Woodworking is a productive craft that involves cutting, shaping, and joining wood to create decorative and/or useful things. There is nothing physically demanding about woodworking and you can build at your own pace. The basic concepts are simple to learn, yet it’s a hobby that will always remain fresh and challenging as your skills evolve. If you love problem-solving, you will love woodworking.
A woodworker is a maker who is mostly interested in learning and refining the craft of creating things out of wood. Sometimes we bring other materials into our projects, but the focus is on the wood. It’s an affordable, timeless material that’s easy to build with. This is a little vague, but I tend to think of carpenters as building structures…homes and buildings. Construction work. I don’t think of framing a house out of posts, beams and 2x4s as woodworking. Woodworking tends to be building furniture and other items that are moveable
HAND TOOL WOODWORKING
Hand tool woodworkers choose to use classical tools and methods to build things. Hand saws, chisels, scrapers and planes are preferred over anything that plugs into a wall.
Hand tool woodworkers probably feel more of a connection to the process than any other type of woodworker. It takes patience, has a longer learning curve, it’s a slower way to build and a lot quieter. But the personal fulfillment and satisfaction can be enormous.
POWER TOOL WOODWORKING
Power tools such as miter saws, table saws, drills, sanders are ubiquitous and can be a very affordable way to start building projects right away. Cutting a board on a table saw doesn’t take anywhere near the skill and finesse of using a handsaw and takes a fraction of the time.
The biggest drawback to using power tools is that they have the potential to cause serious injuries. It’s nothing that should prevent you from using them, but you need to really familiarize yourself with safety procedures
The primary tool here is the CNC machine that makes precision cuts on flat pieces of wood using a router. You will need to layout and design all of your work on a computer and the machine will take care of the rest, cutting out all your pieces. You don’t even have to be in the same room when it’s cutting.
The second tool some hobbyists invest in is a laser cutter or engraver. This tool allows you to make even more precise cuts than a CNC and create some beautiful art.
Most people have a mixture of hand tools and power tools in their shops. For instance blended approach to woodworking might make most cuts using a tablesaw, but use a chisel to hand cut dovetails. Some people find that hand tools offer greater precision and control for cutting technically demanding joints and enjoy improving their skills at these tasks.
There are two types of woodworking that some enthusiasts, usually people with an artistic bent, specialize in. Woodturning and scrolling.
Woodturning involves using a lathe to create bowls, spindles and other rounded projects. It’s kind of like sculpting clay on a potter’s wheel, only with wood and chisels. The only real downside to getting into woodturning is that lathes can be pretty expensive.
Scrolling involves using a scroll saw which is capable of cutting extremely tiny curves and intricate patterns. It takes practice to become proficient, but it’s relaxing and you can create some stunning art with a scroll saw. Unlike a lathe, scroll saws are relatively inexpensive. They are pretty quiet and don’t make a huge mess.