Welcome to Woodchat

Woodchat is a weekly online woodworking chat hosted by Matt Gradwohl (Upper Cut Woodworks),  Chris Wong (Flair Woodworks) and Scott Meek (Scott Meek Woodworks).

Woodchat is a welcoming and encouraging chat for woodworkers for all skill levels, and it’s very easy to get involved. Most transcripts are saved (see below), and all video is now available on the Upper Cut Woodworks YouTube Channel.

Getting Started

Here’s what you need:

  • An internet connection
  • A free hour on Wednesdays at 7pm Pacific, 10pm Eastern
  • A Twitter account

To connect, you can use your favorite Twitter client and include the #woodchat hashtag in your tweets, but the easiest way is to enter the Woodchat Chatroom. There you can chat with the woodworkers and watch the live video of the hosts and guests responding to your questions.

It helps if you also have a Google+ account, we may invite you into the video so you can ask your questions, share your designs, or share your knowledge. Here’s a link to the Woodchat Google+ page.

Telephone Game Design Experiment

Right now in Woodchat we’re going through a design experiment we call the Telephone Game Design Experiment. You know what the Telephone Game is, right?  One person starts by whispering a phrase into the next person’s ear and that person whispers what they heard to the next person and this continues down the line.  By the time the phrase passes through all the players, it is totally different.

Wouldn’t it be fun to try something like that with furniture design? We are.

Here’s how it works

The idea is for somebody else to take this concept and reinterpret it their own way.  You don’t need to use a CAD program.  All that matters is that you are able to convey your ideas – a good photograph of a pencil sketch or clay model would also be fine.  Design experience or savvy is not required.

One person at a time is given one week to reinterpret the piece and their vision is shared and discussed at the next #Woodchat (Wednesdays at 7pm Pacific).  Then the next person takes that design and makes their changes.  The schedule of participants is available here.

Don’t hold back!

We are really interested in seeing the progression of the design and the only restriction we wish to impose is a limit of three major changes.

Other than that, nothing is off limits.  We want you to take the design and run with it.  We’re okay if the table transforms into a chair, then a coat rack, then a lamp.  That would be amazing.

It doesn’t matter if the design is incredibly difficult and impractical to actually make.  Our goal is to focus on design and only design.

What is the goal?

Aside from being fun, we hope that this design experiment helps you realize your aesthetic tastes and improves your design skills.

See the progression of the design at Flairwoodworks.com.

Our First Four Woodchat Principles

1. Easy for People to Get Involved

There are lots of woodworkers already on twitter, and it’s easy to sign up, so continuing to use the #woodchat hashtag makes things very easy. The easiest way is to participate is the Woodchat Chatroom

2. Approachable for All Skill Levels

If you’re a beginner woodworker, you will be welcomed in to the chat and find people ready to help and encourage you. If you’re a skilled woodworker, you’ll also find encouragement and help, and be asked to share your experience and knowledge by welcoming and being helpful to new woodworkers.

3. Focused on Actual Woodworking

In the past #woodchat drifted off topic at times. We’ll focus on woodworking: inspiration, design, stock prep, joinery, finishing, tool selection, shop safety, or shop layout, for the beginner, part-time hobbyist or full-time woodworking business. No preference towards power tools or hand tools.

4. A Team to Make it Successful

To make sure that chats happen on Wednesdays without one person carrying the workload, we’re going to work together to ensure success. We all have busy schedules with our day jobs and families, but with three (or more) people committed to making this successful I’m we’ve been hosting Woodchat for almost two years.

Woodchat Prime Directive: Woodchat is Yours

Ultimately though, woodchat is driven by those who participate, so we need to know what topics you’d like to discuss, what technology you might suggest that we incorporate, what days and times work best. Let us know on Twitter or leave a comment below. See you all Wednesday night.

Transcripts of Past Shows

If you miss a Woodchat, all chats are transcribed and posted here. Videos are here.

Yes, this  section needs an update

  1. Woodchat with the Wood Whisperer: Woodchat Transcript July 18th, 2012 with Marc Spagnuolo the Wood Whisperer
  2. Woodchat Gorilla Glue Prize Packs: Woodchat Transcript July 11th, 2012
  3. Woodworker’s Make Woodchat Awesome: Woodchat Transcript May 23rd, 2012
  4. Woodworker’s Discuss the Appeal of Woodworking: Woodchat Transcript May 9th, 2012
  5. Woodworkers Discuss Woodworker’s Safety Week: Woodchat Transcript May 2, 2012
  6. Woodworker’s Share Projects and Pictures: Woodchat Transcript April 25th, 2012
  7. Woodworker Design Jam: Woodchat Transcript April 17, 2012
  8. Woodworkers Discuss Projects and Business: Woodchat Transcript March 15, 2012
  9. Woodworker’s Discuss Online Woodworking Communities: Woodchat Transcript March 7, 2012
  10. Woodworkers Discuss WoodExpo Success 2012: Woodchat Transcript February 29, 2012
  11. Woodworker Design Jam: Woodchat Transcript February 22, 2012
  12. Woodworkers Discuss their Woodshops: Woodchat Transcript February 15, 2012
  13. Woodworkers Discuss Get Woodworking Week: Woodchat Transcript February 8, 2012
  14. Woodworkers Discuss WoodExpo 2012: Woodchat Transcript February 1, 2012 with Special Guest Eli Cleveland from Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac
  15. Woodworkers Discuss Wood with Shannon Rogers, The Renaissance Woodworker: Woodchat Transcript January 18, 2012
  16. Woodworkers Discuss Unique Materials: Woodchat Transcript January 11, 2012
  17. Woodworkers First Woodchat of 2012: Woodchat Transcript January 4, 2012
  18. Woodworkers Discuss Finishes: Woodchat Transcript December 28, 2011
  19. Woodworkers Last Woodchat Before Christmas: Woodchat Transcript December 21, 2011
  20. Woodworkers Discuss Hardware Sources: Woodchat Transcript December 14, 2011
  21. Woodworkers Discuss Starting a Business: Woodchat Transcript November 30, 2011
  22. Woodworkers Discuss Thanksgiving, Tools and Adaptable Woodshops: Woodchat Transcript November 23, 2011
  23. 48 Woodworkers Get Off Their Butts: Woodchat Transcript November 16, 2011
  24. 46 Woodworkers Chat About Tools: Woodchat Transcript November 9, 2011
  25. Online Woodworking Thrives with 48 Woodworkers: Woodchat Transcript November 2, 2011

To help the Woodchat hosts know what you’d like to discuss, answer the poll below: