In short, woodworking is the activity of making items from wood. Woodworking includes wood carving, joinery, carpentry, and woodturning. Look at the picture above, which is in the title of the article. On the left side, you can see what woodworking was like 10-20 years ago. On the right side, how woodworking looks like today. Everything you see on the right, even tools, you can name the arts! Is not it?

As you can see, tools and technologies for modern woodworking are continually improving; new working techniques are inventing that give us real wood artwork. So, woodworking as an art does not die, but is developing rapidly! Let's understand in more detail!

Is Woodworking an Art

To understand this meaning, it would be logical first to figure out what Art is, what woodworking is, and then logically conclude whether woodworking is Art.

How do you define Art

Art is generally any activity that expresses an idea, an emotion, or a world view. In other words, Art is something that is created through this activity with imagination and specific skill, and that ultimately expresses certain ideas or feelings. But really, there is no simple universal definition of Art. However, everyone agrees that it is the conscious creation of something beautiful or meaningful with the help of skill and imagination.

What is Woodworking

Woodworking is a craft that includes cutting, shaping, and joining wood to create decorative or useful items from different types of wood. The basic concepts of woodworking are easy to learn, but if you want to keep this hobby fresh and exciting for you, you need to improve your skills and abilities continually.

Types of the woodwork:

  1. Carving;
  2. Whittling;
  3. Woodturning;
  4. Scroll-Sawing;
  5. Pyrography (Wood Burning);
  6. Construction Related;
Woodworking is a craft that includes cutting, shaping, and joining wood to create decorative or useful items from different types of wood.
Types of woodworking

Wood Carving

Wood carving includes any wood sculpture, from decorative bas-relief on small objects to life-size figures in the furniture and architectural decorations. Woodworking is done using a cutting tool. As a rule, in the work process, the woodworker uses a large number of different shapes of chisels, gouges, and knives. What are the best types of wood for carving, especially for beginners? Of course, basswood and butternut! Also, aspen and black walnut are a prevalent choice.

Wood Whittling

Whittling is the same as carving, but woodworker does not use a large number of carving tools. All you need is a piece of softwood (like basswood), and a high-quality knife with a steel (preferably tempered steel) blade called the Whittling Knife. And the most common whittling wood is basswood, because of softness. Other suitable wood types include pine and cedar.


Woodturning is a unique form of woodworking that uses a lathe. In all woodworking forms, the piece of wood doesn't move while the woodworker moves the knife or chisel. But here wood is fixing in a lathe, it is spinning, and woodworker holds the gouge. The result is terrific symmetrical artworks. This process reminds me of a potter's wheel. And the best woods for woodturning are maple, walnut, and cherry, because of the beautiful structure of timber!


Scroll-Sawing is a type of woodworking that uses a spiral saw. Spiral saws have a thin blade that allows you to cut intricate curves and corners and cut the smallest radius and cuts. For successful work, you need wood with an even grain. The best wood for scroll sawing is poplar or pine. Scroll sawing techniques are continually improving; the more you create with the spiral saw, the more complex patterns you can cut.


Pyrography (writing with fire), also known as pokerwork or wood burning, is the artwork of decorating wood objects with burn marks using a pyrography pen, a heated object such as a poker. Depends on the pattern you want to burn on the surface of the wood item, you can use pyrography tools with various burning tips. The best wood for pyrography is maple and poplar.

Construction Related

Construction Related - this form of woodworking includes the manufacture of furniture such as chairs, sofas, chairs, tables, cupboards, wardrobes, cabinets, kitchen shelves. Includes production of decorative and functional wooden boxes; also repair and restoration, which requires specific knowledge of building methods and technics.

I discussed this specialization of woodworking (Joiner/Cabinetmaker) in more detail in the articles ''Types of Carpentry Work" and "Is a Joiner a Carpenter?".

Look at all these pictures, is not it Art? Is it not express unique ideas or emotions or even points of view? Even ordinary woodwork furniture, but made by the hand of a Master, deserves to be a wooden Artwork. But how to become the Master, how to create wooden Art and Craft? There is only one answer: "Practice makes perfect!"

Is Woodworking Hard to Learn

It's not such hard work, especially at first. As with any other creative activity, learning should be from simple to complex. Here are some simple tips for woodworking beginners.

  1. First, choose the type of woodworking that you like the most. Remember that woodworking is your favorite hobby that will become a part of your life. Nobody prevents you from trying all the types of woodworking. But do it step by step, takes your time; you have your whole life ahead!
  2. Spend a couple of days or even weeks studying the main terms. At this stage, have a quick look at the ​​woodworking tools and techniques used.
  3. Choose your first project. Many people worry that they have to buy a lot to start, but this is not true. Try to find out well what tools you may need to complete this project, not all future woodworking projects. And, of course, for whittling, you only need a knife. For carving, you need a wood carving kit. And to work with furniture, you need much more good and high-quality tools.
  4. When you have chosen the project and have bought the tools, carefully start to study the woodworking techniques that you will use in your project. Don't try to do something great first; begin with a simple project because woodworking techniques and technologies are learning from simple to hard.
  5. Please remember that woodworking can be dangerous when using sharp hand tools and powerful power tools. Therefore, my last and most important advice! Be sure to read the basic safety rules. These rules should apply every time you work with woodworking - no exceptions!

If you find woodworking as a hobby, it can be a lifelong race! You will learn this amazing process throughout your life. With each new project, your skill level will increase; with each new project, you will learn about new methods and advanced woodworking techniques. And learning will only be a joy!

Can I Make a Living Woodworking

Many people do woodworking as a hobby or make some additional income, but woodworking can be a full-time job.

My friend and neighbor encouraged me to write down woodworking as a hobby that can bring you money; makes amazing hand-made furniture. He spends no more than four-five hours a day, creating a variety of products such as furniture, cabinets, and other structures. And on weekends, he carves stunning wooden figurines art. He is the perfect mix of hobbies and home business, which pays his bills, feeds his family, and pays for children's education.

If you want to turn your woodworking passion into a real business, listen to my friend's advice, who has been in the industry for over 18 years and take a look at the following profitable woodworking projects to build and sell.

Woodworking projects that make money:

  • Fruit Bowls (woodturning or carving);
  • Wooden Toys (carving, wood whittling or scroll-sawing);
  • Plant Boxes (construction related + pyrography);
  • Dog Beds (construction related + pyrography + carving);
  • Picture Frames (scroll-sawing or carving, pyrography);
  • Birdhouses (construction related);
  • Furniture (construction related + pyrography + carving);

Know and cover your costs

And one more piece of advice from my friend, which I agree: know your worth! Correctly count all the project's expenses, and these are not only materials. Do not forget about yourself; pay yourself a fair price for the work. Also, remember about the profit! So, don't disappoint yourself with the low cost of your wooden arts.

Popular Hobby and a Profitable Profession

Woodworking has become a popular hobby and a profitable profession. I want to make one addition: woodworking, as a business, is a networking business! And as in any other business, a product must be sold; you have to make efforts to sell your product.

For instance, you are starting to make hand-made design furniture, how should you begin to sell it? The best showroom for this is your own home. Take awesome pictures and share them on your Etsy store or your website. Over time, you will start to be recognizable, and your business will take off.

But you know, really you don't have to turn a hobby into a business to make money in woodworking. You can get great money from a hobby also. Try to understand what I'm saying; some people enjoy woodworking while others prefer to collect beautiful wooden arts and crafts made by others, and they are ready to pay any price for them. Always there is a grateful buyer for gorgeous wood artwork!

Start your project, and you'll see that woodworking ever won't die as an Art!