I run a live woodworking show from my home shop every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Come check it out at twitch.tv/Kirkwoodworking
I consume a lot of woodworking content. I watch videos, I read blog posts, I re-watch videos that I enjoyed, I buy books, and I peruse forums. But as I progressed through my woodworking skill levels, and got better and more confident, my desired information type changed. I was looking less for instructional ‘How-To’ and more for business oriented ‘How-Long’. I had begun thinking about starting a woodworking side business. I wasn’t really concerned if I could produce quality products, but if I could produce them in an efficient enough to make woodworking as a business somewhat viable. Almost all videos you see on the topic of woodworking are highly edited to make them more palatable to consume in a Youtube format; five to ten minutes long, covering all the major steps and set-ups, but none of the grunt work.
My first foray into a longer format woodworking videos were the guild videos from The Wood Whisperer. While these were still ‘How-To’ videos, Mark Spagnuolo was very detailed and intricate with his explaining of the set ups and processes that he was using. It gave me a better understanding of all the steps needed to complete an intricate project, such as my Split-Top Roubo Workbench.
I still found myself trying to get a good handle on estimating time to complete certain projects. I found myself wishing that there was a live feed to Mark’s shop to ask questions, to see the time and processes that went on when the cameras were off, or what would ultimately be edited out of the final videos. I wanted to see the hum-drum, boring-as-hell processes that many woodworkers try to forget. Planing stock down to thickness. Cutting 16 tenons on a tablesaw. Sanding sanding sanding sanding. These are the things I wanted to see. I wanted to see how much time professional furniture makers spent on these steps. How they set up their processes and tried to be more efficient. I wanted to have at least some reference points to compare my procedures with.
Then, in late 2015 rolls around and Twitch.tv reveals their ‘Creative’ section. I had been a twitch viewer for some time in the video game scene, but nothing more than a passive member of the community. I started to see the ‘creative streamers’ making things. Blowing glass, cooking, leather working; all streaming live, connecting with the people watching chatting, working, making things. I really enjoyed the immediate satisfaction of being able to talk and communicate with the streamer about what they were doing and why they chose to do it that way. The view into the processes and techniques was great, but the interaction was the high point. They seemed like they were having fun. Enjoying what they were doing and sharing it with others. But none of them were woodworking... I had an idea.
For the last 2-3 years, I had been looking for something just like this. I was looking to get an insight into the processes and thoughts and reasoning behind why woodworkers do what they are doing. But there were none. There weren’t any woodworkers. There weren’t any furniture makers. There weren’t any cabinetmakers.
I thought that I might be able to do this. I thought I might be able to be the woodworking streamer. I thought I could make it happen.
I started to make it happen.