I suggest that the aspiring woodworker learn all the skills he or she can acquire, from traditional skills such as carving, wood turning, and traditional joinery, to modern skills such as CAD and CNC. The more versatile you are, the more valuable you can be to more people. Never stop trying to learn new things, and always keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth closed. Never oversell your skills to a prospective employer. If you don’t know how to do something, admit it, and get to work learning how to do it. Don’t be afraid to take on something you’ve never done. A skilled custom woodworker draws on experience and skill to accomplish things he’s never done before. Custom work often requires you to reinvent the wheel on a daily basis. Always remember that no matter how much experience you have, you never know everything, and there’s always something else to learn. Along with the actual skills involved with the trade, you also need to educate yourself about wood. You need to be able to recognize a myriad of wood species and be familiar with their individual characteristics and uses.
I went through the handsaw epiphany a few years back. Hadn’t used a well sharpened handsaw since I was a kid, and didn’t understand why my later attempts at using hand saws seemed to end in discontent. I avoided saws without tails for years, then stumbled across an old D8 Thumbhole. Research on the internet led me to several good sites on saws and sharpening and when I gave it a shot I was amazed at how well even my shoddily sharpened saw worked. Saw sharpening is truly not difficult to do, and you get better at it real fast. I take an old Disston #112 crosscut that I rehandled with me to the wood store and you ought to see the looks when folks see me in the parking lot breaking those 12 foot long boards down by hand to a size more amenable to being carried home in the back of my truck.
All content on this blog is the property of Just the Woods, LLC. You are welcome to share my content (to include one photo only) as long as you provide a link back the original post. DO NOT copy entire posts, or crop, edit, or remove watermarks from photos without written permission from me first. Sharing a post from Just the Woods in a capacity where YOU will be compensated is not permitted. Thank you!