woodworking quotes for the craftsman

Woodworking Quotes For The Craftsman

Woodworking requires many tools, but the most important tool of them all is the one you have in between your ears. Successful woodworking is mainly dependent on your ability to plan out a project, determine the tools and materials you will need, and then execute the project without making any major woodwork mistakes.

So, if you are just getting started in woodworking or you are an accomplished craftsman, you might find inspiration in our list of woodworking quotes. Here are some quotes from some of the most accomplished craftsmen in history.

If your grandad was a carpenter or you spent a day with dad in his workshop, they might have uttered these funny quotes or sayings. Perhaps as a woodworker or DIY enthusiast, mum asked dad to do some woodwork, but he needs this tool or that.

Quotes About Woodworking

woodworking craft quote

“The life so short, the craft so long to learn.”


“Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.”

Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

“Know safety, no injury. No safety, know injury.”


“Well, my standard formula was the better work you do, the more chance that you’ll starve.”

James Krenov

“Hand-craft signifies cunning, or sleight, or Craft of the Hand, which cannot be taught by Words, but is only gained by Practice and Exercise…”

Joseph Moxon
good woodwork saying

“If you can’t find the time to do it properly, how will you find the time to fix it?”

John Wooden

“Anyone who doesn’t think money grows on trees hasn’t bought any lumber lately.”


“Where you find quality, you will find a craftsman, not a quality-control expert.”

Robert Brault

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

St. Francis of Assissi (1181-1226)

“Split your own wood, and it will warm you twice.”

Old New England Saying

“Hearing protection is a sound investment.”


“Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry…. Both are very hard work. Writing something is almost as hard as making a table. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. Both are full of tricks and techniques. Basically very little magic and a lot of hard work.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
old wood sayings and advice

There are no mistakes in woodworking until you run out of wood.

Measure Twice-Cut Once.

Better tools save time; they don’t make you a better craftsman!


“It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.”

Edouard Manet

“A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.”

W. H. Auden

Someday you will look back at this work, laugh nervously and change the subject.


To learn about eye protection, ask someone who has one.

“Think about it: Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.”

John Sarge

“To the absolutist in every craftsman, each imperfection is a failure; to the practitioner, obsession with perfection seems a perception for failure.”

Richard Sennett
quotes for the craft

Those who say it’s impossible should not get in the way of those doing the impossible. 

Every woodworker needs a fireplace.

When it comes to buying tools I use the one my father taught me. “It’s easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission” my wife hates it, but it works every time……… well almost.

Some of the finest furniture ever made was veneered.

Few hand tool purists can make a living with them.

Woodworking minus patience equals firewood.


The best carpenters make the fewest chips

Woodworkers are knotty.

Sawdust Is Man Glitter.

“For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.”

Eleanor Everet

Your safety gears are between your ears.

A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working.

the craft quotes

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.

Dr Kerr L White

Safety glasses: making foresight 20/20.


“In a rough way the short story writer is to the novelist as a cabinetmaker is to a house carpenter.”

Annie Proulx

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost

How can a person take pride in his work when skill and care are considered luxuries! We’re not machines! We have a human need for craftsmanship!

A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.

W. H. Auden

The workshop to me always means great atmosphere, working, smell of wood, dust and, at the end of the day, you’ve created something.

David Linley

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