Wood-butcher (tradesmen): workmen who have not thoroughly learned their business as carpenters or joiners.
Counting carpenters and wood-butchers together, it is estimated that about 20,000 men make their living in London as carpenters and joiners. Of these nearly 5300 are of the wood-butcher, or inexpert workmen class, and therefore do not belong to the trade societies. —New York Herald.
Albert Barrère & Charles Godfrey Leland
A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant: Embracing English, American, and Anglo-Indian Slang, Pidgin English, Tinker’s Jargon and Other Irregular Phraseology – Volume 1 – 1890