Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Barry Gray
I admit that I may come across as slightly biased here, thanks to my love of woodworking, but I see it as an important craft. I think this for various reasons, and over the course of the next few minutes, I’m going to guide you through just some of the reasons why I think this about woodworking.
Woodworking has been with us for centuries, and it has played an integral role in even just allowing the world to revolve. Without our ability to work with wood and create different things, the planet would look different than it does today. Also, it lets you work on a range of projects, and all from the comfort of your own home.
But I’m not all about simply boasting about how good woodworking is. Instead, I need to offer a better explanation as to why it’s so important. In doing so, you may even find yourself being drawn into woodworking for the first time when you get to grips with the value it has to offer.
So, I have brought together a total of six reasons why I believe woodworking is an important craft. I think each reason will certainly make you stop and think about how valuable a hobby woodworking can be and why it’s something I think more people should really get involved in it.
Remember, Woodworking is Accessible to All
But just before I dive into the six reasons, I just want you to remember that woodworking is really accessible to everyone. I think that’s something people do tend to forget, and it’s often because people fall into the trap of thinking you need this huge workshop and a wide array of tools.
However, that’s really not always the case at all.
A few basic power tools, which don’t even need to be expensive, and even a corner in an apartment where you can set up a foldable workbench are all you really need. Sure, you would have limitations on what you can work on, but it’s a start, and it allows you to get your hands on those boards and start to do something with them.
So, take that idea of a large workshop with tools covering every square inch of the walls and throw it out of your mind. It’s not required, and it could even be preventing you from diving into woodworking in the first place.
That is why I feel these six reasons apply to everyone, whether you are new to woodworking or if you are an experienced hand with multiple projects behind them.
Reason 1: It Allows You to Develop Practical Skills
I think the first reason for me has to be the way it allows you to develop a whole host of practical skills. It works at improving coordination and to really get to work using your hands.
This has a rebound effect on so many different areas of your life, and I feel that this is something that applies no matter your age.
You see, some people push the idea of it helping to develop practical skills when dealing with children, and while that does apply, I don’t want you to forget about us adults.
It’s always good to learn new things and develop new skills throughout your life. This is the sort of thing that allows us to continue developing our brains and keeps us sharp rather than stagnating. Also, you are building on skills you already have and enhancing things instead of constantly attempting to learn something completely new.
But here is an incredible thing. When I’m talking about practical skills, I do mean several different skills that all blend into one, and that will then go ahead and actually help you in other areas of your life.
So, let’s look at the type of skills you can develop thanks to something as simple as woodworking.
Woodworking means you need to work with your hands, even if you only ever use power tools, as it still involves you lining up the wood, turning it, and various other movements. Often, these movements need to be very precise and controlled, and that then takes a certain amount of concentration.
Motor skills are helpful in life in general, and it’s incredible how many people do struggle with their hand-to-eye concentration. Woodworking develops that coordination, and it’s the kind of thing where continually doing it will lead to a significant improvement.
This is something that any individual can struggle with, and it’s not just children if you were thinking along those lines. Honestly, we should constantly be working on developing our motor skills, as much as we can anyway, and woodworking is a fantastic way of doing this.
But one of the most fantastic things about woodworking is that you can even build up the intricacy of what you are doing, so you can allow this sense of coordination to continue to grow and develop as you become involved in more complex tasks. The confidence boost you will get from that is astonishing, and it does spill over into other areas of your life.
I know that dealing with numbers is not something that everyone loves. It’s not my favorite subject at all, and yet it does play a key role in woodworking.
You need to understand how to measure things and how to work out what length of wood needs to be cut to allow one part of a project to then work with another part. Also, you develop the ability to look at a larger piece of wood and to work out how many cuts you can make in order to not waste material.
This takes some planning, and some calculations on your part, so it does help you to work on your skills of assessing a board and how to get the absolute most out of it all.
To this, you can also add in some basic engineering skills as well. After all, it would be best to know how to take individual pieces you are working on and then determine how they are put together to get your intended result.
This isn’t always easy to do.
It requires you to think logically. It means you have to spend time contemplating how part A will work with part B in order to create item C.
Again, this skill is something you can undoubtedly develop, and it’s thanks to starting off small and simple and building that confidence to then create more complicated items.
I’m sure you can see how this particular skill will also become something you can go ahead and use in other areas of your life. It’s nothing more than real problem solving, and this engages a different part of our brain from the often mundane tasks we do on repeat in our daily life.
Reason 2: You Can Develop a Real Sense of Purpose
Having a purpose in life is one of those fundamental things that we all need in order to grow and develop as individuals. However, there’s also a sense that it needs to be something that you enjoy, or it can quickly turn sour and become something you dread.
But I think the key thing here regarding a sense of purpose is you get something completely viable at the end of it all. You can produce something, in a physical sense, that you can look at and feel you have achieved something.
This sense of purpose can come in various forms. However, this is how I tend to see things when it comes to woodworking and what it can do for you.
Woodworking allows you to solve problems and to work on projects that can improve things around your home and to give solutions to issues. Having the skills and ability to do that is enormous, and it gives you a sense of having really achieved something beneficial for your home or others.
That is a real sense of purpose, and I’m sure anyone who has worked on a project will understand that feeling of satisfaction that you get when you complete whatever you are working on. That applies no matter the size of the project either.
But as your confidence in your abilities grows, so does that sense of purpose. You feel you can tackle more complex challenges and still achieve a suitable end result. That’s a cool thing to do, and before you know it, you are trying to do way more than you ever thought possible when you started out.
That is one of the most important things for me regarding woodworking. You develop a sense of pride in what you can do and how you can transform a piece of wood into something practical and valuable.
Reason 3: You Can Actually Earn From it
I think that it’s pretty cool you can go ahead and earn income from something you enjoy, and that’s what you are going to get from woodworking. Now, I’m not saying you will be able to go ahead and earn a substantial income from the outset. That’s pretty impossible. However, there’s no doubt you can even build this as a side hustle to get some extra cash in your pocket.
It’s easy enough for you to venture onto various websites, such as Etsy, for example, and see what people are making in their own small workshop and selling it online. Now, selling online via a website such as Etsy is not your only option.
Regarding the earning aspect, this can happen in various ways. So, here are a few examples for you to think about should you wish to attempt to turn this hobby into a side hustle.
First, if you have a lathe, then you can create all sorts of items via wood turning. Add in the ability to make wooden frames of all sizes, toys, and furniture, or even offer your services to fix old wooden items that need to be repaired, and the list is pretty much endless.
Also, you can work in your local area, such as advertising in your local Facebook marketplace or classified ads, or you can also go and sell internationally through websites such as Etsy.
I love this reason because of the scope of what’s possible. Sure, you do end up limited by the tools you have, along with your own personal abilities, but it’s amazing how you can turn a hobby into something that can indeed earn you some money.
Also, who knows where it can end up heading if you strike gold with what you can offer. But even if it doesn’t work out like that for you, it still means you can enjoy your hobby and make things that you yourself can love.
Reason 4: It Enhances Creativity
Creativity is a wonderful thing, and woodworking is a craft that really allows you to get to work on developing this aspect. I love the way you can take woodworking in so many different directions, and it all starts from the same place: wood.
But there’s also the fact that woodworking makes it easy for you to grow your hobby. You can start by doing something as simple as cutting and sanding down a shelf, all the way to designing and building your own piece of furniture, along with many other things in the middle.
But woodworking allows you to even dive deeper into each individual item and your creativity.
Let’s say you decide to make a simple square table. Woodworking allows you to go ahead and experiment with different kinds of wood, which then gives the item a completely different feel. You may even want to play around with more than one kind of wood to give different looks to the one item.
But that’s not all when it comes to versatility or the options you have available to you.
You can play around with shapes and sizes. You can create turned legs rather than the legs effectively being square blocks of wood. If you have the tools, you can carve details into the wood or even do some wood burning to get a design on there that is unique.
I could go on and on about the possibilities that are out there, even with something such as a coffee table, but I think you get the point I’m making. It really is a case of just opening your eyes to what’s possible and then simply going for it.
I think one of the cool things about woodworking is the flexibility you have. You can literally start off with a plain old board, and that board can become so many things. All it takes is some vision on your part, and the tools, for that board to change completely.
But to help you out, here’s a list of potential ideas you may wish to use for your woodworking hobby.
- Simple furniture items for around the home
- Wood turning spoons
- Shaping new shelving
- Simple shoe rack frames
- Wooden chopping boards
- Magazine containers
- Coat rack
Honestly, I could go on for pages and pages of ideas, but even just those few give you some insight into what’s possible, and all from a small workshop.
Reason 5: It Gives You a Sense of Freedom
I think this reason needs a bit more of an explanation, but I see woodworking as giving you a real sense of freedom. For me, it’s the process of taking something that is a natural material and then having the scope to make a multitude of things out of that material. That is the freedom I am talking about here.
Now, I know the scope of your freedom does depend on the tools you have at your disposal, and the more tools you have does open up more doors, but even basic tools manage to have real potential.
But here is something else I really appreciate about woodworking, and it’s being away from technology. Yes, I do know you are using power tools, which is still a form of technology, but essentially you are there working with your hands, and you aren’t tied to social media or anything else along those lines.
Working with wood manages to create almost a sort of meditative state for some people. It’s an exercise in mindfulness and helps you to remove so many of the stresses and concerns we tend to have on a daily basis.
Also, it’s tactile. It’s known that having a hobby that’s tactile in nature is very good for our mental health. Our brain loves that kind of thing as it engages the sense of touch, which is something we really don’t do enough of, in the correct way, that is, and it’s very healing.
But think about it from this perspective to see how that sense of freedom really applies.
You are in your workshop, no matter the size, and it’s just you with the material and your tools. Your mind is active, again in a healthy way, as you calculate cuts and how different aspects of the project work together. Your mind is not focused on adverse or stressful events, and you are almost in your own world.
Seriously, I think woodworking can be one of the most calming hobbies out there. Yes, it’s going to be noisy at times, but I suggest you look beyond the noise and instead focus on the internal noise that it manages to dampen down.
So, for me, woodworking gives you freedom in your mind. It’s also a fantastic way to remove stress, knowing you can go out there and cut or shape wood. Let’s face it, people are told to buy a stress ball because you can mess around with it, and this is not too different from that kind of idea.
Reason 6: You Don’t Have to Compete
We live in a world where it feels as if there’s competition everywhere you turn, and that isn’t very pleasant. However, woodworking is not like that.
This is a hobby you can do just for your own self. There’s no need to go ahead and compare what you do to others as long as your intended project meets your own requirements. That is the only thing you need to measure yourself up against, and not your peers or what people can produce online.
That is a fantastic thing to think about. It’s so easy to set small goals or projects that you can work on in order to build your confidence, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with that is astonishing.
I mentioned in the previous reason the concept of freedom, and this reason kind of dovetails into it because not having to measure yourself up to others is freeing in its own right.
So what if you don’t have the same number of tools as someone else? As long as you have the tools that allow you to complete the project you want to work on, then that’s the most important thing of all.
Who cares if you don’t have the ability to do certain things at this moment in time when starting out with your woodworking? You just focus on learning and working on the skills you need to finish the project and to then feel proud of what you have achieved at the end.
If you just want to produce some shelves or wooden frames, then that’s fantastic. You don’t need to compare yourself to someone with a huge table saw with a massive rip capacity which produces a dining table and six chairs. It’s an entirely different thing.
The key is to achieve that sense of contentment from what you do. As long as you feel happy with your own outcome, then that’s an amazing thing. Also, you can take those lessons from that and apply them to other aspects of your life. After all, there’s just no need for us to really compete on a constant basis. It’s exhausting.
So those are just some of my reasons why I see woodworking as being an important craft, and I think you will agree that they are some compelling reasons.
But at the end of the day, I feel people should dive into woodworking for the reason that suits them best. However, I have no doubt that it’s the type of hobby or craft that can indeed help you to develop various skills, as well as even bring a sense of peace to most people.
But I also need to make a suggestion, and that’s to check out these additional articles that will help you come to a conclusion as to the best tools you need for a variety of projects. I have no doubt they will make your life easier.