Woodwork is one of the oldest hobbies dating back to prehistoric times. It can be described as any task done with hands or with a tool. Woodwork is the art or craft of making things out of wood, which includes cabinet making, woodcarving, chair making, woodturning, and so on.
Woodwork, being a natural skill, has come through many changes over the centuries. One of these changes was in the terminology used. People back then called their products ‘woodwork’, whereas today, people call it ‘craft’. In olden days, people did not have the means to measure their objects; therefore, they made everything out of estimates based on what they could gather from their resources. Today, measuring tools are available, so measurements are no longer required when doing wood work.
In fact, modern woodworking is now more about efficiency than perfection; hence, many woodworking enthusiasts would prefer using readymade furniture and equipment than creating their own designs. Another change in woodworking language is that while earlier, it was only polite to talk about ‘pieces’ when referring to furniture, today, you would refer to a whole set if you meant to buy a chair or a table all together. This has led to much confusion, but it also means that people now understand that woodworking refers to the process of making many different pieces of furniture.
In the past, woodworkers were thought to be experts in the making of cabinets and tables; today, however, they do not consider themselves so expertly in furniture making. Instead of furniture makers and carpenters, experts are now known as woodcrafters and woodcarvers. Woodcrafters are the ones who turn wood into planks into the wooden frame for chairs, tables, shelves, sofas, cabinets, etc. On the other hand, woodcarvers are those who carve wood into statues, figures, or architectural structures.
Woodwork, therefore, can be split into two main categories: wooden and metal. Wooden works of art are usually those that involve shaping and molding solid wood into shapes and forms. Metalworking, on the other hand, involves the use of steel instead of wood for such work. Although both have become a part of the construction industry, metal work is more visible than wooden pieces. People are more attracted to metal work because of its ability to withstand wear and tear. Moreover, it’s much cheaper.
People often confuse woodwork with carpentry since they seem similar. Carpentry is the art of taking measurements and cutting wood. Woodworkers, on the other hand, are those who make the actual furniture. The two professions often go hand in hand, because woodwork is an essential component of the construction process. As previously mentioned, furniture is usually made out of wood because it’s the cheapest material available.
As mentioned earlier, woodworking has two general categories: working woodwork and ornamental woodworking. In the working category, the items created are meant to be functional. Workable woodworking tools are those that can actually serve their purpose. Ornamental woodworking, on the other hand, involves creating items for aesthetic purposes. Common items produced for ornamental purposes include furniture, jewelry, picture frames, bookends, etc.
Another difference between woodworking tools and furniture is how dense the item is. The hardness of wood refers to its weight. It’s the density that makes the item stable enough to use on shelves and tables. Conversely, softwoods like pine are lighter and hence less stable.
Different tools need to be used for different types of wood work. For example, there are woodwork chisels, which are primarily used for cutting wood into thinner and lighter pieces. Larger chisels can be used to work wood into longer strips and for shaping the wood. Wood carvings and architectural pieces require wooden carvings. This equipment comes in many different types including: cutters, chisels, hammers, circular saws, planers, routers, sander, grinders, and others.
Also included are softwoods and hardwoods. Wood materials come from many different types of trees. Some of the most common woods in the US include maple, pine, oak, cherry, birch, ash, maple, hickory, and pine tree. Hardwoods are harder and denser than softwoods. Examples of hardwoods are oak, maple, walnut, cherry, ash, pine, cedar, birch, bamboo, mahogany, and poplar.
There is a lot of variety in the types of wood that can be used for woodworking projects. Because it is such a vast field of expertise, it would be wise to do some research before choosing what type of wood you will use. If you are looking for something more specific, you might want to start by looking at some of the information on how to get started with woodworking.
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