I have some questions on woodworking as a whole.

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Forum topic by JasonLoasching posted 03-29-2021 06:18 PM 654 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 46 days

03-29-2021 06:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am Jason Loasching, a college student attending Texas A&M University-Commerce. I am tasked with writing an ethnography for my English 1302 class led by Mr. Radzinski. I chose to do mine over woodworking! I want to ask you some questions. You don’t have to answer but I would appreciate it if you would.

• What texts do you use or refer back to often while woodworking? This could be a Journal, or a textbook, or even a manual for a tool. Any form of text you guys looks at.

• Are there woodworking events you guys go to? Like a convention or just a meetup to build something together. This could be anything and everything when two carpenters get together for any reason.

• What would make the perfect workshop? Describe how it would improve on your current Workshop? What’s your environment like?

Again you don’t have to answer and I wont use your name if you don’t want to. I would appreciate your help greatly.

12 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile


3032 posts in 3722 days

#1 posted 03-29-2021 06:22 PM


To be honest, this sounds more like a 5th grade assignment than college work.

Just look around. You don’t have to do any leg work. Keyboard work will find you the answers.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Loren's profile


11193 posts in 4732 days

#2 posted 03-29-2021 06:46 PM

View Aj2's profile


3843 posts in 2882 days

#3 posted 03-29-2021 06:56 PM

I think you should look at woodworking as a continuous time age of the world.
There was the Stone Age
The Iron Age Bronze Age
The age of woodworking is has been from the beginning and will last till the end.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View 987Ron's profile


1104 posts in 400 days

#4 posted 03-29-2021 07:11 PM

1. Magazines monthly, then if I am doing a project I might research in the area the project falls. i.e. book. Jigs and such etc.
2. None available near me, so no.
3. Larger space, more storage area and shelves, a desk and chair in a closed area, better dust collection,

Good luck on your assignment Boomer Sooner.

-- Ron

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3861 posts in 4521 days

#5 posted 03-29-2021 07:35 PM

I was a teacher most of my life. I’m wondering how an ethnography fits into what you’re doing. The assignment sound like a cultural approach to what people do, which is what an ethnography is. This is more of a sociology and historical topic. Here, you’ve just hit on a bunch of people trying to cut wood and put it together in their garage.

I could be wrong. Good luck with your research.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View SMP's profile


3990 posts in 989 days

#6 posted 03-29-2021 07:51 PM

I’m more surprised that a teacher would assign an ethnography during a global pandemic. Unless they completely changed their grading rubric seems pretty unfair.

View Madmark2's profile


2660 posts in 1672 days

#7 posted 03-29-2021 07:52 PM

Books? My grandfather was a carpenter and lived in the house he built himself. Google maps shows its still there. My father was a carpenter, mechanic and a millwright and built bowling alleys all over Europe in the 60’ during the bowling boom.

  • Side Note:
    Did you know that bowling lanes are built on edge and only by right handed carpenters? Lefties drive the nails towards the surface instead of away, reducing the number of times a lane can be sanded and refinished.

I started apprenticing at 10 and at 15 was being billed as a “journeyman” carpenter. We were general contractors and built additions, finished attics and basements, decks and custom fences. (I was a big kid.)

I continued working carpentry until at 18 I went in the Army. Have had several shops since and have made & sold thousands of items from full kitchens to 4” smoking pipes.

I read stuff online and the Popular Science “Mission furniture” issue from over a century ago is a great reference.

At 63 I still have all ten (but not my leg LOL)

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Knockonit's profile


820 posts in 1286 days

#8 posted 03-29-2021 11:15 PM

jeebus, lets not boil this down to some new name or reason, or what ever, its wood working been here since begining of time, more famous wood workers than tyrants, ya think, wowza.
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View Overthehill's profile


25 posts in 121 days

#9 posted 03-29-2021 11:56 PM

First of all, I’m impressed by your taking on this project! I expect it may prove more challenging than you anticipated! So the emphasis is on “Ethanography” as opposed to woodworking or carving? You’re probably in the wrong venue! Consider the following: is the product intended to satisfy the tourist trade or is it something that “local” craftsmen, through limitations in materials, tools and social/political (patterns) expectations have been restricted to (as opposed to “manufactured in China)? .. Define the materials, tools and cultural inhibitions, if they apply! Identify how these have changed, been enhanced or modified over the years (centuries). If related (only) to wood, it’s relatively simple, assuming the local populations hasn’t leveled their forests to provide fires for heating or cooking. If other restricted materials (ivory, etc.) are involved, you may walk into a morass of issues which are likely outside the scope of your project! Best of luck on your project! I’d like to see your final paper if you would be willing to share!

View MPython's profile


358 posts in 896 days

#10 posted 03-30-2021 03:24 PM

Jason, I’ll take a crack at answering your questions.

I’ve been woodworking for 60 years or more. I got interested when my father started do-it-yourself projects in our garage when I was a kid. I’m mostly self taught. For most of those years, it was a solo hobby. I didn’t know anybody else who was interested in it. I read lots of books, the most influential of which was the trilogy, “Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking”. In the ‘70s when “Fine Woodworking” began publication, I subscribed. I still enjoy each new issue and learn from FWW to this day. I also buy various other woodworking magazines off the newsstands when something catches my eye. I have amassed a fairly large reference library that I turn to often. I have learned a lot from those sources, but the Internet was the thing that supercharged my development as a craftsman. It introduced me to skills and techniques I’d never heard of or thought about, and through it I met lots of accomplished woodworkers who have taught me, encouraged me and become my friends.

Over the years I have stocked my workshop with good tools that will serve me for the rest of my life and my kids when I’m gone. I don’t know if a “perfect” workshop exists. I like mine, but it is far from perfect. I could use double or triple the space and more storage for lumber and sheet goods.

I have become a fairly decent craftsman and am confident in my basic skills. I design most of the pieces I build. If I run into something I don’t know how to do, I can usually find answers and help on the Internet through one of several woodworking forums (fora?) I frequent. On several occasions I have spent time with woodworker friends who are much more accomplished than I am, and they have taught me specific skills or techniques I needed for a project. I look forward to the annual meeting of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association in my area. Lots of very knowledgeable and skilled woodworkers from my part of the country (the Southeast) attend, socialize and share stories. A bunch of us get together for lunch in the back room of a local restaurant every year for a show-and-tell where guys talk about their latest projects and pass around photos and items of interest to the group. Some of them are incredibly talented tool makers, and the tools they have built and bring for our enjoyment are stunning. I have also attended a few workshops at established woodworking schools to learn specific skills and meet new people who share my interest in the craft. You can learn a lot by yourself, but nothing beats watching somebody else do it and having them guide you through it as you go. The old apprentice system was perfect for that, but it’s not a reality for most of us hobbyists who have day jobs; so we pick up what we can where and when we can. It’s all fun.

Hope this is helpful for your project. Good luck with it.

View tvrgeek's profile


1869 posts in 2733 days

#11 posted 03-30-2021 03:30 PM

Watch all the Stumpy Nubbs videos.

There are many kinds of woodworking. A perfect shop for a chip carver may be different from a bowl turner or a cabinet maker.

View JasonLoasching's profile


16 posts in 46 days

#12 posted 04-13-2021 07:03 PM

Id like to thank everyone of you who shared and gave me feedback though this process. You have been so helpful and I cant thank you enough. I’m going to try to contribute more than I take from now on and make it worth your while. But thank you again for taking the time.

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