BEYOND THE BASICS- Taking your woodwoking to the next level #1: Building a new mindset -- 3 tools needed to be a better woodworker

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Blog entry by chidwickschool posted 01-27-2012 07:16 AM 7527 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of BEYOND THE BASICS- Taking your woodwoking to the next level series no next part

Teaching a seminar at The Woodworking Show in Portland, OR

I know I am somewhat new to Lumberjocks, but I can already see that this forum is a gold mine of support, inspiration and community—my kind of people! It is therefore, my desire to do my part in this group of like-minded friends, by starting off an extensive educational series I’ve recently prepared entitled: “BEYOND THE BASICS—Taking your woodworking to the next level” The series will include many advanced joinery topics as well as an introduction to other specialized woodworking techniques.

Today’s post introduces the first topic with a 3-part series titled:

”BUILDING A NEW MINDSET—3 tools needed to be a better woodworker”

We’ve all heard the old saying: “It’s important to have the right tool for the job,”—right? Sadly, this adage has directed so many woodworkers on a long, lonely and often expensive journey that can often lead to frustration and disappointment. I strongly affirm that the best “tool” for the woodworking job is a passionate, knowledgeable and well-trained woodworker.

These are the three pillars of woodworking excellence, and will be the three parts of this series:

Part 1: Building Passion, Developing Confidence

Whether you are just starting out as a woodworker or you have been making sawdust most of your life, every one of us could use an infusion of passion and confidence. Moving beyond your comfort zone, allowing yourself to be inspired, and unleashing your own creativity can give you a tremendous boost. Many woodworkers are not sure of their own creativity, and therefore often fall back to their “comfort zone”. But maybe its time to feed the passion, maybe it’s time to express yourself, maybe its time to work from the heart.

Part 2: Building Knowledge, Gaining Experience

Good news! The sources of woodworking knowledge are abundant these days. But is that enough, and how do you sift through it all? Knowledge and experience multiply exponentially, once you have some key elements in place. In this installment, we will cover a variety of ways to build the knowledge and gain the experience you need to move from someone who likes to tinker around in the shop, to a rock star woodworker.

Part 3: Building Skills, Finding Success

Unfortunately, a head full of knowledge and a shop full of tools don’t guarantee success as a woodworker. Moving that knowledge from your head into your hands and out your tools is a very important skill, and it gets easier with practice. In this final installment, we will cover very practical ways to improve your techniques to the point where you can actually create from your wildest woodworking dreams.

Looking forward to spending some time with y’all, feel free to invite a friend for the discussion. Look for the first of this series to be posted in a few days.

-- Andy Chidwick,

10 comments so far

View sras's profile


5536 posts in 3939 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 07:36 AM

Hey! I was there! Not in the picture, but I remember talking to you about your rocking chair classes.

I am looking forward to your posts. Should be educational. Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View thedude50's profile


3613 posts in 3287 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 08:54 AM

i HAVE A GREAT BOOK CALLED BEYOND THE BASICS BY WILLIAM WENTZEL he is a great craftsman and i am shure he wont mind your borrowing the title since your doing a class and he did a book. I will follow your class as a refresher I am a life long learner and believe to stop learning is to start dying

-- Please check out my new stores and

View chidwickschool's profile


30 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 09:53 AM

Hey Lance, glad you are going to join up, I’d love to gain your thoughts and insights on this subject. I’m not familiar with William Wentzel’s book or content and since the words “beyond the basics” is such a common phrase I didn’t think to check other titles. Meanwhile, I have been developing this series after spending the last few years teaching at The Woodworking Shows and meeting so many woodworkers who always sold themselves short and remained (in their minds) novice woodworkers who seemed to lack confidence and vision. To me, this was the Genesis of the subject and the heart of the matter. I hope that this will be a profitable discussion for all of us. Thanks for offering your thoughts.

-- Andy Chidwick,

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3698 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 10:51 AM

Hi Andy.

Welcome, brother wood nut. I look forward to reading your blogs here with interest.

Increasing knowledge is never a waste of time!


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3435 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 01:35 PM

You have a great philosophy there Andy. I look forward to following this series. I personally joined LumberJocks to learn, to be inspired and to share the learning and inspiration with others. I hope you find our community as enjoyable as I do.

I look forward to the next episode.


-- JoeyG ~~~

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3877 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 04:05 PM

Looking forward to your posts, thanks !!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 4539 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 05:33 PM

This is definitely a great forum for knowledge sharing.
Thanks for sharing yours.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View thedude50's profile


3613 posts in 3287 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 05:57 PM

hey andy as a long time woodworker i KNOW MORE THAN MANY AND YET I AM OFTEN IMPRESSED BUY THE GUY WHO HAS ONLY BEEN AT IT A FEW WEEKS oops sorry any way I love it when a new guy shows me a fresh perspective or how he choses to do something differently than i learned several of my teachers would say it was the right way their way or the wrong way I dont believe that at all I cant wait to see some content

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 4158 days

#9 posted 01-28-2012 12:24 AM

Andy thanks for sharing this
We meet as a group and it seems they are all happy with the way things are
and I would like to learn as much as I can….. to me it is not about the destination but the journey.
So if I am able to use any tidbits from you and inspire the old crew
That would be a good thing

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View chidwickschool's profile


30 posts in 3142 days

#10 posted 02-28-2012 07:06 PM

Hey Guys,
Wanted to give you a quick update. I filmed the first video of this series a couple of weeks ago and then accidentally recorded over it (HD DV Tape format) so I’m recording it over again. Sorry for hanging you out for a few extra weeks. It should be done early March. Thanks for your patience!


-- Andy Chidwick,

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