Woodsmith vs Woodworking what's the difference

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Blog entry by MJWoodworks posted 07-11-2011 05:50 AM 15156 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What’s the difference between a woodworker and a Woodsmith?

Woodworking is the process of building, making or carving something using wood.

Historically, woodworkers relied upon the woods native to their region, until transportation and trade innovations made more exotic woods available to the craftsman. Woods can be sorted into three basic types: hardwoods typified by tight grain and derived from broadleaf trees, softwoods from coniferous trees, and man-made materials such as plywood and MDF.

Typically furniture such as tables and chairs is made using solid stock, and cabinet/fixture makers employ the use of plywood and other man made panel products.

any input?

8 comments so far

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2695 days

#1 posted 07-11-2011 08:39 AM

Woodsmith is not a word. It is the name of a magazine and I believe a TV series, but it is not a word. I believe it is a “play” off of the word “blacksmith” in that a woodsmith would be to wood what a blacksmith is to metal.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2898 days

#2 posted 07-11-2011 01:13 PM

I’ve seen several posts here and there about what we call ourselves. I for one have never understood these labels.
Oh, you get the idea. I say we can each call ourselves whatever we want, especially if you do it as a hobby like myself.
As a matter of fact, if we can call ourselves whatever we want, and I am the type that if you loaded us all on a buses, I’d be the one on the short bus licking the windows, I think I’ll call myself…............


View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10628 posts in 3484 days

#3 posted 07-11-2011 01:24 PM

Hack, kindling maker, wood butcher, hobbyist, woodworker, cabinet maker, turner. Take your pick or add your own.
What others call you or what you call yourself doesn’t matter.
Whether your time in the shop is for fun, relaxation, love or profit, enjoy every minute, work to your capacity and explore your creativity.
And don’t pet the sweaty stuff.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View woodsmith's profile


69 posts in 3848 days

#4 posted 07-11-2011 07:45 PM

I think smith is an old english term for “one who works with” examples: blacksmith, barrelsmith, etc. I had never heard of the magazine when I chose the name so maybe that makes me dumbsmith!

-- woodsmith

View DonnyBahama's profile


215 posts in 2587 days

#5 posted 07-11-2011 08:06 PM

“smith” can be tacked on to most anything. I know web developers that call themselves “websmith”, writers who call themselves “wordsmith”, etc. Personally, I think it has a nice, old-world tone that evokes craftsmanship – whatever the craft.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4153 days

#6 posted 07-12-2011 05:47 AM

Ah, if your only tool is a hammer…. You must be a wood smith and every problem looks like a nail.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3145 days

#7 posted 09-17-2016 10:22 PM

From the Dansih wikiep:

Woodsmith in Danish is Tr├Žsmed.

Woodsmith is an old Scandinavian word that is not quite been forgotten about it than have lived a somewhat withdrawn life for many years. The word is used on the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, it’s know with other types as the stem-smith and other trades, including both horse shoe maker, stone smiths and beer smith.

The word smith therefore means basically just a craftsman, not only in Danish, but also on the classical languages, Latin and Greek. The Greeks had a different expression Daedalus or daidalus that means artist more than craftsman. It is after the legend the man who invented the planer.

Historically, it can be difficult to follow the trend, but there has been woodsmiths for ever since the origins of humanity. Wood is always at hand, but it retained only in particularly good circumstances in the ground.

Hope it is helpful,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3145 days

#8 posted 09-17-2016 10:22 PM

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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