Why are you a woodworker? What drives you spend your personal time and hard-earned income on wood and tools? Most woodworkers can trace their woodworking passions back to a single individual who started them on the path.

In 2007 we asked hundreds of woodworkers who their top 5 most influential woodworkers are, and wrote ToolCrib.com’s Guide to Your 31 Most Influential Woodworkers.

Back in July of 2009, Tom Iovino of TomsWorkBench.com decided to ask the same question in 4 of his favorite woodworking forums:

* The Woodworker’s Website Association (WWA)
* The Wood Whisperer’s Forum
* LumberJocks Forum
* Wood Magazine’s Forum

You can check out his final results here: Finding those roots.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the top ten, since the results are two and a half years newer, because Tom captured a larger number of votes, and because he asked at different forums from me.

#1 Tom: Norm Abram, 65 Votes | #1 ToolCrib: Norm Abram, 36 Votes
Norm – he’s still on top! He’s only beating “Dad” by 15 votes in Tom’s polling though, which is a much, much narrower margin than in my poll. Watch out Norm, Dad’s coming to get you.

#2 Tom: Dad, 50 Votes | #2 ToolCrib: Dad, 21 Votes
It’s neat to see that Dads are still #2 for woodworkers. At least that hasn’t changed in almost 3 years. Now for some interesting differences between the polls.

#3 Tom: Shop Teacher, 31 Votes | #3 ToolCrib: David Marks, 19 Votes
Up three places from #6, shop teachers switched places with David Marks. This may say more about the forums where Tom asked questions than a potential decline in David Marks’ influence in the woodworking community.

#4 Tom: Grandfather, 24 Votes | #4 ToolCrib: Online Woodworking Community, 15 Votes
Grandfathers surged too, along with shop teachers. Go grampa!

#5 Tom: Roy Underhill, 19 Votes | #5 ToolCrib: Grampa, 14 Votes
WOW! Roy Underhill came barreling up out of the ranks to take a #5 position, up 8 slots from #13. Has he hired a PR firm recently or something?

#6 Tom: David Marks, 18 Votes | #6 ToolCrib: Shop Teacher, 12 Votes
See above.

#7 Tom: Internet/Forums, 14 Votes | #7 ToolCrib: James Krenov, 7 Votes
Now this is interesting… Krenov placed higher in my poll of fewer woodworkers. I think this is because I asked at WoodNet and FamilyWoodworking. Krenov passed recently by the way – we’ll be honoring him in an upcoming blog post.

#8 Tom: Marc Spagnuolo, 12 Votes | #8 ToolCrib: John Fry, 6 Votes
From nowhere, Marc Spagnuolo exploded onto the scene. In my opinion he’s the Internet’s Norm Abram. His humor, good nature and, oh yeah his fantastic woodworking ability make the world much, MUCH more awesomer.

#9 Tom: Friend/Neighbor, 9 Votes | #9 ToolCrib: an Uncle, 6 Votes
Friends and neighbors? Never heard of them! They didn’t place at all in the ToolCrib poll. Again, probably because I asked the curmudgeons at WoodNet ;) Just kidding – maybe woodworkers are getting friendlier and actually sharing more tools? (See the 7 rules of lending power tools…)

#10 Tom: Book/Magazine Writers, 9 Votes | #10 ToolCrib: Tage Frid, 5 Votes
Books? Magazines? Are woodworkers suddenly reading more of them? Again, possibly this difference is forum-related. If you’re curious, we also informally found the top 5 woodworking magazines recently too :)

Thanks to Tom for taking up the torch and asking all those woodworking forum-goers to share their influences! Ok Tom – now we have to find someone to run the poll in 2011 ;)

Be sure to check out Tom’s post: Finding those roots