In the online woodworking world, there is (thankfully) lots of content from lots of sources, covering a very wide range of topics and catering to a broad range of skill levels. If you want to learn about hand tools, their history and proper use, you can follow Matt Vanderlist at Matt’s Basement Workshop, Kari Hultman at The Village Carpenter, Christopher Schwarz from Popular Woodworking, and Shannon Rogers from The Renaissance Woodworker. I read those blogs, watch their videos, and truly enjoy them. Over the past few years the things I’ve learned from those hand-tool bloggers have increased my hand tool knowledge and skills, and helped me deliver better results. They’ve also helped me rediscover that woodworking can be calming and ancient instead of modern, noisy, and frantic.
If you’re looking to push your woodworking skills or venture beyond the simple furniture styles and you’re not entirely hand tool focused, you’ll be interested in Marc Spagnuolo’s The Wood Whisperer, Charles Neil’s Workshop, Tom Iovino’s Workbench, Todd Clippinger’s American Craftsman Workshop, and Neil Lamen’s Furnitology. All of these are great sources of information and I rely on them often for inspiration and education.
If you’re looking for woodworking communities to virtually hang out with your woodworking buddies, share knowledge, bounce ideas back-and-forth, and show off your projects there are many great woodworking forums on the net, my favorites are Wood Talk Online and Lumberjocks. Both are full of great people who are very welcoming and willing to share their knowledge and passion for woodworking.
There are many more sources popping up daily, and today I want to quickly highlight one of my favorites.
Woodworking for Mere Mortals was created to showcase woodworking videos, projects, tips and entertainment for people who want to have fun building stuff in their garages and shops. The WW4MM blog was really started to support the popular WW4MM YouTube channel. Each video is short, entertaining, and informative. I haven’t found a video that is longer than 8 minutes so it’s very easy to consume. I’ve been woodworking for years and consider myself experienced, and I am still learning things from WW4MM. Most recently I watched a video where Steve, the creator and host of WW4MM, uses ammonia to patina brass after protecting parts of the brass with stick on letters. The result is shiny brass letters in a field of brass patina. Very cool, and I love the mix of materials.
The projects Steve highlights on his site will only take a few hours to complete, which is perfect for weekend projects or for woodworkers who are new to the craft and are intimidated by larger projects. They also won’t require a dedicated shop full of expensive tools. Steve has a garage shop, not a professional woodworking shop, but he still delivers great results. The message to beginning woodworkers is clear: you don’t need to build a dedicated shop and fill it with expensive iron to enjoy this great woodworking hobby. Steve has over 4,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, and I’m amazed to think about how many new woodworkers Steve has brought into the hobby. Anyone who watches these videos walks away thinking “Hey, I can do that!” in fact as I watch many of the WW4MM videos I realize that these are perfect weekend projects to do with my nephews to introduce them to woodworking.
Steve puts a lot into his blog and videos, so not only should you subscribe to the WW4MM YouTube channel and WW4MM blog, but head over to the WW4MM shop and get some schwag, or make a small donation on his homepage.
Thanks Steve – and keep the videos coming!