A common question that we’ve seen people ask recently is whether woodworking is a dying art or perhaps whether it’s falling out of favor as a hobby over some other pastimes.
Woodworking is not dying, however, certain specializations may lose popularity through the years whereas others see a resurgence. In fact, it’s safe to say that woodworking will never die for the foreseeable future as it has so many major applications within the human ecosystem that are beneficial, profitable, and overall, is an incredibly fun way to spend your time.
Not only is woodworking linked to large industrial projects but it’s also a great domestic hobby (see the costs below) and even allows some people to become financially independent should they put enough effort into marketing or selling their work.
With that said, it’s important to look over the practical reasons why woodworking is not a dying art which we’ll explain below in our comprehensive list.
1. Shifting Economies
The trend for shopping on the local high street or at physical hardware stores is starting to die out.
We’ve seen a major shift in the way people shop as the trend starts to move towards shopping online which has only been hastened by the recent unprecedented worldwide pandemic.
We had already seen the popularity of shopping at a physical store starting to diminish with the digitization of the services we use, and with greater access to a sufficient internet service becoming more widespread this means online shopping is becoming one of the main ways we purchase our products or goods.
One of the less obvious impacts online shopping has had on woodworking is that it gives quicker exposure to new trends (such as the latest epoxy resin craze) meaning people are more willing to part with their cash quickly to keep up with the latest home fashion.
Online shopping is not a new thing but it’s clear to see that trends have been growing year after year in favor of being able to purchase goods through an e-store rather than at a physical outlet.
This is great news for the woodworking industry, and especially for hobbyists or smaller woodworking crafters who may not have had an opportunity to gain exposure or sell their goods only a decade or two ago.
Home fashion trends are a powerful thing that can easily go viral in a short space of time through social media platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook to name a few. This means trends will shift more quickly allowing you to capitalize on and sell products that are popular at the time, often seeing multiple trends in just a year.
This is a much faster turnaround time than at any point in our history meaning there is now a greater opportunity to market or sell your woodworking goods, especially through the use of crafter’s platforms like Etsy.
It’s also great news for woodworking hobbyists who want to make things even if they aren’t planning to sell them as you can access full video guides on how to make your project through YouTube.
All of this easy access to information allows nearly anyone to become a fully-fledged woodworker in very little time. Actually, it highlights the skill rather than detracting away from it.
3. Local Mobilization
With the advent of the internet, has come the ability to mobilize a significant number of people in your local area in relatively little time.
This is great for arranging local markets or craft fairs that can give you lots of exposure for your business or the projects you’ve made.
Once you’ve got enough exposure then it’s easy for that to snowball into a word-of-mouth effect locally to help you sustain a small woodworking business within your state or region.
This is another reason why woodworking will not die out as it’s easy to get enough eyeballs on your projects making it a very profitable hobby to partake in.
Facebook is an especially useful platform for this particular form of marketing or to arrange craft fairs with friends and locals nearby.
4. Better Sales Platforms
Every year the internet seems to get better and this is mainly to do with platforms becoming optimized for a larger range of sellers.
Woodworking has especially benefited from this recent explosion of online platforms such as Pinterest/Instagram allowing you to easily gain exposure for the objects or crafts you’ve made which could help you go viral.
Etsy is another selling platform that is particularly great for smaller sellers who may not have had an opportunity otherwise to go to market or compete against bigger shopping chains.
One of the most recent trends on Etsy is for selling reused or reclaimed wood tables and objects that can fetch a decent price making it a worthwhile hobby to get started with.
5. Easier To Get Started
Like with most things, the easier they are to get started, the more people there will be who will have an opportunity to get into that area of expertise which is especially the case for woodworking.
This means the pool of woodworkers is actually increasing rather than decreasing which indicates it’s definitely NOT dying out.
Gone are the days when you need to become an apprentice or need to know someone who has a business in woodworking willing to teach you all the tricks of the trade.
Visual information through the popularity of YouTube makes it one of the best free services on the internet to get started with woodworking and can even allow you to follow along with skilled makers to craft your next project.
6. Recycled And Reused Wood
Again, we can thank the internet for highlighting the ability to make our projects with reclaimed, recycled, and reused wood which can be procured from a variety of mediums like Gumtree or stores that may not need it.
This means sourcing material for your next big project doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and after the initial expense of the tools then you can pocket all the profits.
Woodworking doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby and we’ve previously written an article about the costs associated with it.
Some of the best-looking crafts and objects have resulted from using recycled or reclaimed wood — It often requires a little more imagination especially if the wood has imperfections such as knots or nails inside the material.
Trends like this are a great example of why woodworking will never go away and is probably one of the best hobbies to get started with currently.
Popular Woodworking Trends
Hobbies often go through various trends over the years; some even make a return allowing you to go back to retro or go for a more vintage style. With that said, in woodworking, the trends are definitely all new at the moment and one style that is absolutely going viral on YouTube currently is epoxy resin integration.
Hopefully, now you can see that with a bit of creativity and flair, it’s easy to come up with new ways of modernizing what is considered older hobby styles to bring them right up to date.
As long as there is one person still doing woodworking then it’s not a dead art style or hobby.
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It’s easy to see why some people would conclude woodworking to be dying off as it’s often seen as a hobby of the boomer generation rather than some of the younger generations.
With that said, most hobbies and art styles go under transformations over the years rather than simply fading away which means they hold as much relevance as they ever did except usually with a twist or with modern enhancements tacked on.
Wood is such an important material in our world which is why it’s hard to envision a future where we would have no need for woodworkers or hobbyists who make different functional objects for our homes or businesses.
Woodworking as a hobby is not just for commercial gain though and can actually be a beautiful way to express your artistic side; when you’re working with wood you are working in three dimensions rather than two which means you can be much more elaborate about how you choose to go about making an artistic expression.
It’s also one of the most flexible materials to work with as it comes in many different formats or styles that allow you to craft a variety of different objects — For example, some softwoods may be better for carving whereas hardwoods can be used for functional objects like tables that have a strong structure.
This ease of access means woodworking will never die out realistically as it’s a great way of shaping the world around us and leaving our imprint in the form of artwork.
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You can also browse our list of hobbies which includes hobbies similar to woodworking and more.