13 Types Of Woodworking – Woodworking Is Diverse

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Woodworking is a widely diverse hobby and profession. The different disciplines of woodworking vary a lot in execution and the nature of the work. Anything from making a table by hand to making a sign with a digital CNC machine falls under the term woodworking.

As a woodworker, it is impossible to become proficient in all forms of woodworking. There are also some woodworking disciplines you will never be introduced to because there just are so many. Different cultures also have different woodworking disciplines and traditions.

In this article, I want to give you an overview of some of the main types of woodworking. So you will be able to make an informed decision about what type of woodworking you want to learn more about, or just to increase your knowledge of woodworking.

1. Woodturning

Wooden bowl made with woodturning
Wooden bowl made with woodturning

Woodturning is a type of woodworking where you spin a piece of wood on a lathe from 250 – 4000 RPMs while cutting the wood with a gouge or a chisel.

The objects and items created from woodturning are round in shape. Woodturners create items like bowls, vases, cups, pens, candle holders, plates, and much more.

Woodturning leaves a lot of room for the woodworker to express his artistic potential. Measurements and planning are not as important as other woodworking disciplines. You can make snap decisions and develop the piece as you get further in the process of turning it.

If you are the experimental and artsy type, I would highly recommend woodturning. Woodturning is simple to learn, but hard to master. Woodturning is a great introduction to woodworking.

2. Furniture Making

Chair made form pine

Furniture making is as the name suggests the process of making any type of furniture from wood. The most common furniture to make for furniture makers are tables, chairs, desks, stools, beds, and sofas.

Furniture making is an important traditional craft that is still relevant to this day. But the mass production of cheap furniture made from cheap materials made by big businesses is hurting the mainstream need for traditional furniture making.

But more and more people are appreciating traditionally made furniture with good quality solid wood. Many niche woodworking businesses are able to survive and thrive by selling good-quality custom furniture.

As hobby woodworkers, it is also great to know how to make furniture. Being able to make your own coffee that you use every day gives great pleasure and satisfaction.

3. Epoxy Woodworking

If you have been on youtube or done any kind of research on woodworking the last few years. You have probably seen the epoxy river tables that are so popular nowadays.

Epoxy woodworking is the process of adding epoxy to wood. Usually casting the wood in epoxy resin and making a combined object of the two. In woodworking, epoxy is used for other things as well, like glue, coating, repairs, sealants, and much more.

The great thing about using epoxy for woodworking is that it can be worked after hardening, and will behave similarly to the wood when working it.

You are also able to add colors and make different patterns with epoxy to give your woodworking projects a unique style.

4. Construction

Man Doing Constriction Work
Man Doing Constriction Work

Most people think about carpentry when they hear the word construction. And that is 100% correct. Carpenters usually do a lot of construction on the job.

Construction is still a type of woodworking. Construction is using wood to create something structural like framing for a house.

Being a carpenter and working in construction is probably the simplest way to get a career if you want to work with woodworking.

Even though construction usually refers to the process of building larger framing and such, construction can also be the framing for a table. We just don’t use that comparison too often.

5. Cabinetry

Cabinets Made From MDF
Cabinets Made From MDF

Cabinetry is closely related to furniture making. But cabinetry is more focused on making cabinets and shelves. Cabinets and shelves are used in all rooms in the house and they usually need to be useful and look good.

Many woodworkers specialize in making cabinets. And it is such a wide field of woodworking that you can spend your entire woodworking career only doing cabinets.

The difference between cabinetry and furniture making is that cabinets are made to stay in one position for most of their life, while furniture is made so that is possible to move it around.

Cabinets only need to look good on the sides that are visible, but the furniture will need to look good on all sides.

This means that you can use lower-quality materials for the parts that are not showing on the cabinets.

6. Pyrography (Woodburning)

Pyrography is the art of burning patterns, text, and images into wood. Pyrography is not directly a woodworking discipline. But it is an activity that makes the wood look good and that many woodworkers use for their woodworking projects.

Modern pyrographers use a wood-burning pen that runs on electricity to make their art. The wood-burning pens have many premade heads and bits to use for different types of burning.

You can achieve surprisingly complex images and art with wood burning. Examples of art that has been made with Pyrography are a recreation of the Mona Lisa, realistic animals, and beautiful woodburning calligraphy.

7. Woodworking Art

Woodworking art is can be anything you make out of wood. I know this is quite an open way to put it, but I could not find any better way.

Woodworking art can be anything from a replica of a cool car made from wood, art installations made with driftwood, and wooden objects that do not generally serve another purpose than just being beautiful or to evoke an emotion in people.

But even though woodworking art was put in its own category in this article, I think that all the other types of woodworking on this list can be art.

8. Woodcarving

Chisel Cutting Wood

Woodcarving is the activity of making and decorating wooden objects by shaping them with a knife, gouge, or chisel. Woodcarving is a traditional craft and has been around for thousands of years. Everywhere you go in the world, you will find old woodcarving traditions and methods.

Woodcarving comes in many shapes and forms. One of the simplest forms is whittling, where you just grab a piece of wood and carve something out of it. Many times these whittlings end up as funny little characters of some sort, like a gnome, or a snowman.

Relief Carvings is also a popular type of woodcarving, this involves removing wood from a flat piece of wood such that the object appears to rise out of the wood. Kind of like a 3d painting, but just in wood.

In Norway, where I live. We have a long tradition of woodcarving. The Norwegian Vikings relied a lot on woodcarving for their artistic expression. Boats, houses, and everyday items made out of wood were covered in a beautiful and unique style of Viking woodcarving.

9. Scrolling

Scrolling is the process of using a scroll saw to cut intricate and detailed patterns into relatively thin pieces of wood. The Scroll Saw opens up an entirely new way to express yourself with woodworking art.

A good scroll saw artist can make so precise cuts that they can free-hand scroll saw puzzles, make 90 degree turns, and make extremely detailed patterns in the wood.

Scrolling is a relatively safe saw because the saw blade is so small and the saw moves in an up and down motion. This makes scroll sawing a great introduction to power tools and saws in general.

Wanna LEARN more about Scrolling. Check out this article I made about scroll saws

10. Joinery

Joinery is a very popular type of woodworking where pieces of wood are joined together by joints. Joints are used a lot in the process of furniture making. Using joints in woodworking reduces the need to use nails and screws and makes your projects stronger and more durable.

Many people take good pride in high accuracy and detailed joiner and do not use nails or screws at all for their woodworking projects. Sometimes joinery is the only thing that holds the wooden piece together, even without the need for wood glue.

Some of the most popular woodworking joints are butt joints, biscuit joints, bride joints, dado joints, dovetail joints, finger joints, lap wood joints, and mortise and tenon joints.

Wanna learn more about woodworking joints, Check out this article.

11. Hand Tools Only

Hand tool-only woodworking is when a woodworker decides to only use non-powered to make their woodworking projects.

A small percentage of woodworkers like to stick to traditional hand tools for woodworking and to not use modern power tools that make the job of woodworking simpler and quicker.

Hand tools woodworking is about enjoying the process of transforming a piece of wood into a usable or beautiful object with only some tools and your muscle power. It is not about getting things done quickly and getting the item to market.

Using hand tools only, makes you appreciate the process and hardship needed to make a finished product. You will have a deeper connection and appreciate the finished product more.

Using only hand tools is a great way for new woodworkers to learn before moving on to power tools.

12. Digital Woodworking

Digital woodworking is a fairly new type of woodworking. Digital woodworking involves all types of woodworking where you use digital tools to do much of the woodworking process for you.

A popular type of digital woodworking is the use of a CNC Router used for cutting out patterns in the wood as instructed by a computer. With CNC Routing you only have to cut the dimensions of your wooden piece and feed the right design to your computer program and the Router will do the rest for you (Or, that is the simple explanation to it)

Digital woodworking is becoming more in more popular as digital woodworking tools like CNC Routers become cheaper and more available to the public and hobby woodworkers.

Digital woodworking is the path many people walk down if they want to make a business out of their woodworking hobby.

13. Power Carving

Power carving is a type of wood carving. But instead of using chisels and gouges, we use power tools that are designed to remove and shape wood. Powered tools can remove wood quicker and opens up a lot of opportunities for the woodcarver. They can now carve quicker, do bigger projects and create more intricate details.

Some of the most popular tools to use among power carvers are angle grinders with shaping discs, Dremel rotary tools, die grinders, and chainsaws.

Wanna learn more about Power Carving, check out this article I made

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