ONLINE WOODWORKING WEBSITES
Here are some of the websites I follow and recommend:
Video Podcasters / Online Schools
Traditional woodworking classes or apprenticeship programs offer an invaluable way to learn through direct feedback. While I strongly encourage any woodworker to participate in these types of training; there are other ways to supplement your education. Online woodworking is a concept that is starting to gain momentum. While online woodworking requires you to have your own work space and tools, it affords you the ability to learn on your own time without the expense and time required to travel. Here are a couple of notable programs:
Marc Spagnuolo has certainly filled a niche with the creation of The Wood Whisperer. Marc has created a top notch online gathering place for woodworkers with high quality instructional videos, articles, shop tours, and viewer projects.
Marc also runs a membership program appropriately dubbed “The Wood Whisperer Guild”, which offers project plans, cut lists, and detailed instructional videos… not to mention personal one-on-one help if needed. This is by far one of the best online woodworking sites available.
If you have ever wanted to try your hand at carving, I highly recommend you check out Mary May’s website. She is a talented woodcarver who teaches traditional carving skills at various woodworking schools throughout the country. She has also taken her teaching online with Mary May’s School of Traditional Woodcarving. The school incorporates a series of videos that range from a carving introduction for beginners through complex carving projects for advanced carvers.
As a woodturner and creator I often draw inspiration from other turners. There is a wealth of information out there; however, with a limited amount of time it’s hard to keep up with everyone. I visit a number of woodturning websites, but I wanted to highlight the one I frequent most.
Carl Jacobson is the creator of “The Woodshop” where he produces and shares new woodturning projects every week. Carl provides a great deal of inspiration and information for those interested in woodturning. I highly recommend checking out his site.
I have always drawn inspiration with a deep admiration from those who display true craftsmanship. We can draw upon their expertise to further our own abilities without discouragement by remembering that “Every artist was first an amateur” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Two extremely talented woodworkers whose work ranges from custom furniture to antique reproductions using traditional techniques. Their website contains a portfolio of work along with a set of videos that give an overview of the build process.
Blogs are like newspapers and blog posts are the articles… these blog posts chronicle the bloggers activities but eventually end up in the dark corners of the internet as time passes… just like most newspaper articles. Blogs are a great way to keep up on the bloggers current events and woodworking blogs are no exception. Here are a few that produce some really cool content:
Workbenches are arguably the cornerstone to any workshop and Jameel Abraham (the toolmaker behind Benchcrafted) is helping the modern woodworker outfit their benches with high quality hardware. If you can afford these vises, they are a dream to use.
So what does this have to do with a woodworking blog? Not only does Benchcrafted provide high quality vises, their blog is always full of interesting articles.
Kari Hultman (The Village Carpenter) is a talented woodworker who has taken a more traditional approach to woodworking. Even though Kari is no longer maintaining her blog, the archives are still available. Kari always had something interesting to share; especially her work and techniques.
Lost Art Press produces some great content with a focus on the use of traditional hand tools. If you have never read any of Chris Schwarz’s books, I highly recommend you pick one up. He is very insightful and has an exceptional knack for teaching, explaining, and writing. I also recommend Chris’ blog for his musings.
George Walker sheds a great deal of light on the science of design. If you have an interest in designing your own furniture, George’s book (By Hand & Eye), DVD’s, and blog offer some great insight.
Woodworking forums are a great place to meet fellow woodworkers from around the world. They are a great place for exchanging information, inspiration, and to share your woodworking world with others. It’s hard to keep up with every woodworking forum on the web. Here are a few worth checking out:
This forum was started by The Wood Whisperer (Marc Spagnuolo) and has become a great community of woodworkers willing to help and share.
Lumberjocks has a community of woodworkers who contribute in large numbers on a daily basis. Woodworking forums are only as good as the community that supports them and Lumberjocks has a good one.