Bobs Wood Shop

Pay to Learn and Build

Over the past number of years a number of wood working web sites have grown to include pay subscriptions to learn how to do everything from building furniture, applying and choosing a finish to Designing projects. I have not joined any of these sites as yet but may in the future if there is a project I am particularly interested in building at a higher difficulty level than I am at or can not acquire the plans. Below you will find a list of some of the sites offering this service as well as a short description of what and how these sites work.  The Hand Tool School is a virtual apprenticeship that teaches how to use hand tools and to build furniture with traditional methods. I firmly believe that adding fundamental hand techniques to your skill set will make you a better woodworker. A woodworker not tied to machine capacity limits, fences, and jigs but able to saw to a line, plane a flat surface, and chisel with precision is not limited in any way.  The Wood Whisperer Guild is a modern woodworking community centered around learning, building and enjoying woodworking together. It is a place to connect with other woodworkers, receive detailed project plans/videos, and ask for help when you need it. The Guild is here to guide you on your path to high-quality craftsmanship. It’s never been easier to start! Watch the video to the right for a quick overview about how the Guild works.  We’re so glad that you will be joining us each Thursday for a new webisode of Mastering Woodworking with Charles Neil.
With your subscription you will have access to the project that is current when you join. After you have subscribed, please make sure you are registered as a customer within our on-line store, your account will be coded as a subscriber and you will have available to you for purchase, the past projects on DVD.

I’m sure there are a lot more but these are three of the more popular ones.  I went so far as to pay Charles Neil a visit over in New Market VA. just off I-81. We spent a few hours just sitting and chatting after he gave me a tour of his shop and showed me some of the pieces he is working on.  I picked up a few cans of his blotch control while I was there and he told me how he developed it, while he is not a chemist he does understand and knows what is required for it to work and he did work with a chemist to get it the way it is today needless to say I’m a fan because the stuff works better than anything I have tried.

One of the pieces he showed me was a Queen Ann Secretary That he has been working on I was one of the most beautifully crafted pieces of furniture I have ever seen. Exquisite and meticulous attention to the most minuet detail  was taken with Drawer Fronts sequentially matched, Carved Flame Finials to watch how he forms the Finial there are Three parts about 8 min each here is Part 1 to get you started the rest is up to you


September 1, 2012 Posted by | Digital Wood Workers | , , , , | Leave a comment

Digital Wood Worker

PBS has brought us celebrities such as Bob Vila known for This Old House joined by Norm Abram‘s who later hosted The New Yankee Workshop. When Bob Vila left the show, he was replaced by host Steve Thomas for the tenth season in 1989. Kevin O’Connor then replaced Steve Thomas with Abram still serving as the show’s Master Carpenter. These shows ran so well David Marks was introduced to the public with his own show Wood Works that ran for seven season’s. As of 2007 Marks teaches private classes on various topics in his studio as well as going on tour. From those years of success PBS spawned the DIY network with its line up of hosts like Amy Matthews Chris Grundy, Jason Cameron, Ahmed Hassan, Matt Blashaw, Dean Marsico, Derek Stearns.

Each season has improved and its hosts came with more and more talent but with all that Hollywood flair it has left the average home owner/woodworker and garage hobbyist with unreachable or unattainable goals, one could put a child through collage with the cost of a full blown work shop such as Norms. Thanks to the internet we can get out of Hollywood and back into our basements and garage workshops we can also thank Podcasters like Thomas McDonnald (Tommy Mac) Marc J. Spagnuolo a professional woodworker for bringing us The Wood Whisperer which breaks the mold of traditional woodworking videos showing us humor and the lighter side of the craft. The Wood Whisperer as Marc has come to be known in the woodworking community has exploded in popularity. He produces and edits his own series of woodworking videos. In addition Marc and Matt Vanderlist co-host Wood talk onLine another popular podcast segment with a large audience and if that’s not enough he has been a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking Magazine and is now a regular columnist for Popular Woodworking Magazine. I have been following Marc being a woodworker myself and watched him mature and hone his techniques in both woodworking and the visual arts. Move over Norn and DIY I think we will be seeing a lot more of Marc in the years to come.

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Digital Wood Workers | Leave a comment

TV Wood worker Thomas J. MacDonald

Who is Thomas J. MacDonald? I won’t fill this blog with a bunch of cut and paste from other informational sources. So if you want his back ground, which is quite impressive, you can read about him in this link or just GOOGLE it. what we will talk about here and now is “Who is Tommy Mac the wood working entertainer” and why is he so popular to the wood working community Let me say for the record I respect and admire Mr. MacDonald both as an individual and as a fine wood worker his work is some of the best I have ever seen. I was fortunate to have met Tommy at one of the wood working shows I attended and spent some one on one time with him. I sensed a genuine caring about what he does I believe he truly cares about sharing his knowledge and teaching. If you have ever watched him on PBS or seen his earlier videos on YouTube you may say he goes fast, or that he talks to fast but when I observe him (I had been struggling with being able to turn a curl on a card scraper) during that time he was not only very focused on what he was showing me but he was searching to see if he was being understood which lends to his magnetic personality.

So that’s all the good things I can say about Tommy. Let’s look at some of the things most people do not see or think about (maybe Tommy himself). We have already established that he is a Master Craftsmen “anyone that can sell their work for hundreds of thousands of dollars for one piece falls into that category in my opinion”. So why take time from his craft to do PBS shows? And we are talking a lot of time. I think everyone knows that in order to grow and improve your skill you must work at it and I don’t mean making picture frames or boxes. You have to keep pushing the envelope and evolving. It is of my opinion he will need to get back into the workshop at some point soon maybe after the newness is gone from being on TV or being a spokesperson for large corporations I think at some point he will not want to extend his contracts having made enough money to step back and start building works of art once again or offering classes in his shop.

So what’s your opinion on this? Leave a comment.

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Digital Wood Workers | Leave a comment


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