Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Craftsy was here & Rob is a star again

In May, we had the pleasure of hosting three awesome members of the Craftsy crew here at the shop for a few days. Their mission? To film a course designed and taught by Rob to share with the woodworkers of the internet. Craftsy is a site designed to offer online courses taught by experts to learn crafts at your own pace, in your own space, and on your own time. So, with the wonders of modern technology, you can now learn all about making doors and finishing wood from Rob on your tablet in your basement shop at home. Woah.

Jared, Nathan, and Tony brought bright lights, cameras, and an overall feel of Hollywood from Denver to our dusty, farm shop in Pennsylvania... it was awesome! We got to see the fancy camera swoop-ins, hear the snap of the slate, watch live editing, and all the other fancy movie-making magic. The roosters didn't care about the sound sensitivity factor so the background noise is filled with authentic shop/farm activity.

For three days, Rob taught lessons on how to make doors for fine furniture and cabinets; Suitably, the course is titled Doors for Cabinetry & Fine Furniture. A couple of weeks later, Rob was off to shoot an additional course called Flawless Finishing. Meanwhile, I was dubbed "Rob's Assistant" for the week which means I am taking it upon myself to claim a small degree of fame by association (and because I was lucky to be featured as 'glue up partner' in one of the lessons).

In the Doors for Cabinetry & Fine Furniture course, Rob covers everything you will need to make doors for your furniture/cabinets. He discusses choosing the right materials, designing doors, proper joinery terminology and execution, hardware installation, and, of course, actually making and assembling doors! He covers raised-panel doors as well as flat panels and discusses how to resaw pieces so that it's easy to create those panels with bookmatched grain patterns. The course is broken up into digestible lessons complete with downloadable course materials that include materials lists and jig plans.

Flawless Finishing is all about the Lohr Woodworking approach to finishing any type of wood with a smooth, perfect-sheen finish. Rob flew out to Denver to shoot this one. Wait, did I mention that it's free? Oh yeah, kids, it's a free for all mini-lesson. Get it while it's hot! Rob teaches four lessons (totaling about an hour and a half) covering the process we use to ensure natural, stunning color that is then protected by a smooth, durable finish. He walks you through the step-by-step procedure we use ourselves at the shop for all of our furniture. He covers various finish application methods and rub out materials to provide surfaces that will resist ringing when wet as well as feel smooth and soft to the touch. 

For those who have taken classes with us, you know how much we care about the craft and harbor a love for teaching others about it. Now, we're so happy the internet world is getting a chance to learn something from us too. Even better, you can trust the instructor on the other side of your computer screen instead of crossing your fingers that the guy on YouTube knows what he's talking about.

Well done Rob, well done. And a big thanks to Craftsy for coming to hang out, but moreso for making such wonderful productions to help eager woodworkers learn a thing or two from home.

Now, readers, go enroll! Learn to make doors! And then finish them!