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Woodworking is the activity or skill of making items from wood, and includes
cabinet making (Cabinetry and Furniture), wood carving, joinery, carpentry, and

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Rome
Ancient China
Artists can use woodworking to
Modern day
create delicate sculptures.
Notable woodworkers
See also
Further reading
External links

Along with stone, clay and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by
early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the
Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood. The development of
civilization was closely tied to the development of increasingly greater degrees of skill
in working these materials.

Among early finds of wooden tools are the worked sticks from Kalambo Falls, Clacton-
on-Sea and Lehringen. The spears from Schöningen (Germany) provide some of the
first examples of wooden hunting gear. Flint tools were used for carving. Since
Neolithic times, carved wooden vessels are known, for example, from the Linear
Pottery culture wells at Kückhofen and Eythra.

Examples of Bronze Age wood-carving include tree trunks worked into coffins from Ancient Egyptian woodworking
northern Germany and Denmark and wooden folding-chairs. The site of Fellbach-
Schmieden in Germany has provided fine examples of wooden animal statues from the
Iron Age. Wooden idols from the La Tène period are known from a sanctuary at the source of the Seine in France.

Ancient Egypt
There is significant evidence of advanced woodworking in ancient Egypt.[1] Woodworking is depicted in many extant ancient
Egyptian drawings, and a considerable amount of ancient Egyptian furniture (such as stools, chairs, tables, beds, chests) has been
preserved. Tombs represent a large collection of these artefacts and the inner coffins found in the tombs were also made of wood.
The metal used by the Egyptians for woodworking tools was originally copper and
eventually, after 2000 BC bronze as ironworking was unknown until much

Commonly used woodworking tools included axes, adzes, chisels, pull saws, and
bow drills. Mortise and tenon joints are attested from the earliest Predynastic
period. These joints were strengthened using pegs, dowels and leather or cord
lashings. Animal glue came to be used only in the New Kingdom period.[3]
Ancient Egyptians invented the art of veneering and used varnishes for finishing,
though the composition of these varnishes is unknown. Although different native
acacias were used, as was the wood from the local sycamore and tamarisk trees,
deforestation in the Nile valley resulted in the need for the importation of wood,
notably cedar, but also Aleppo pine, boxwood and oak, starting from the Second

Ancient Rome
Woodworking was essential to the Romans. It provided, sometimes the only, Woodworking shop in Germany in 1568,
the worker in front is using a bow saw,
material for buildings, transportation, tools, and household items. Wood also
the one in the background is planing.
provided pipes, dye, waterproofing materials, and energy for heat.[5]:1Although
most examples of Roman woodworking have been lost,[5]:2 the literary record
preserved much of the contemporary knowledge. Vitruvius dedicates an entire chapter of his De architectura to timber, preserving
many details.[6] Pliny, while not a botanist, dedicated six books of his Natural History to trees and woody plants, providing a
wealth of information on trees and their uses.[7]

Ancient China
The progenitors of Chinese woodworking are considered to be Lu Ban (魯班) and his wife Lady Yun, from the Spring and Autumn
period (771 to 476 BC). Lu Ban is said to have introduced the plane, chalk-line, and other tools to China. His teachings were
supposedly left behind in the book Lu Ban Jing (魯班經, "Manuscript of Lu Ban"). Despite this, it is believed that the text was
written some 1500 years after his death. This book is filled largely with descriptions of dimensions for use in building various
items such as flower pots, tables, altars, etc., and also contains extensive instructions concerning Feng Shui. It mentions almost
nothing of the intricate glue-less and nail-less joinery for which Chinese furniture was so famous.

Modern day
With the advances in modern technology and the demands of industry, woodwork as a field has changed. The development of
Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) Machines, for example, has made us able to mass-produce and reproduce products faster,
with less waste, and often more complex in design than ever before. CNC Routers can carve complicated and highly detailed
shapes into flat stock, to create signs or art. Rechargeable power tools speed up creation of many projects and require much less
body strength than in the past, for example when boring multiple holes. Skilled fine woodworking, however, remains a craft
pursued by many. There remains demand for hand crafted work such as furniture and arts, however with rate and cost of
production, the cost for consumers is much higher.

Historically, woodworkers relied upon the woods native to their region, until transportation and trade innovations made more
exotic woods available to the craftsman. Woods are typically sorted into three basic types: hardwoods typified by tight grain and
derived from broadleaf trees, softwoods from coniferous trees, and man-made materials such as plywood and MDF.
Typically furniture such as tables and chairs is made using solid stock, and
cabinet/fixture makers employ the use of plywood and other man made panel
products. Some furniture, such as the Windsor chair involve green woodworking,
shaping with wood while it contains it's natural moisture prior to drying.

Notable woodworkers
Alvar Aalto
Norm Abram
John Boson
Frank E. Cummings III
Henning Engelsen
Wharton Esherick
Tage Frid
Alexander Grabovetskiy
Greta Hopkinson
James Krenov
Mark Lindquist
Sal Maccarone
Thomas J. MacDonald Damascene woodworkers turning wood
John Makepeace for mashrabia and hookass, 19th century.
Sam Maloof
David J. Marks
George Nakashima
Jere Osgood
Alan Peters
Matthias Pliessnig
André Jacob Roubo
Paul Sellers
Evert Sodergren
Henry O. Studley
Roy Underhill Micronesian of Tobi, Palau, making
Frank Klausz a paddle for his wa with an adze.

See also
Boat building
Cabinet making
Fire hardening
Glossary of woodworking terms
Green woodworking
History of construction
History of wood carving
Japanese carpentry
Lath art
Saw pit
Segmented turning
Sloyd, a system of handicraft-based education
Stave church
Studio Furniture
Tack cloth
Timber framing
Wood carving
Wood glue
Wood Inlay
Woodworking workbench

1. Killen, Geoffrey (1994). Egyptian Woodworking and Furniture. Shire Publications. ISBN 0747802394.
2. Leospo, Enrichetta (2001), "Woodworking in Ancient Egypt", The Art of Woodworking, Turin: Museo Egizio, p.20
3. Leospo, pp.20-21
4. Leospo, pp. 17-19
5. Ulrich, Roger B. (2008). Roman Woodworking. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300134605. OCLC 192003268 (https://www.
6. Vitruvius. De architectura. 1:2.9.1.
7. Pliny. Natural History.

Feirer, John L. (1988). Cabinetmaking and Millwork. Mission Hills California: Glencoe Publishing. ISBN 0-02-675950-0.
Frid, Tage (1979). Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking. Newton, Connecticut: Taunton Press. ISBN 0-918804-03-5.
Joyce, Edward (1987). Encyclopedia of Furniture Making. revised and expanded by Alan Peters. New York: Sterling
Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8069-6440-5.
Roubo, André Jacob (1769–1784). The Art of the Joiner. Paris: French Academy of Sciences.

Further reading
Naylor, Andrew. A review of wood machining literature with a special focus on sawing (
8/BioRes_08_2_3122_Naylor_Hackney_Review_Wood_Machining_Focus_Sawing_3847.pdf). BioRes, April 2013

External links
Video ( about the Zafimaniry peoples in Madagascar.
Videos about woodworking (
2528G%25C3%25B6ttingen%2529) published by Institut für den Wissenschaftlichen Film. Available in the AV-Portal (https://a of the German National Library of Science and Technology.

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