woodworking verse carpentry

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Blog entry by DamnYankee posted 08-12-2011 05:11 AM 1736 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Got a bit stumped the other day when asked “what’s the difference between carpentry and woodworking”. My smartass answer was the difference between .001” and 1/8”.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

13 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15377 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 08-12-2011 10:47 AM

Dependence on dimension lumber?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3741 days

#2 posted 08-12-2011 11:28 AM

I like your answer : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2975 days

#3 posted 08-12-2011 02:41 PM

No comment but I have same question on this one before… maybe you can connect,

-- Bert

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 08-12-2011 06:15 PM

What’s the difference between carpentry and woodworking? Well, the smartass answer is the spelling!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3227 days

#5 posted 08-12-2011 06:21 PM

Dictionary definitions, for what they’re worth:

Carpenter: a person who builds or repairs wooden structures, as houses, scaffolds, or shelving.

Woodworker: a person who works in wood, such as a carpenter, joiner, or cabinet-maker

So … it seems like all carpenters are sort of woodworkers, but not all woodworkers are carpenters.

Clear as mud ?

-- -- Neil

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3160 days

#6 posted 08-12-2011 07:06 PM

Kinda like the two-may-toe vs to- ma-to. As long as the check is in time, I don’t care.

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3197 days

#7 posted 08-12-2011 07:11 PM

Carpentry is my business in which I make my money, that I then spend on my hobby and passion, woodworking.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3362 days

#8 posted 08-12-2011 09:16 PM

One works with wood and the other works with lumber.

View Sylvain's profile


708 posts in 2552 days

#9 posted 08-13-2011 05:30 PM

Most has been said on the post pointed to
by BertFlores58 hereabove.


(1/8) 0.125” on 108” (9ft – let’s say a ceiling height) is a precision of about 0.116%
which is not bad at all.

While typing “charpente en bois” (my mother tongue is French) in google i found the following picture which is what I think about in relation with carpentry:

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3212 days

#10 posted 08-13-2011 06:00 PM

Woodworking is the umbrella category for carpentry and furniture making, among others. Other than precision, I think the difference between the two is that, in carpentry you use a hammer…in furniture making, you use glue. There’s certainly some crossover there, especially when you trim-up furniture with a brad nailer, but that’s kinda the way I’ve always thought of it.

-- jay,

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4059 days

#11 posted 08-13-2011 06:17 PM

I noticed the difference when a carpenter friend asked why i cut the nice straight factory edges off of plywood. :)

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2936 days

#12 posted 08-13-2011 06:22 PM

great answer. I have some reasonable skills in carpentry eg. framing and trim, but I’m reasonably deficient in woodworking skills…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3741 days

#13 posted 08-14-2011 05:49 PM

another addition to the mix …what exactly is a woodsmith ? LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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