Is there a list of really good blogs or books I could learn from?
I enjoy Youtube videos showing techniques and tips. I grew up watching The Woodwrights Shop and New Yankee Workshop on PBS (in the US)… some of the Youtubers today are very good (and available in every region except possibly China).
I like Jay Bates, Mathias Wandel, the Wood Whisperer, John Heise (IBuildIt.ca), Stumpy Nubs, Matt Cremona, and others that I can’t think of off-hand.
Don’t forget this forum itself. Steve Ramsey, Woodworking for Mere Mortals is good also for basic skill building
Not books or blogs but you should look for adult education classes at nearby high schools. Getting experience , demonstrations, and questions answered by a live person is a big plus to skill development. Makerspaces are popping up all around and should be considered too. You can also check into a short class with group instruction in areas of interest. I took a guitar making class for 6 weeks and learned more about woodworking than when I went to college to teach IA.
I have learned a lot from @PhillipLunsford (thank you) watching his you tube channel and many many hours reading on here.On this forum there is a very large supply of knowledge just ask a question and you will get a answer as you can see. Good luck in your new adventure and welcome to the new CNC world .
Magazines have great projects and how do sections. Wood Magazine is one example. Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking and many others have projects of all skill levels
Depends on how you want to approach this.
My workflow is to use the CNC for most power tool suitable features, and then use traditional hand tool techniques to finish things up thereafter. An excellent book on CNC is Getting Started with CNC: Personal Digital Fabrication with Shapeoko and Other Computer-Controlled Routers by Edward R. Ford, the designer of the Shapeoko 1/2 which the X-Carve was forked from:
A classic is: Woodworking for beginners : a manual for amateurs by Charles Gardner Wheeler is available from
An excellent book is Choosing and Using Hand Tools by Andy Rae (be sure to check out his tool cabinet which is featured in The Toolbox Book: A Craftsman’s Guide to Tool Chests, Cabinets, and Storage Systems by Jim Tolpin.