfect resource for those new to the craft or thinking about taking the plunge into CNC Machining.

Whatever point you’re at in your creative journey, there’s something of value out there for everyone. But of course, Easel and X-Carve make the process easy, no prior reading required! Check out how Inventables can help you bring your ideas to life.


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