Carpentry is one of the oldest craft skills developed by humanity, and one of the most useful. It is a craft that has become increasingly advanced over time, despite the simplicity of woodworking's basic paradigm. In the early days of human civilization, woodworking would have provided simple shelters, not intended to last forever. Today, there are castles in Japan with wooden sections that have remained as they are for centuries. Ancient people carved decorations into simple wooden tools, but in the 18th century, Thomas Chippendale built furniture with exquisite wooden inlay that remains a marvel of craftsmanship and imagination in the 21st century. The tools used to cut and build with wood have evolved but remained more or less the same: blades, adhesives, nails, and rope. Thousands of years of human history provide the requisite skills and techniques to turn this simple material into nearly anything.
Today, woodworking remains an important craft, even if skyscrapers made of steel get all the glory. Increasing demand for items made from reclaimed wood (read: wood that was formerly used for some other structure) combined with contempt for mass-produced furnishings to give woodworkers a boost in the last couple of decades, and with many people learning to build and fix things on their own, the skills of the woodworker are finally being given their due.
The old saying goes "If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail." Will you nail every question, making plane your brilliance on the subject of woodworking, or will you take a licking from the lathe? Take this quiz and find out.