Woodworking & Carpentry Quotes (Create Something That Lasts)

Woodworking & Carpentry quotes to inspire your next project! Get into the shop and create something beautiful that will last a lifetime.

This article contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through a link on our site you are supporting our continued efforts to educate people like you in finding new and rewarding hobbies. Thank you!

“Working with wood is one of the joys of life.”

Richard Crow, A Man of the Woods: Experiences Collecting 7,000 Woods of the World

The feel and beauty of finely crafted wood…the refreshing smell of your workshop…the absorbing joy of cutting and joining that makes the hours race by… These are the reasons you love woodworking.

Jack Neff, Make Your Woodworking Pay for Itself 

“Like a carpenter with two broken legs at the bottom of a beautiful staircase. Maybe I can’t climb the stairs, ma’am, but at least let me admire the workmanship.”

James Anderson, The Never-Open Desert Diner  

“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) 

“Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.”  


“Woodworking is a most satisfying pastime, so varied and multifaceted you will never complete the twin processes you have undertaken: acquiring tools and learning how to use them. You have begun a lifetime pursuit.”  

Michael Dunbar, “Essential Tools”

“Woodworking gives me something useful to do when I’m feeling puny and it takes my mind off my troubles.”

Gary McCarthy, Yellowstone Thunder

“Woodworking minus patience equals firewood.” 


“Woodworking matters. It’s more than a pastime or hobby—being a woodworker means that you know the satisfaction and pride that comes from using your hands and mind to build beautiful, functional objects, and that you’re as interested in the process as the outcome. Amid the speed and chaos of the modern world, woodworking gives us a place where we can slow down, pay attention, and take the time to do things right.” 

Aimé Ontario Fraser, Your First Workshop: A Practical Guide to What You Really Need, 2005 

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


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

Abraham Lincoln

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


“Ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work lasting solidity of exactness of beauty.”  

Plutarch (circa 46-120), from “Life of Pericles” 

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


“A simple bench is like Tuscan pasta soup. You think it will be better if you add more stuff. But getting the basics right is way more important, and the extras won’t make up for a poorly prepared stock.”

Adam Cherubini
Adam Cherubini, photo: Nic Brown

“The carpenter is not the best who makes more chips than all the rest.” 

Arthur Guiterman (1871-1943), humorist, poet and journalist 

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

John Wooden

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


“Each plank…can have only one ideal use. The woodworker must find this ideal use and create an object of utility to man, and if nature smiles, an object of lasting beauty.”  

George Nakashima

“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  

“Furniture is nothing but practical sculpture.”  

Michael Cullen

“…whether you’re getting into woodworking or making anything with your hands, it’s really important to know going in that you’re supposed to make mistakes. You’re supposed to screw it up.”

Nick Offerman, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

“If a woodworker is going to break from traditional construction, it behooves him to understand it and think through the consequences of any novel approaches.”

Rob Porcaro, The Design Journey: How to Turn an Idea into a Finished Piece  

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.” 

Steve Jobs 

“Obstructions lead to creativity.”  

Stephen Gleasner, Visions in Plywood: The Plyscapes of Stephen Gleasner

“A tool is but the extension of a man’s hand, and a machine is but a complex tool. He that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the wellbeing of mankind.”  

Henry Ward Beecher

Do you know any young aspiring woodworkers? Check out the Annie’s Young Woodworkers Kit Club, and send a monthly woodworking kit perfect for young ones to learn basic concepts and get building!