Woodworking 101 – Everything you Need to Know About Woodworking

Written by Stephen

On April 17, 2020
woodworking basics

Woodworking initially started off as a profession that usually involved professional woodworkers and carpenters; however, over time, it has transformed into a very fun and exciting hobby.

Here are some basics of woodworking that you need to know if you wish to learn the art and make some money from it!

What is Woodworking?

As the name suggests, woodworking is the use of wood to make different items. It is defined as the skill of constructing and creating a variety of functional and innovative products with the help of different types of woods.

So many people nowadays are involved in woodworking projects and are creating some truly unique and creative products entirely made out of wood. These items include frames, garden sheds, coffee tables, dog houses, decorative pieces, and rustic candle holders, to name a few.

The main processes involved in woodworking are mainly cutting shaping, joining, and painting the wood according to the product or item that is being made.

The basic concepts of woodworking are quite simple, and you can learn these concepts from numerous woodworking videos online. You will also find many woodworking books that will guide you through the basics of this amazing craft. However, the main difficulty or challenge arises when it comes to putting all those skills and basic concepts to use to create the perfect wooden item from scratch.

Types of Woodworking

You might have an idea of how woodworking works or what it entails, but you need to know that woodworking has many different types. The variations are present because people approach this craft differently, and most of them have their own methods and ways to work with wood.

In order to learn woodworking, you need to be familiar with the different basic types that exist.

Take a look at some of the most common types of woodworking.


This is a form of woodworking that involves the use of a cutting tool to create articulate wooden objects such as figures, sculptures, etc. It is considered to be one of the oldest types of art and gained massive popularity from the period of early humans, continuing all the way to modern time.


The main characteristic of woodturning is the use of handheld tools and a lathe to create diverse wooden objects. Just like woodcarving, this craft also has a long history where the use of lathe initially began in ancient Rome and Egypt. One major feature of wood turning that distinguishes it from other types of woodworking is the fact that a stationary tool is used to cut and shape constantly-moving wood. This craft requires a lot of time, effort, and patience, which is why woodturning can prove to be quite an expensive skill to master.


This type of woodworking is mainly characterized by the use of a knife in order to carve beautiful, raw pieces of wood. Whittling is often confused with carving; however, there’s a major difference between the two. Whittling only involves the use of knife while carving includes mallets, chisels, and gouges. Whittling produces some of the most intricate artistic creations that also require a significant amount of time and energy, given how it just employs the use of a knife.


As the name suggests, this type of woodworking involves the use of a machine called a ‘scroll saw.’ It comes with really thin blades that are used on relative thinner pieces of wood to create delicate curves and cuts. Scroll sawing can be used for a variety of objects, ranging from plaque styles to elaborate and detailed 3D structures.

Wooden Construction

From woodworks furniture to functional wooden boxes, everything construction-related comes under this form of woodworking. Some common items include sofas, kitchen cabinetry, recliners, wardrobes, and band saws, to name a few. It further also includes repair and restoration processes that require one to be aware of the construction methods along with knowledge on how to salvage damaged wooden items.

The best way to learn the different forms is to resort to woodworking books or woodworking videos online because they are extremely detailed and often provide you with a step-by-step guide.

Basic Skills Required for Woodworking

There are numerous skills you’ll be taught while learning the art of woodworking that you must hold on to if you are to thrive in this particular field of work.

Every woodworker, whether a beginner or professional, is supposed to possess the following basic woodworking skills.

Understanding Different Types of Wood

From softwoods to hardwoods, there is a whole variety of different types of wood, each of which features unique properties and behaves differently.

As a beginner, you need to understand how the different wood types work and behave throughout the woodworking process. For instance, cedar is a type of softwood that is popularly used for outdoor wooden projects such as decks because it has the ability to survive in moist environments without rotting. On the other hand, white oak is a type of hardwood that is generally preferred over red oak when it comes to making furniture because the former has a more attractive figure. These are the little things and details that you need to know when learning the art of woodworking.

Using Different Tools

One of the most challenging yet fascinating aspects of woodworking is the use of so many different tools, each which serves a distinctive function. Some commonly used tools include a power drill, surface planer, table saw, band saw, hand planer, and many others. It is essential for you to familiarize yourself with every single tool, how to use it, its main features, and when to use the tool.

Drilling Holes

This is one of the most basic and important woodworking skills and is a part of most DIY projects. While the main act of drilling is fairly easy, there are small tricks and tips that you should know to do a flawless job.

The Art of Finishing

Creating a wooden object from scratch is one thing, but giving it a professional look and protecting its build quality is a whole other thing. This is referred to as the ‘art of finishing’ and basically involves using different materials to add the final few touches to “finish” the object. For instance, latex paint is a common material that is applied to numerous wooden objects to complete the look.

You can download free woodworking plans on your computer for starters and follow them to get the basic idea of how woodworking actually works.

Final Word

If you wish to learn woodworking, you have several options available, such as woodworking books or videos that offer a complete step-by-step guide to master this craft. There are also free wood working plans online that you can use to kick-start your woodworking journey!

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