I hadn’t heard of the “Woodworking In Action” DVD series before the 16 DVDs were added to the shopwoodworking.com web site this Spring. Now I wonder how I could have missed out on so much good content for so long.
“Woodworking in Action” was started by well-respected author, editor and woodworker Graham Blackburn in 2005. Back then, the series was subscription-based and if you were one of the lucky subscribers, you got a gold mine of great woodworking knowledge and entertainment four times a year.
And I do mean great. For example: Frank Klausz chats about how he tackles dovetails for drawers. Allan Breed starts you down the road to building a classic Goddard Table. Thom Lie-Nielsen gives you a tour of his factory … and then shares some sharpening tips. Kentucky craftsman Warren May offers advice for creating a traditional bell & flower inlay. Sound good? That’s only half of the segments in the first DVD of the 16-part series!
In his 30 years as a woodworker, Graham Blackburn has written books on traditional woodworking, cabinetmaking, furniture making, hand-tools and furniture design. He is a frequent contributor to Popular Woodworking Magazine, Fine Woodworking and Woodwork – of which he was also the editor in chief for a number of years. As host of this series, Graham makes each segment feel like a visit with an old friend. The pace of the videos is unhurried and comfortable, allowing you to slow down for a while and enjoy a good conversation.
While the DVD series is chock-full of great woodworking tips, techniques and instruction, the pieces I enjoy the most are the sections that simply let the viewer experience the work and hear what inspires well-known and lesser-known craftsmen and women. Whether your personal preference is traditional period furniture, contemporary design or something a bit more rustic, each of the visits elicits appreciation for the time, skill and love that goes into the work.
Graham has stopped filming new episodes of Woodworking In Action, but the original 16 are available and well worth a look. With the rapidly shrinking selection of woodworking content available on television, and the often hurried video offerings on the internet, discovering this DVD series is like finding the DVD box set of M*A*S*H. Have a look for yourself.