WoodTalk – This is a fun, lighthearted weekly podcast featuring Marc Spagnuolo (The Wood Whisperer), Shannon Rogers (The Renaissance Woodworker), and Matt Cremona. They discuss what they’re working on each week and answer listener mails and questions. Episodes are about 45 to 60 minutes long.
Shop Talk Live – Like WoodTalk, this is also a pretty lighthearted show, though it tends to be a little more focused. This podcast is hosted by several editors of Fine Woodworking magazine. It has regular features where the editors discuss projects that have inspired them, or tools or techniques that have worked well for them recently. Episodes are about an hour long.
The Renaissance Woodworker – Shannon Rogers, mentioned above with WoodTalk, maintains an excellent series of weekly videos on YouTube. He’s a hand tool woodworker, so I watch all of his videos with interest. He likes to experiment with new tools, and is also frequently improving his shop. He also works in a lumber yard and is able to give insight into the business side of lumber yards. Definitely one of my favorite woodworking personalities.
Paul Sellers – Paul Sellers is an experienced professional woodworker and posts mostly-weekly videos demonstrating basic woodworking techniques. I’ve somewhat fallen off his videos lately, since I find they’re often targeted at people brand new to woodworking and I sometimes disagree with his choices. But I think he’s an excellent place to begin getting familiar with the craft due to the breadth and depth of basic woodworking knowledge available in his videos. His enthusiasm is infectious and he makes woodworking seem really easy, perhaps even misleadingly so.
Rob Cosman – Rob Cosman posts great, in-depth videos about his current projects, and sometimes more general videos about techniques. Updates sporadically, but I always enjoy his videos.
Popular Woodworking Magazine Blogs – PWM has a number of different blogs, all of them worth subscribing to. Chris Schwarz posts great, down-to-earth articles about once a week. Megan Fitzpatrick, PWM’s editor and director, often posts about running the magazine and other woodworking community aspects. Other PWM authors contribute a few articles on various techniques each week. Sometimes they run older articles from the magazine itself.
Lost Art Press Blog – Chris Schwarz maintains a blog for his publishing company where he posts about upcoming projects, his travel experiences, and techniques he’s experimenting with. Sometimes his articles here and on PWM blog seem like first drafts of articles that end up in PWM or in his books. Published authors also frequently contribute to the Lost Art Press blogs. Lately they’ve been running a fascinating series of profiles of Lost Art Press authors. I also like the Walk in the Woods articles from Steve Schafer about plant identification in the wild.
Fine Woodworking Magazine Blog – The Fine Woodworking magazine authors post a few blog articles per week, usually focusing on a specific technique. Like the magazine, which I discuss below, these tend to focus more on power tools than hand tools, which means I end up skipping most of them. But it’s low volume, so I am keeping up with it for now.
Crucible Tool Blog – Chris Schwarz also co-runs a premium tool company. This is a very low volume blog, but its articles discuss the process of developing their tools. It’s fun to read about the effort they put into designing each tool, and the manufacturing processes. (I hope you’re not tired of Chris Schwarz, because there’s more to come.)
The Something Awful Forums Woodworking Thread – This isn’t a blog per se, but people on the SA forums post their completed projects, in-progress updates, and questions here for discussion. It’s quite active, usually receiving at least a few posts every day.
Popular Woodworking – This is my favorite woodworking magazine. It shows up about six times per year and I’m always sad that I can blaze through it in just a day or two of commuting to work. My favorite parts of the magazine cover techniques, tools, or hardware, with about an even split between hand and power tool usage. I’m less interested in the in-depth plans and project walkthroughs. The magazine also often has craftsperson or shop profiles, which are fun to read.
Mortise and Tenon – This is actually halfway between a magazine and a book. It’s a once-yearly periodical sold for $20 plus shipping. Only two issues have been published so far. But they’re both excellent to read. The focus is strongly on pre-industrial woodworking. Some of my favorite articles in each issue are examinations of pieces from a couple hundred years ago, including internal construction details, tool marks, that kind of thing. The second issue had a great feature about reconstructing the history of a bed built in America that somehow turned up in England.
Fine Woodworking – I’m less enamored with Fine Woodworking. It seems to focus largely on project plans, and definitely has a strong preference for power tools. It feels somewhat more focused towards the professional or working woodworker as opposed to the amateur. That said, I’ll probably keep my subscription as I already read my woodworking sources faster than they can write them. I also really enjoy their Shop Talk Live podcast, mentioned above, and this is a way to financially support it, albeit indirectly.
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery by Gary Rogowski – This excellent book just contains a long list of joinery options for every scenario. When I’m designing a project, I review this book to recall my joinery options. It contains full color photographs for how to construct every joint with a variety of tools, from hand tools only to a complete power tool shop.
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Furniture & Cabinet Construction by Andy Rae – This book discusses the basics of frame construction, especially discussing how to build durable furniture and account for wood movement. The first chapters are a great overview of how to build durable furniture, before moving on to design details and specific examples of case construction like drawers, hinges and doors, case feet and trim. Like the previous book, I use this as a reference when designing a new piece.
The Essential Woodworker by Robert Wearing – I highly recommend this book. It’s a brief introduction to every woodworking skill needed for simple furniture construction. If you want to know how to dress your stock, put together a table, or construct a box, this book will tell you how to do it with no fluff. This book will make you conversant in furniture construction, giving you a base of knowledge you can use to understand other resources.
Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexner – I hate finishing, but this book helps make the task less daunting by getting right down into the nitty gritty for how each kind of finish actually works at the chemical level. This gives you the information you need to decide what finish, or combination of finishes, will give you the effects you want. I haven’t finished enough projects to have made much use of this yet, but at least I have a basic understanding of finishes from reading this book. Again, when it comes time to select and apply a finish, I use this book for reference.
The Anarchist’s Design Book by Chris Schwarz – I like this book so much, I actually have read it cover to cover twice and haven’t yet built anything from it (though I plan to do so shortly). It’s impressive the variety of high quality furniture can be built with the book’s key joint, the back-wedged, staked mortise and tenon. Chris’s writing is always a joy to read. Chapters scattered here and there describe his design philosophy or cover finishing techniques including an excellent two-page primer on milk paint and a short treatise on a soap finish which I’m eager to try.
Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use by Chris Schwarz – If you’re interested in designing your own workbench, I expect this is a good resource. I read it cover to cover, because I enjoy Chris’s writing, but frankly you could probably get by without this book if you simply want to build one of his workbench designs. He’s shown them off on his blog and in videos around the web often enough that they’re dead simple to clone. I built my knockdown Nicholson bench using the instructions in this book, but his blog posts on the subject really were sufficient that I could have skipped the book.