The Real Woodworking Campaign is on

Soon we will be launching our website for the Real Woodworking Campaign, which we plan to open as a worldwide endeavour to promote the art and craft of real woodworking for all.

You have heard me talk of the Real Woodworking Campaign (RWC) for some months and it started out by provoking my audiences to go home and start woodworking for real. I would say things like, “We need a real woodworking campaign to get people off the router and onto the workbench again. We need to boycott throwaway saws and learn the skills of sharpening and not follow the ‘professionals’ any more because their standards went out of the window four decades ago when they lost the skills of sharpening almost everything altogether.

I want to stop calling machines tools as if they have rightful place alongside hand planes and saws and I am willing to tell anyone why I feel this way. I want children to be safe and welcome in my workshop and to be able to work there too. Health and safety are important aspects of our general wellbeing in working productively and creatively so finding the right balance between hand methods and machines is important.



What about forming guilds and clubs, regional workshop training centres with chapters, teachers versed in their craft, expert advisors and so on? What about fund raisings and sponsorships, real apprenticeships and other such things?

To make the Real Woodworking Campaign effective in renewing the community of woodworkers around the world, we must first define its objectives and concerns. This will enable us to determine how best we can restore possibilities for future generations of woodworkers. Identifying the needs and then providing answers from a lived life gives a powerful message of an alternative fulfilled and sustained by the work of your own hands.


By this we sweep away the mysteries and old myths to present a new and vibrant story of struggles in gaining mastery over the unmastered; a story inclusive of others engaged in thought and presenting ideas from the past and present to create a coherent future so that all can take the next step—Changing the future begins in our present.



Over the next few blogs I will post some of the thoughts and feelings I have. If you have anything to contribute about how you feel this campaign could and should progress I would be glad to hear from you as might others who follow our progress.


But here is a fact; without you and many others contributing in whatever measure you can it will not go anywhere. I know that this is thought-provoking and I sincerely hope that that’s the case. I hope that you will think about how you can help. It might be by asking the right question. Remember this. The hardest question to answer is the one that’s never asked.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope your name is added to those already signing in to push the campaign forward. This a non-political campaign that will one day have some persuasive input for the next generation.



2 thoughts on “The Real Woodworking Campaign is on”

  1. Robert Hutchins

    Hello Paul!

    We miss you in central Texas.

    I have some questions for your Q&A videos that concern dimensioning drawers for case work. I think many inexperienced woodworkers like me might benefit from the answers. The questions are not about drawer construction, but about how closely they should fill the space available in casework depending on the slide mechanism chosen.

    For wooden slides, one might choose between drawer sides resting at the bottom or slots either in drawer sides or the fittings inside the casework and travelers. Which is preferable, if either is, and in what circumstances? How much horizontal space should be allowed for the drawer to slide without too much friction, or, its opposite, too much racking? Of course this would probably depend on the type of wood chosen which leads to the question of which woods would be the best, longest wearing species to use?

    Also, with regard to wooden drawer slide mechanisms, how much vertical spacing should one allow between drawer fronts in stacks and top and bottom of casings or cross members where they are used?

    While I could probably bore you and your audiences with many questions about drawers, I’ll close by asking about using mechanical drawer glides. Nearly all I’ve seen or have used require 1/2″ clearance between drawer side and case side (or a spacer in the case); so horizontal clearance is a moot point. The question remains, however, about vertical spacing allowance between drawer fronts in a stack of drawers or top and bottom for a single drawer.

    In my 75th year I’m finally getting to indulge in this hobby which I wish I had chosen as vocation lo these many years ago instead of spending nearly half a century in IT and IT management. I’ve acquired hand tools for simple cutting, chopping, drilling and surfacing and hope to learn to maintain them for best use and to learn to use them capably (though I doubt with much skill). To that end, I’ve designed a small, simple, knock-down work bench (because I have no space to place a permanent one) and a Dutch-style tool storage chest. There may be many others in similar circumstances as to space and tool set who would benefit from your expertise, experience and wisdom in making a knock-down bench and storage for their hand tools. Please consider this as a potential topic for your videos.

    Your 2nd Q&A video leads me to believe that you recognized, addressed and resolved the audio issues in you videos. Congratulations and kudos. It is a great improvement for old ears.

    Finally, I cannot close without heaping praise and thanks on you for what you have done and are doing for the encouragement and preservation of hand tools skills in working wood. You excel and have few peers.

    Respectfully and with great regard,

  2. Here is an idea, ask your youtube folowers to record short movie about them, their name, why there want to continue art of real woodworking, put those clips together, add your comment and start Youtube campaing!

    Thank you fow all you are doing Paul

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