New Year, New Project

I can’t believe that 2011 is over already. I’m continually amazed at how much faster time seems to tick by after having kids. I feel like I didn’t do much in terms of content for the blog and podcast this year. Of course the first few months of the year were spent moving the site to the new host and server, but I still feel like this year was a little thin on content.

So my resolution for the new year is to try and keep the site more active, especially when it comes to video content. I know I’ve said this before, but I’d like to try and post video more often, but have the episodes perhaps be a little shorter in order to post them more frequently. Maybe a little less editing too, we’ll see.

At any rate, thanks to everyone who reads and watches for another year of your support, suggestions, questions, comments and kind words. It’s a real pleasure for me to share my journey through the craft with you. It pleases me to no end to watch our craft grow, and see the interest in hand tools and historical practices continue to rise. We as hobbyists and individual craftsmen and women are truly the future of the craft.

So remember to pass it on, and I hope you all have a wonderful and prosperous New Year! See you in 2012!

Ball & Claw Legs


11 thoughts on “New Year, New Project

  1. All the best to you, Bob. Although you may want to do more, those of us who enjoy your work owe you a word of thanks for taking the time to post what you can. Cheers, and here’s to a happy 2012.

  2. “It pleases me to no end to watch our craft grow, and see the interest in hand tools and historical practices continue to rise. We as hobbyists and individual craftsmen and women are truly the future of the craft.”


    After WIA, there was a lot of online talk about how woodworking is dying, which I found curious because it seems to be thriving in Oregon. My impression is more like yours, but maybe we are too immersed in the woodworking community. Your comment caused me to do a little research.

    There is no doubt that woodworking is not a good career choice for most people, though there are exceptions (See BLS data if you aren’t convinced). Hobby woodworking is another matter. The only data I could find is from the Craft and Hobby Association. Woodworking is the top craft segment by sales, at $3.322 billion, and the fourth by household participation, at 17 of 114 million households. Trend data aren’t available, but that’s a sizable segment by anyone’s definition.

    For hobby woodworking to grow, those interested have to have a viable way in. Schools don’t teach it, nor should they, since it is no longer a viable career for most. I think online education like your site and dvds are the key. Space is another big issue. Small shop spaces like yours open up the hobby to many more people, particularly in urban areas. A final hurdle is cost. Accomplished woodworkers like you and Mike Siemsen do a great service when you emphasize a modest set of hand tools, a bench made of construction lumber, etc. Finally, local clubs like the one I belong to, perform a great service when they provide affordable weekend seminars tailored to beginners.

    • Thanks Andy! I agree, woodworking as a career is quickly becomming a thing of the past, at least in this country. I find this to be very disheartening. But it does please me that the hobby seems to be on the rise. Perhaps we’re starting to reach a turning point and will see hand crafts and locally produced goods start to gain in popularity again. One can only hope.

  3. Thanks for all that you put out there for us Bob.
    You are one of the best resources out there.
    Looking forward to the new.

  4. Caro Logan eu assisti os seus videos na mesa de chá, embora eu não entenda ingles, mas os videos são auto explicaticos.
    Espero que continue a postar mais vídeos.

    • Thank you for the kind words Danilo. While my Portugese is only about as good as my Swahili, Google Translator helped me get the gist of your comment. I’m glad the videos are helpful even for folks like you who don’t speak English. That’s awsome! Thanks again!

  5. Hi Bob. I’m a newbie to wood working and the use of hand tools. Your podcasts are extremely helpful and entertaining. I’m going to try the Porringer table as my first project, just as soon as I can get all of the tools necessary to do it. Thinking I may need a small home loan. Any help on where to find all these on a limited budget?

    • Lee,
      The porringer table does require a few tools to build. But if you aren’t opposed to buying old/used tools and putting a little bit of work into them to clean and tune them up, you could probably put together the suggested tool list for less than $250. Ebay is a good place to look for old tools. The local hardware store is fine for many of the tools as well. If you just keep in mind that you don’t NEED top of the line tools to do good work, you will find that you can begin working with hand tools quite inexpensively. If you want to upgrade you can always do that when the budget allows.

      Another tip I have for budget concious newcomers is not to focus on buying all of hte tools before getting started on the project. All the tools aren’t needed at the beginning of the project, so just focus on a couple of tools that are needed right at the beginning of the project and add tools as the project progresses and the budget permits. Chek out this post for more thoughts on getting started with a very small budget.

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