If you could pick one woodworking skill to master, what would it be?

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Forum topic by Jacksdad posted 08-01-2017 08:53 PM 950 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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237 posts in 872 days

08-01-2017 08:53 PM

If I could pick one skill to master it would be turning, turning is my favorite woodworking activity but I am no master. I turn bowls and boxes and spindle type but I’m no David Ellsworth, Richard Raffan or Tom Lohman.

16 replies so far

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 830 days

#1 posted 08-01-2017 09:15 PM

Complex jointery. I love the look of no screws or nails and the strength that real wood jointery often times provides. The look of things put together in special ways just sets off the whole piece.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1095 days

#2 posted 08-02-2017 11:16 AM

The ability to rest in the knowledge that my  technique, whatever it may be, from joinery, to turning, to finishing, is sound, functional, and aesthetically pleasing, regardless of what the latest woodworking guru may think.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7789 posts in 3362 days

#3 posted 08-02-2017 12:06 PM

To me, woodworking IS a skill, an all-inclusive skill. That said, I personally would not want to focus on just one subset of woodworking. Too me, it is fun adding up all of these little subsets of skills one at a time… ;-)

My most “challenging” has been and is turning on the lathe. Thus far spindles for legs and knobs for handplanes have been my focus. Have not tried bowls as of yet… maybe in the future.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Just_Iain's profile


304 posts in 864 days

#4 posted 08-02-2017 07:06 PM

Free hand Carving. I still have an ultra cheap set of tools my Dad bought likely 20 years ago and I still haven’t pulled them out of the package.

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5967 posts in 2857 days

#5 posted 08-02-2017 11:32 PM


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1347 days

#6 posted 08-03-2017 12:13 AM

I would hate to give up so many skills ;)

View TravisH's profile


678 posts in 2383 days

#7 posted 08-03-2017 12:24 AM

Design… To me would be the most important to master.

The best joinery, construction methods, etc… do nothing if the project does’t move anyone to purchase, use, touch, look, etc.. the piece. It is what initially sparks ones interest. I also think this is the most difficult skill for most to learn and many will build things their entire life and never be good at it.

I know I have plenty of things I built over the years that are piss poor in this aspect. The function as intended, they are soundly constructed, etc… but overall miss the mark when it comes to what I consider craftsmanship.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5967 posts in 2857 days

#8 posted 08-03-2017 02:08 AM


- woodbutcherbynight

Seems I hit the enter button without checking. OOPS. I meant to say I wish I had more time to spend in shop learning something new but to spend more time I need MORE MONEY!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 830 days

#9 posted 08-03-2017 11:04 AM

I’m going to change my answer to patience. I need more patience.

View JCamp's profile


996 posts in 998 days

#10 posted 08-03-2017 05:57 PM

Ive always wanted to build flat top mandolins and haven’t even tried since its so overwhelming. If I could master something Id love to b a great mandolin builder (Mayb a guitar builder too)

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3816 days

#11 posted 08-03-2017 07:57 PM

I have no preference of type woodworking, I enjoy it all. I just need better health and more money to continue.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22995 posts in 3553 days

#12 posted 08-20-2017 02:04 AM

I’d love to be able to carve in 3 dimensions. I cannot get the hang of putting depth in a piece and it looks like first grade when I try it!!

Intricate scroll sawing would be second.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View DrDirt's profile


4588 posts in 4190 days

#13 posted 08-24-2017 06:36 PM


Not as in clear coat… but Finishing the dozen 1/2 done projects.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View ArtMann's profile


1415 posts in 1264 days

#14 posted 08-24-2017 09:40 PM

Design skills. That is where I am lacking. I have skills to build nice things if I have one to copy or maybe a plan or picture to go by. I really admire people who can build beautiful things from pure imagination, whether they require advanced skills to complete or not.

As for a single skill, I would some day like to learn turning. I gave away the only lathe I ever owned.

View DS's profile


3226 posts in 2868 days

#15 posted 08-24-2017 09:59 PM

The ability to avoid bad clients/projects.
Does that count as a woodworking skill?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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