14 - Tool Marks Tell Stories
This episode of our podcast was recorded on the road yesterday as we headed back home from Portland, Maine. Fortified by delicious caffeine after a whole day of weaving rush seats, we reported on a number of research trips we’ve made in the past few weeks. We were given the opportunity to look deeply into an extensive collection of early 19th-century furniture and document their construction, and we share about the experience in this episode. Also, we discuss our visit into the workshop of...
13 - The Case for Hand Tools at Fine Woodworking Live
Ever wonder what ancient tool marks, a Swedish chair shop, Söetsu Yanagi, computer coders, spoon carving, philosophers, and communal singing have in common? This podcast episode ties them all together as we discuss Joshua’s recent talk at Fine Woodworking Live, in which he made a case for sweaty, gritty, hand-tool-only furniture making in the 21st-century. Built on excerpts from the talk itself, we look at this presentation point-by-point. If you spend large amounts of time in front of...
12 – “The Radical Efficiency of Green Woodworking”
In this episode, Mike discusses his article “A Tale of Two Trees: The Radical Efficiency of Green Woodworking” in upcoming Issue Six. Mike presents a big picture view of procuring lumber by comparing industrial logging and milling with harvesting your own with hand tools. He makes the startling (and compelling) case that green woodworking is more efficient in the big picture than highly developed industrial processing. We discuss the value of curved branches, the genius of coppicing, and...
11 - "The Furniture Making of Jonathan Fisher"
This new episode of our podcast is focused on Joshua’s new book about the furniture making of Jonathan Fisher, a Maine furniture maker working during first quarter of the 19th century. Joshua spent five years writing a book looking closely at the surviving furniture, tools, and journal entries of this rural maker to understand what it was like to work in the 18th and early-19th centuries. Having just come from the Colonial Williamsburg conference to share this research, he and Mike discuss...
10 - “Barriers to Woodworking” with Jim McConnell
In this episode, Mike and Joshua talk with content editor, Jim McConnell, about common barriers to hand-tool woodworking. We discuss things like accessibility to tools (new and old), workable workshop space, decent lumber, wading through the sea of woodworking knowledge available, and scarcity of time to get any time in the shop. This was a rich conversation. Let us know what you think. What barriers have you come up against in your journey into hand-tool woodworking?
09 - Perfection in Woodworking with Jim McConnell
During Jim’s visit a few weeks ago, we recorded this new episode in which we further explore the topic of Jim’s article from Issue Three: “On Perfection: Both Practical & Practiced”. Jim talks about how this topic developed in his own life and what happened when he enlisted others to contribute their own answers to a series on his blog. Jim was surprised to find different perspectives on perfection in woodworking which eventually inspired his M&T article. In this podcast, we dive a little...
08 - A New (Old) Way of Working Wood
This new episode of our podcast was recorded after two weeks of traveling to meet inspiring craftspeople of many different specialties. Mike and I share some of what we learned on our trips and discuss how learning hand skills is essential to surviving in a hyper-consumerist culture. Joshua also discusses his recent explorations into a pragmatic approach to wooden planemaking.
07 - The Creation of Issue Four
Because Mike and I just finished Issue Four, we dedicated this episode to discussing what it’s like to produce the magazine, what’s featured in this new issue, and what to expect in the coming weeks.
06 - Setting Up a Hand-tool Workshop
We had lots to talk about today. On the magazine front, pre-orders for Issue Four opened yesterday, and we’ve been releasing the Table of Contents for the past two weeks leading up to the big event. We talk about our soon-to-be-released t-shirt design, commissioned from artist Jessica Roux. In our discussion, we go over the ins and outs of setting up a workshop specifically based around the use of hand tools. We consider decisions to be made around lighting, heat, and tool storage, along...
05 - Why Make Things with Your Hands featuring Ben Strano
This episode of our podcast is the first to feature a guest. Since our friend, Ben Strano of Fine Woodworking, was up in our neck of the woods this week, we invited him to join us in a discussion about the importance of hand skills and making things with personal meaning. And because Ben is not only a passionate woodworker, but he is a tech-nut, we also discussed how both print and digital media support those two vital things for this next generation of woodworkers. Ben describes his work...
04 - Sourcing Lumber
Episode 4 of our podcast is centered around sourcing lumber for furniture making. In reality, Mike and I both source our wood from all sorts of places. We harvest our own from the woods, use a lot of salvaged material, and also order from lumberyards. In our discussion, we go over the best way to store lumber for air drying (it’s simpler than you think).
03 - Beginning Your Hand-tool Journey
This time, Mike and I tackled one of the most common discussions we have with readers: how to get started on the hand-tool route. What change of mindset is needed to make the switch from power tools to hand tools? Should we be cutting practice joints? What are the biggest hurdles we encounter on this journey? We hope this episode is an encouragement to you to get into the shop to work with your hands. Have further questions? Leave us a comment and we’d love to help. Thanks for listening!
02 - Tradition & Innovation in Woodworking
In this episode, Mike and Joshua discuss the relationship between tradition and innovation in today's woodworking culture. This topic is near to their hearts and something they talk about often. Based on their interactions with readers about this over the past few years, this conversation touches on defining “tradition” and “innovation”, the advantages of one over the other, and how our individual and personal motivations for woodworking inform the way that balance plays out in our lives....
01 - "With Saw, Plane & Chisel", Our New Timber Frame Shop, and What is a "Fore Plane"?
New book in our store: Zach Dillinger's "With Saw, Plane & Chisel" as well as new stickers. We discuss our new 200-year-old hand-hewn workshop build underway. Excerpt from our YouTube video "What is a Fore Plane?"