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Shop Talk Live 20: Fine Woodworking on Primetime TV

comments (25) November 30th, 2012 in blogs

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This week on Shop Talk Live, get the inside scoop on an upcoming appearance by Fine Woodworking staffers on NBC primetime television. Listen now!
Hmmm, what does an episode of NBCs Parks and Recreation have to do with woodworking? Heres a hint: eagle-eyed podcast listeners might be able to spot the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks banner in the background of this photo from the shows December 6, 2012 episode.
This week on All Time Favorite Tool of All Time...for This Week, Asa Christiana mentioned his Freud Dial-a-Dado set. For more information, you can visit Freuds website.
This week on All Time Favorite Tool of All Time...for This Week, Matt Kenney mentioned his new Wood Haven Miter Gauge. For more information, you can visit Wood Havens website.
This week on All Time Favorite Tool of All Time..for This Week, Ed Pirnik mentioned his Starrett Depth Gauge. The model 236 offers imperial measurements for North American woodworkers. you can find them on eBay or visit Starretts website for information on the newer model 237s.
This week on Shop Talk Live, get the inside scoop on an upcoming appearance by Fine Woodworking staffers on NBC primetime television. Listen now! - CLICK TO ENLARGE

This week on Shop Talk Live, get the inside scoop on an upcoming appearance by Fine Woodworking staffers on NBC primetime television. Listen now!

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answer questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking's biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to for consideration in the regular broadcast!



Fine Woodworking Makes an Appearance on Primetime TV

As some of you know, Nick Offerman, star of the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation, is a woodworker both on and off the show. His character, Ron Swanson, makes regular refrences to the craft, the more obscure and wacky the better. This Thursday night (December 6) at 9:30 on NBC, in an episode titled "Ron and Diane," woodworking grabs even more of the limelight, as Ron receives an award from the fictional Indiana Fine Woodworkers Association.

What's more, Nick convinced the show's producers to have a few of his FWW friends actually appear on the episode! Fine Woodworking editor Asa Christiana and Contributing Editor Chris Becksvoort (here is his report) flew out to Los Angeles for a special guest appearance on the show. Read Asa's recent post on this subject for more information and photos!


Also on iTunes Click on the link at left to listen to the podcast, or catch it in iTunes. Remember, our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page. And don't forget to send in your woodworking questions to


Shop Talk Live 20: Fine Woodworking on Primetime TV

On this week's edition of Shop Talk Live, get the scoop on an upcoming appearance by Fine Woodworking staffers on primetime TV. Then, it's back to basics as we answer your woodworking questions and investigate ways to convince our spouses to allow us to purchase high-priced woodworking machinery.

Also this week, our staffers feature three All Time Favorite Tools of All Time...for This Week. For information on the tools mentioned in this episode, be sure to have a look at the gallery of images at the top of this post.

Free Tools for a Fictional Musical Name
On this week's show we asked folks to leave their potential names for Asa's woodworking musical in the comments section of this blog post. We'll select one lucky comment "poster" to receive a set of Rockler Bench Cookies on our next podcast!

More on Asa's Big Break
For more information on Asa and Chris Becksvoort's big break, be sure to check out Asa's recent blog regarding his Parks and Recreation experience in sunny L.A.


Asa Christiana
FWW editor
Matt Kenney
FWW senior editor

Ed Pirnik
Senior web producer


Listen to Previous Episodes

posted in: blogs

Comments (25)

SneedHern SneedHern writes: Great show. One correction. Nick is not the only actor playing a woodworker on TV. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs of CBS's NCIS is frequently shown wood working in his basement shop. Anything from boats to coffins to toys. Until this season it was all hand tools, but he acquired a used ShopSmith in an episode this season. Mark Harmon plays Gibbs. Might be worth a story.
Posted: 1:05 pm on December 19th

Nerdherder Nerdherder writes: Sawing In the Rain - shocking musical depicting the stuggle of FWW editor Asa trying to get a new roof for his shop.
Posted: 7:02 pm on December 11th

Nick_Carruthers Nick_Carruthers writes: Beej76 - nice table - how do you find time to build anything with so many kids? Do you enlist them to help with the grunt work - sanding, finishing, etc?

My favorite Christmas presents were from last Christmas. I took a lpg from my sister's yard in PA, schlepped it up to RI, sliced it up, let it dry, and returned it to her in the form of some kids toys and a cookbook holder. (The plans were all from another woodworking magazine).
Posted: 3:23 pm on December 11th

Beej76 Beej76 writes: Here's what I made for the kids a couple years ago. My favorite Christmas present I've ever made. Came up with the design myself and did it out of one 4x8 sheet of plywood I picked up from Home Depot for $25 (except the drawer boxes which were some 1/2 ply scraps I had lying around). I still need to make a trundle that rolls underneath to hold trains and tracks and Legos and cars and ...

Check it out here:
Posted: 2:18 am on December 11th

kghaile kghaile writes: How about some character names/nicknames for said musical. I'm thinking this is an action packed musical.
Chuck Blade
Jack Scraper
Peter Planer
Mark Gauge
Saul Stop

and not so action packed...
Mary Paring
Doug Tailor
Rose Wood-Spline
Mortise the Tortise ???

How bout informative children's books?

Asa's First Wood - strictly about getting started in woodworking and nothing else...

Mommy, Why Does Grandpa Only Have Two Fingers? - teaches shop safety at a young age, but SawStop might have published this book already.

Little Eddie's Lumber Yard - I can't bend this in my mind to make it mean anything else...

I could go on... back to the shop!
Posted: 3:18 pm on December 9th

Nick_Carruthers Nick_Carruthers writes: Loved the Parks & Rec, bith the (albeit brief) cameo by Asa Christiana.

For outtakes:

Posted: 8:25 pm on December 7th

scrabtree46 scrabtree46 writes: how about cat's versus tiger maple the musical.
Posted: 4:43 pm on December 7th

scrabtree46 scrabtree46 writes: the parks and rec was pretty funny
Posted: 4:41 pm on December 7th

Adam_in_Tucson Adam_in_Tucson writes: I just wanted to say that I really appreciated the Talladega Nights reference during the podcast. As a young aspiring woodworker, the hobby often seems taylored to older or retired people. So it's nice to hear someone speaking my language. "Chip, I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey!" Thanks guys. Love the show.
Posted: 11:29 am on December 7th

mbaker00 mbaker00 writes: How about
Rocky Horror Picture Frame

Posted: 1:07 am on December 7th

dfrangipane dfrangipane writes: Les Miserable Dovetails
Posted: 8:58 pm on December 6th

Nick_Carruthers Nick_Carruthers writes: Moulin Gouge
Posted: 7:56 pm on December 6th

Nick_Carruthers Nick_Carruthers writes: La Bohemlock
Moulin Router
Posted: 5:16 pm on December 6th

_Scribe_ _Scribe_ writes: Um...

Paint Your Wagon Vise


Annie Get Your Glue Gun


Jesus Christ Sandingstuff

Posted: 1:26 am on December 6th

Nick_Carruthers Nick_Carruthers writes: "As the World Turns" - more of a woodworking soap opera name, but it could work.
"Annie Get Your Glue Gun"
"Lee Valley of the Dolls"
"Lee Valley Girls"
"The Threepenny-Nail Opera"
"Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funky Joinery"

Someone, please stop me.

I like mbaker00's "Guys and Awls" and "Bye Bye Bird's Eye" too.
Posted: 10:22 pm on December 5th

Plank_King Plank_King writes: It's a Plaid, Plaid World
Posted: 10:06 pm on December 5th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: james: I love that bench. I've had it for about six months now and wouldn't change a thing--except for the fact that it currently resides in my parents' basement as my wife and I are still searching for a home to settle in. So dad gets a good bench to piddle around on - FOR NOW!!!!! If I can answer any questions regarding construction of that bench - don't hesitate to send them my way. Best - Ed
Posted: 9:53 am on December 5th

james3one james3one writes: Ed, I know why you put the spline in that way. I've seen others do it the same way. It's just that the guys question was about grain direction and Everyone on the panel jumped on the wood movement band wagon. He saw it as a floating tenon rather than an internal reference. Having glued up a case similar in size to yours with mitered corners(never again by the way), I would put the spline in first to help stabilize the joint during the glue-up process. i don't have a glue up genie to help toss my projects about.

I have a small shop and have enjoyed your workbench video. Also like the Shop Talk Series, and yes, I'll be going to itunes to leave a comment and 5 star rating. Thanks for your work on both of these. J

Posted: 6:06 am on December 5th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: james3one: Technically, you are correct. That said, there were a couple of reasons I choose to go long in this case: 1) Those splines are only about 3/8-in. wide. You'd be very hard-pressed to snap one along the long grain at that narrow width. 2) These boxes were constructed by laying the four box sides flat, taping them together and then rolling the entire thing into a box - after that was done, splines where tapped into place from the outside of the box. If I had gone with short grain, I would have been guaranteed a bunch of spots in those short grain pieces splitting part as I sent the splines "home." 3) by including a back on those drawer boxes that is glued and pin nailed into a rabbet, I created a super strong box that wouldn't provide for much racking stress on those splines. In some ways, the splines are there for alignment just as much as for some added strength. At the end of the day, I got some absurdly strong boxes out of the deal. They've been moved around, screwed/unscrewed many times (from the bench's open well) and one was even dropped - no problems to report. Oh, and sorry for having misunderstood your question. Glad you wrote in to clarify!
Posted: 2:47 pm on December 4th

james3one james3one writes: Guys, you missed the point with the question about the spline in Ed's drawer box. The issue wasn't the expansion of the wood but the strength. With the grain running along the joint instead of across it the spline could easily split. That's a lot of work for a joint that won't hold. He's right, you used the weakest grain direction on that piece.
Posted: 8:02 am on December 4th

DanCabinetMaker DanCabinetMaker writes: For all you Tap fans, how about "Saucy Jack Plane".
Posted: 5:33 am on December 4th

mbaker00 mbaker00 writes: How about "Into the Wood"
or "Little Workshop of Horrors"
or "A Chair Is Born"
or "Guys and Awls" -- My favorite of this list
or "Annie Get Your Gouge"
or "Bye Bye Birds Eye"
or "Gentlemen Prefer Blades"
or "Seven Tails for Seven Pins"
or "Singin' in the Stain"
or "Singin' in the Grain"
or "The Sound of Power Tools"
or "The Rings and I"
or "Trammelot"

This could go on for a while so I'll take a break.
Posted: 7:31 pm on December 3rd

Filorux Filorux writes: Of course the musical style is everything...but I can't get away from "Soul Grain."
Posted: 2:12 pm on December 3rd

AsaC AsaC writes: Nice one, Beem. (just so everyone knows, and this doesn't seem any weirder than necessary(!), we had asked people to send in names for a new woodworking musical.
Posted: 12:32 pm on December 3rd

beem beem writes: Asa and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamshorts
Posted: 7:44 pm on December 1st

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