218 episodes

Fine Woodworking magazine editors and contributors answer your questions and share woodworking tips and techniques.

Shop Talk Live - Fine Woodworking FineWoodworking.com

    • Hobbies

Fine Woodworking magazine editors and contributors answer your questions and share woodworking tips and techniques.

    STL212.5: What mallets does a woodworker need?

    STL212.5: What mallets does a woodworker need?

    In this bonus episode, Mike and Ben discuss if the Shaker workbench is fit for holdfasts, and what mallets you really need as a woodworker.

    • 21 min
    STL212: The call of the pattern-maker’s vise

    STL212: The call of the pattern-maker’s vise

    Chairmaker, David Douyard, joins Mike and Ben in studio, and they discuss using budget lumber, tools the covet, go-to chisels, and what one listener should do with his old pattern-maker's vise.

    • 58 min
    STL211: Woodworker's aprons

    STL211: Woodworker's aprons

    Mike, Barry, and Ben discuss planing wood at an angle, whether it’s worth restoring old homeowner-grade machinery, and the do’s and don’ts of prefinishing. Then they get pretty geeky about aprons and pencils.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    STL210: Turn that lathe on!

    STL210: Turn that lathe on!

    Turning experts, Janet Collins and Josh Friend answer your turning questions in our very first episode dedicated solely to jamming sharp tools into spinning wood.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    STL209: Dealing with temperamental slabs

    STL209: Dealing with temperamental slabs

    Anissa, Barry, and Ben laugh a lot while discussing frame and panels, backyard sawyers, working in shared shops, and what to do when a listener's partner isn't down with the A&C (Arts and Crafts)

    • 1 hr 4 min
    STL208: FWW Visits The Woodsmith Shop!

    STL208: FWW Visits The Woodsmith Shop!

    Ben heads out to Iowa and records a show with the hosts of The Woodsmith Shop TV show

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

Hakeem H. ,

Not on par with the magazine.

Unfortunately this pod falls very short in several ways. Up to about the hundredth episode, the host was charming, had extraordinary communication styles, and was fairly well knowledgeable of the craft. The segments stayed fresh, and the content quality improved. After the new host took over, the magic seems to have been dissolved.

• The questions chosen to answer and their resulting conversations have become more like WOOD Magazine or TWW Friday Live: repetitive beginner questions about tools and introductory techniques, juxtaposing the magazine’s delve into the world of masters who share their approaches. We know what a helical cutter is and which direction to feed straight knived jointers.

• Ben is not a master woodworker. That’s fine—that’s not a job requisite. We are all learning. But as a novice he guides the conversations back to himself and his limited experiences consistently. The cohosts are often contradicted or countered by Ben when they speak from their learning. Contrarianism is not the same as curiosity. Ego is not the same as passion for the craft. Poor humility and communication style.

• The audio is passable at best. I have never heard another podcast outside amateur home-brew that dared to pan guests. Listening to a stereo podcast is absolutely nauseating, and not in a trailblazing way. It’s dialogue, not a 1980s tom rack. You don’t need to wrap around the listener’s head. Sum it to mono.
Second, there is very, very little compression. The dynamic range is not limited enough to allow for a commute without riding the volume knob the whole time. I’m not talking about coughs. Riding the pots as a sentence trails off is rote. This is the sound engineer’s job if they are unsure how to use a compressor. Jeff is a good man, but Ben tried his hand at mixing at one point, and even he should have noticed this by now. I’m not being anally retentive because the rest of the pods I listen to have perfect compression.
Third, there does not seem to be an appreciable high pass. Playback on any system is too boomy without at least a low shelf. Again, compression would solve this problem as well. Spotify is the a great service for offering “normalization”, summing to mono, and EQ for pods. This burden is not placed on the listener for any other funded podcast.

These are gripes I lived with for a hundred or more episodes, thinking the new host would start to care about improving the show. The guests and topics are continually interesting, but the foundation is just not at the magazine’s echelon. Thankful it still exists, but hopeful it improves.

furry_mammal ,

Informative and fun

They go deep on all things woodworking. Very well-informed (i.e., opinions, but backed by personal experience woodworking, and wide experience visiting the shops of pro woodworkers), staying on-topic, with a good mix of Q&A, special guests, alternating hosts, and repeating features. One suggestion: sometimes it gets a little giggly, with hosts exchanging stories about interactions with other hosts. This just does not translate well to an "informative podcast" format. Stated differently, a little goes a long way.

Ehiker133 ,

All woodworking podcasts leave me unsatisfied...

... except for this one. The format is great, the discussions are fantastic, the hosts use proper equipment and worry about sound quality and such. The only thing they do wrong? They don’t publish weekly.

I’ve tried so many woodworking podcasts over the years and... most of them just don’t make the cut. They use bad mics. They have no format (or they have a bad format). Some of them spend a significant amount of time just talking about what is going on in their shop, then they fumble through discussing it, like they didn’t know they should prepare for this. It’s terrible.

Thanks, Fine Woodworking Podcast. Please keep up the great work!

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