|Review by dckchk||posted 02-22-2012 10:52 PM||4814 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
I purchased the three DVD set “The Way to Woodwork” for use as a partial “instruction manual” for my grandsons to use with a full workshop that I have recently provided them. After reviewing all three videos in this set I must say I am very disappointed. I found the universal “critical path” description to be a sensible way to describe a basic woodworking methodology. However, as it is laid out in these DVD’s, it is not successfully developed. Furthermore the videography is sorely lacking and many critical steps aren’t sufficiently zoomed in to allow the viewer to clearly see what’s going on. Also some techniques are described more apparently for product advertising than instruction, and finally, there are some handwork operations which are not sufficiently explained.
The following are just a few of the many specific defects I found in these videos.
1. Video 1 describes how to cut a mortice and tenon joint for a stool by hand. Video 2 starts out explaining how to cut the same mortice and tenon joint – using a repetition of the very same footage from video 1.
2. Video 2 continues to describe alternate methods of making the mortice and tenon joint using the bead-lock jig, a router, a hollow-chisel mortiser, and finally the Festool Domino machine. The Domino machine has no place in a set of DVD’s intended for use by a beginning woodworker – unless your primary goal is to sell Domino machines.
3. Video 3 shows several examples where a hand plane is used to plane end grain. Never is there a mention of the issue of breakout on the back of the cut, which is nearly always a problem if not correctly handled.
4. It is simply impossible for the viewer to see what is going on in detail during Ian’s hand cutting of the dovetails in Video 3.
5. Kirby performs a number of marking operations by holding a part with one hand with no referencing rabbit or other mechanical assist. This is less reliable for a newbie than techniques recommended by others.
This set of DVD’s should have focused on one or two projects, followed the process through in complete detail using fundamental joinery involving hand tools and only basic machinery. I have provided my grandsons with only hand tools but I would have been happy with videos that included the use of the table saw, bandsaw, and jointer/planer. Introduction of Beadlock and Domino is crass commercialism and repetition of previous footage is insulting to the viewer. I originally submitted this review on the Rockler website. It has not been posted.