I've picked up woodworking as a hobby recently and currently my main learning resource is YouTubers. I've spent a couple hundred bucks on a few cheap power tools (jigsaw, circular saw, sander, drills) and seeing this isn't a "phase" I'm now thinking about getting a good quality miter saw (DeWalt or Bosch).

As part of going deeper into woodworking I want to consider a better laid-out and more professional learning experience (although woodworking will remain a hobby). Either books, specific youtubers you think are worthwhile or other online training programs that are appropriate for my level and tool-set.

I'm better at learning something as I need it, so I rather have something that was also designed as a reference so I can get the things I need instead of going over it start-to-finish, although of course that's not always possible.

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    Woodworking is an extremely broad topic and the list of great instructional material is endless. Before anyone can answer your question they would need to know more about what types of woodworking projects interest you. If you are uncertain what project types to begin with I would suggest picking up a couple woodworking magazines such as Fine Woodworking, Woodworkers Journal, WoodCraft or others and find out what interests you. You'll pick up plenty of basic information to get started and find lots of leads as to where to research next. Of course, this forum will also give you insights.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 0:46
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    I want to wish you well in your woodworking journey, but also I want to say miter saw is not a good value purchase for learner woodworker. When I look up prices for DeWalt saw all I think is how many hand tools I could buy for equal money! 4 hand saws, set of chisels, 2/3 old planes or 1 good new plane and still $$ for nice dinner in restaurant :-)
    – Volfram K
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 4:17
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    I searched and found How to learn woodworking How do I know what tools I need?
    – Volfram K
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 4:31
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    Further to what @Ashlar said, knowing how power-tool focussed you are or whether a hybrid approach is the eventual goal would help a bit in possible suggestions, but a lot of the project-based books I've seen from Fine Woodworking and Taunton Press seem like they'd be perfect for you now. There are many modern woodworking books that have good colour photos, mostly clear instructions and are written from the perspective of the modern reliance on power tools, although with perhaps too much emphasis on the TS. Also a few of the older books on plywood woodworking are worth a look I think [contd]
    – Graphus
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 9:06
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    Now YouTube. While there are some decent YTers along with the terrible ones I feel that unfortunately recommendations will tend towards being more subjective than one would hope, i.e. you'll get someone's favourites more than anything. I like to try to put aside my personal favs in my recommendations and will deliberately recommend someone I don't care for if I think they're a good teacher, and this includes Wortheffort who I find very hard to watch and listen to. However, I think he's a sound instructor, with many valuable insights and is good at explaining and showing how to do something.
    – Graphus
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


There are MANY resources out there and many different topics to want to learn.

A list of ideas.

  1. New Yankee Workshop I suspect many episodes are available on YouTube and other similar woodworking TV shows. Most episodes should have a way to search for tools or projects you'd like to learn about.

  2. LOTS of books. Amazon has a lot of books by a lot of woodworkers written from the last 50 years or more. Most of what you can get out of the old books is still going to be true today, other than we have more tools available for tasks and a lot more gluing finishing options. Many libraries have a pretty good collection as well so you can save on the costs there.

  3. I suspect most power tool manufacturers have YouTube videos of their tools in action and hopefully user guides and prime safety instructions as well. Many might have these as a way to promote their tools and all the things you can do with them (hopefully safely).

  4. Makers Space / community ed / community collages. All require some upfront costs but you can get professional training at all 3 by taking classes.

a. Makers Space - I haven't used these yet but have known several different people who have and all enjoy them. You can get a membership to be able to use the tools they have, they have classes available for a fee (don't usually need to be a member to take the class but I believe you get a discount if you are). They will teach you how to do different things and can show you how to use the equipment which with a membership you can continue to use. Most have quite a bit of the big spendy stuff you can't afford to have or even the space to keep it. So you can use their stuff and finish it at your home shop!

b. Community Ed. - I don't know how common these classes are any more but they used to be available. In my area we have a couple 'folk schools' which offer these kinds of classes now, they offer a wide range, similar to Maker Spaces but they are entirely geared to teaching, not being open for community members to just walk in any time and use the facilities.

c. Community/Tech colleges - Not all, but many offer woodworking classes and you don't need to be going for a degree or program to get into many of these. They are probably the most expensive of the lot but the training is the most intense and you can walk away with some great finished projects. My dad took one of those 30 years ago and made all the kitchen cabinets, I think he might have had to take the course twice to get it all done, but they were beautiful and lasted as long as we lived there.

  1. if your lucky you might have some woodworking clubs in your area and would be a great source of knowledge and probably specific books and other resources to help on specific projects.

The more you learn the better you'll be able to decide which YouTuber's are worth following and which should be avoided.

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    I added the NYW web site link. Almost all episodes are hosted there. They're posting more as they get them restored.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 19:09
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    @Freeman Thanks! Might have to check it out myself!
    – bowlturner
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 21:35
  • Thanks. I've failed horribly at searching for woodworking classes / craft communities where I live (Israel, a small country). I found quite a few 2-hour "workshops" that are more geared towards team-building than actual teaching of the craft, and most avoid power tools (for obvious safety reasons). I'll try asking at local online communities about that sorta thing.. I'll check the local library but I'm not hopeful
    – NirIzr
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 14:50

I recommend following youtube channels (roughly in descending order of "beginner friendliness"):

ALL of them are either extremely good woodworkers, or extremely good teachers or both. I myself learned most of what I know from these people.

Disclaimer: I am mostly hand-tools oriented, so there is a bias towards hand-tools, but most of those people I recommend work with both hand-tools and power tools - and I think it's good to know some hand tool techniques even if you mostly work with power tools and vice versa, even if I like hand tool work most, some jobs are just better handled by power tools.

  • That's a decent list. The only inclusion I would have left out myself is Cosman (I share many of the reasons that he's commonly disliked). And although I have some particular reservations about Paul Sellers he's undeniably a good teacher and has lots of value on his channel and his associated website. Plus I do have to be eternally grateful to him for his sharpening instruction, it allowed me to finally got the knack of freehanding after years and years of frustration where sometimes I'd get a good edge and sometimes not.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 11:10
  • @Graphus - I think I know what you're talking about (Cosman) - that's why I put him last in "friendliness order" - I must admit I don't much like his style of presentation and sometimes he's seems too OCD, and has tendency of assuming everyone has lots of money and not enough time. But I do think his work is excellent and what I find most helpful is that he goes very deep into every technique / tool and even if I find his style of teaching a bit ROBotic (pun intended) - he will tell you what is important and why. I may not exactly like him, but I do respect him very much.
    – Jan Spurny
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 12:27

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