It seems I’ve been looking in the wrong bible for woodworking tips. Artisan Books has published The Furniture Bible- Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore and Care for Furniture. It’s 300 pages long, $35 in hardcover and free if you leave a comment on the Fine Woodworking Magazine blog we linked to in the show notes. I wish I had this years ago. Now what am I supposed to do with all these mangers I built?
Matt Kenney is making 52 boxes in 52 weeks. His latest is #3, made from Douglass fir with milk paint accents. This is an ambitious project, even for a pro like Matt. I’d probably make it to about box #20, and that one would have to build an urn.
This just in… After thousands of years we can finally say, woodworking has hit the big time! Yes, our craft has been featured in a Saturday Night Live sketch. They recently produced two PSA announcements for the Woodworker’s Association of America. We’re getting footage from those skits right now, so let’s have a look.
What is the Woodworker’s Association of America, you ask? Type the web address into your browser and see where it takes you. You may be surprised at who owns that URL.
What the heck is this? Tim Killen writes that he was surprised to see how his new cabinet doors are assembled. He’s a professional woodworker who makes frame and panel doors in the eighteenth century mortise and tenon style, but when he saw the unique joinery on these modern doors, he did what anyone else would do- attempt to recreate it digitally using Sketchup. He’s produced a very through video showing you how to model this type of door, which we’ve linked to below. Of course actually making the joint is left to the imagination. Maybe there’ll be a part two?
Are you frustrated by poorly designed honey pots? Pro turner Ben Blackmar is. He bought a cute little honey jar, presumably from a chubby bear in a hundred acre wood only to find that the turned wooden lid didn’t fit well. So he set out to redesign it. He offers some good turning tips along the way, so you may want to check out this sweet-sweet blog.
Thank you Stumpy…Rockler has come out with another innovation, and it’s been awarded Wood Magazine’s coveted Innovate Award. It’s the Dust right universal small port hose kit, which is a way to connect a shop vac to virtually any hand held power tool, no matter what crazy size the built in dust port may be. There are some videos online showing off the features, but this is one we want to subject to some real testing in our shop before we give a thumbs up or down on it. So we’ll be using and abusing it for a while, then we’ll tell you how it held up. This product has some huge potential if it turns out to be as advertised, so stay tuned. In the meantime, there’s a link to the dust right universal small port hose kit in the show notes.
There’s a new edition of Woodworker’s Guide to Sketchup out, and it’s being called the ideal way to learn. Here at the Stumpy Nubs Workshop we use Sketchup every day, for virtually every project. It has changed the way we work and made it possible to design projects we never could have imagined before. But there’s so much more to learn, so I got my hands on a copy of Robert Lang’s new guide. I’ll be reporting back to you once I’ve had time to go through it in depth. In the meantime, you can find your own copy at the link in the notes below.
If there’s one thing I look for in woodworking, its romance. A new video titled Romancing the Shop is every bit as exciting as the 80’s classic, but with more chisels. John Tetreault gives us a glimpse into his dream shop as he turns a chunk of firewood into a chisel handle. The presentation is as masterful as the work. It’s not so much an instructional video as a “sit back and enjoy it” sort of film. And that’s just what you should do. You know where to find the link.
The folks at 360 Woodworking have produced a free article that walks you through the construction of a wonderful pine project. The Shaker Step Stool is perfect for beginners or moderately skilled woodworkers looking to learn some new techniques, or even advanced woodworkers looking for an enjoyable project. If you go to the link below in the show notes you’ll find step by step instructions, tips, tricks, lots of photos, video, even a little of the history behind the Shakers themselves.
Who says alcohol and woodworking don’t go together? Chris Schwarz recently wrote an article about soaking the end grain of his Douglas fir before chopping out finger joints, in an effort to reduce crumbling. The results weren’t impressive. But it reminded me of another tip a few years back when Charles Neil used alcohol and a lighter to remove a dent in a work piece. That did work. So two things that you would normally avoid in the shop- alcohol and fire, can actually be to your benefit. Good to know.
Paul sellers wants to show you the benefits of working with the Devil. Yes, that’s what he said. But if you watch the new video he’s produced you’ll find that he is talking about a chair devil, a scraper for forming rounded legs and spindles. He not only shows how handy these traditional tools are, but he shows you how to make one. I’m not a chair maker, but I have applied the same principal to various profiled scrapers and saved myself a lot of difficult sanding over the years. You’ll want to check out the link below to see this one.
M- Many boys in the machine shop lose their opportunities of becoming skilled mechanics through WAITING for a better job. There is no job to begin to do good work on like the one in hand, and no mistake greater than supposing that the very best mechanical skill cannot be shown on what would be called a very ordinary piece of work. Nothing is more common than to hear complaints from apprentices that they don’t get an opportunity to learn the trade at which they are working, but generally speaking no one GETS the opportunity; he MAKES it. There is no conspiracy to keep any one out of the position he ought to fill, but he must get into that position by his own exertions. If a boy demonstrates that he is capable of doing a simple job of work better than anyone else, he is morally certain to get tried on a better one, if there is a better one. If he fails to do the present job right because there isn’t scope enough for his ambition, he makes it appear that it would be unsafe to trust him with better work. There is no other sure road to advancement than through present duties well performed.
S- When it comes to young whippersnappers, it seems that things never change. Thanks for that report from the past, Mustache Mike.
Woodworking has changed more in the last five years than the previous three generations combined. And much of it can be attributed to one thing- the internet. Of course the internet isn’t all that new, It’s been like 30 years since Al Gore invented it. But the effect it has had on our craft is very recent, and very dramatic. Consider the way we get our information. In less than a decade we’ve gone from an industry dominated by a handful of print magazines, to one dominated by thousands of woodworking blogs, many written by the top artisans in the world. The old media has tried to keep up by going digital. I subscribe to every woodworking magazine, but only two of them come to me in a paper edition. I have complete sets of all the major journals’ back issues in my pocket, on my telephone. Our woodworking entertainment has evolved too. I grew up watching a couple of shows on PBS. Now I get Roy Underhill on DVD, I watch Charles Neil and Tommy MacDonald on their websites, and there are dozens of very well produced woodworking shows on YouTube. It’s all on demand- whatever I want, whenever I want, and I can leave a nasty comment for the creator just to be a jerk. It’s a whole new world, and it’s mostly for the better. Let’s face it, our craft was in a slump. Parents weren’t teaching their kids, school shop classes were disappearing, fewer and fewer young people were being exposed to woodworking. We needed the digital revolution, with all of its shortcomings, to get the attention of the next generation. But things that change quickly also tend to change again, quickly. What will a post YouTube woodworking world look like? I’m speaking from the perspective of a creator who got his start in YouTube. This ride isn’t going to last forever. In 2000 nobody dreamed that YouTube would be the place for Woodworking content. What about in 2020? Do you think making YouTube videos will still be enough to inspire new woodworkers? I wouldn’t bet my business model on it. And we’re not. Our show has evolved dramatically since we began. And over the last year we’ve continued to adapt. I’m telling you this because we have some really big things coming. Changes are coming to this behind the Sawdust newscast, to our project videos, our old-timey workshop episodes, even our weekend projects. And we’re moving past YouTube with more content on our website and social media pages, as well as through other outlets like Popular Woodworking and other magazines and websites. The woodworking world is changing quickly, and we plan on staying ahead of it. So sign up for our online newsletter because, like I said, we have some BIG things coming. And that’s all I have to say about that.
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