I spent some time yesterday watching the first two seasons of the WoodSmith Shop videos. It's been a couple of years since I got them and forgot just how clearly they covered a lot of very basic tools and methods. I found it particularly helpful to watch how a simple interlocking drawer corner was made using the table saw and a quarter inch spacer (drill bit). It escaped me before that the series emphasizes using the very basic tools to get projects made. Their method for making mortise and tennon joints using a drill press and table saw was very instructive and clear, including what to do if you cut the tennon a bit too thin.
They covered what basic tools you really need to do good projects: Table saw, drill press, router (perferably with a table) and good blades. Yes, the acting is pretty stiff and contrived, but the real point is that in these early videos, there are some very skilled people doing the demonstrations, and it is KISS to the max.
I bought the set up to season 8, but 9 and 10 are just $10 each if you have the set. They're up to season 11 now, so I'll be ordering the rest today.
I think in many ways, they are following the ideas of the Router show folks here really liked, but that are now hard to get. Simple methods, basic ideas. Let's give the devil its due, WoodSmith is notorious for exploiting their content by selling it over and over via different delivery methods. And they spread projects in small steps over the broadcast season. But if you have the sets, that's not a problem. I can only absorb so much at one sitting, and repetition IS how people learn.
So, nothing really new or revolutionary here, but for anyone who is either starting up, or only works enough to manage to forget how to on occasion, I want to suggest popping for the set. And no, I don't get a toaster. But I do think this resource on DVD is a really useful way to start learning the basics and turning out decent projects from the get go.
Yup, there are a lot of free videos on YouTube that cover all this same material, and you can download and collect them to watch again, yet After watching them again, I think these kind of hokey WoodSmith videos deserve a place on a newbie's shelf, and might be a useful refresher for intermediate workers as well.
We joke about the TV series sometimes, but from a different perspective, they are for a younger generation of people flirting with the idea of woodworking. The early shows had a number of older guys showing how to, but the later series feature a younger cast, which is a little less daunting than a bunch of oldie moldies who probably have forgotten more than newbies think they can ever learn.
Feedback from others who have the DVD sets would be particularly useful. We've already had a number of discussions of the TV show.