Woodworking, the process of making something from wood, is one of the most ancient arts. Actually, wood has been among the first materials worked by prehistoric humans and ever since our civilization has had a strong connection with wood. In fact, development of skills in working with wood and other materials such as stone, mud and animal parts has been closely linked with the development of civilization.
Egyptian and Chinese civilizations have been known to work with wood in a big way. Many Egyptian drawings show people working on wood and quite a lot of wooden furniture such as stools, chairs etc has been discovered in tombs. While primitive civilizations worked on wood for building shelters, utensils, tools, weapons and other items necessary for survival, today woodworking is more of a profession and hobby.
With passage of time woodworkers came to know about the wide variety of properties of wood sourced from different trees and as more skills were developed, wood became the most widely used material and there was no way that one could escape seeing wood; it was everywhere, in homes, offices, production houses and leisure places. Those with talent for woodworking were able to make a name for themselves as artisans and craftsmen.
As steel, plastic, cement and other materials replaced wood, some of the categories where wood was used became obsolete. However, wood is still being used in a wide variety of applications including home and commercial construction, furniture making. Woodworking is now practiced more for pleasure satisfaction and challenge and less for necessity.
Woodworking is still a source of living for many. At the same time, it is also a rewarding hobby for many. There has been a great advancement in applications, tools and techniques and someone getting started is likely to be overwhelmed with the number of choices.
Woodworking covers an extensive area of skills, specialties and applications. The problem with beginners is that they tend to waste money on expensive machinery and tools that they might not ever need. Another problem that beginners often face is that some basic techniques are confusing and take some time to understand how to do them correctly. However, they can save time and frustration if they spend time with an expert or source information from books, magazines or online and educate themselves in the basic techniques and then let experience bring out their hidden talent. Also, a working knowledge of basic hand tools and properties of different types of wood is necessary for a beginner to succeed. If one knows how to cut, shape and join with hand tools, it becomes easy to use power tools and woodworking machines.
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