Being a woodworker

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by RussellAP posted 03-28-2012 11:02 PM 1278 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A lot of people think of woodworkers as guys running saws and drills all the time. They don’t see a woodworker, maybe a construction worker is what they see.

Dealing with power tools is almost the least of what I do as a woodworker.
1. Come up with some project idea
2. Shop for the right kind of wood
3. Design and redesign
4. Cut the wood out
5. Sand or plane the wood
6. Pre-condition the wood
7. Sand
8. Put the color on
9. Sand again
10. Seal wood
11. Sand again
12. Put together

As you can see, it’s a lot more than cutting wood. The fuss we all make is to have the best power-tools we can so the piece we’re working on is the best it can be. The finishing is the hardest and the most time consuming part of the process and the part most likely to have many flaws. The goal is to minimize these flaws through experience and advise.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

3 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 03-28-2012 11:25 PM

Hello Russel. A couple years ago, I posted something very similar to what you are getting at. Sometimes woodworker is a term that is way over simplified :)


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View WoodSimplyMade's profile


188 posts in 3320 days

#2 posted 03-29-2012 12:03 AM

Russell, you are right! Sometimes I spend more time designing, planning and drawing and researching that I do making the actual project.

The other conception I face being a woodworker is that if you are a woodworker anything, and I mean anything related to wood you must be able to do. I get requests to re-finish, re-build, carve, construction type work, structures, lathe work, gazebo’s just to name a few and my comfort and specialized woodworking focuses on furniture and boxes and sorts. Just because I work with wood does not mean I specialize in every trade related to wood. Re-finishing is a trade within itself, so is restoration, and lathe work, and construction as so on. People seem to know very little about what woodworking really is.

-- Mike, Florida,

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3082 days

#3 posted 03-29-2012 03:19 AM

For me a woodworker is an artist, a designer, a craftsman, and an (old-school) engineer. The same could be said of a metalworker, except a woodworker primarily works with wood. Surely, every informed and thoughtful person has their own perspective.

[Edited to add]:

It feels suffiently-grandiose to say I like woodworking because I appreciate developing or further developing my skills as an artist, a designer, a craftsman, and an (old-school) engineer. But something essential is still missing: Maybe some sort of pride, maybe something familial, maybe something else?

In one of my old books, I read recently that “long ago people adored/respected (worshipped?) the trees because they were from the sun and provided for fire”. Yeah, maybe that’s it—I like the solemness of that remark! : )


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics