What is Woodworking?

Rob-Portrait351Have you ever stopped to consider the scope of what a person could mean when they say simply, “I am a woodworker”? Back in the day, when almost everything was made from wood, we had names for the people who made products in a variety of categories: cooper, wheelwright, luthier, bodger, woodcarver, patternmaker, carpenter (who seemed to build anything and everything), and there were many more. In our eZine today, we have a boatbuilder — a profession that was once the exclusive realm of woodworkers. It is kind of amazing that things as different as wooden spoons and boats that can sail around the world are all made by woodworkers.

Going a step further, the breadth of woodworking has been, in a small way, demonstrated in my own endeavors. At one time, I briefly helped build a 44-foot Alden ketch, and in the December 2011 issue of the Journal, I built a 6-inch-long toy boat.

Which brings me back to the question: what is a woodworker? I am guessing that you have some ideas on the subject. Why don’t you share them with me … and I’ll share them with you all.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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