Monday, March 29, 2010

Women In Woodworking

Everywhere I turn I see nothing but men involved in the art/craft of woodworking.  This hobby/craft/profession seems to be a male dominated one.  I’m not sure I totally understand it especially after introducing my wife to a miter saw during one of our recent projects a Shutter Mirror.  For all you men out there if your wife even remotely expresses an interest in woodworking I HIGHLY, is that emphatic enough, recommend you taking her out to the shop and letting her try her hands at any of your hand or power tools.  When I showed my wife how to use a miter saw to cross cut some boards for the project I have not seen a bigger grin and sense of excitement.  I was amazed at how much she enjoyed using it.  In her words “It cuts like butta".  In talking with my wife one thing I want to really try and do is introduce women to the art/craft of woodworking.  I know there are women woodworkers out there I am going to highlight three that I have found in the blog world later in the post.  I just feel led to do something to not only help my wife become more comfortable with woodworking but all women.  This is where you ladies come in. 

I really need some ideas of what you might be interested in.  It can be anything.  Now you will have to forgive me but being a man and married man at that I have come to realize that sometimes men and women don’t speak the same language.  My wife and I are working on our translation book.  So in an effort to make sure I make things clear my wife has agreed to help me edit my postings to make them less Grover and more universal.  All this meaning if you have no experience with woodworking I want to make sure I can clearly express my thoughts. 
Please make sure to comment on some of the ideas, concepts, projects you would like to see get help with or even contribute to. 
Three Women Woodworkers – These are just Three of the Women I have found so far that have amazed me.
Kari Hultman @ The Village Carpenter
Kari primarily works with Hand tools and has an amazing video on YouTube on hand cutting dovetails.  I know I am going to use her technique to start teaching myself how to cut dovetails.  Kari has been a contributor in many of the Woodworking Magazines. 
Julie @ Follow Your Heart Woodworking
I have been watching Julie’s blog postings on building a Buffet Hutch.  She is a furniture maker and has a site dedicated to that as well.  The hutch she is building is going to be outstanding.  It doesn’t hurt that she builds furniture that is country/primitive which is what I really enjoy.
Carole Rothman @ Scroll Saw Bowls
Carole has written at least one book on making Scroll Saw Bowls.  Her bowls are truly works of art.  I have played with a scroll saw a few times and started to get pretty good at it but I can’t wait to give one of her patterns a try. 
These are three amazing woodworkers.  I highly recommend you take a look at their sites.  I can’t say enough about their abilities as woodworkers. 

Have a Great Day!


  1. Bravo! Great post!

    Any tips on working with wood in small lesson chunks would be awesome! Right down to the simplistic how to use tools properly and what to buy. I'd totally zone into that. :)


  2. Hey, thanks for the mention!

    The few times I have taught classes to women, my impression has been that they wanted to learn woodworking but their husbands/boyfriends were too impatient with them. Many were also scared to use the tools.

    I believe that a lot of women would really enjoy woodworking; it just takes a patient and encouraging person to walk them through the steps.

    It seems like a lot of men had dads who showed them some basic things. Women typically did not have that experience, so they need to start at the very beginning. This might be one reason that men get frustrated with them. That, and women tend to not jump right into things the way men do. They need to be shown very clearly and very safely how to use tools.

    Kudos to you for wanting to bring more women into the fold!

  3. Thank you so much for including me in your post about women woodworkers. As Kari said above, once women are properly introduced to the proper use of power tools, they can use them very creatively. There are a lot of fabulous women woodworkers out there, and I hope to inspire more to give it a try!

  4. Thanks for the responses.

    @Donna: You got it. I will put those two ideas on my agenda to address. I know you are on your way with your tools and anything I can do to help you out with that just let me know.

    @Village Carpenter: Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree with you I think many men become impatient too quickly sometimes, I know I am guilty of it. You statement that a lot of men have their dads introduce them into the craft is spot on. My dad is the one who inspired me into the craft. I want to inspire anyone and everyone who has an interest in it. I have a son, but if I do have a girl someday and she is interested in the craft there is no way I would turn her away.

    I think the fear factor can be a strong motivator to shy away from woodworking and I want to help anyone I can overcome that fear. I also want to explore hand tools as this has become a new fascination for me. I have always been a power tool guy.

    Safety is one of my main goals in the shop and I hope to convey that in my future posts. I know a lot of the shows and articles highlight this and don't give it enough emphasis in my opinion. My hope is to show everyone how to safely and properly use the tools as you stated. That is where I am going to rely on my wife as my filter. :) I absolutely don't want her to get hurt using any of the tools so that will hopefully translate into my posts.

    @Julie: I agree some of the best pieces I have seen out there are built by Women Woodworkers. Like I mentioned in the post you three ladies have some amazing talent and it is inspiring to me.

    I want to continue to highlight women in the woodworking world so if you know of any women who inspire you please send me their information so that I can post about them in future articles.

    This is going to become and on going series of my blog and one that I want to dedicate a lot of time to.

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, they just go to give me confirmation that I am doing what I should, I am trying to follow my heart and mind, something that is not the easiest thing in the world for me to do sometimes.


  5. great post! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my beadboard fleur-de-lis.
    have a great week!

  6. Gail: Anytime. I really enjoyed reading about the making of it. It forces me to think outside the box with all of my scraps..

    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. You could also add Barbara Shelton ( to the list of female woodworkers who blog their adventures.

  8. @Torch: Thanks. I will take a look at her blog. Thanks for the link.

  9. I just deleted my comment. :( That word verify gets me every time! lol

    Great post! Thanks for the 'introductions'! I can't wait to come back and visit the links!

    I recently sketched out plans, measurements and purchased trim/wood to build up our fireplace surround. I've never used a miter saw or any saw for that matter but I'd determined to acquire the skills by paying close attention to my husband this time around. I hope it works out! ;) I'd love advice and tips!


  10. Hi Grover, I would like to know as much as possible about building built-in furniture, cabinets(cupboards), and accent my home with wood like pine so that it looks like a timber frame home.I am into making things look farmhouse, cottage, and rustic style. With garden style thrown in. Kind of eclectic I guess. Ha ha look forward to the series and more.

  11. Roeshel: Thanks for stopping by. You will be interested in next weeks WiWW Post. I am going to focus on the Miter Saw as it is a cornerstone to a lot of what you will and can do with in the workshop. Just trying to decide if I need to video tape it or just pictures will suffice.

    What do you ladies think?


    I will make sure I get those on the list of ideas. My wife and I like the farmhouse, rustic look as well.

    We can absolutely explore the timber frame looks. If you have examples of what you want to create or recreate just shoot me the links and we will go over that in a post. I want this to be for and about you.

    Plus it is a great way to get to spend time with my own wife. I just hope she is just as excited as I am about it.


  12. I'm so glad we found you! Yay for women using saws! I'm going to tell Nicole about this site and we will be back to check all the great links.

  13. Glad you came by Candace. My wife and I are excited to get this series up and running. It should be a lot of fun and I am hoping that it will draw more women into the craft.


  14. Hello! I am so glad to have seen more attention given to women in woodworking lately. I am a 55 y.o. woman who has dabbled in woodworking for many years off and on. I was lucky in that my Dad DID allow me to tag along with him in his shop and I helped in one way or another (mostly handing him tools!) when he finished the basement of every house we lived in. Four in all. OK thats carpentry not woodworking but he also built a number of useful things around the house to keep my mom happy such as a custom sewing table where the machine folded down into the top. He built in a cutting board on top of it with a tape measure built in as well. No plans just his own ingenuity. So I learned a lot from him but really didn't get VERY involved in the craft until a couple years ago. I had a single garage built (14'x18') in my backyard to serve as a shop and started buying tools and equipment. Added to the few things I had that Dad had given me I was on my way to hours of enjoyment and years of satisfaction. I don't have the BEST equipment but it serves my purposes for now. I go by the name Cordal Woodworking and Crafts and want to reiterate that I still consider myself a novice, maybe an advanced novice, but I feel confidant that I can now tackle almost anything I want to do in the shop, eventually!

    I'd love to correspond with anyone (especially women who want notes about getting started) who has a mind to email me and can be found on my site I'm not doing a blog (where's the time?) but I try to post pictures of most of the stuff I build.

    I'll try to come back here now and then and add my 2 cents to discussions! thanks, Betty

  15. I have never done any sort of DIY projects, but I just bought my first house and I'd love to start. I came here from Knock-Off Wood and I am anxious to see what comes from this series. I would really appreciate a good beginner starting kit of must have tools!

  16. @bjgdal: You have some great looking projects there. I like the pens. If you hunt the blog here you will find a couple that I have made over the last little while. I have 4 that will be posted as soon as I finish them, they are for a wedding. It is wonderful that you Dad involved you in his craft. It sounds like he was a pretty talented man. I don't have a daughter at this point but I will by no means keep her away from the shop if I do. I have already had my son in there with me some at 3yrs old teaching him shop safety and letting him bang on scrap pieces of wood. As far as the equipment I think any of use woodworkers would love to have all top notch equipment but I can tell you that it's not always the equipment that makes things great. It looks like you are doing great with what you have. I am extremely pleased that you found the blog and look forward to any input you want to provide and please by all means if you see something I do that can be done an easier way or better way jump in and let us all know. I am a firm believer in continual learning and that I can learn from anyone and everyone.

    Sara Jo:
    Welcome. I hope that you will find the WWIW series encouraging and informative. I am working on that post right now. I am designing the plan we are going to start with a simple Nightstand that will mainly use a miter saw and some clamps. I will provide a list of tools and alternatives to those tools, I will also go over the use of the miter saw before we begin the build. It will be a multi-week post on building one table but that way my wife and I can give it the attention it will need. She is the one that will be building the nightstand. I will be teaching her as we go along. I am going to have her at the end of each post give her insights into the project. I hope she is as excited as I am.



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