Charles Neil – CN Woodworking

Charles Neil was an accomplished woodworker and finisher with more than 40 years of experience in the field. With his popular tiger maple furniture pieces and signature Southern style, Charles became renowned nationwide for his custom creations. But aside from building furniture for a broad range of clientele, he also had a passion for teaching.

This led him to be one of the first woodworkers to use Youtube and DVDs to make videos about woodworking techniques and projects. Charles first posted clips on Youtube back in 2007, and over time, he had already produced over 500 project videos and sold over 5000 DVDs. One of his most popular creations was his weekly online woodworking show “Mastering Woodworking with Charles Neil.” It has more than 400 weekly webisodes, all of which were hosted, videoed, and edited in-house. In addition to that, Charles also has a Finishing Online Class with over 24 hours of videos for aspiring wood finishers.

Charles Neil in his workshop

Charles Neil had a firm desire to impart his knowledge to woodworkers — beginners and professionals alike. Aside from the videos he had created throughout his long and successful career, he had also contributed to many magazine articles, published two books, and written blogs that simplified the complicated processes and intricacies of woodworking. To further make things easier, he also developed products of his own, including a custom molding router bit and a pre-color conditioner that prevents blotching on woods.

Charles loved teaching in a personal and simplistic way, and this made him stand out among other woodworking experts who taught woodcraft in a more complex manner. 

Growing up in a small town in Shenandoah Valley, Charles discovered his liking for creating things when he was a kid. As he got older, he got into finishing and eventually doing customized pieces. He then decided to build some projects and put them out for sale. When people bought them, Charles just kept going and established his woodworking career. 

He continued to construct different projects and produce teaching materials in order to help other woodworkers learn his techniques. Charles also hosted classes in his shop, and he even invited other people over so they could work together on certain pieces. His warm personality meant that people often visited or dropped by his small workshop, and he always made them feel welcome.

With all his contributions, Charles Neil remains a beloved figure in the woodworking field. After a long battle with illness, he passed away in December 2019. We made this page to honor him.