More Caught than Taught


As each of us starts out in a new craft, we wish for someone with experience to show us how it’s really done. It’s possible to read all the tutorials and hear all the explanations and yet still feel like we haven’t gotten to see how it’s done in the real world. Watching a craftsman work in their natural setting brings out all the subtleties of work habits than make all the difference for us learning in the early stages. The experienced artisan’s subtle movements burn into our subconscious and those small things teach us more than is often given credit.

When my family listened through The Joiner and Cabinetmaker on a recent road trip, one of the things that stood out to my wife and I was that Thomas spoke so often of things he learned by observation rather than direct didactic instruction. For Thomas, the most valuable lessons of his apprenticeship seemed to be more caught than taught. This resonated with our own experience learning craft skills.

In that spirit, Mike and I were inspired to bring readers into the shop with our new Apprenticeship “Foundations” video. We decided to swap out the conventional (and awkward) stand and stare at the camera model with a more authentic and natural observational style. The camera was simply documenting my real life work habits, capturing those subtle motions developed over time. The commentary is provided in a casual voice-over style serving only to provide clarity to the task at hand. Both Mike and I are very excited about how it’s coming together because we think this model will be a breath of fresh air to those tired of simply being instructed.

Enthusiastic readers have been asking about when it will be released. If all goes well, we expect it to be completed and available for purchase sometime next week.

So join me in my shop. Let me show you how I work. We want this Apprenticeship Series to make hand tool woodworking accessible and satisfying in a way you’ve never experienced.

The Official Trailer: