A lot of woodwork is done by machine. Mass produced furniture is made out of wood and plywood as well as other materials. Wood is also used as a construction material.
The skilled craftsman, however, retains a place. He requires specialist tools and equipment. This likely includes a work bench with clamps and tools such as routers and chisels. It may also include a lathe. Lathes are used for turning wood to make circular items such as bowls. Often, these tools can be acquired at hardware stores.
The craftsperson also needs a supply of lumber and other materials such as plywood. Woods used range from cheap, common pine to exotic hardwoods purchased in small quantities at considerable expense. Plywood may also be used in furniture construction. A carpenter may be asked to make custom furniture, especially bars or cabinets. Project planning is an essential skill. It is particularly important to plan carefully when small buildings are being constructed, such as a garden shed. Most craftsmen work independently and also offer their services to repair and refinish furniture. Repairs represent a larger segment of the business in many cases.
Carvers also work independently, and at a variety of scales. Wood carvings may be small enough to fit on a table or so large they have to be displayed in the yard. Chainsaw carvings are popular in some areas.
Both carpenters and carvers need to be business savvy and develop at least some skills in bookkeeping and accounting. They may work with retail outlets to sell their product or they may do so independently.
Wood is a useful and versatile substance and a good material for the craftsman or artist.