Media Influencers

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Forum topic by paratrooper34 posted 11-06-2010 02:50 PM 1108 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2947 days

11-06-2010 02:50 PM

Hi Fellow LJs!!!

Well, I am taking a hiaitus from woodworking at the moment because I have been reassigned back to the USA. So while all of my stuff works it way across the pond, I cannot do anything (except some learnin’!)

Ok, so I got caught up with some podcasts that I watch on woodworking and I saw one the other day that bothered me personally. I am not going to name the particular podcast. So the guy had to use a hand plane for flattening a wide board which was too wide for a joiner. He had some video which showed him doing this operation with a number 5 jack plane. He looked as though he hadn’t a clue how to use this tool. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but it sure looked like he was holding something in his hand that had never been there before. It seems to me that a guy who is teaching some woodworking should have at least the working knowledge to use this particular handtool. I turned off the podcast and thought about this.

So why would it bother me? Well, I watch podcasts in hopes of learning. I buy DVDs of woodworking instruction or watch past episodes of PBS shows for the same reason. I like to think that the people who are in the various forms of woodworking media are skilled and at least minimally qualified to be trying to teach us things. After watching a guy who is supposed to be teaching stuff use a hand plane as though he had never held one before, I am going to start looking a little harder at the skills of the “instructors”. Maybe my skills are starting to develop a little more and I can now determine bad or poor skills in others? Maybe, I am not sure yet.

I guess the thing I am interested in knowing is other than books, because books have been around for an awful long time and sharing the woodworking world ever since, what media or particular video/podcast/what- have- you, do you like to watch to help develop your skills? Or maybe it isn’t even that, maybe you prefer actually taking a course or workshops.

And lastly, I don’t like to be overly critical to others, so if I am being too hard on the guy, let me know. Happy Woodworking!!!

-- Mike

6 replies so far

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3061 days

#1 posted 11-06-2010 03:01 PM

To the pod caster’s credit he did mention he was not skilled with a handplane and that he was only showing it as part of the procedure to follow in that case.

I personally picked up how to finish a piece much better than I ever achieved before thanks to his advice.

Anyway, after seeing some very sharp planes glide though wood, it was a bit funny when he planed but I think we should be positive on him. I am sure he will improve on that just as he has with all the other skills.


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5032 posts in 3889 days

#2 posted 11-06-2010 03:12 PM

Twice, working at two different shops I was required to attend a demonstration as to how to Safely use a router, and both demos were done by the “plant manager”, neither of whom were particularily impressive.

First one started the router while in a router table and it fell out carving a hole into his foot

Second one carved a chunk of his thumb off

Schools are full of folks who have little if any practical experience but still “teach”

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Bob #2

3809 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 11-06-2010 03:33 PM

One of the human basic characteristics is the need to teach others. Mothers to daughters fathers to sons and now with mass media individuals to groups and individuals.
As we age we usually accumulate knowledge and experiences. These go hand in hand but not necessarily in equal amounts.
I know my experience has been that I usually learn a little bit from every experience and add that to my knowledge base.
When I take a course or watch a demo I can’t help but mentally compare the information being provided with the knowledge base I have already accumulated.
At my age I am a tough critic.
By the same token, another person may be completely thrilled with the information provided.
One thing that does help me is to record some of the information I want to revue. If it is old for me I can fast forward to another part. If it is too rudimentary I can turn it off and do something more productive.
That’s multitasking at it’s finest for me.
I must admit I have been know to slip out of the odd seminar when the speaker is neither entertaining or informative.
Not everybody with a video and accessibility to the Internet should be pod casting but I can still select what shows up on my screen without needing to confront anyone.
That’s a good thing.

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

View RalphBarker's profile


80 posts in 2765 days

#4 posted 11-06-2010 04:21 PM

In a perfect world, only those actually qualified would make videos. Because of the (overly?) democratic nature of the Internet, however, we see all sorts of people demonstrating bad practices to an eager audience, many of whom won’t know the difference. Even on shows where the people should know better, we see bad practices. For example, we see the demonstrators carefully donning eye and ear protection, and then proceeding to use a table saw with the blade guard removed.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#5 posted 11-06-2010 05:25 PM

I was up earlier than normal today and saw a woodworking show I hadn’t seen in years (most because the first time I saw show I knew the host was doing every thing wrong even as new wood worker. This show is “American woodworker ” I’m sorry to say that after 20 years the host of the show is still making major mistakes
in his woodworking. After seeing this show I thought that the sponsor and or producers must be relative or they don’t know anything about woodworking. I can’t help but wonder why sponsors will back someone one with marginal woodworking talent and back Norm or guy’s like Charles Neil or a hundreds of more people that know what their doing. I’m sorry if I’m offending someone who likes this show but all I can say if you really want to learn woodworking there are much better resources than American Woodworking. I’m sorry To be anti American woodworker that is.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Bob #2

3809 posts in 4017 days

#6 posted 11-07-2010 01:55 PM

I’m sorry to have to agree with you Jim. I think that Jim Morash set the bar quite high with his series of This old house and New Yankee workshop etc. They were icons in their day and attracted a lot of viewers.
So did Dean Johnson with his detailed home reno shows on PBS.
It seems that the will to build a first class television show is just not out there right now. Most of what I see is just formula based crap with predictable endings and if there is any technology in the “show and tells” that is either omitted or rushed through, often dangerously.
Now days I try to record the shows and fast forward though some of the less inviting segments.

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

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