Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Learning without Leadership - Exploring the web

Back in January, I started building a Nursery Cabinet without really any knowledge of how to build a cabinet. My wife Marsha was 5.5 months pregnant (our first) and we wanted an open closet with a cabinet inside. We originally came up with the design while having dinner at Montana's restaurant. They have the brown paper table coverings (I won't dignify them by calling them table cloths) and provide crayons for kids to entertain themselves with. We came up with the following design:
The hanger rods would be placed into the left hand side (I just never got around to putting them in the drawing).

Some rudimentary web searching told me what I thought I needed to know, but I've managed only to cut down the plywood components, make 3 drawers and the drawer faces (more on that in a project blog later).

There it stopped. I had no idea how to make the face frame. Nor did I have enough clamps to start assembly. I was crushed.

So, I began looking for podcasts, blogs, articles ... you name it. I happened to find The Wood Whisperer. In the span of a month, I downloaded and viewed every episode he had to offer and was hungry for more. I also exceeded my bandwidth for the month and had to pay an extra $30. Small price to pay for the knowledge gained.

I also ended up joining the The Wood Whisperer Guild in March. The guild local to my area was a bit far away. Their web page calendar was about 2 years out of date and they didn't seem to be very active in holding seminars or classes.

Since the beginning of March, I've subscribed to many blogs, podcasts and with my travel time for other activities, feeding our child at night (she was born March 12th). I've been able to catch up on the entire history of Wood Talk Online, and the Spoken Wood podcast (gee, looking at it this way, I have WAY too much time on my hands - but it was all time I was physically occupied with somewhat mindless activities).

In answering Marc & Matt's question in WTO episode 68, I believe that yes, it is possible to learn woodworking (at least the basics) from books/videos alone (if you include blogs as books and video podcasts as videos).

I guess with joining the guild in March, my foray into learning without leadership is not completely true, but I believe it mostly holds as true because I don't go running to Marc everytime I need to know how to do something (Marc, I'm sure you would be very thankful as helpful as you've been - you would have to charge me 2 memberships LOL!). The self education process is still very evident.

As a side note, I haven't bought an actual woodworking book until about a month ago. I've since built a couple of projects, but it will soon be time to get back to that Nursury Cabinet and complete it before my daughter is moved to her own room ... and preserve the peace between my beloved and me.

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