Over the years I’ve had a lot of interests and hobbies. I have spent countless hours on forums, searching the internet for information and watching videos on the various topics. Had it not been for all the wonderful people “out there”, I would not have been able to indulge in so many different hobbies. This website is my way of paying it forward.
Because of all those activities – photography, building a full-sized 737 cockpit for flight simulator, some electronics, physics, RC planes, solid fuel rocket engines, 3D printing to name a few, and the fact that I am a sponge for knowledge about anything and everything, I know stuff. A lot of stuff. Heaps of useless info. And from those heaps, I draw the occasional golden nugget.
I love to write and to share what I know. I love to help people as best as I can. I have no idea if this website thing has a future or if anybody wants to read my articles – but from the website statistics I still see traffic on articles I’ve written a long time ago. I also get emails from time to time asking questions. This is what drives me. Ten or ten million visits, I am happy either way.
I review some of the tools I buy, and I strive to be as neutral and honest as I can. I have extensive experience in product reviews, as I was the managing director at a computer hardware review website back in the beginning of the 2000’s. The site was Overklokking.no, and we were pretty well known back then. I did the worlds first review of a cooling paste named Artic Silver 5 – it was a game changer back then (it is still sold and widely used today), and we got “slashdotted”. People put the link up on Slashdot.org, and our servers tanked. Fun times. We did pride ourselves in being unbiased and unaffected by sponsorship in order to be a reliable source of information. If Zalman sent us a useless CPU cooler, we told people how bad it was. If a motherboard sent to us by Abit did not deliver what they promised, you would know about it. Honesty will always be rewarded by readers, so I’ll write about my findings – good or bad. Feel free to question me in the comments! I welcome debate, but stay civilized.
If you want to support this blog, you’ll find information on the right hand side. As long as the site is ad free, I’ll accept donations. Any donations will be spent on creating content for the site, except for donations in the form of donuts or chocolate.. I will carry the running costs for the blog myself.
As for woodworking – the main focus on this website now – I follow a select few people that is unbiased (or at least very honest about their “angle”), knowledgeable and shares their knowledge for free or for a reasonable price (people need to make a living).
Paul Sellers – a liftetime woodworker with vast knowledge about hand tools. He also has other web sites with both free and paid content. I highly recommend him as a gateway to hand tool work. Hand tools is superior to machine work in many ways. It might be tempting to look for a machine to do a particular task, but you might spend more time setting up the thing rather than grab a hand tool and get on with it. Also, I have learned the hard way that a machine whoopsie equals taking an axe to a part to “tweak” it into coherence. Meaning that the part will be ruined in a quickness… As for personal safety, Paul says it best: “I usually stop before the saw hits bone”.
Paul really needs no introduction – he is one of the giants in hand tool woodworking, providing core knowledge for free. He has a lot of paid content too, all well worth it.
Paul has done more to promote woodworking accessible to everyone, than any other woodworker, youtuber or content creator I’ve ever seen. My journey with him started when I saw videos of him making a work bench in the back yard. Little did I know then how much he would influence my woodworking…
The English Woodworker – No nonsense woodworking with hand tools and the occasional power tool. Richard Maguire is a lovely guy that brings a bit of humor – I think most often unintentionally – to the table when he talks about what he does. He get the point across in a way nobody else does: “you need palms as hard as a horse’s hoof” (on the topic of using hammers or mallets to knock a joint together, over hitting the parts with your hands which can be rather painful). Mostly paid content, although there’s a lot of free videos over at his youtube channel.
I recommend that you support Richard by purchasing his video projects. Even though you might not build the exact project, there is a lot to be learned. You might not be interested in a live edge sofa table, but you might be highly interested in various planing techniques used to traverse difficult grain – and you’ll get that info by watching the series. Richard has given me lots of “why haven’t I thought of that???” moments. Like when he, almost as an afterthought, spun the plane in his hand and dragged it to traverse a bit of difficult grain. What do you need that for, you ask? Well, plane some end grain. When you reach the far side, just flip the plane around and drag it towards you to plane that end. No need to switch position, change how you hold your work, no planing left-handed (if you are right handed) or anything. I use that technique all the time now!
His videos are perhaps the best woodworking videos available. The presentation, video composition, focus on details and fast forwarding in just the right places really speaks to the photographer in me.
Another one of several people I think it is worth following, is Shawn Graham over at Wortheffort woodworking. His motto is that it is“always ‘worth the effort’ to learn, create and share with others.” I find his Youtube videos to be worth my time even though I do not do wood turning – which is his primary content. There’s always something to learn from him, and I fully support his motto.
Other people I recommend following are:
Rob Cosman – lots of good information! There’s a lot of self-promotion (he makes tools for a living, so that’s understandable), but the information is solid. I also like that he points out that you do not need to buy his tools; this gives him credability in that the video goes from product pushing to educational. He lets his tools speak for themselves. I like that.
Rex Krueger – Not related to Anton Ego, thankfully, Rex shares a lot of information and covers interesting topics. He is a refreshing voice and in general a decent guy. His projects are not the most fancy ones, but that makes them even more relatable.
Matthias Wandel – Matthias is an interesting individual. As far as I can tell, he could care less about making money off of his content (to a certain degree at least), but he releases content he find interesting. He’s also famous for making his own woodworking machines, all painted in his now signature green. WELL worth following. His website has oodles of information. He also releases videos on Youtube. Do not expect fine woodworking from him, but you’ll learn how to build a lot of things powered by washing machine motors.
About my content
I am not affiliated with any brands or resellers. I have bought all my tools for my own money.
My opinions applies to myself and nobody else. They does not matter to anybody else than me, and I do not expect anybody to adapt them. But I sure do hope that you might get something from them. They are offered with the best of intentions and are based on my experiences, knowledge, research and the “distillation” of what I have learned from others. I recommend being open minded, but be critical. Ask questions, do not adapt other opinions without tossing them about and observe them from several angles. What is true for me does not need to be true for you.
Do not listen to people such as Paul Sellers or Marc Spagnuolo and think “this person has a lot of knowledge, so his/her opinions must be the only truth”. Of course that might be the case sometimes (and both persons mentioned deserves your sharp attention), but most often not so. It is worth listening to experienced people, but decide for yourself what is right for you. If you get an advice to go and buy a Festool Domino (You will. Many, many times. Trust me.), you need to decide for yourself if that advice is a good or bad advice for you. Maybe spending that amount of money on a single tool is not the smartest idea for your needs – or it might be the game changer you’ve been looking for. The tool seems to be a great one – I have never even touched one, so I would not know. But I do know I do not need one to the point that I will buy one.
Y’all still readin’?? Well, there you have it. I hope I can pay it forward through this website. “It” being the knowledge I’ve gotten from hundreds if not thousands of people through the years in a broad range of fields. I stand on the shoulders of giants!
Vidar Fagerjord Harboe