The Basics of Green Woodworking

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It’s a no-brainer that power tools add efficiency to any woodworking job. The problem is they can be dangerous and damaging to the environment, making many environmentalists interested in green woodworking. 

Not everyone knows this traditional method, so our resident woodworkers took the liberty to discuss why it’s a valuable skill to add to your woodworking repertoire. 


True to its name, this traditional woodworking process involves using untreated or “green” wooden materials. 

woodworker and bowl carving horses

Unlike the typical workshop, projects under this method don’t rely on electric-powered machinery or power tools.   

It’s a sustainable technique that advocates using simple hand tools to reduce carbon footprint production. Although time-consuming, this alternative can achieve a rustic charm that no machine-made materials can offer. 

Why Consider this Method?

You may not know, but using freshly cut wood helps lessen your carbon footprint as a woodworker. It eliminates the need for materials to undergo drying procedures, which are often energy-intensive. 

Moreover, this approach can be beneficial for beginners who have a restricted assortment of tools at their disposal, providing them with a practical solution.

woodworker using a hand plane

Our woodworking experts often recommend projects using this method because it doesn’t need a massive workspace or expensive tools. 

Most freshly cut lumber pieces have different properties, from pattern to color. This attribute will give the final workpiece a natural and visually appealing design. 

Key Benefits

Considering its eco-friendly perks and high accessibility, here are the primary benefits you can enjoy if you opt for this alternative method: 

person using a chisel

What Can You Do to Learn or Improve?

If you’re interested in going greener with your craft, the best advice we can give is to take a course or find more woodworking books that discuss this traditional method. You can start by buying basic hand tools, as well as a shave horse and pole lathe.  

sawing lumber

It may sound cliché, but the best way to improve your woodworking skills is still through experience and practice. You don’t need to worry because this technique includes many projects, from kitchenware to furniture.

To further improve your woodworking skills, you might want to check the following: 

Which is it Best For?

This method works well with materials often seen when making kitchen items, like wooden bowls, spoons, and spatulas. You can also incorporate it with figure carving projects for decorative handles. 

You can use this method to craft pieces that require conical joints and tenons for larger projects. These workpieces are then mortised to create furniture, like chairs, stools, or benches. 

Tools Used

Whether you’re a tool collector or a wee beginner, traditional woodworking will fit your style because it involves a minimalist tool kit that can handle different tasks. Here are your essentials:

hand tools


What does a green carpenter do?

A green carpenter uses eco-friendly materials and tools to fulfill carpentry tasks. It includes opting for undried or untreated wood and not relying on electric-powered tools. 


It’s not a practice we often see in the industry, but we can’t deny that green woodworking offers a unique insight into self-sufficiency and sustainability. 

Trust our resident woodworkers when we say that working with limited materials and tools can provide a fresh perspective on your creative mind and help you enhance your skills.    

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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