Bringing woodworking to life

I’m not sure why this claim was made, but a rumor was going around at Woodworking in America that online woodworking is dead. Deceased. No more.

What a strange thing to say, because the folks I met who blogged about woodworking and marketed their tools online seemed to have a very lively and robust exchange, and they relished the thrill of posting what they were doing for all the world to see.

In fact, I think two more blogs were born in the short time between the end of the conference and this posting, with a few more folks looking to get in off the sidelines.

And, I don’t think it would take much more to convince others about the power of online woodworking. In fact, there are a few opportunities coming up that just might help get more folks involved in the craft and enthused about building.

The first opportunity was created by my friend Chris Adkins at High Rock Woodworking. He and several Atlanta Area friends have been meeting at some local woodworking haunts. This inspired the idea of creating the Modern Woodworkers Association.

It works when woodworkers get together with other woodworkers in the area to build, source lumber, shop or just shoot the breeze. The only thing you would really need to do to be listed would be to take some shots of the event and … well.. we’re still working on a way to get those babies uploaded. But, imagine if we had ‘chapters’ of the Modern Woodworking Association around the country – and the world. Wouldn’t that be a total blast to see what Chicago, London or Sydney woodworkers were doing?

The other opportunity comes with the Woodworking Shows. Yes, it’s that time of the year again, when the Woodworking Shows makes its rounds around the United States. It kicks off this weekend in Dallas, Texas.  Demonstrations, classes and cutting edge products always draw woodworkers from miles around. My friend Jim Heavey of Wood Magazine is also out yukking it up with the crowd while teaching some valuable shop tips. I know that last year, Andy Chidwick and his wife Shari were working with the show managers to get the online woodworking community out in force. I spent my time at this year’s Tampa show working the crowd at a booth of my own, and had a great time talking to central Florida woodworkers.

There are 19 stops on the show’s route this year, stopping in major cities from coast to coast. Again, wouldn’t it be awesome to get a bunch of woodworking folks together at each of the stops for a little camaraderie, fun and telling some big fish shop tales? If you know that you are going to be coming out, why not e-mail the organizers and let them know you’ll be out there in force?  After all, if they know you’ll be there, maybe they’ll help roll out that red carpet for you! The e-mail address is

I don’t know about you, but if we’re going to demonstrate that the people  who write online woodworking content and watch it to gain valuable insight into the craft are alive and well, they just may believe the hype that online woodworking is overrun by woodworking zombies.

That would be kind of frightening…


7 thoughts on “Bringing woodworking to life”

  1. I agree with you totally Tom. If it wasn’t for online woodworking I would have NO knowledge about wood working. Wood working by it’s nature is a solitary activity, and without the online component I don’t think I’d have talked shop with anyone. I know that there are clubs/guilds in my area that have meetings I could attend…but after looking at their 1995 era website with their pictures, I’m not sure I’ll be able to related with all these old timers. Plus the meetings are at least 30 minutes away. Wood working NEEDS fresh blood to stay alive and strong, and at this time that means using the Internet.

  2. You said it Tom!

    We can mix the online communitity with real life woodworking events to help in spreading knowledge and camaradorie to a new generation of woodworkers. I would love to see Modern Woodworkers Association spread all over and tie in with some of the woodworking shows.

  3. I tried this online woodworking thing. I started up my web browser, and put two pieces of wood on my laptop keyboard.

    Two hours later, still no dovetails.

  4. Online Woodworking is Dead. Long Live Online Woodworking. As a fellow Online Woodworking Zombie, thanks for spreading the word, Tom.

    Based on reviewing the Woodworking Shows site, it doesn’t appear Andy Chidwick is on the tour again this year. I hope I’m wrong on that, because he was certainly the highlight of the the show last year.

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