Shop Talk Live - Fine Woodworking

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Leisure #75Hobbies #11

Fine Woodworking magazine editors and contributors answer your questions and share woodworking tips and techniques.

 
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Recent Reviews
  • a bored and shoked player
    Great information and amazing entertainment
    I have been loving this podcast for a while, and I have been going back through the many previous episodes for a while now. The information, tips and tricks have been so helpful in my own woodworking, and the hosts are always as entertaining as they are knowledgeable. I recently took a long road trip, about twelve hours each way, and in hour ten of the return trip I came across “Think like a hand plane”. If you haven’t gotten to that yet, then you haven’t yet lived.
  • Jason Barile
    Like having buddies in the shop while I work
    I love listening to the FWW Podcast while I’m working. It’s like having friends in the shop who give me great tips. Hearing their “smooth moves” helps you realize that even accomplished woodworkers with decades of experience are humans and make silly mistakes now and then.
  • dcwilkinson
    Feeling part of the conversation
    There are a lot of good woodworking podcasts out there and I’ve learned a great deal from them. This one is different because the cast changes and questions get answered but somebody that really knows the answer (most of the time). The thing I really like is the easy flow of conversation. Just good friends talking shop and discussing answers. The laughter and banter are real. The knowledge is very real. And yes, I signed up for Unlimited! Money well spent! Keep doing what nobody else does as well. Dallas Wilkinson
  • labrat19352
    Awesome podcast
    I started from the beginning and have listened to every show. Then i went looking for another show and have not found one that even comes close. Keep up the great work.
  • Nonny17
    Just the best
    If you’re a woodworker, or even just like to learn about woodworking (don’t roll your eyes, my wife fits into the latter category), this is the show for you. I’ve been a woodworker for 45 years, and I just can’t wait for each new episode of STL to be released. There’s ALWAYS some new technique or tip on this show that I haven’t heard before, and the in-depth discussions are very informative. Because, as they are fond of pointing out on STL, there are always multiple ways to do any operation in the wood shop, so even if you think you already know how to do something, you’ll find yourself learning something new. What really keeps this podcast so entertaining is the banter between the guests (usually 2 or 3 per show). Ben and friends just have the perfect sensibility for how much talk makes the show entertaining, without the dreaded type of drivel you hear on some podcasts that makes you wish they’d just get back on topic. One piece of advice if you’re a more novice woodworker though: you’d probably be better off watching the STL videos on YouTube rather than listening to the podcast, since if you’re not familiar with the tool or technique they’re discussing it’s sometimes challenging to follow along without seeing it. Usually this isn’t a problem for me, but as a country person without access to broadband internet, I occasionally find myself wishing (briefly) that I lived in a city. Thanks, Ben and friends, for the fantastic show.
  • Lifelong Packer Fan
    Great Woodworking Podcast
    Really enjoy this podcast. The hosts are knowledgeable, honest and informative. Good banter but really keep it moving along. Thanks for the podcast and keep up the good work!
  • stucknKS
    Serious favorite
    Honestly, this is just solid pod. It’s like a magazine, but talking. Like a talking magazine. Like a magazine where they have photos and words, but spoken. Also, Mike freaking Pekovich. For real, it’s my favorite podcast hands down. If you like to tell your friends you are a woodworker, you should check out this podcast.
  • Kerf1973
    Good when actual woodworking is discussed.
    The “witty” non woodworking banter has gotten really old, and quite frankly unlistenable. Sorry. Past episodes were good when actual woodworking was discussed by actual accomplished woodworkers. It’s tough listening to the IT guy give his 2 cents on woodworking. I cancelled my subscription awhile ago. Nothing more off putting than paying for a service and then being inundated with ads. Articles are repetitive and seem only to follow trends.
  • WRobb
    There is great hope here!
    I tuned in to the first shop talk live and then tuned out after the first few episodes due to the incessant use of sound effects. I came back recently and thought that things had really improved, except for the rampant lutherism from Ben Strano. I wondered where FWW’s voice of reason,Mike Pekovich, was when they hired this guy? Perhaps Mike was on a well deserved sabbatical, with Dr. Kenney, when they hired Ben Strano. I’ve just listened to Ben’s interview with Garrett Wade founder Garry Chinn and learned that Ben is a fan on Inca machines, so he can’t be all bad. Seriously, this is a great podcast that I enjoy tremendously, but remember lutherism is a lot like cow bell, a little goes a long way.
  • "Trooper Eric"
    fantastic podcast
    Ben and company, I have dived into the wood working realm the last 2-3 years. I found your gem of a poscast and have been binge listening all the time. Your rapport with each other is funny, informative and engaging. Your guests are intriguing and the content captavating. Recently i listened to The Dave Fisher interview and was blown away realizing he is literally in my backyard. A scant 12 miles away which was unbelievable that I had not heard of him locally. Please keep it up and thank you for giving me a reason to anticipate Fridays new episodes. Eric Weller
  • Jigs-n-fixtures
    Frequently a little off, sometimes wrong
    The is generally a woodworking pod cast, but it can veer off into side insights, and from time to time, they are in my opinion just plain wrong. At least for the way I work, and the methods I use. But it always entertaining. And, I download every episode to listen too while I drive around the great black hole, (The Frank Church Wilderness, the largest dark spot on a night satellite image of the Continental USA.).
  • eldamatic
    Thanks, I finally listened to one of your podcasts
    These are wonderful! Having spent 30 years (20 years ago) in the Rock & Roll Indie/new wave/ college rock, music scene I avoided listening because I was expecting the same weird ego-centric baloney. . . Like I dealt with back then - great talent, but wow was it hard to be around. Boy was I wrong! I am a fan- finding myself laughing aloud from the stories. . . and realizing I could enjoy being around the towering talent in this craft. My favorite line up: Anissa, Ben and Mike.
  • Rusty Kinnane
    STL // Listener Response
    Hi, I only listen to the pod, no need for video for me. Love the pod, especially guest episodes. Have you ever had jack forsberg on the show (@jackenglishmachines) the man deserves a pod an article and a cover ASAP. Thanks for all your good work!
  • Sarah Needs Shoptime
    Hands down best woodworking podcast
    What a great podcast! I’m a relative beginner to woodworking and I couldn’t have asked for a better podcast. It really is a gem. The Smooth Moves segment is a stroke of brilliance because now when I inevitably mess up in the shop, I see it as an amusing learning opportunity instead of proof I have no future in woodworking and should just give up. I can feel solidarity with those who are much more skilled than I am even when I make dumb mistakes. Thanks guys! The hosts are also fantastic. This is not a know-it-all bro’s show, like some others tend to be. They all bring something unique in addition to their woodworking knowledge. Ben is great as a moderator, Mike manages to give off vibes of extreme skillfullness while being genuinely humble and helpful, Anissa is relatable and refreshing, and Barry is hilarious, witty and quirky in a good way. I’ve become a subscriber and an unlimited member since finding this podcast and it’s helped me in so many ways take my woodworking to the next level and expand what I can see myself achieving in the future.
  • Woodworking Labor Lawyer
    South Philly
    I am a subscriber to the magazine, a South Philly basement woodworker and this podcast completes the trifecta! I only use hand tools - row home neighbors appreciate it - and your in depth discussion on techniques, maintenance, etc. is incredible. Thank you for this great work!!!
  • sir blitzee
    Legit
    Dudes (and sometimes Anissa) talking shop. The best pod for woodworking. Viva la Pekovich!
  • professional woodworker
    Used be be great.
    Great folks and great information, but somehow Ben got promoted from recording tech to host and he’s loud, annoying, overly confident, and often has no idea what he’s talking about. Mike is too kind to set him straight. The best episodes these days are when mike has a guest.
  • jason leger
    Good podcast
    Listened to the podcast in order from oldest to newest and am finally to current. Love episodes where Ben, mike and anissa are on together, as it seems to be a great combo and wealths of knowledge! Thank you all for what you all do. Truly inspiring and motivating for those of us that need that push to get out into the shop in the evenings after long day at the day job! Thanks for thank. Keep it up
  • Wally the beer man
    Great content, great hosts, great show!
    It’s always a good day when the notice that a new Shop Talk Live show has arrived. Informative, fun and hosted by some truly good guys. You’ll learn a bunch and have a good time doing it!
  • gameplayer1988
    Love the show
    I love listening to the show and always learn something. Appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and the laughs. Fun show to listen to. Keep up the good work.
  • Tim Givan
    Great Show
    Love the show. Receive good information in a relaxed format.
  • agderr
    Episode 234. Polystyrene is not a polycarbonate
    Mis-information in this podcast Polystyrene is not a polycarbonate. The two materials are very different. Polystyrene is not a undefined generic name. It is a very specific chemical.
  • FleetFarmer
    Cmon Pekovitch
    Long time listener, I had to comment after hearing Mike Pekovitch frown upon dovetail saw guides to help hand cutting dovetails... Especially because on every video that I see he uses special tablesaw blades ground for dovetails and uses the bandsaw to cut his waste and uses a morticing machine and basically every other way except by hand... Love ya Mike but...cmon man
  • TheBigKurt
    Amazing podcast for an aspiring woodworker
    I found myself getting into this craft just this spring after finishing a custom speaker project my late uncle left behind. I knew there was better ways of joinery than the pocket screws everyone uses on YouTube. With my father recently passing I had nowhere else to turn than looking for a podcast. I happened across this one, gave it a whirl and was hooked. That was April 3rd. It is now July 7th and I have listened to every episode, listened Nick Offermans book on their recommendation, received the usb magazine catalog for Father’s Day, refurbished my dads old Record and Stanley planes and completed my first piece of furniture this weekend, a bookcase from the magazine for my daughter! To say I’m hooked is an understatement. This podcast has helped me in ways unimaginable. The banter between the hosts is natural and engaging. The segments are informative and entertaining. The chemistry between all the hosts is outstanding and leaves me wanting more. Outstanding job. 1 suggestion, bring back Ed’s sound effects.
  • Varyk
    More to life than Wood Talk
    Working my way backwards through your catalog of podcasts I had to laugh when Ben made a joke about STL being what people would be stuck with when Wood Talk announced they were calling it quits, and that’s exactly how I came to find this podcast. While I was happy when Wood Talk cafe back them quitting was the best thing to happen because STL has become my favorite podcast. The typical mix of Ben, Mike, and Anissa have a great chemistry, and the less frequent hosts are an equal pleasure to listen to along with the guest Wood woodworkers. My favorite segment is smooth move. It’s my bi-weekly affirmation that I’m not the only one making dumb ass mistakes in my shop. Keep up the good work!!!
  • Magnous in GA
    Great podcast!
    I found this podcast while looking for apron recommendations and after listening to them nerd-out about aprons and pencils for half an hour, I’m hooked! Now I’m downloading episode 1 and I’ll listen to them all.
  • MakeItEasyToRead
    Lighten up Francis!
    Ease up people. Every podcast someone wants the podcast to be a weekly podcast. One of the benefits of quarantine, we get the podcast weekly. Ben gives us the warning in the opener, and people still complain. (They must have skipped over the opener) Still ten times more informative than the average woodworking podcast. Keep up the good work.
  • Paul Jerome
    Humor? Wit?
    What’s happening to this podcast? It used to be the best around. I’m a long time subscriber to the magazine as well as this podcast, however, I believe both are in decline. I’m sure glad you’re not the only game in town. Much better listening material out there when it comes to woodworking. I won’t name names but your new talent is well...not talented. Go back to what made me appreciate the content. FINE woodworkers with real ideas, real talent and real advice.
  • notcapman
    Keep them coming
    Another great show, thanks for the extra effort with the weekly episodes. Love the recommendations at the end. Anissa, you have a wonderfully eclectic taste in music, but I will never, ever stop for gas anywhere near your neck of the woods!!
  • kdwinfield
    Awesome Podcast
    I have listened to all of the podcasts, even though the cast has changed over time the information is always valuable. I wish it was weekly but I understand the time it takes to put together. Maybe the week in between podcasts a 30 minute episode with a pro or feature topic would be great.
  • Hakeem H.
    Not on par with the magazine.
    Unfortunately this pod falls very short in several ways. Up to about the hundredth episode, the host was charming, had extraordinary communication styles, and was fairly well knowledgeable of the craft. The segments stayed fresh, and the content quality improved. After the new host took over, the magic seems to have been dissolved. • The questions chosen to answer and their resulting conversations have become more like WOOD Magazine or TWW Friday Live: repetitive beginner questions about tools and introductory techniques, juxtaposing the magazine’s delve into the world of masters who share their approaches. We know what a helical cutter is and which direction to feed straight knived jointers. • Ben is not a master woodworker. That’s fine—that’s not a job requisite. We are all learning. But as a novice he guides the conversations back to himself and his limited experiences consistently. The cohosts are often contradicted or countered by Ben when they speak from their learning. Contrarianism is not the same as curiosity. Ego is not the same as passion for the craft. Poor humility and communication style. • The audio is passable at best. I have never heard another podcast outside amateur home-brew that dared to pan guests. Listening to a stereo podcast is absolutely nauseating, and not in a trailblazing way. It’s dialogue, not a 1980s tom rack. You don’t need to wrap around the listener’s head. Sum it to mono. Second, there is very, very little compression. The dynamic range is not limited enough to allow for a commute without riding the volume knob the whole time. I’m not talking about coughs. Riding the pots as a sentence trails off is rote. This is the sound engineer’s job if they are unsure how to use a compressor. Jeff is a good man, but Ben tried his hand at mixing at one point, and even he should have noticed this by now. I’m not being anally retentive because the rest of the pods I listen to have perfect compression. Third, there does not seem to be an appreciable high pass. Playback on any system is too boomy without at least a low shelf. Again, compression would solve this problem as well. Spotify is the a great service for offering “normalization”, summing to mono, and EQ for pods. This burden is not placed on the listener for any other funded podcast. These are gripes I lived with for a hundred or more episodes, thinking the new host would start to care about improving the show. The guests and topics are continually interesting, but the foundation is just not at the magazine’s echelon. Thankful it still exists, but hopeful it improves.
  • furry_mammal
    Informative and fun
    They go deep on all things woodworking. Very well-informed (i.e., opinions, but backed by personal experience woodworking, and wide experience visiting the shops of pro woodworkers), staying on-topic, with a good mix of Q&A, special guests, alternating hosts, and repeating features. One suggestion: sometimes it gets a little giggly, with hosts exchanging stories about interactions with other hosts. This just does not translate well to an "informative podcast" format. Stated differently, a little goes a long way.
  • Ehiker133
    All woodworking podcasts leave me unsatisfied...
    ... except for this one. The format is great, the discussions are fantastic, the hosts use proper equipment and worry about sound quality and such. The only thing they do wrong? They don’t publish weekly. I’ve tried so many woodworking podcasts over the years and... most of them just don’t make the cut. They use bad mics. They have no format (or they have a bad format). Some of them spend a significant amount of time just talking about what is going on in their shop, then they fumble through discussing it, like they didn’t know they should prepare for this. It’s terrible. Thanks, Fine Woodworking Podcast. Please keep up the great work!
  • pramsey1234
    Can’t get enough
    I just finished binge listening to the entire 8 years of Fine Woodworking Live (209 episodes) over a couple of months. I will probably be suffering withdrawals symptoms for a little while. For those who might want to start at the the beginning with Episode 1 back in March of 2012, you should know that the audio quality improves somewhat over the first few and then significantly with episode 15 with the upgrade of microphones. Over the years everyone has clearly become more comfortable with the podcasting tools and with podcasting in general and now it’s very natural discussion which makes it a pleasant listen. The smooth moves, the favorite furniture or designer, the favorite tools, are all great. The listener questions can get repetitive at times (when should I sharpen, which tool should I buy first, etc) such that this beginner can pretty much give a basic answer to most of them now but there is always some new detail (or even change of opinion) which keeps even that discussion interesting.
  • Brodie8888
    A deep dive into the details
    Looking for a deep discussion of joinery? Finishing? Furniture design? Yep it’s happening here. Anissa, Ben, that Mike character and others provide the knowledge gleaned from personal experience and masterful woodworkers that regularly appear in Fine Woodworking magazine. A bit of whimsy and humor are folded into the details along with ‘smooth moves’ and ‘favorite techniques’. Once you start listening your only complaint will be waiting 2 weeks between episodes.
  • Baby Hippo Dan
    It’s no Serial
    Great woodworking podcast though
  • xjumper65
    So Happy with the Current Hosts
    This is a great Woodworking podcast from the writers and editors of the finest woodworking magazine I’ve ever read. The content is entertaining and informative. The current hosts and the occasional guest hosts are a pleasure to spend time listening to which wasn’t always the case there for a a while. Tom, Ben, Mike, (along with the occasional ray of sunshine known as Anissa Kapsales and others) are fun and interesting. I haven’t enjoyed the hosts of this podcast this much since Asa and Ed departed the show. Once again, I am now looking forward to each new podcast episode.
  • Acjc901
    Biweekly dose of shop talk!
    This is a great podcast to have a bit of woodworking talk in everyday lives even when you are away from your own shop.
  • DanielWhitener
    Excellent woodworking podcast
    The podcast is well produced and has excellent show notes. It somehow manages to be entertaining and educational and I always learn something new and have a few laughs along the way- love it!
  • hgkskaja
    Honing you’re all time tool of all time: you
    This podcast, and the content that it drives you to, is the best way to hone the number one tool in your shop; you. After listening for about a year, my wife has purchased me a magazine subscription, and I’m looking to upgrade to unlimited in 2020. On the newsstands, your magazine can be intimidating to a hobbyist like me, but this podcast acts like a front porch to Fine Woodworking content showing the accessibility for hobbyists like myself.
  • HansVS
    Listen to the whole thing
    After just catching up on seven years of podcasts, I can confidently say that you should listen to them all. There will be heartbreaks as some leave and new people join, but there are great tips and techniques buried in there. The best part is how it motivates you to get in the shop and do something.
  • KyleMix
    Best (woodworking) podcast
    I have been an avid listener for several years now. I can confidently say if you have a passion for woodworking you’ll love this podcast. Great discussions on a variety of topics with pretty sound advice. Just so credit goes where credit is due, Ben inspired me, both to write this review, and to upgrade to an unlimited membership.
  • ShiloSharps45-70
    No Competition!
    I look forward to each episode with great anticipation! No other woodworking pod cast comes close to the level of entertainment, value and professionalism. Fine Woodworking doesn’t just set the standard, it is the standard.
  • A Good Grandson
    Good podcast but repetitive
    I’ve been listening to this podcast for a few years now and although it has a kinda slow pace it does talk about woodworking while interjecting a bit of humor and information. My biggest issue with the podcast is the repetition. Just like the magazine, the podcast seems to retackle the same questions over and over; what finish, what wood, what handplane, how to sharpen, etc. Is this because the hosts aren’t widely skilled? I mean, they seem to mostly know their stuff but I wouldn’t say they are woodworking experts...more like career journalist hobby woodworkers. As such, the topics are narrow, the advice generic and the discussion never reaches the detail level. Good show for the beginner woodworkers. A bit dull for intermediate woodworkers. Makes for okay background noise in the shop.
  • Dog food guy
    I absolutely love this
    I absolutely love this podcast. They have the right amount of humor with the right amount of information. I’m never bored listening.
  • IFlora
    Woodworking Perspective
    I have had a project sitting on my bench for a few months that I haven’t worked on because I get frustrated on how little progress I make on it when I do. After listening to the latest podcast, I’ve realized I idolize making something with ‘all hand tools’ when I think I’ll enjoy woodworking more when using ‘some hand tools’. Also, the reminders that it doesn’t have to perfect is great as well. This motivated me to get back out there on my project this past weekend and I had a great time. Keep up the great Pod!
  • Lbhunter
    The Ride
    Started listening to pass the time of my commute and thoroughly enjoy it...educational, entertaining and relevant to my avocation of making furniture with hand tools. Awesome combination!
  • kccfw
    Great changes
    I was initially turned off with the constant “how to sharpen my hand tool” repetition, it’s been great. More content variety has take things up to a whole new level.
  • Eukaryote69
    Woodwork talk Nirvana
    OK, I am relatively new to woodworking, but I am also a podcast junkie for many years. So I think I understand what works in a podcast and what doesn’t. Now, when I start a podcast I always start at the beginning, and so I’m only up to episode 18 so far. A comment by a listener was read on this issue, and the listener was upset by the fact that it was “just a bunch of guys randomly talking about woodworking”, and wasn’t “focused enough“ for this listener. I have to completely disagree. Although I am early into this podcast, I find this style of podcast very refreshing, because as a woodworker, I don’t want to “jump to the end” and see a polished finished piece of furniture podcast, I want to know the nitty-gritty dirty details, and to be honest, that can only happen when guys and gals, who are woodworkers are just randomly talking about the pieces they have built, tools they have used, techniques they have used, etc. etc. So, to the podcast guys doing the talking, y’all are doing great! Don’t listen to the detractors, if a few people are offended by a bunch of guys sitting around talking about woodworking in a informal fashion, then they have obviously not spent a lot of time around guys doing guy things. So, keep up the good work! Also, I am SO jealous of you guys, if I could be on the staff of your magazine I think I would have died and gone to heaven! The perk of getting a complete set of Fine Woodworking Magazines upon hiring is worth it by itself!!!! OMG. So jealous. Thank you for making my work day a little better! My day job is an accounting job, so I listen to your podcast to help me through the boring days, so I can get home and handle some wood, or surf for new tools. You can never have enough tools!!!
  • rexhansen
    #197 Great Pod (as are the rest of the episodes)
    Loved the discussion on miter joints and shrink and swell. Kept it coming.
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