Have you ever walked into a furniture store and been overwhelmed by the quality of hand-crafted furniture? Maybe you have watched a program on historic shipbuilding on the Discovery channel. Or saw that finely crafted staircase, the artistry that went into the ornament, tabletop lamp, a cricket bat, the guitar with perfect inlaid designs, that replica Ferrari 458 built with wood created with age-old skills, passed down from generation to generation.
Whether it be the building of timber-framed houses or skilled carpenters creating masterpieces from raw timber, the craft of woodwork touch all our lives, woodwork is one of the essential blue-collar jobs in the world. There would be no houses, churches, or business offices without woodworkers.
Woodworking doesn’t just involve sawing wood and nailing the bits together. Nothing could be further from the truth. Woodworkers use basic to advanced mathematical skills, including essential addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, trigonometry, and geometry.
9 Reasons Woodworking Is An Important Craft
Woodworking can be traced back to 8000 BC when stone axes were used to chop and shape the wood. Some of the oldest evidence of woodworking are water well casings. In time woodworking has developed and grown into a craft that touches everyone, from the homeless to the gentry.
Some societies have moved away from traditional crafts and blue-collar work. The reality should be anything but that. The following are the 9 reasons why woodworking continues to be an essential craft.
1. Woodworking Gives Purpose
Everyone seeks a purpose. Although modern values are distorted away from this, an old biblical proverb reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29vs18).
Woodworking builds purpose and creates and produces items from wood, which is a cause of pride for the craftsman.
2. The Craft Of Woodworking Generates Income
The items which are produced have an economic value that builds wealth. It is a skill that is relatively untouched by world events. During the pandemic, carpenters have thrived. Staying indoors, they have been able to build inventory for the time when the world opens again.
Paul Sellers, who describes himself as a lifestyle carpenter, has stated, “During the coronavirus pandemic, I still have as much work to do as ever. It hasn’t stopped me from looking into the future and a future I still see with the greatest hope.”
3. The Craft Of Woodworking Improves Perseverance
Woodworking and carpentry cannot be rushed. The saying “measure twice, cut once” originated from woodworking as much as there is little else as demotivating than a botched woodworking project, equally, creating something as simple as the perfect dovetail joint wonderfully satisfying.
4. The Craft Of Woodworking Develops Motor Skills
Using woodworking to build quality items requires intricate hand control. The satisfying thing about this is that even children or adults who struggle with hand-eye coordination seem to develop an almost magical calmness when measuring up a piece of wood, carving a pattern, cutting a joint, or applying the finishes to their masterpieces.
5. The Craft Of Woodworking Grows Maths, Engineering Skills
Even people who did not thrive in school can learn mathematical and engineering skills related to woodworking. Concepts that proved impossible barriers in their teenage years now have practical application, and understanding is achieved. Remember π being such a stumbling block at school? It is used regularly to calculate all things related to a circle in woodworking. A diameter is easily measured, divided by 2 to get the radius. Using the calculator on his cell phone, the woodworker Multiplies 3.14 * r2 finds the area, and from that, the woodworker can see how many circles can be cut from a single piece of wood.
6. Being A Woodworker Opens Up A World Of Opportunities
A quick search of the internet produces the following shortlist of occupations out of the many disciplines available to the woodworker.
- Boat and shipbuilding
- Bow and arrow manufacturing
- Toy Making
- Bush carpentry (Used in the Oceana region, this expression refers to improvised methods of building or repair, using available materials and an ad hoc design)
- Caning (Is a method of weaving items out of strips of cane)
- Building Construction
- Fretwork (is an interlaced decorative design that is either carved in low relief on a solid background or cut out with a fretsaw)
- Japanese carpentry (It involves building wooden furniture without the use of nails, screws, glue, or electric tools)
- Log building
- Marquetry Millwork
- Parquetry (A mosaic pattern of wood inserts used for floor decorations)
- Pyrography (The craft of patterning wood using flame)
- Relief carving (is wood carving in which figures project only slightly from the background rather than standing freely
- Shingle weaving (A specialist occupation creating wooden shingles for roofing)
- Spindle turning (Is a turning method where the wood is turned on its center axis)
- Timber framing
- Treen (the generic name for small functional household items)
- Whittling (Carving shapes out of wood using a small knife)
- Wood carving
7. The Craft Of Woodworking Grows Your Creativity
Wood is an excellent material to help you explore your creativity.
Perhaps you started on your woodworking journey by strictly following a set of plans to build that rocking horse for your child.
After that, you built a small table. Happy with your work, you decided to make it again, but you used more complex joints this time. After that, you decided to change the wood from pine to hardwood. Very happy with your progress; you tried a new finish, and your creation popped. Wow, you could sell this!!!
Even for people who do not think they are creative, the step-by-step progression of your woodworking skills automatically grows your creativity.
8. Woodworking Helps You To Be Productive During A Pandemic
No longer is being banished to your home a punishment to be endured. Now you have the time to work on your projects.
Woodworking is one of the most effective ways to focus your mind and stop it from running away with itself. Instead of concentrating on the dangers of the pandemic, woodworking allows you to focus on your next creation.
9. The craft of woodworking has no judgment
As you learn this new skill, you need not compare your progress against other more experienced and skilled artisans.
As per the proverb, “the beauty is in the eye of the beholder” each completed project results in enormous satisfaction and personal accomplishment. Each item represents new lessons learned and growth in your skills. That feeling of, “wow!! I did it” is indescribable. Sure the finish may not be perfect; the joints may be slightly out – who cares you did it!!
The craft of woodworking has grown over hundreds of years.
The craft of woodworking allows the craftsman to slow down and achieve a sense of perspective. While doing this, skills are grown, projects are achieved with more precision, and beauty is created.
I believe that woodworking education should be implemented from early child development. Not only does it create useful skills for later in life, but it also aids in the emotional and academic development of children.