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From perusing the dreaded 'tube, I've come to the conclusion there are a small number of (often overlapping) "types" of woodworker, and I'll use some of the known youtubers as examples where possible.

  • The traditional, professional, hand-tool woodworker. Paul Sellers is probably the prime example: the only power tools I've seen him use are a band saw and a cordless screw driver (for jigs etc). I'm calling out "professional" specifically here as they have larger budgets and larger workspaces.
  • The craftsman/hobbyist hand tool woodworker. Here you likely have, for example, most people who live in cities. Hand tools require much less space for a workshop (a corner of a bedroom and a workmate can be enough), are usually far quieter to use, and are more accessible to those on a small budget. (Again, Paul Sellers' later videos address this group)
  • The "rural" woodworker. Someone with a garage or shed large enough to have a dedicated workspace in which they can set up tools like jointers, planers, stationary table saws, and so on. They might not make a living from woodworking: instead it might be part of (say) running their farm or maintaining their house, or a hobby. There are quite a few of these on the 'tube, and they often include a lot of tool reviews/unboxings etc.
  • The primarily power-tool based - I think Steve Ramsey is the best example. Large workshop, rarely picks up a hand tool, very focused on the end product and less so on the experience and sensations of working the wood.
  • The mixed user. Here, think Rob Cosman and "Stumpy Nubs".
  • The homeowner doing an occasional DIY job which actually (and primarily) needs woodworking skills and knowledge. Think about building a full-height wooden shoe rack into a closet.

I'm coming at it from the tools direction (there are other, probably better, criteria), because I think that is likely to drive the type of questions you see (and the type of people available for answering them).

Someone who is a house framer, for example, would have a very different approach to joining two pieces of wood at a right angle than a pure hand tools person. Heavy power tool users might drive a lot of discussion around dado blades, kickback, lathe techniques, and so on. A craftsman/hobbyist might want help choosing their minimal toolset (a #4, #4 1/2, or #5 plane for example): advice which is not sponsor-driven can be hard to find.

And this is before we consider artists who work in wood: sculpture/carving, marquetry, and so on.

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Why would we focus on any one of them? Woodworking is large enough for all of them. You yourself can focus just on the questions that fit your style or what not, but as a group we are open to all woodworking questions.

That being said, there is also a DIY group and things like framing a garage or designing a deck should probably be sent over there.

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  • The question was prompted by my own question about coping. There is some reasonable discussion about whether it belongs here or on DIY because I am currently coping base-/skirting- boards and my question reflects that. But coping is also a general woodworking technique, potentially used in cabinetry. And if you intend to address all of the above groups, then you will need to accept a much broader range of questions. – kdopen Jun 9 at 13:28
  • Yes there are plenty of questions that could reasonably be in either one. To me, those should stay in where they were asked, because that is where someone thought to try and find the answer they were looking for. To me only the more obvious ones that don't fit in should be the ones that get moved. – bowlturner Jun 9 at 14:05

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