Wood Whisperer

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Blog entry by oakdust posted 05-25-2008 06:36 PM 4302 reads 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Is it just me or has the Wood Whisperer become commercial. I used to be able to go to the sight and watch videos where I learned new techniques, and how to tips to improve my woodworking. Now it seems when I go to the sight the videos are either commercials or are several weeks old. Don’t get me wrong Marc is an excellant woodworker but to me it seems his vision to help the woodworking community has changed.

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

33 comments so far

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3864 days

#1 posted 05-25-2008 06:53 PM

Thats funny I thought the same thing. He must have have found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The last thing of his I seen was something about a finishing “Video” for sale.
It was good while it lasted.
Check out Tommy McDonald “T-Chisel” you can find his podcast at or if you go to I-Tunes, podcasts he is found under the hobbies section, tell it to show all and you can download his show there as well. One hell of a woodworker.
Good luck, and I really do wish Marc the best

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3933 days

#2 posted 05-25-2008 07:33 PM

The ‘commericialism’ that has crept into TWW doesnt bother me at all. Marc obviously has support from Festool and Powermatic and he does provide a good forum to demonstrate their tools. His video chats from the shop are great and not always focused on just wood working. He openly discussed issues with his new table saw and what PM was doing to resolve the issue. When asked about the Festool RO Sanders, he commented, that they are good, but pretty much any quality ROS would work as well. I can’t complain if he ‘marcets’ his knowledge. We all have to make a living somehow. I will continue to go to TWW and hope to find useful information that can be used to improve my woodworking skills. Besides that, I realy enjoy his sense of humor. Have a great day!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#3 posted 05-25-2008 08:03 PM

Bob – TWW is definitely more commercial—- but Marc has little choice to do that. As I’m sure Martin can tell you it is very expensive to run a website and to do it for free would be impossible. If those who view it do not support it financially then the only way to keep it running is by sponsorships. I think the site is very good and the fact that he has sponsors means that he’ll keep going and be able to make a living (which we all must do) while teaching the rest of us some good woodworking. I could not possible support every woodworking site I visit, so I’m glad he has sponsorships, it’s a good thing.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3839 days

#4 posted 05-25-2008 09:06 PM

I agree we all need to make a living and Marc has tought us all allot. It just seems that the teaching has gone to the back burrner while the advertisment of sponsorship has moved to the front. I feel he needs to find a balance of advertising while keeping his original goal insight. I honestly can say I have not seen a video from Marc in a long time that I can say I learned something about woodworking. However, I must agree I have learned allot about his sponsors.

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4405 days

#5 posted 05-25-2008 09:15 PM

Never heard of him until now

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3963 days

#6 posted 05-25-2008 09:17 PM

I don’t think that teaching has moved that far back. He just did a whole series for Safety Week and that’s a fair amount of work. His “sponsor” videos are genuine reviews and provide useful information. His productions are quality and that’s no small feat. I’m glad to see that he is being recognized and that he making the most of it. He’s put in a lot of work and still puts a lot into his website. I honestly don’t know where he finds time for woodworking with all the stuff that goes on with his website. He is a professional and that means commercialism. From my perspective, to expect him to do other than what he’s doing is a bit unfair.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4045 days

#7 posted 05-25-2008 11:35 PM

If that’s the direction his fortune takes him it’s O.K. by me.

I enjoy several professional information producers and am quite willing to play for their advice and materials.
That being said I is always difficult to believe that those endorsing some gadget(s) or company product always have my best interest at heart.

I came to LJ for the company and the hands on advice from “woodworkers”.
When that advice becomes tempered by who’s paying your wages it might be time for me to reconsider my options.

We all live in a changing world.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4123 days

#8 posted 05-26-2008 01:22 AM

I don’t really watch Marc’s videos but I have him linked in my site. I understand the level of work he puts into what he does and I don’t blame him for trying to make some money for his efforts. I think he has a lot to offer woodworkers as well as the others that I linked.

Of the magazines that I read, I don’t always pick up much new information. I have come a long way in my journey of woodworking knowledge. I am sure that it is the same for you. The videos are going to be the same. They may or may not move forward with your level of knowledge and skill. I let several magazine subscriptions go this last year, they were no longer feeding me at the level I need. The same can be said of the videos.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3839 days

#9 posted 05-26-2008 01:35 AM

I don’t think anyone can fault Marc for wanting to make a buck. But it seems his commitment to the woodworker has changed.

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

View 's profile

593 posts in 3996 days

#10 posted 05-26-2008 02:21 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with most of what has been said above, especially with Betsy. I don’t find anything annoying in the direction he is taking and I ought to say that if you have been watching the videos since day one they haven’t changed much in that regard.

To answer Russel’s rhetorical question, I don’t know whether many of you did catch it or not but i one of the ”Woodtalk Online” shows he said to Marc something along the line of: ”when I was actually making a living woodworking…”. I was surprised when I didn’t see any comment about it here in the LJ fora but not by the fact itself. The main show has gone from tiny little videos to HD, professionally lit up and set, flawlessly filmed—unlike the pathetically barf-inducing, out-of-focus camera movement of some east coast show—and all those things cost a lot of dough so, if this is what how he wants it, two sincere thumbs up from me.

It is noting but the old adage: ”you get what you pay for”, ain’t it? And we are getting a lot for free. I guess if you want to really learn, you go and pay to enter a seminar from Chris Schwartz or any other of the masters.

Matter of fact, Matt is doing a ton of “infomercials” too, and so is the excellent series of Woodsmith’s “Woodworking Online” podcasts and this doesn’t detract from the contents, you just got to learn to pick what do you trust in and what parts do you watch just for the entertainment value. I don’t think anybody learns that much from Norm but we all enjoy watching his shows, don’t we? (at least when they end up in the Bit Torrent pool for us abroad!) ;o)

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3752 days

#11 posted 05-26-2008 02:22 AM

I visit Marc’s site from time to time. I tend to look at his archive videos. Thos are constantly being watched each time someone new visists his sight. As more and more people visit, his bandwidth usage must be going up and up. He also does live chats and posts to his forums to answer questions. I think that it is his website and he should do with it what he pleases. If his viewership drops because it veers in a certain direction, he can either be content to lose a few people to go the way he wants to, or he can readjust. I think that if someone is putting something out there for free, there isn’t much a person can say about it. It’s nice that they offer at all.

As for whether his commitment has faltered, I think that is tought to say as well. Each day he adds something, there is more available than the day before. He isn’t taking his old content away. He’s just finding a way to pay to keep it out there indefinitely.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4012 days

#12 posted 05-26-2008 02:51 AM

I have never looked at his web site, so maybe I’ll have to check it out.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4270 days

#13 posted 05-26-2008 03:35 AM

Marc is part of Popular Woodworking Magazine now, I read that they hired him and he’s now on staff. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 3795 days

#14 posted 05-26-2008 05:32 AM

Hello all…

“I don’t think anyone can fault Marc for wanting to make a buck. But it seems his commitment to the woodworker has changed” I can agree with this comment. It seems he is more focused on the business aspect rather than the promotion of education. His quality is very good and the entertainment factor is very high, but the volume of material has taken a drastic drop.
In contrast, Matt's Basement Workshop is a never ending stream of ideas, techniques and tools.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3728 days

#15 posted 05-26-2008 08:07 AM

I found LJ through TWW. I have 2 questions. Would you be talking about Bob Vila like this if he was a member of LJ, and do you fault Bob Vila (or any other TV wood worker) for their sponserships. What would Bob be without the Delta comercail at the begining and the end? Just because something is on the net does not mean it is free. I saw someone mention T-chisel, what about the borg comercial before every episode? Same thing exept I don’t think he has ever been there. Atleast TWW uses the stuff he pedals.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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