Recommended Books

Books that have stood the test of time

All the books listed here are practical in nature, as am I.


Working in Wood by Ernest Scott (out of print). Try to find the 1980 hardcover edition, it is more complete. The 1994 softcover is ok, too. My all-time favorite book on joinery and fundamental hand tool technique.

The following three books are by James Krenov. His work embodies a high appreciation for fine craftsmanship, understated design, and an overall philosophy that many of us regard as a revelation in woodworking.

    A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook

    The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking

    The Impractical Cabinetmaker

Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking, three books full of practical advice:

    Book 1: Joinery

    Book 2: Shaping, Veneering, Finishing

    Book 3: Furnituremaking

Most of the Fine Woodworking books published by Taunton Press also excellent.

Electronics and Radio

The Art of Electronics by Horowitz and Hill. If it’s not in here, you probably don’t need it :-)

The Radio Amateur’s Handbook by ARRL. Practical guide to radio electronics, antennas, and of course all things ham radio.

Experimental Methods in RF Design by Hayward, Campbell, and Larkin. (Out of print.) The very best book ever written on practical RF design. Build, test, and experiment on modules, then build those into systems.

Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering by Henry Ott. Grounding and shielding, filtering, PC board stackup, and how to meet compliance tests. Shows you that EMI/RFI solutions are not magic!

Troubleshooting Analog Circuits by Bob Pease. The late, great, and always-crusty Bob Pease shows us how to deal with noise, stability, drift, linearity, and countless other analog challenges.

Ferromagnetic Core Design and Application Handbook by Doug DeMaw. Everything you need to know about RF inductors, transformers, materials, and even permanent magnets and their applications.

Understanding, Building, and Using Baluns and Ununs by Jerry Sevick. High-power baluns and the like for antennas and RF systems.

Phase-Locked Loops by Roland Best. A practical book on PLLs that will 1) really make you understand and 2) lead you to realistic solutions.

Active Filer Cookbook by Don Lancaster. Instant results when you need a basic active filter. Includes just enough theory.

Understanding Digital Signal Processing by Richard Lyons.

High Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic by Howard Johnson and Martin Graham. Dealing with fast risetimes, transmission lines, balanced systems, terminations, mixed systems, probing, etc.


The Machinist’s Bedside Reader Vol. I and II, by Guy Lautard. He’s a great story teller and offers many tips and tricks as well as old-school shop lore and some very nice projects. Sometimes out of print, but generally available.