Progressive Woodworking or Channel Hijack?

We created another update to keep you in the loop. There has been a lot going on here at the new building but we are so close now.

23 comments on “Progressive Woodworking or Channel Hijack?

  1. A nice professional presentation Joseph. Well, it seems you are a semi-professional, at least this is part of your profession. We both have seen full fleged pro say a lot of “ha”, “you know”, things like when the talk. None of that here.
    And the looks of the new facility, your new home looks very nice, where folks will enjoy spending a lot of time at, both working and taking a break and relaxing.
    Great job!

    Mike

  2. Hello Paul and Team,
    I wish you all fantastic success towards your vision. I have benefited greatly from your woodwork teaching from afar. Whether that be of sharpening hand tools, their application, crafting, or even understanding my surroundings with a deeper appreciation.
    Reading your past writings of your challenges with extraneous noise, the occasional member comments, I understand your quest for a controlled environment. However, I for one, will miss the organic nature of occasional interjected sounds. I reference to the clock chimes in the castle, the children at recess, the bell to shuttle them back to class, etc. Mostly, though, your smiling acknowledgment of them to us.

    • I know all of this and I welcome your comments because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to balance out what people say if indeed it needs it. The castle was a stepping stone and I loved it there, but what do you do when an organisation as large as the National Trust says your lease is up in a year and we want the space for a children’s education centre. The school next to my house was fine and I enjoyed the seagulls and the children there too, but not owning the house spoke of very temporary and the garage did not work there at all. Aside from North Wales being so isolated, and I liked it, it was problematic for getting the right staff and remember we also had the New Legacy Woodworking School and people had to make awkward and very expensive plans to fly in from the rest of the world. A £900 course could rack up £3,000 for some.
      May I take the liberty here to say I want to settle down now at 68. I mean I want a creative space that won’t be taken a way from me. That said, there are more than just me involved and this has become a joint venture with those working with us, men and women that are highly skilled and needed to progress my vision for progressive and technical hand tool woodworking. I could retire but I have chosen not to because of the feeling I have that the work is far from completed and the outcome of our efforts is providing therapy and wellbeing for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide looking for answers. We’ve come up with an answer for a very large project we are beginning very soon. We have to have this kind of building because it will be so radical a move. This is just one puzzle piece in a greater whole with no more leases, rental payments and no one to say you must leave.
      No, when `i think about what we’ve done, I feel it was without doubt the best thing. People will know that the bricks are artificial because we told them from the beginning. When we built the workbench with cardboard brick walls it worked. Hundreds of people worldwide are building the workbench as a result. `Soon people around the world will be using that bench for family woodworking. Now this excites me greatly!

      • Hello Paul,
        Thank-you for such a thoughtful reply. I do understand the need for a suitable location for all of the aspects that you outlined that go into what you are building.
        Personally, I have chosen in 1996 to move across country to Arizona and California for work and it took me 10 years to realize that Rhode Island was indeed my home where I am now. During that time, I never felt settled, always at the eye and permissions of others.
        12 years later, I am lucky enough to have my own house (next door to my parents) and experience a freedom I always wanted. My only regret is that I turn 50 next week and wish I had made these realizations earlier in life.
        I m very looking forward to seeing your “big build”!

      • Well put indeed. I’ve enjoyed all the places you’ve worked and shot video. I liked the backyard with the school children and seagulls. Few things give me as much contentment and hope for the future as hearing kids at play at school recess.

        I understand wanting to be settled. My wife and I moved into our forever home about 5 years ago. For about 8 years I was in temporary living conditions. I didn’t like it at all and at the whim of others decisions.

  3. Fantastic progress! It all looks to be coming together and so pleased for you that you’ve found a place to settle.
    Perhaps a random noise generator, e.g. sirens, bells etc. could be utilised if the videos become too clinical for those who miss the unplanned noise interruptions. 😉
    All the best to you all.

  4. Lovely Joesph. I am so amazed and perhaps I shouldn’t be that the same construction techniques and even tools I see being used to build your new space in the UK are exactly the same as used in the USA. I somehow thought there would be differences. Looking forward to the new shows in the new garage.

  5. Really enjoyed the video. One thing though, I couldn’t help but notice the “modern” workbench in the last scene, complete with tool tray. Who uses it? Looks very practical.

  6. It is such a pleasure to hear, and literally, feel, the excitement and anticipation that comes across in these video updates about the new shop. It will be a wonderful production space in many senses of the word.

    Best of luck with the project. Keep on keepin’ on!

  7. I am enjoying your success and wish you all the best.

    Not sure what you will be utilizing for light, be aware here in the US, but available world wide are 2’x2′ led panels that fit in the ceiling grid “drop in ” available in the whole kelvin scale and various wattages.
    Fill your whole ceiling with them in various arrangements all with switches and dimmers.
    Just an idea for you for shadow free illumination.

    Please include some random tool clutter and make the set look real and not sterile.

    JIM

    • I’ve left the lighting to our trustworthy and expert staff, Jim. I have absolute faith in their abilities and my tools as always will be ordered by me where I want, how I want, when I want. Why change what’s worked for me for five decades, six days a week, 50 weeks in every one of those years?

  8. Wait, what…power tools everywhere in the video. tsk tsk. 🙂

    Seriously, nice update to whats been happening. Looks like it is coming together just he way you all like it.

  9. Tell the guy using the DeWalt chop saw, that he should use a dust extractor and not throw loads of wood dust in the air for others to breath in. He wouldn’t be allowed to do this in a primary school or other public building.

  10. Big plans and ambitions need big solutions and boy have you gone big. What a pleasure it’s been to see your progress and your vision come to fruition.

    Paul, at 68 many many would have hung up their working boots long ago (I did at 58) but in the end, you do what makes you happy and content, and I’m really pleased to see you seem just that. Also, with you not retiring, selfishly means we continue to benefit from your skill and tutorship.

    Excellent presentation Joseph, and I echo what another poster has said, in that there’s a few so called ‘professionals’ on the telly who could learn from you.

    Thanks for letting us tag along on your journey, which is always inspirational, instructional and of course, fun. I’m already wondering what the first project in the new studio will be.

  11. Hello Paul

    I have been watching your video for about 2 month’s now just getting into woodworking
    I would like to take time and thank you very much for all your knowledge you have shared
    with the public and me for that a big Thank you.
    P.S just waiting for your next video

    Larry M Elam

  12. Fantastic work guys. Who would have thought that such fantastic growth would have come from a Master craftsman teaching others the skills. What a legacy you are building.

    Paul… I have a bachelor’s and Master’s in chemistry, and an M.B.A. You are the best teacher of any I have had in my career. And Joseph, you are a fantastic compliment to your Dad. It’s so good to see a family business be this successful.

  13. Context also: I have a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Legal Systems Applications, also Retired Army and retired from another particularly aggravating career. I have seen many and been many, and without hesitation you are the Finest Instructor I have ever seen!! As a young man sitting in Guard Point Collier, might be an awareness of that place now… Inside the DMZ tween South and North Korea between patrols inside the DMZ attempting woodworking with a pocket knife and a tree branch… trying to carve on an oak tent stake in Egypt, trying to carve a duck in Germany, trying to make a chess set in Texas… THANK YOU FOR NOT RETIRING!! Joseph thank you ! I ain’t got the words. I struggled greatly with the bench building, due in great part to materiel and difficult circumstances. Now, in my New shop, four younger men and a couple women find themselves welcome in my shop to experience the wonders and textures and shapes unfolding and the sound and smells of the hand plane whispering and the light in his eyes when an 11 yo boy understanding for the first time: Oh THAT is Saw,,, Dust… I get it now, while building your book case design in great detail at my eight foot English style work bench. Your new shop is wonderful!!! And thank you ALL for taking your life moments to be able to share with us unknown people out here in the world! Know that you are heard and Loved Greatly for your efforts and offerings!! You’ve enriched the lives of many that didn’t even know what was about to happen, but you have touched their lives and inspired more than you know. Wanted to say a little here and convey respect an appreciation for what you and you family Do! The 11 yo boy pulling his bookcase out of my truck and carefully carrying the heavy end of his six foot by three foot book case with his mother watching us as he led carrying it to his bedroom and carefully placing it against the wall and adding his book collection to each shelf of which he with great effort bullnosed, well two, of the six shelves… THANK YOU again. You can’t make these things up. They happen when you try greatly…

  14. Hi Guys,
    i’m new to the web site and my first video watch was this building update 2.
    For a relative novice like me it’s absolutely great to be able to view things like the “how to” videos. I can treat them like a friendly voice over the shoulder saying, “no, no, not like that, like this” 🙂

  15. I think the progression in your life is wonderful. Great oak trees from little acorns grow. The start with the tools learning all those years ago, to be where you are now. My thanks to your attitude and teaching. To do a project or build attention to detail where no one else will actually see it. You set your standards so that the completion of anything you do has to be good enough for you, it will be good enough for everyone else. Thankyou.

  16. Paul, and team,

    I wish you all the best with your new place and can’t wait to see whats around the corner.
    Your video’s and blog’s have been an inspiration to dust off my handworking tools (it came there from my powertools 😉 and start working wood again on the basic level.
    After 25 years of work in IT it really feels satisfying to create something that will last for sometime longer than 3 to 4 years !

    Regards Arie

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