Woodworking Museum Philadelphia


The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia is a public museum located in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is dedicated to woodworking and woodcrafts, showcasing the ancient history, techniques and tools used for such craftsmanship. The museum pays homage to the late-Renaissance and colonial American craftsmanship with works from famous craftsmen throughout the city exhibited in its collection.

The mission of the museum is to educate and inspire people of all ages about woodwork design, techniques, history and usage of tools necessary for such artistry. The majority of the collection items on view are artifacts donated by cabinet makers, furniture makers, sculptors, and carvers native to Pennsylvania. There are also several pieces constructed by European artisans of this period.

Highlights in the collection include early examples at Joinery work; doors, shutters trunks chests; chairs; pictorial carvings; cameos depicting local scenes sporting themes; artificial limbs carved in ivory and bone as well as folk art sculptures. Notable carvings feature some of Philadelphia’s most beloved teams including The Phillies baseball team and The Eagles football team.

The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia provides an important resource for research in all aspects related to colonial American Furniture making including harvest tables consoles sideboards sewing tables cupboards desks candle stands high chairs settees candelabra washstands bookcases one with drawers corner china cabinets writing boxes sugar boxes bureaus window seats curtain rods medicine chests spice boxes wall pockets fire screens dining room sets bedsteads pencil sketches architectural drawings embellishments stylized forms decorative elements folk furniture weaving looms boxmaking footstools fireplaces frames figures busts graining engravings intarsia marquetry cabinet veneering turning joints carving upholstery stuffing fabricating offerings joiner detailing surfaces panel making edge-treatments mortise & tenon joinery planking steaming bending frame construction chairmaking stretchers dovetailing pocket screws Austrian stringing fan caning Knitting needlework split reeds cobblers’ wares pewter porcelain combmaking ironmongers’ hardware wrought hand tools coopering barometers vise screws lock drawing knife timber assemblies glue pot-lathes treen brass cartouches French polishing shavehorses scroll saw lathe gauges tracing springs carcasses carpentry clocks seaming glazing saw glossary spade head butt plates filigree dimpling screw clamps parquetry leading wheelwright foundations hone wax butts moldings drift bolts clamps listing bench braces hammers bow augers slotting arches fashion planes finials screwdrivers ice tongs scrapers back saw methods milling scribing pliers rasps sheathing morticing beading brad upright guitars tacks lengths miter spikes rectangular knobs pointers sandpaper caster sander machinery claw aprons longcase templates mullion tapered shammy tools awl roundneck pony spires circular intricate hammer jigs molded blocks twistbits rung miniature standard lithography fretting paddle gimlettes burnish calking windlasses turnscrews floating top pads wringer samplers husk harvesting slitting fullsers spur nail casters collet curves smiths zoave rakes files slipperybacks winding heelstones balustrades figurines cabochon mitering cooper electric jackshave parallels chart wheels countersink relief yoke spokes kits patches filaments dimension slipping beveled mattocks U”-bent wick loculipartite marquetry lattice stairwell faceted joggle taper grandly scoop flame rosettes bobbin bentwoods skewing gouges band sawn hubs end grain angle silver oval shaped drill mandrel .

In addition to its exhibition space, the Woodworking Museum Philadelphia offers various educational programs ranging from summer classes for children to adult seminars on tool use that focus on traditional technology used in classical joinery production through today’s modern materials. Throughout it’s history, it has been a celebrated destination where experts gather annually to demonstrate heritage practices in living demonstrations which bring new life and appreciation to this timeless branch of human knowledge.

Woodworking Exhibitions and Displays

The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia hosts a variety of special exhibits showcasing the skill and creativity of numerous woodworkers from the Greater Philadelphia area. Visitors are taken on a journey of craftsmanship, traditional techniques, and avant-garde designs through an array of displays that feature both complete works as well as intricate steps along the way. The museum showcases state-of-the-art tools to historic pieces crafted by some of the foremost woodworking artists in history.

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In addition, the Woodworking Museum Philadelphia holds the distinction of being one of only three institutions in North America that collects and displays professional wood art and artifacts from around the world. Permanent collections trace more than 2000 years of woodworking techniques, display hundreds of examples of New England’s furniture making tradition as well as other styles like Shaker, American Arts & Crafts, Chinese Chippendale, Japanese Tansu furniture boxes and much more.

Visitors can explore some rare furniture from British cabinet makers dating to 1700s in England. In recent years, due to its ongoing efforts to present interactive demonstrations such as turnings or carving classes; workshops like steam bending and joinery; or lectures related to unknown aspects including veneers and finishes or any other historical context about a piece of furniture; it has become one of Philadelphia’s top attractions for visitors interested in fine furnishings. There is also an extensive library with books and digital image archives related to every aspect regarding woodworking where visitors can find additional information during their visit.

Educational Programs and Events

The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia offers many educational programs and events, providing educational and hands-on experiences to help people develop a better understanding of woodworking and its craftsmanship. Some of the programs offered include:

Woodworking Workshops: Workshops are held on weekday evenings and aim to teach basic techniques such as sawing, sanding, planing, chiseling and more. These classes are catered to beginners who want to gain hands-on experience with wooden tools and materials.

Woodturning Classes: Woodturning classes focus on the skill of creating round objects from solid pieces of wood. Participants will use lathes, chisels, gouges, and other tools in order to perfect their craft.

Lectures & Presentations: The museum also hosts lectures from leading experts in the field of woodworking. These presentations range from topics such as historical perspectives all the way through technical discussions of advanced crafting techniques.

Exhibitions & Demonstrations: Visitors can attend exhibitions showcasing antique woodworking methods along with demonstrations introducing contemporary concepts in woodworking industry. This allows guests an opportunity to better understand the progression of wooden artifacts throughout time as well as appreciate today’s modern innovations within this profession.

Woodworking Resources

Local Woodworking Supply Stores: There are many local and online woodworking supply stores throughout the Philadelphia area that offer a wide variety of materials, tools, and other resources needed for projects. These stores often offer classes and demonstrations related to woodworking to help individuals become better at their craft.

Seminars: Woodworking seminars in Philadelphia take place regularly and are usually hosted by local professionals or organizations. These seminars often cover topics such as safety precautions, tool selection, mastering techniques and more.

Online Courses: Online courses on woodworking are widely available through websites such as Udemy, Skillshare, and Craftsy. They range from project-specific tutorials to comprehensive history lessons about different types of wood and the art itself. Many of these courses also come with step-by-step instructions and can be accessed at any time from any device.

Local Attractions Near the Museum

The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia is located in the historic Kensington neighborhood. Visitors to the area can enjoy a variety of attractions and activities close by. For those interested in a bit of culture, the nearby Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia offers an impressive selection of medical-related artifacts and exhibitions. The Magic Gardens are also located just steps away, featuring one-of-a-kind mosaics presented in indoor and outdoor spaces. Other nearby highlights include Reading Terminal Market, Chinatown, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Fraizer’s Restaurant & Bar (family friendly), Little Pete’s Diner (open 24 hours), Thirsty Dice – Board Game Pub, Art Museum Area on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (including the Philadelphia Museum of Art), Walnut Street Theatre (America’s Oldest Theatre) and so much more! There are plenty of restaurants for all tastes including vegan options like Miss Rachel’s Pantry, vegetarian spots such as Govinda’s To Go and even pubs with great beer like McGillin’s Olde Ale House. Whether it’s food or culture you’re seeking during your stay at Woodworking Museum Philadelphia, you won’t be disappointed in what you find near by!

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Woodworking Apprentice Programs

The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia offers a range of fantastic opportunities for those interested in developing their woodworking skills. Through our apprenticeship and mentorship programs, we provide a unique platform to learn, work and interact with experienced craftspeople and professionals in the field. We offer “shop” courses that focus on the design and construction of cabinets, chairs, tables, carved elements, and anything else that involves shaping wood into useable forms. Participants can also take advantage of “technique” classes where they can develop an understanding of different handtools, joinery systems, finishing techniques and other details related to working with wood. For those who aspire to create unique items from wood projects such as lathe turning or steam bending classes are also offered at the museum.

Additionally, visitors have the chance to connect with our knowledgeable staff and find out more about specific crafts that interest them in greater depth than most woodworking classes allow. We provide visitors with guidance on a variety of topics such as selection of materials for a project, understanding grain structure and construction processes for designs that require intricate assembly. The experience goes beyond words; visitors will gain hands-on practice through our programs or simply volunteer at one of our workshops or events. With access to customized tools invaluable tips within these sessions you can experience what it takes to become an expert craftsman and further develop your knowledge curriculum within the field.


The Woodworking Museum Philadelphia offers a unique opportunity to explore the diverse styles and complex craftsmanship of woodworking. Whether you’re just learning about woodwork, or are an experienced woodworker, you’re sure to find something captivating in the museum’s collection. From early tool displays to intricate modern furniture pieces, their galleries reflect the shared history of woodworking at its finest. Dedicated to preserving this art form for future generations, the museum has a wide range of educational programs for novice and advanced craftsmen alike. These classes will teach any visitor the basics, as well as more complex techniques and methods that have been used over time.

In conclusion, the Woodworking Museum Philadelphia is an excellent place to discover a shared history while learning new skills through one-of-a-kind programming. They invite everyone interested in exploring their collections and joining them in researching and preserving our collective history in woodworking. They also encourage visitors to get involved with membership opportunities and share their own stories of craftsmanship with all who visit.

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