WT430 – Woodworking Fads We Hate

On today’s show we’re talking about: cheap chisels, the worst woodworking fads, the Woodsmith Shop, end-grain table tops, case miters, and cherry alternatives

Today’s show is sponsored by Brusso Hardware

Today’s show is sponsored by Brusso Hardware. Spring into big savings with Brusso’s Knife Hinge Sale! From April 9th through April 16th, all center and offset pivot hinges will be 40% off when you order online at Brusso.com. Brusso’s knife hinges are perfect for aspiring furniture and cabinet makers. This is a limited time offer that you don’t want to miss! Sign up for their newsletter or visit their website at Brusso.com/sale for complete details. Sale is good on web orders only and NOT to be combined with any other offers. visit their website at Brusso.com and use coupon code “WOODTALK” at checkout to get an ADDITIONAL 10% off your order! Please note, this coupon code is good for one use only. So if you used it in the past, it won’t be valid for this sale.


  • Nathaniel is building a pantry shelf and wonders about the right joinery for the job


  • Andrew wonders if it is worth buying cheap chisels and sharpening them over premium chisels.
  • William asks what our least favorite woodworking fads are and encourages us to let the hate flow
  • Billy wonders why we never talk about the Woodsmith Shop TV show?
  • Wil needs help making carcass miters more consistently
  • Cody is considering an end grain table top and wants to know our thoughts on it

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6 replies on “WT430 – Woodworking Fads We Hate”


I read Woodsmith regularly and have done so for approx 20 years. In my opinion it is one of the least pretentious of the woodworking magazines. With regard to their internet presence, I would direct you to their library which makes every issue and article available (in much the same way as the Fine Woodworking Library).

Now, the TV show…. Marc, while I watch the show from time to time I have always been a little uncomfortable and I didn’t know why. But you nailed it! It is the explaining basic stuff to someone who already knows it. That’s just uncomfortable.

Still, it’s a good magazine that has stood the test of time. And you will see them using hand tools for some aspect ofd almost every project (though they do not have an alter for high angle frog worship).


Great episode guys! Especially enjoyed the section on Chris Schwarz. I too love the guy and his teaching methods, but agree that some followers are fanatics and as you said, Chris would never want that. As for PBS woodworking shows, I have to credit Norm Abrams and NYW with starting my love for woodworking. Thanks again guys

It’s been a while since I last listened to you podcast – I used to do that on business travel and it was a great way to thoroughly enjoy my flights, even if tucked in the dreaded center seat. Your latest podcast welcomely cost me – BRUSSO KNIFE HINGES – Yeah – there went a paycheck! Thank you for the info… More importantly, thank you for all that you do!

Regarding vise-less benches: I’m a fan simply by virtue of how quickly and easily you can build something like a Nicholson. As soon as you start clamping work to it you’re not really vise-less anymore. You’re just using an ad-hoc crappy vise.

For fads: I’ve had enough of the damn resin. It was overdone a few years ago when those pieces were first appearing but lately it’s been worse. Every fifth IG post is someone pouring resin.

Also people that call themselves makes. Freaking pretentious.

I feel better now.

Hi, Marc, Matt and Shannon.

I, too, have watched The Woodsmith Shop series often, and it was the primary reason I began woodworking three or four years ago. The first woodworking magazine I subscribed to was Shop Notes (now rolled into Woodsmith Magazine), and I’ve learned a lot from both the show and the magazines. I think their greatest contribution has been the free plans they offer in conjunction with the projects they build on the show. I’ve built several shop projects from their plans, which are well written and detailed. These early successes inspired me to continue the hobby.

As for “fads”, I guess I, too, am an acolyte of Chris Schwarz. I built a 5 foot long version of his knock-down Nicholson workbench, without vices, and have found it to be relatively inexpensive, strong and versatile. I would rather have had a Roubo, but didn’t think I could manipulate the massive top by myself.

Finally, a quick question: in conjunction with the workbench, I bought a pair of Gramercy holdfasts, and they work very well. However, in my garage workshop they tend to rust. When this first happened, I removed the rust with steel wool and had the bright idea to apply some Renaissance Wax to prevent further rusting. That eliminated the rust, but later discovered that the holdfast would no longer hold fast. Duh. Any suggestions for preventing the rust while still allowing the holdfast to grip the dog holes?

Thanks for not quitting! (Is that remark getting old? Oh, well, so am I.)

Best regards,
Bill Grzanich
Waukegan, IL

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