Blind woodworkers build beautiful woodworking projects

The Blind Woodsman crafts beautiful woodworking projects as his more than 2 million Tik Tok followers can attest.

“Blind woodworker and power tools — it’s no oxymoron.”

That is how my colleague, Karen Koenig, began her 2011 story about blind woodworker Armando Del Gabbo of Kingston, Ont.

In 2013, freelance writer Wade Vonasek, wrote about blind ex-Marine, Second Lieutenant Tim Fallon, who lost his sight on Nov. 18, 2010, after an IED strike in Afghanistan.

Ten years later, the, highlighted Jim Morgan. He was lucky. He could have lost his life after he was struck by a car in early 2014. Instead, he lost his eyesight. But regained his love of woodworking. 

Woodworkers, blind or sighted, tend to work wood.

The Blind Woodsman

Case in point, John Furniss. Otherwise known as the Blind Woodsman, Furniss has overcome remarkable obstacles in his life.

At age 16, he survived a suicide attempt by a self-inflicted gunshot and learned how to navigate the world with total blindness. After years of meth addiction, John was able to clean up, and the healing began.

Today he is an artistic woodworker and motivational speaker. His talks focus on overcoming personal limitations, viewing the world in new ways and disability etiquette. 

His story and his turned bowls have brought him acclaim, and more than 2 million Tik Tok followers.

The Blind Woodsman, John Furniss.

The Blind Woodworker, Dennis Stapley.



And, another woodworker. George Wurtzel is a blind woodworker, athlete and construction manager at Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa.



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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).