You’ve inspired delivery of this thing we call Common Woodworking. It starts simply and builds. It will continue to build as online tutorial woodworking and serve as a reference surrounding beginning woodworking with hand tools. Whereas machines are an alternative to hand tools, the methods used are in no way comparable or even similar at all to the hand tool methods we teach and train for. Many people starting out are actually enthralled with the idea of working wood using their own hands and tools they feel they want to work with. No one should be confused with the common terms adopted by manufacturers of machines and then magazines too, woodworking and machining wood are two radically different spheres.
When I started Woodworking Masterclasses it soon became apparent that many exponents of woodworking advocated the use of machine-only methods. We wanted to present the alternative and so we came up with teaching masterclasses online. With that came the cry from new people asking how best to get started. There was a dearth of skilled teaching from teachers with the real skills of hand woodworking. We launched Common Woodworking to answer the pressing needs of a new generation reaching for hand tool methods of working wood and then too those transitioning from their machines to equip them with the original techniques used by masters in the previous centuries.
We started with the basics because our audience told us what their struggles were. Because I had personally trained around 6,500 people in hands-on workshops, I realised that the questions online were the same questions people had when they came to classes. “I’m struggling with this or that; my plane doesn’t work like yours, Paul; the wood keeps splitting and the grain tears for me, what do I do?” These are the questions that come up yet we still felt that by giving fundamental information students new to the craft could develop the same skills I learned as a boy of 15 apprenticing with the masters.
If you need more insight into the fundamentals of real woodworking then you can view our guides and skill-building exercises by signing up for free for our projects. If you have friends you might want to join you in the adventure, please send them this link. You won’t be disappointed and remember, the preservation and conservation of skills rarely comes from the professional arena these days, it comes from parents, aunts and uncles, sisters, brothers who took the time to learn and become masters in the silence and quiet backwaters of their garden sheds and their garages with a laptop set up to learn from. Times have changed and the only way I see to meet the pressing needs I speak of is to work with an enthusiastic mentor. I hope I can continue to meet the needs of those following us for many years to come. Ultimately we will couple all of our individual sites to teach people how to build their own houseful of furniture along with a wide range of skills.
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