Let's Get This Thing Going!


Well, hello everybody and welcome to the first installment of the IWoodWork Blog.

With today’s post begins an ongoing effort to communicate with the viewers of this podcast. These posts will include information about the podcast, links to resources relevant to the current month’s podcast, comments on the daily trials and tribulations of woodworking, and anything else that happens to cross my mind. Very soon we will be accepting your comments and questions as part of the blog as well. I just have to tweak the code a little more. Hopefully, we’ll generate some meaningful discussions in the months to come...

Today’s post will be pretty routine. Just some comments about Episode 6 of the iWoodWork Podcast.

Episode 6, entitled “Roughing It”, is the first of what I hope will be several podcasts related to one of my goals for 2009 - namely, to integrate woodturning into my furniture making business. Please note, this should in no way be interpreted as suggesting that I have ANY woodturning skills whatsoever! Now normally this would be a problem for someone who wants to produce a show about turning. Instead, I think this is an ideal opportunity to approach a new subject so that those new to woodturning may see a realistic portrayal of what it’s really like to learn a new woodworking skill from scratch. Since showing the reality of woodworking is one of the core goals of this podcast, I’d like to show the podcast viewers the mistakes and set backs that often occur along the road to mastery. No doubt this will make some of you smack your foreheads and ask “what is this guy playing at” but there are plenty of television shows that offer expert views from master craftsman who, because they must constrain a show to set length (30 minutes), feel compelled to cut out the mistakes, the tedium, or the behind-the-scenes views that are part of everyday woodworking. If this kind of quick, furniture project oriented information is what you need to further your woodworking skills, then this set of podcasts may not be for you...

For those of you who aren’t now smacking your foreheads, I’ll continue. One of the criticisms I’ve always had about woodworking instruction, is that it is often difficult for instructors to “dumb down” their instructions for the rawest newbies to catch on to the details and tricks that an experienced woodworker does almost subconsciously. Now by criticism of woodworking instruction, I don’t mean the quality of instructors are lacking, but that I am (there’s nothing better than a week long woodworking class to serve up an ample helping of humble pie - not that humble pie is necessarily a bad thing... ). However, after talking with many woodworkers, I began to hear that I was not alone in feeling some frustration that I was missing some things when I went to classes, rented videos, or read books and magazines, that remained as obstacles to further progress in acquiring new skills. In fact, it’s even harder to convey that subtle (but vital) information necessary to master something new via the printed word (like the “feel” or the “sound” of a joint when it is fit just right). If anyone is curious at this point, I consider myself to be a intermediate or “journeyman” woodworker. Good enough to make quality pieces, but unwilling to attempt the hardest stuff, especially when people are paying for the product.

So with Episode 6 of the iWoodWork Podcast we are going to try a few new things and see where they lead us. Maybe we can discover some of those hidden gems of woodturning wisdom...

This post is already too long, so I’ll discuss our video format change on Monday...