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Shop Talk Live 8: Just a Splash of Water

comments (25) June 8th, 2012 in blogs

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This week on Shop Talk Live, we cover workbench construction tips, jointer/planer combo machines, and update listeners on FWWs upcoming live event, chock-full of seminars and workshop. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

This week on Shop Talk Live, we cover workbench construction tips, jointer/planer combo machines, and update listeners on FWW's upcoming live event, chock-full of seminars and workshop.

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

Listen to the podcast

Also Available in iTunes
Listen to Shop Talk Live for free via iTunes. Just click on the logo at right. Hit the "View in iTunes" button and be sure to subscribe. If you enjoy the show, be sure to leave a nice rating.



Shop Talk Live 8: Just a Splash of Water

Of special note is the fact that we've decided to forego the video version of our podcast. We've received a great deal of emails and input from listeners who only catch the podcast in it's conventional audio-only version. So, we're going by the metrics and saying bye-bye to our video livestream.

This week, FWW art director Mike Pekovich and senior editor Matt Kenney quiz web producer Lisa Morgan on her recent "first" trip to the lumberyard. Plus, Matt fumbles the microphone, and Mike clues us in on sharpening stones that don't require a fire hose-worth of water.

Mike Pekovich
Art director

Matt Kenney
Senior editor

Ed Pirnik
Senior web producer

Lisa Morgan
Web producer

Listen to Previous Episodes

posted in: blogs, podcast, shop talk live, pirnik, pekovich, kenney, morgan

Comments (25)

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Posted: 7:17 am on September 23rd

WoodpusherAnonymous WoodpusherAnonymous writes: With this I sign off following the pod. I don't find audio only anything very useful. I get a lot from watching the white board explanations and expressions of the hosts as they talk about things that are missed in the video format. Good luck with the video only format.
Posted: 8:55 am on August 25th

whiteikon whiteikon writes: @dentalchris You can enter this URL into your RSS reader:

Posted: 7:31 pm on June 27th

wvwoodshed wvwoodshed writes: This is just a brief comment on the perspectives regarding the cover photo on issue 227. I do not think it should be looked at as the magazine's responsibility to insure photos in the magazine depict appropriate safety practices. The reality is this speaks to the real world attitudes towards safety as a whole. If safety were truly a focus, it would have been an automatic, not something requiring instruction from the photographer. I am also concerned by the hosts position of making excuses regarding unusual circumstances due to the story aspect of the situation. If anything you would think safety would be even closer to the forefront of everyone's mind. Lead by example and never faulter from the intent of your mission. Keep your mind on your fingers and your fingers on your hands!!!!!!!!!
Posted: 11:31 am on June 25th

MKenney MKenney writes: Steve,

I don't think the show needs to be live. We're not doing it live anymore, as a matter of fact (but we do treat is as live, so there are no second takes). However, a taped video production is a ton of work and involves more people (and a lot more time--editing alone would slow everything way down) than the current show does.

Live also has the advantage of being more "lively." keep in mind that we're not professional "talent." So, we do a better job of being natural, of being ourselves when it's live (and there's no second chance).

But to focus more on your question. I think that video (live or taped) is exponentially more complicated than just audio. That's the sticky widget for us right now. At some point down the road we might be able to justify the time, effort, and expense of a full-on video show (I'd love that), but not right now.

Posted: 10:02 am on June 22nd

dentalchris dentalchris writes: Could you guys also stream the podcasts directly through the RSS feed? Right now, I have to get the article update through the RSS, then click to the article page, then click the stream link to play the mp3. It works, but it's clunky if I want to listen while I drive...
Posted: 5:28 pm on June 20th

saschafer saschafer writes:

The fact that the show is live has been brought up a couple of times as a reason that it's difficult to do a good job with the video. But why does it have to be live? What value does being live add to the show? Even call-in shows like Car Talk are actually prerecorded.


Posted: 10:53 am on June 18th

beem beem writes: The video definitely added to the quality and appeal even if it was just the two of you sitting at the bench. Seeing you guys visually was/is an important part of the overall context - communication involves more than just hearing the spoken word.

I haven't found you guys boring at all and you had something unique. I'll stick with Shop Talk Live whatever the format, but I'll miss seeing your ugly mugs. ;-)
Posted: 10:06 am on June 18th

MKenney MKenney writes: Folks,

Thanks for the input on the video. I don't know if it's gone forever (I'd have to talk to the others about that) and I'm sure we'll discuss the reaction so far. For the time being, though, it's audio only.

Personally, I think the problem with the video was that we were making a show that was more audio than video. So, the video portion was pretty boring and static. The whiteboard was nice. So, too, was the ability to show you a piece of furniture and discuss it's design. However, the rest of the time is was just some goofy looking guys sitting at a bench. I'd love to make a true video show (a TV show, really) and be able to move about the shop to different machines, demonstrating techniques, etc. But that level of mobility with a camera, especially live, is a huge step up from what we had going on. At any rate, we hear what you're saying.
Posted: 9:03 am on June 18th

luciouslar luciouslar writes: The video made the show!
Posted: 4:14 pm on June 15th

Zabo2 Zabo2 writes: Why did you discontinue the video. I much prefer to watch someone talk about a subject with demos and drawings rather than just listening. How can you demo a color or shape on just soundtrack. I really looked forward to the video talk show but I don't think I'll be listening to the sound only very much. It's like talking to someone face to face, much better than by phone or e-mail etc.

Posted: 12:29 pm on June 14th

Zabo2 Zabo2 writes: Why did you discontinue the video. I much prefer to watch someone talk about a subject with demos and drawings rather than just listening. How can you demo a color or shape on just soundtrack. I really looked forward to the video talk show but I don't think I'll be listening to the sound only very much. It's like talking to someone face to face, much better than by phone or e-mail etc.

Posted: 12:29 pm on June 14th

Zabo2 Zabo2 writes: Why did you discontinue the video. I much prefer to watch someone talk about a subject with demos and drawings rather than just listening. How can you demo a color or shape on just soundtrack. I really looked forward to the video talk show but I don't think I'll be listening to the sound only very much. It's like talking to someone face to face, much better than by phone or e-mail etc.

Posted: 12:29 pm on June 14th

Don2Laughs Don2Laughs writes: Video was the draw. If it wasn't drawing enough then why not try to improve it. Truth is ... we see enough talking heads ... what we want is active bodies. Woodworking is an activity not a conversation. If you want to talk about saws then let us see some sawing. If you want to talk about joints then let us see some joining. Bob Smalser (one of my favorite woodworkers) writes articles but his discussions are illustrated with activities in photo sequences. Woodworking is a visual, tactile enterprise .... hard for talking heads to deliver effectively.
my 2 cents
Posted: 3:58 pm on June 13th

gamcnabb gamcnabb writes: I agree with the others on eliminating the video. I personally cannot make the Live stream and look forward to the video replay. I also concur with dropping the Live show and just going with the pre-recorded video. I often go back and watch them several times.

It hard to see a white board on an audio cast.

I really do like the show, but if its only going to be audio, I think I'll pass and just go stroll YouTube.
Posted: 5:17 pm on June 12th

jovenx jovenx writes: Happiness is applying the second coat of Tung oil to a box inspired by FW and listening in the iPod to Jeff Jewitt . Dropping the live stream works for me since I listen to the podcast while finishing, hand tool work, sharpening etc. If I hear of something that I want to see; I go back to the site and play that portion.

One suggestion is that you make available "Cliff Notes" of the podcast with the references. For example; You mentioned that tops for boxes is on the cover of issue #225 the one liner will read " Tops for boxes = Cover #225". Probably some of that material is already written down on the piece of paper that ASA plays with. If you end up with more than one page; you are working too hard.

A benefit of audio-only is that now you can add our West Coast woodworkers (Ipkejian, Ng, Schurch, Bird, etc) via conference call.

When your first issue came out; I bought it and said to myself "Nice but it will never work, too artsy". You adapted then and you are adapting now. Thank you for your great work.

Posted: 10:28 am on June 12th

jscharver jscharver writes: I agree with all of the above comments. The videos were well done, informative, and it was nice to see and hear warm bodies discussing the issues. Those aspects are lost in a live stream audio.

Asa recently stated that he looks forward to the human interactions and learning experiences at meetings and trade shows, etc. Something that he doesn't get from reading or audio streams. So where does this sentiment fit with your ROI? Sounds like a one way street!
Posted: 10:06 am on June 12th

chucktown chucktown writes: Video was the key to this and now its gone, not a great move.
Maybe you should get away from the "live" aspect and just do a weekly or biweekly video release of the show, I could never make the live stream, but I was sure to come back and watch it a few days later. Sorry, this has to be a big thumbs down for me.
Posted: 2:33 pm on June 11th

whiskey3 whiskey3 writes: Yeah the video was key for me too...
Posted: 1:00 pm on June 11th

OtherPeoplesTrash OtherPeoplesTrash writes: love the show though
Posted: 10:35 pm on June 10th

OtherPeoplesTrash OtherPeoplesTrash writes: what can I say, I'm that big of a geek.
Posted: 10:34 pm on June 10th

scrabtree46 scrabtree46 writes: this is terrible news! I really enjoyed the videos!! I don't tend to listen to talk radio or things of that nature, so I guess I will miss out on these in the future...

Posted: 1:53 pm on June 10th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: I hear you, guys. I enjoyed the video version and always felt like the white board we used was an awesome tool. Trouble is, it took a great deal of effort to handle those livestreaming events. Then getting the taped footage encoded for upload to the blog posts within a couple of days was also a good deal of work.

At the end of the day, the ROI was just so low, we couldn't justify keeping the video stream going. The number of folks who used the video stream as opposed to the audio version was just way too small.

Best to all,


Posted: 6:05 am on June 10th

mn_pete mn_pete writes: Still a good podcast, but I liked the video. The use of the whiteboard would have been a good, regular segment on video.
Posted: 3:41 am on June 10th

TimH47 TimH47 writes: Bad move eliminating the video, in my opinion. The visual aspect was definitely a draw for me. I'm sure I will not continue to enjoy the series nearly as much. Boo!
Posted: 1:55 am on June 10th

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Fine Woodworking magzine's biweekly podcast, Shop Talk Live, allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.