What does a Woodworker do?

Harriette Halepis

Woodworkers build, create, or carve items using wood. In most cases, a woodworker will work independently, though some woodworkers may be hired on a commission basis. Many woodworkers create everyday items such as chairs, tables, and cabinets in addition to artistic pieces. Woodworking is one of the oldest crafts known to mankind.

A power sander, which is used for woodworking.
A power sander, which is used for woodworking.

Archaeologists have discovered that some of the first stone tools used by Neanderthals were used to cut into wood. Thus, wood was one of the first materials ever used by man in conjunction with animal parts, stones, and mud. It is believed that Neanderthals created wooden spears, eating utensils, bowls, vases, and even rough chairs from wood.

A jointer, which is used in woodworking.
A jointer, which is used in woodworking.

In addition, woodworking is quite prevalent in many Egyptian cave drawings. Further evidence to support the hypothesis that wood was an essential material to the Egyptians has also been discovered. Various wooden objects ranging from chests to tables has been preserved inside of Egyptian tombs. These items include intricate carvings that indicate the art of woodworking was quite important to the Egyptians.

The Ancient Chinese also relied heavily upon the craft of the woodworker. Chinese wooden furniture is still highly prized across the world today for its delicate beauty and practical durability. Most Chinese furniture that is crafted out of wood is made from trees that can are native to China. While this used to be true of any woodworking civilization, the dawn of transportation changed the way that wooden items were made.

As soon as it was possible to ship all kinds of wood across the globe, the average woodworker began experimenting with these newer materials. Earlier wooden objects were easily traced back to their origins based upon the type of wood that was used,though this is no longer the case. Many modern woodworkers use wood from all over the world, though some traditionalists have stuck to the wood that can be found within native lands.

Sadly, the woodworking trade has largely faded within the Western world. As most wooden objects sold in the West are now made in factories, there is little demand for the common woodworker. Still, some woodworkers maintain small shops that sell wooden furniture and art, though these items are of very little interest to consumers seeking cost-effective wooden objects.

Throughout history, many famous woodworkers have made an impact on society. Some of these great artists include Alvar Aalto, John Boson, and Mark Lindquist. The profession of a woodworker may not be sought after today, though woodworkers were once regarded as necessary parts of a functional society.

Woodworkers must know how to safely operate power tools, including miter saws.
Woodworkers must know how to safely operate power tools, including miter saws.

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