Sunday, January 31, 2016

Big News! Book And Another Video Course

I'm very excited to announce that I'm turning my Popular Woodworking University online video course Intro To Hand Tools into a book for Popular Woodworking Books. It's due for completion this August.

In addition, I'm working on a second PWU online video course, building a Queen Anne foot stool from fine hardwood entirely by hand. It's due for completion in the Spring.

Working on these two projects will pretty much consume all my woodworking time!

The Book

The book will be a fairly direct adaptation of the video course to the printed page, so the episode guide in this post will be the table of contents.

My premise behind turning the videos into a book covering the same material is that there are at least three ways people like to learn:
  • By watching videos and seeing the work demonstrated.
  • By reading books and studying photos.
  • By watching videos from the couch, then using a book in the shop.
Different strokes for different folks, some much prefer videos over books, some the opposite.

I fall into the 3rd category. I've learned from both videos and books, but I like being able to relax and watch the process unfold on screen, then go through it step by step at my own pace from a book.

The video shows more details than can fit in a book (if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth many thousands), and the book allows me to proceed a step at a time.

Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Combining the two allows them to complement each other.

From the introductory video and text notes for the course:
I'm primarily self-taught, which means that instead of a single teacher, I've had multiple teachers, all those who've written books and articles, made videos, given classes and live demonstrations. So I'm standing on their shoulders. 
Everything I show has at least 100 years of history. Some things have two or three hundred. Dovetails date back to the ancient Egyptians. 
We are all but the custodians of knowledge, passing it on to the next generation.
I'm very happy to be doing this through Popular Woodworking Books, because Popular Woodworking Magazine has been instrumental in my development as a hand tool woodworker over the past 10 years. It got me started and in one way or another has provided most of my resources.

The Video Course

Where the first video course was entirely skills-based, this course will be project-based. It's a natural follow-on to the first course, applying many of the skills developed in that one.

Where I used pine almost exclusively in the first course because I wanted to focus on the mechanics of the skills, for this one I have a beautiful supply of cherry, including a big slab of 12/4 cherry for the legs. Now I want to focus on using the tools to work fine hardwood.

I chose a Queen Anne foot stool because it's a nice introduction to fine furniture, and period furniture in particular. It's a small project that can be done in a modest workshop, but kicks up the work a level. That makes it a manageable incremental step up as you develop your skills.

It's also very adaptable to tastes. If you don't like Queen Anne style, you can adapt it to several other styles, including contemporary.

Cabriole legs also break out of the constraints of purely rectilinear work. That gives you the confidence to tackle all kinds of projects.