WT214 – Don’t Look at the Camera

On today’s show, we’re talking about grain orientation for planing, matching plywood and solid wood, and keeping glue and finishes warm in freezing temps.

Special Announcements

  • New WoodTalk.com website. Psst, you’re on it right now
  • WoodTalk Weekend: a 2 day intensive hands on woodworking conference hosted by your 3 favorite podcast hosts, and Marc, Matt, and Shannon will be there too.

What’s on the Bench

  • Marc- Putting additional finish on rustic table, laying out parts for the dresser and nightstands, and dodging airplanes.
  • Shannon – Thinking about three upcoming commissions from a previous customer.
  • Matt – sorting and rough dimensioning lumber.

What’s New?

  • Marc on Rough Cut with a goofy grin:
  • Denny sent us a box joint jig video: “This has to be the most organized back wall I have ever seen” (sorry no embed, they are disabled by the author of this video).
  • Marc found this cool cross-cut sled example.
  • Two new TV shows on furniture design, “Ellen’s Design Challenge” on HGTV premieres tonight, 1/26/15. And “Framework” on Spike TV. We’ll discuss these shows more next week after we get a chance to watch them.

Poll of the Week


  • Chris and Wilbur both had comments on our discussion about Project Creep
    and here’s Wilbur’s hollow chisel test.


  • Peter wants to know if we would still use Sketchup even if we weren’t sharing the plans with an audience.


    • Eric wants to know how to deal with glued-up panels with reversing grain.
    • David wants to know what wood would be good for a faceframe on a Mid Century Credenza made with one of a kind Rosewood Plywood
    • Rex wants to know if there is a way to make a heated cabinet for his glue and finishes for those long dark Canadian winters

How Can You Support Us?

Use the links on the left and sign up for a recurring donation, kick it up a notch and wear a Wood Talk T-Shirt, or leave us an iTunes Review

32 replies on “WT214 – Don’t Look at the Camera”

Just watched the Rough Cut episode. I’ve always feel a bit breathless after watching one of these.

All the grinning was hilarious. I feel for you, having to always have a smile going for the camera. You looked good though, and you guys worked smoother together as the episode progressed. All and all, a great duet.

I liked the rough cut. The grinning might have felt akward but you looked good. It did not look cheesy to me. I guess I am dense but I did not notice the matching t-shirts. I kind of expected you to go on in a David Marks denim dress shirt thing.

Was it just me or was the glue line on the leg laminate rearly gnarly and gappy? Maybe it just looked that way because it wasn’t sanded yet.

It may have been Mike. The thing to keep in mind is that all of the project parts are pre-made so we didn’t actually build the project while I was there. Instead, we worked “props” and then moved onto the next step where the next “prop” was waiting for us. That’s the only way to get it all done in one day. So some of these pieces don’t get the same level of treatment you’d normally expect.

I have watched every episode of Framework and I am always disappointed. Some of the people do amazing woodwork and there is no detail on how they did it. It is just a bunch of drama. They should call it “The Real Housewives of Framework”. I did watch Ellen’s Design Challenge, and I thought it was much better. Not as much drama and more focus on the build.

I agree totally with this. I’ve watched 2 of them, and to me the drama is contrived just to garner someone yelling at the TV.

Erin the first week was the obligatory sweet, cute, crying blonde who leaves so all the “meanies” can stay on and all but come to blows.

Just another scripted reality – in other words: fake.

If the “contestants” have real talent, most called themselves mid-century modern, which to me translated into some fairly nice pieces, but only fairly, but maybe I don’t get the style.

Shannon mentioned he got 3 new commissioned pieces from somebody that doesn’t necessarily have an open wallet. I find myself in that position quite a bit. I feel like if I come up with price commensurate with the amount of time I have into the piece I take a big risk of losing the sale. So I’m interested in how you guys arrive at a price to charge for a commissioned piece. Obviously cost of materials, but then would you calculate the actual time you’ll have into the piece and then assign an hourly rate or do yous go with just a W.A.G.
It may take 3 days to build a mudroom bench and rack but 5 days or so for the finishing with all the drying time, which is down time for me in my small shop.

Lest we forget, some of the best 1/2 hr woodworking shows ever made – Norm’s and Tommy Macs included in comparison – were David Marks WoodWorks.

They may still be purchased today at: djmarks.com

I agree that Woodworks undoubtedly had the highest quality craftsmanship. But Norm put a lot of projects out there for a long time that any of us could build. Well, not me (yet), but give me time!

What makes comparison hard is that Norm had 21 years to get so comfortable, but his first couple years seemed so scripted.

David Marks had become very comfortable and easy to watch, just as the show ended.

Tommy – Love many of his finished projects. But even Marc seemed like he was that yippy little chihuahua bouncing over the shoulders of a hyper-active bull dog.

I agree with Shannon – Norm you felt you could build along with. David you watched and said, “He knows something I don’t…”. But Tommy, and I do think he’s got to be a great guy, I have to watch an episode over and over to feel like I am finally bumping up to speed. So I don’t think about building his stuff much.

A weekend hanging out with fellow woodworkers in a kick butt shop, with barb-b-que??? Heck yeah man, count me in. Can I reserve my spot now please?
Two shows a week is amazing. I am impressed with your ability to hold down day jobs and pull this off. I know, Marc’s day job is in the shop, but its still a day job. Thanks for making our workweeks twice as nice as normal.
Keep on making sawdust woodworkers!

Really looking for your comments next week on ‘Framework’ and ‘Design Challenge’..

Only could see the ‘Judging’ DC segment… and I could only think of 100’s of Shaker woodworkers turning over in their grave…

Maybe I need to reboot.. Anyway – can’t wait for next week!

A 2 day woodworking intensive sounds like a great boot camp to me. Count me in.

Marc- you were great on the Rough Cut. Don’t forget most of us are not watching to critique your acting, or lack there of, but the content and skill with which your present the craft. As always your fun personality and lighthearted approach showed in spades. I think Tommy needs to be a little worried.

I think the 2-day intensive workshop is a killer idea. Without a second thought, I would consider attending this seminar/workshop/conference above any other conference (If I had to choose only one). Has there been any thought into intended skill level, as someone like myself would be considered in the early stage/somewhat novice category?

Would love a weekend with the 3 Wise Men of Woodworking.

OK, 2 and a half wise men. Have a few doubts about this Matt guy.

Loved the Rough Cut show. Looking to recreate that hall tree for my son and daughter-in-law. Didn’t even notice the t-shirt issue.

Probably not the right place for this, but in response to the question Rex had about making a heated cabinet, you could try to use heat tape. They make outlets that contain a switch to turn on at a specific temperature (usually somewhere slightly above freezing) then turn off when the reach another another temperature (usually somewhere in the 50 degrees Fahrenheit range). Putting this in/on a metal cabinet should keep the temperature at a reasonable level, with what would seem to be the most safe solution because the heat just resonates from the source. I would avoid setting the containers themselves on the tape, as it would probably get pretty hot. Make sure that you read and follow all of the directions and warnings for the tape before attempting this, and the warnings about temperature and heat for your various glues stains and finishes, just to be on the safe side. And, if you try it, tell us if it works.

Tim I’m snagging this information and throwing it into the kickback segment for the upcoming show also.

This way even more people can be exposed to your idea.


About the sketchup part of the podcast I agree with Marc and I use it to work out proportions and just to get a glimpse make sure it looks good. But I also use it as my “PRACTICE BUILD” where before you take crap wood and build a project to see how everything is going together figure out all the joints and where the problems are going to be with say tenons hitting each other, etc… No my practice build is done digitally.

I would absolutely love a 2-day course to improve my craft and eat delicious BBQ!

A side note about the digital pass, Shannon indicated that the edited version is a lot denser. This is very valuable depending on what one is trying to learn however. I consume a large amount of digital content, and with it all edited down to make a palatable video, the real time it takes to perform operations as well as make design decisions are lost. Often find myself discouraged or feeling like I am moving slower than others in their shops. Both a hands-on intensive course or otherwise seeing how much time professionals take would be instructional and hopefully comforting.

I hope at least some elements can be seen in real-time, and look forward to any content released by the three of you. Keep it up!

Hopefully when you look at the body of work by Marc, Matt, and myself it goes without saying that the only editing we would do would be truly unimportant stuff. I take your point however and will make sure to include plenty of “chortle solos”

WoodTalk Weekend sounds awesome. Count me in. The only thing I request is that you guys get uncomfortably close to me and gently guide my hands through the technique as though you are helping me with my golf swing or backhand. : )

As always, love the show!!

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