“The Joinery Challenge”

A couple of weeks ago I got a new DVD from Popular Woodworking called “The Joinery Challenge with Ron Herman.” I was excited to get this after reading about Ron in the magazine and blogs. For whatever reason the guy is very interesting to me. I love his little saw bench that he has and the fact he has managed to keep a traditional carpentry business going in this day and age. So, I have watched the dvd twice now and thought I’d offer up a little review on it for anyone who is interested.

In the dvd, Mr. Herman demonstrates 9 different joints that go together in order to make basically a small window frame. He uses mitered butt joints, half laps, mortise and tenons, bridal joints, and even a pocket hole joint. He does all of these, excluding the pocket hole, by hand with just a few simple layout tools, chisels, saws, a mitre box, and a hand drill. His presentation is very thorough and his techniques are straight forward. He shows how to layout all the joints, how to correct any little errors that may occur, and reminds us that even masters make mistakes. Overall I think it is a great little lesson and something any beginning woodworker should check out.

I do have a few complaints with the dvd. At times the sound quality is not the best and it seems as though they took a recording from a crappy PA speaker. The other problem I have is there is times when Ron holds up a piece or demonstrates something and they don’t zoom in very well on what he is showing.

With that said, I still think it was money well spent on my part. I just ordered his saw sharpening dvd and look forward to watching that. Hopefully Ron will continue to contribute in either written or video form to Popular Woodworking.

As for my own joinery challenge I have a couple of pictures of the A&C bookcase I’m building. I started chopping out the mortises on the stiles for the sides. Hopefully I can get these done by this weekend and start sawing all of the tenons. The other picture is of the nice Goodell-Pratt mitre box my father-in-law gave me not to long ago. The saw is a Disston, about 4 1/2″ deep and 26″ long at the tooth line. I was using it to cut my shelf pieces to final length. I’m enjoying this extra time woodworking, too bad I have to go back to work tomorrow.


About messimerwoodworking

I'm a hobbyist woodworker. I live in a two bedroom apartment that I am fortunate enough to have a workbench in. Hand tools, lumber, time, and hopefully some acquired skill will produce some respectable furniture. We'll see...........
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One Response to “The Joinery Challenge”

  1. Jamie Bacon says:

    I think you’ll like Ron’s saw sharpening DVD. I subscribed to Popular Woodworking’s Shop Class On-line about a month ago and have watched that video here and there when I’ve had time. Very thorough and well explained. Nice miter box too. I’m on the look-out for one locally.

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