The past six months or so have been hectic. We didn’t intend to neglect our ‘free’ video duties but once we’d had great results with our first Premium Series we decided to continue with the next.
These first two series were a test for us so there was no pre-planning or scheduling reams of time off. We created them on the fly, squeezed in the work between running a business and building benches. It doesn’t sound very professional, but if I can say one thing for us we won’t accept less than our best, so when that meant working through the early hours to get things right that’s what we did. Night after night of it.
Every winter I moan until Richard no longer takes notice, about how incredibly cold it is. He doesn’t feel the cold himself and so I take it as a kind of duty to make sure that he’s aware. One of the benefits of keeping unnaturally busy this year is that it’s only now I’ve stopped that I’ve noticed the cold. Who would have thought we could be trudging towards the end of Feb, with the birds starting up their chorus before the moaning began?
And so we reached the end of Series Two. It’s all completed and ready to indulge in back to back episodes whilst you stay in and keep warm.
Better still we’ve also finished up the workbenches, completely rearranged the workshop and started on with a variety of furniture commissions. What this means is from now on we’ll have a fair chunk of our energy focused solely on content creation, both free and Premium.
Richard did come down with a severe strain of Man flu yesterday but if he survives it’ll be all systems go.
If you haven’t watched our English Workbench Series but feel intrigued, have a read through some of these thoughts left by members after they’d watched through it all:
“Richard is great and like no other online. The demonstrations are brilliant and the little tips invaluable making repeat viewings essential. You don’t have to be a woodworker to enjoy The English Woodworker video series but you may want to give it a go afterwards.” – Darryl Jones
“This guy is one of the very best on the internet. Clear your bookmarks and put him at the top. Do it now.”
“I never was a TV series addict, but with this English Workbench Series, I’ve hit “reload” on the website a thousand times every Monday morning until I eventually could watch the new episode. The whole thing really is a well-wrought story about passion and craftsmanship, told in chapters – and is utterly wonderfully produced: from the simple things like the warmth of the colors of the setting, the delicate acoustic music, the very beautiful sketches and animations which always serve to clarify, to the eloquence and voice of Richard with a tang of artisan humor and of course: the immense amount of knowledge Richard offers and articulates with such clarity on how to use hand tools for woodworking. There is plenty of material out there in the internet, some also very good, but none combines so many qualities as this series. I guess that was the best investment into my personal education since a couple of years.” – Özgür (Oscar)
“You have cleared up a lot of questions I have had about workbenches. As you know there are books by the dozen about them. After your series I know I have to build one and get rid of my old bench. You have explained the levelling process very well, there by eliminating most of my worries. I really enjoy your approach of explaining what to do and why. That knowledge makes it all come together. At age 73 I am trying to learn hand tools, I have had no training, and I am learning by reading and now watching videos. I do find it to be an enjoyable process, and derive much pleasure from creating something with my hands. I also do enjoy designing and making something to fill a need. Good luck, have care to you both.” – John Thomas
“I love this site. So much fun and so much more interesting than the other usual suspects. The quality of the filming and the sound makes it all the more watchable. I especially like how Richard is not so precious about the tools he uses and the techniques such as using an axe to split. Fab.” – Stuart M
“Richard/Helen, The workbench series was awesome. I had already started building an English style bench and, although I wasn’t following the plan exactly, the insights I gleaned were incredibly helpful. For example, the emphasis on getting the undercarriage trued up in a single plane before addressing the bench top was helpful. As a more general comment, the insights that Richard delivers throughout the series on how to be efficient with hand tools I have found to be incredibly helpful in my own work. Thanks, looking forward to the next project!” – John H
Our product page for The English Workbench Series has had a facelift – if you’re still intrigued you’ll find more details on the Series by CLICKING HERE.
Now Richard knows all he needs to keep you from complaining about the cold: keep you busy!
Yep, my own worst enemy 😉
Bob Groh says
Loved your comments. We are also welcoming the arrival of warmer weather here in the middle of the USA (i.e. Kansas City, Missouri) – it is has been a very atypical winter (compare with past 50 years) but probably typical of winters for the foreseeable future – i.e. much warmer and wetter. Regardless the birds are actually starting to nest in the several bird houses, I have built and scattered around our little suburban house lot. Took a look at the work bench series and, by golly, I will have to sign up … but not now – too many other irons in the fire. You both are doing a great job and I am greatly enjoying your posts.
Thanks Bob, the feedback is a rewarding part of doing this; people have been extremely kind and often also entertaining.
Nice that the birds are getting active over there as well, not long and we’ll be able to moan about the heat… I hope!
Mark Coleman says
I’ve watched everything you have produced and have to agree with everyone in saying Richard presents the subject very well, one of the best – I’ve learned loads and always look forward to the next. Equally though I have to say that the whole style of presentation is excellent. I love the music, it fits right into the subject matter, and the editing is beautiful – full of subtleties. The whole production oozes quality.
John Gibson says
The birds here in Ottawa Canada are chirping loudly – maybe about the record snowfall we had this week – 50cm in less than 24 hours. Temp this morning -17 Celsius. Perfect weather for building benches, I reckon.
You’re busy already, why moan about “neglecting duties”? Do you feel it is your duty to keep other people busy?
Moaning about the cold, that I understand. Insulating in a manner of “Rugged Simplicity”, I wear wooden shoes.
don’t underestimate Man flu. It’s one of the few things that can be dangerous for a man 😉
Hope he will feel right as rain soon.
But I’m feeling with you regarding feeling cold during the winter months. I’ve got the same problem.
All the best,
Özgür (Oscar) says
It’s _amazing_ what both of you have accomplished with the videos given the constraints you described. I hope that both of you enjoy making this material as much as I do following and applying it. I’m very excited to hear that there will be more! Take care – and get well soon, Richard
John Thomas says
Yes this has been a very warm winter. It has been in the 60 to 70 degree range for the last week. This is warm even for Texas this time of the year.
I look forward to this year, I know you will be sharing some more of your knowledge and experience.
Your viewpoint regarding how to use tools is refreshing. When you are making your living doing woodworking, you cut out the unnecessary steps and turn out a solid product.
I live in the southern US in the state of Alsbama. We have had a pretend Southern winter here. Just a few days of cold weather.
I am not a Woodeorker at all. Just a woman who admires fine furniture of all ages.
Thank you for a lovely and interesting blog. I have you in my Feedly. Always enjoy you.
The best to you both.
Pete Maddock says
With Richards craftsmanship, and your skill of filming, Helen.
You are both doing a really first class job, keep going.