Carpenter vs Woodworker (What’s the Key Difference?)
If you’re looking to learn a new skill, you might have noticed that woodworking and carpentry often get lumped together. While it’s true that they both have their roots in working with wood, and that they both involve building things, there’s one key difference which sets them apart.
What Is a Woodworker?
A woodworker is someone who specializes in working with wood at a high level. They make things like furniture, cabinets and other things which are more on the fine woodworking side of things.
That’s why they’re called woodworkers, because they work with wood.
What Is a Carpenter?
A carpenter, on the other hand, is someone who works with wood as a part of construction. They build things like houses, bridges, and other things which are more on the structural side of things.
That’s why they’re called carpenters, because they work with carpentry, which is the trade of building things made of wood.
What’s the Key Difference?
The key difference between a woodworker and a carpenter is that woodworkers make things that are meant to be seen, and carpenters make things that are meant to be used.
That’s why woodworkers make things like furniture and cabinets. They’re things which are meant to be seen. They’re things which are built to be a part of the environment.
Carpenters, on the other hand, make things like houses and bridges. They’re things which are meant to be used. They’re things which are built to be a part of the infrastructure.
Now, when I say that woodworkers make things that are meant to be seen, I’m not just talking about the fact that they look good. I’m talking about the fact that they’re made to be a part of the environment.
That’s why woodworkers deal with things like stain and finish, and it’s also why they’re so keen on sanding. They want their work to be as smooth to the touch as it is to the eye.
Woodworking and Carpentry Overlap
While there’s a key difference between woodworking and carpentry, that doesn’t mean that they never overlap.
In fact, they often overlap quite a lot.
For example, when a woodworker makes a piece of fine furniture, they’re being a woodworker, but when they install the finished piece of furniture, they’re being a carpenter.
The same is true for a carpenter. When they build a house, they’re being a carpenter, but when they make a cabinet or custom staircase for that house, they’re being a woodworker.
Which Should You Learn?
If you’re still reading, then congratulations. You now know the difference between woodworking and carpentry.
Now, if you’re interested in either woodworking or carpentry, then you now know which one to learn.
However, if you’re interested in both woodworking and carpentry, then I recommend that you start off with woodworking.
The reason for this is that woodworking will give you all the skills you need for carpentry, but carpentry will not give you all the skills you need for woodworking.
That’s why learning woodworking first is the more efficient choice.
Additionally, while woodworking and carpentry are technically different, they’re both so closely related that they’re often seen as one and the same.
That’s why it’s good to start off with woodworking, even if you’re more interested in carpentry. You’ll get all the basics down and be comfortable working with wood by the time you move onto carpentry.