I really wanted to like this video

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Review by Marcus posted 06-09-2014 01:17 PM 4690 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
I really wanted to like this video I really wanted to like this video No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I won this video in a LJ’s contest last fall, which happens to be right when I was moving from MN to CO, so watching the video was not a high priority. I finally sat down to watch it this weekend, and it bordered on painful. Full disclosure, I only watched the first 2 hours of the 4 hours of the DVD and have a pretty good understanding of working w/ jointers and planers.

So the first 15 minutes is him telling us what he does at his shop followed by a scenic tour of I assume the countryside outside of Toronto and then generic safety info. Do not get me wrong, I am all for proper shop safety, but in an instructional video about jointers and planers, I do not want to hear multiple times that I need to leave the guard on my table saw.

I keep powering through, and it keeps dragging along. There is plenty of good info here on property milling wood, but the presentation is very laborious. At one point he draws a picture of a cat to explain tear out. Time for a bathroom break.

I finish the first DVD and it does include a ton of good info on milling lumber, but it was already two hours gone in what I feel could be accomplished in 15 minutes on YouTube (a good example). I honestly did want to like this video, but it’s style was just not for me. I looked over Hendrik’s gallery of work on his web page and it’s very impressive and you can tell he obviously does have a passion for wood. I am not sure this translates well over to DVD instructional videos though.

If you’re very green to milling lumber and are just unboxing your jointer and planer, this may serve you well…if you have the time.

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3072 days

13 comments so far

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3226 days

#1 posted 06-09-2014 09:33 PM

I always watch instructional wood working videos online but some are just unreliable.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View runswithscissors's profile


3129 posts in 3077 days

#2 posted 06-09-2014 10:20 PM

I find so many U tube videos to be almost all talk and very little actual doing. A guy will show you his tools, the material, etc. and then talk about either or both endlessly. Sometimes I just want to scream, “Shut up and show me what you are aiming to do!”

In contrast. there was one video a while back about a homemade Domino-like machine, combining a compact router with an ingenious wooden jig to make oblong mortices, just like the Domino. I surmise that, because he was apparently Ukrainian or Russian, his English wasn’t up to the task of talking about his device, so he resorted to demonstrating how he made it and how it worked. Obviously, he had planned very carefully how he could best do this without words. Very effective, and I wish more video presentations would emulate his style.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 06-10-2014 12:48 AM

Yeah, there is one jointer vid from a somewhat reputable source that teaches you hoe to use a jointer…without push blocks. You definitely have to watch any how to video with a bit of skepticism and a heap of common sense.

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2921 days

#4 posted 06-10-2014 01:07 AM

Well Marcus, at least your review of the video was entertaining!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4386 days

#5 posted 06-10-2014 08:27 AM

Yes, some of these videos are long and drawn out, which can sometimes be frustrating when you just want to focus on the subject. On the other hand it can sometimes be interesting and entertaining to learn a little about the presenter, his ideas about life, the universe and everything, providing he presents it well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3127 days

#6 posted 06-10-2014 10:04 AM

Marcus, I respect your integrity for posting this. I also won a video from this same woodworker. I didn’t make it past the 20 min mark. It may have fabulous information in it, but I just couldn’t get past the style and pace.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3072 days

#7 posted 06-10-2014 02:52 PM

I really dont see this review as any different than someone writing a not so positive review for Grizzly, or Powermatic…or anyone. This just wasnt for me, it does not necessarily mean it’s not good.

Having said that, no one has taken me up on my offer for it on the forums. I may donate it to the local library so someone can get some use out of it.

View Straightlines's profile


70 posts in 2946 days

#8 posted 06-10-2014 05:07 PM

@runswithscissors: Yep, I too have admired that same video’s excellent design, its brevity, and ability to get so much across with so few words. His project is on my To Do list.

-- Cut twice, measure once ... DOH!

View LJRay's profile


106 posts in 2557 days

#9 posted 06-13-2014 03:28 AM

Is this the one you are refering to?

-- Ray

View Hendrik's profile


9 posts in 4587 days

#10 posted 06-16-2014 10:20 PM

Hi, Marcus:

I’m sorry to hear that the style of the DVD wasn’t for you. It was produced to provide a detailed course on jointer and planer use, as well as edge-gluing technique for a beginner to intermediate woodworker who might be struggling with some of these processes. But I can understand how some of the detailed explanations might be too much for some if they are looking more for a quick review type DVD that gets right to the action fast.

Here is another review for the very same production posted right here on Lumberjocks by someone else some time ago: And another one here: Here’s one on my tablesaw DVD, which I also gave out as a prize draw pretty recently: It just goes to show that there are many woodworkers out there with different needs and different preferences for learning, which is all good.

I do appreciate hearing your feedback, Marcus, and I’m sorry to have wasted your time. I’ve committed to giving away one of each of my DVD courses through Lumberjocks in order to help out a few beginners that could use the help. Of course, with a contest like this, you can never tell if the winner will be someone who is a beginner or might already be quite experienced, so the usefulness of the instruction will vary from one individual to the next. If you have no use for the DVD, I’d be quite happy to pay for the return shipping for you to send it back and I’ll promise to donate it to another woodworker who might find the information helpful.

I should mention that another Lumberjocks Contest was started recently for a production of mine called “Mortise and Tenon Joinery”. It focuses on cutting mortises with mortising machine or mortising attachment on a drill press, followed by clean-up with chisels. And it covers tenons cut mainly by table saw but also with the face and edge cheeks cut by bandsaw. Final fitting is done by chisel and hand plane. Here is a link to the contest in case anyone would like to enter to win: Perhaps someone on Lumberjocks would be interested in learning about my own personal techniques in these areas.

All the best,

Hendrik Varju
Passion for Wood

-- Fine furniture design/build, woodworking instruction and lots more --

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3072 days

#11 posted 06-18-2014 01:17 PM

Hendrik -

Very gracious response, glad to see that here on Lumberjocks. I hope my review was taken as I intended…a bit of humor saying that this DVD was not right for me based on it’s pace and instruction, and not an attack.

I basically already did what you suggested w/ the DVD and it’s in the mail as of this morning to a more novice woodworker. There is some great info in there, and hopefully it will get passed around in the same manner.

One suggestion for your contests. My contest was to say what’s the most important aspect of milling lumber. I think someone giving out a great answer for this is probably not a novice. In my opinion, your videos (this one at least) is geared more towards green woodworker. Maybe mix up the contests a bit to find a way to get these into the hands of those who can make better use of them.

All the best!

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4629 days

#12 posted 06-18-2014 01:38 PM

I know everyone has there own take on woodworking classes, instructors and videos. I know there are some folks that don’t care for the delivery of my favorite woodworking teacher even though I think he’s the best in the business.
I’ve suggested to Cricket to have the winners be able to choose from more than one video makers video’s.


View Hendrik's profile


9 posts in 4587 days

#13 posted 06-18-2014 04:28 PM

No worries, Marcus. I say live and let live. Life is too short to get all bent out of shape over differing styles and opinions. We’re all in this learning process together.

a1Jim, both you and Marcus have some great ideas for future contests, not just for me but for Cricket as well, so thanks for posting them. I’ve got just one more DVD to give away after the current one on mortise and tenon joinery, at least until I come out with the next title I’d like to promote. But once I’ve given all of them away once, I’ll consider contests in future where the winner can choose the title they feel would suit them most. It’s a great idea.

Enjoy your time in the shop, guys.


Hendrik Varju
Passion for Wood

-- Fine furniture design/build, woodworking instruction and lots more --

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