Top 13 lessons to learn from woodworking: Life lessons

Woodworking comes with a lot of benefits, drawbacks, and life lessons. Some of these life lessons may de different for different people. I will go over my experiences and what I learned from being a woodworker, and also other common lessons that many woodworkers learn.

Lessons to learn as a woodworker

As a woodworker, you will learn many different life lessons. These are the top 13 lessons that you will learn from woodworking

  1. The appreciation of things
  2. Practice makes perfect
  3. The importance in small details
  4. Character and Personality
  5. Willpower and dedication
  6. Power of resilience
  7. Patience
  8. Creativity
  9. Critical thinking and problem solving
  10. You get out what you put in
  11. Things are not made by magic
  12. Importance of safety
  13. Improvisation

“Everything is life is made through hard work”

Now I will discuss all of the lesson in detail, how they are built through woodworking, and how those skills can transfer into your personal life

  1. The Appreciation of things
    • The first thing that you will quickly learn when you build your first project is an appreciation for what you built.
    • Some people get discouraged because they spent 7 or 8 hours on something that they could have easily bought at the store, and if they are beginner woodworkers, could’ve easily been better.
    • However, if you stick with it, you will quickly begin to appreciate the little things in life. You will build your skills, perfect your craft, and take pride in what you do.
  2. Practice makes perfect
    • You will learn that skills do not just fall out of thin air. Some people may be more inclined than others to naturally possess a skill, but no one is born a good woodworker
    • You will learn in woodworking that practice makes perfect. That should not be taken likely, because you will need to dedicate time and effort to perfect your skills
    • There is a study that shows that “Talented and Gifted” kids actually can be at a disadvantage later on in life. It explains that “Talented and Gifted” kids were commonly told all their life that they are blessed and naturally more talented than their peers. These kids then grow up to believe that skills and talent will just be handed to them and they do not learn the ability of hard work and dedication.
    • Woodworking is a real-life example of time and dedication to become good at what you do, which people can learn early in life.
  3. The importance of small details
    • When you make items handmade, you will learn the importance of fine details in your work. When you first start woodworking, these “fine details” may start off as a box that won’t close all the way, a leaning chair leg, or a joint that may not be as strong as it should.
    • These can alter the performance of your project significantly.
    • However, in more intermediate and advanced woodworking, these “fine details” may include wood grain patterns, joinery methods, routing patterns, and opening and closing mechanisms. While these things may not be a necessity for the project, it will definitely build character and personality to the piece that you created
  4. Character and Personality
    • When you build a piece from scratch, you will build it based on the way that you decided to tackle the problem. When you start woodworking, you will choose stain type, color, or no stain at all.
    • Once you’ve got a little bit of practice, you can start to look at wood grain patterns, wood types, and the interaction between wood types and stains to give your piece a unique look.
    • As you gain more skills, then you can look at designs and routing styles to make your piece a representation of you.
  5. Willpower and dedication
    • Woodworking takes a lot of perseverance, willpower, and dedication. You will be faced with a very steep learning curve when you first start off. It may be very daunting and discouraging in the beginning, but once you gain momentum, it will be easy to learn the basic skills
    • You will have limitations within your work and you will want to make it better next time. You will want to try something new and keep on improving your craft the next time around
    • However, when you become an advanced woodworker, this is when issues with willpower and dedication set in again for many people. Mastering advanced skills, joinery, carving, and warping will take your willpower to a whole different level.
  6. Power of resilience
    • To become a good woodworker, you will need to try again, again, and again. You will mess up, and you will have to start over, you will fail and you will have to try again. You will have to brush yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and try again.
  7. Patience
    • Good things can’t be rushed. You are not a machine and you are likely not using factory machinery to make projects.
    • Good things, hand-made, take time. You will learn to put hard work, effort, love, and time into what you’re doing. You will learn to take a step back and relax so that you can get things done right the first time
  8. Creativity
    • When you are given a project, you can take whatever idea that you have and make that project how you want it to be made. You may have some limitations with your skills, but if you want to make it durable to last 100 years or more, you can.
    • You are not restricted to what is sold online. If you like an idea of something that you found online, you can copy it. Just be careful if you are trying to make your own business. However, you can fine-tune that piece to your needs.
    • You will quickly learn that what you make is not only a representation of you but are items that are fine-tuned to a particular buyer
  9. Critical thinking and problem solving
    • When you are given a project, you will quickly learn that it may be tough to decide how you are going to tackle an issue within the given criteria.
    • You will need to think critically about the design process. This is where you will come up with the idea from a source, or from scratch. You will need to take into account all of the parameters, limitations, and external factors that may play a part in the design process
    • You will need to think critically in the manufacturing process. You will need to determine which materials will best suit the project at hand and which joinery, mechanical, and structural methods will be best for the project.
  10. You get out what you put in
    • If you cut corners in any process in your project, you will notice it in the end. If you spend extra time making everything detailed and perfect, you will notice in the end.
    • You will quickly learn in life, that the end product of your result is a direct relationship to how much time and effort you put into making it.
  11. Things are not made by magic
    • Things do not just fall out of thin air. Inventions and groundbreaking technology do not just magically appear.
    • You will learn that everything takes hard work
    • A new telescope that was invented took years of research, engineering, testing, and mistakes and drawbacks. A house can years of planning, construction building, ensuring standards are met, and real-estate selling.
    • You may hear about a neighborhood being thrown up or a new feature of a car being built. But you will learn that it’s not that easy. A new car for each make and model is manufactured every year, and that doesn’t just happen at the snap of a finger
  12. Importance of safety
    • Hopefully, you learn this very early on, and not the hard way, but safety always comes first. Using your first piece of power equipment, you will realize “oh, that blade can do some damage”.
    • Beginners may be a little bit more ignorant about the safety of using a piece of equipment, but they tend to still be more cautious.
    • Intermediate to advanced woodworkers are normally not as cautious because they know the safety protocols. However, they tend to take shortcuts and cut corners, but I would like to warn you that all it takes is one time. You may not think that it’ll happen to you or that “the chances are so low” or that “I know what I’m doing”, but all it takes is one time.
  13. Improvisation
    • You may realize that something doesn’t work out as planned. Through woodworking, you will become a master at improvisation and hiding your mistakes.
    • Whenever life throws a curve ball at you, you will learn to quickly adapt and conquer.

Now that you know all of the lessons that you can learn from woodworking, you can better make a decision on if woodworking is good for you. You should also check out the “Is woodworking a good hobby” which will discuss the benefits and downsides to woodworking and if its a good exercise.


In this article we learned the 13 lessons that you can learn from woodworking. Wood working can teach youth the way things are built and the way the world works, and it can teach everyone creativity, resilience, willpower, safety, and critical thinking/problem solving.

Thank you so much for reading this article, and I hope you found if helpful!


My name is Rachel Blanding and I am a woodworker. I started woodworking at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I mainly create and refurbish furniture and create art. In this site I will share with you the knowledge I have gained over the years, and what worked for me and what didn't.

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