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What is the Difference between Carpentry and Woodworking?

Published by Handy Work on

Many people don’t know the difference between carpentry and woodworking. Some people are unsure whether or not they can call themselves carpenter if they don’t actually work with wood.

If you want to know the difference between carpentry and woodworking, keep reading!

Difference between Carpentry and Woodworking
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What is Carpentry?

Carpentry is the craft of making wooden objects by cutting and joining timbers or boards. It requires a great deal of precision and carpentry skills because you have to make sure that everything fits correctly.

Carpenters are usually employed by companies or businesses that work in the construction industry, such as building houses, fences, or furniture from wood. Carpenters may also work independently, using their skills to build a small construction project like tables or cabinets for their homes.

Carpenters need to understand how materials will react under pressure and tension so they can build sturdy structures. They also need many math skills to determine the precise measurements when building things like houses and decks that need to be exactly the right size to fit together properly.

Carpenters must also understand how materials react when exposed to weather conditions such as heat, rain, and wind.

What is Woodworking?

Woodworking is the craft of shaping wood or wooden objects using tools and techniques such as cutting, carving, joining, and gluing. Woodworkers usually work with wood, but they can also work with other materials like metal, glass, and stone.

In fact, some people use the term “woodworker” to refer to a person who makes things out of pieces of wood and other materials. This includes things like carpenter, cabinet maker, or furniture maker.

Some people call these people cabinetmakers. So in this sense, there is a bit of overlap between carpentry and woodworking because you can be a carpenter or cabinetmaker without working with wood.

But there are also many differences between woodworking and carpentry that you should know about!

What is the Difference Between Woodworking and Carpentry?

A man with gas mask with lots of wood work around
Photo by Free Photos on Pexels

1. Definition

The word “carpentry” refers to thinking wooden objects, while the word “woodworking” refers to the craft of shaping wooden objects by using woodworking tools such as saws, planes, drills, and chisels. People who work with pieces of wood for woodworking projects are called “woodworkers,” while people who build things from wood are called “carpenters.”

2. Tools

Carpenters use various tools, including table saws, planes, drills, hammers, chisels, screws, nails, and measuring devices. Woodworkers also use a wide variety of tools, including these and other tools like rasps and files.

Some woodworkers also use tools like lathes and belt sanders to shape their pieces.

3. Measurements

Carpenters measure the length, width, and height of building elements like walls, doors, window frames, and stairs. They also measure the thickness of building materials to make sure they are all cut to the right size.

Woodworkers also measure the length, width, and height of things like furniture or kitchen cabinets. They also measure the thickness of their pieces to make sure they are all cut to the right size.

4. Materials

Carpenters use wood for the building construction, including walls and roofs for houses, fences for yards, and other building structures. Woodworkers may use wood for some things but many other materials, including metal, glass, stone, clay, leather, or plastic. 

5. Uses

Carpenters are usually employed by construction companies or businesses that build houses, fences, or furniture from many types of wood. Carpenters may also work independently, using their skills to build small objects like tables or cabinets for their homes.

Woodworkers may be employed by construction companies that build houses and other structures from wood and businesses that make furniture and cabinets from wood.

Many people who work with wood regularly may also choose to work independently to build things like tables and cabinets for their homes and objects like lamps and picture frames for gifts or decorations.

As you can see, carpentry and woodworking have a lot of overlap, but they are still different skills. Carpentry focuses on many general skills such as measuring, cutting, planning, marking, etc. In contrast, woodworking focuses on fine detailed work that requires great skill with hands and the ability to use specialized tools like lathes or scroll saws.

Learn more similar articles about carpentry, woodworking, and other interesting topics on HandyWork Blog.

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