Some Woodworking Inspirations

I was having a conversation recently with someone in the industry, and I made a comment about David Marks, and how he keeps so personally neat in the workshop. (When I head out there, no matter how careful I am, I guarantee I will get dust all over and thus why I ‘invented’ shed cologne for when I miss the place!) The person I was talking with hadn’t heard of David Marks at all, and that got me thinking about the various woodworking influences and personalities have impacted on my woodworking journey.

The following list are just some out there that have impacted on me and my journey. It is by no means comprehensive, and I am sure I will miss plenty.  There is no ranking in the list, and if there is someone you think should be included in a more general list, please add it to the comments!  Obviously first up will be David for influencing this post!

David Marks – Wood Works

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Host of Wood Works on the DIY Network (still getting repeat showings on Foxtel), he is a wood working teacher evangelist (for want of a better descriptor!)

A lot of David’s videos are now available on the DIY Network Video section. I watched a lot of his videos over time, and as much as his workshop was, and will always be well beyond anything I can hope to own, the lessons you can learn from David transcend your own shop’s limitations.


Norm Abram – The New Yankee Workshop

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Norm and “The New Yankee Workshop” is an institution, both on the TV, and his many appearances at the US wood shows. At over 20 seasons of shows, it would be hard for anyone involved with woodworking not to have tripped over him at some stage.

His router table design graces many, many workshops around the world, and plans for it can still be purchased. (I’ve placed a link to the Rockler Store on the above image fwiw). Despite the progress I’ve been making on my current router table (or sometimes a lack thereof), I’m still thinking of coming up with an adaption of Norm’s table instead.

(He does have a passion for using a tack-nailer during glueups – a technique I tend to avoid)

There are a number of different plans from the New Yankee Workshop available on the Rockler website


Mark Duginske

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You may not recognise the name, but his Bandsaw Handbook is a common addition to many woodworkers libraries.  This has now been rewritten and re-released as “The New Complete Guide to the Bandsaw” (Click on the book above for a link). However, his expertise with the bandsaw is not his only specialty. He has a root to tip approach when dealing with trees, and tends to like making a project with timber from the one tree.  What really impressed upon me was when he tramps off into the woodlands around his place, harvests wood for a tree and takes it through the whole process, including kiln drying, shaping, planing and machining through to the final project.

He has authored 10 books, and a number of DVDs (that I watched over and over, gleaning every bit out of them that I could).  His Mastering Woodworking Machines is definitely worth watching (and of course his Mastering your Bandsaw one)


Marc Spagnuolo – The Wood Whisperer

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Not Marc’s most complementary photo I’m sure, but anyone who has a custom made Powermatic Tablesaw gets what is coming to him!

Marc is a professional woodworker / blogger / podcaster, whom is becoming increasingly well known worldwide not only for his primary site, and related podcast on iTunes, but also his collaborative show with Matt Vanderlist (of Matt’s Basement Workshop) called Wood Talk Online. He (along with his wife, Nicole), have also founded a collaboration of woodworking bloggers around the world which has been dubbed “The Wood Whisperer Network“.

(I think) Marc and I started the online thing around the same time – he kicked off in high gear with the whole blog/video etc thing, while I was starting with a few miscellaneous online woodworking videos.  Since then I have followed somewhat down the path Marc did a lot of trailblazing on, setting up a blog, encapsulating the videos in the blog so they could be fed into iTunes (Podcast) and so on.  Marc is still pushing the envelope, now with more and more live footage, and some other (not sure if secret) developments, and has a large following of bloggers learning from him (and I daresay an even larger following of woodworkers learning from him as well)


Richard Vaughan

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Another of the woodworking teacher evangelists, Richard’s passion for woodworking is quite infectious. He is also the only person I’ve ever seen run a course (as in his Router course) and not actually turn one on for the entire day (and still have kept the audience enthralled for the entire time).  He was seen at many,. many wood shows running regular drop in sessions that you always went away having learned something new.

Have a look at the gallery on his website though (or don’t – it puts us mere mortals off bothering – the work is at an incredible standard).  Richard has the unusual ability that he can not only pass on an absolute passion and enthusiasm for woodworking, but back it up with an amazing catalogue of past creations.


Gary Rogowski

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Gary – Woodworking teacher in the US, he has produced a fine collection of videos, particularly through Taunton, and Jet Tools. He is also the author of one of the books in the stunning collection “The Complete Illustrated Guide to” by Taunton Press. Any Gary Rogowski product is worth reading/viewing.


Tage Frid & Sam Maloof

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Tage Frid (1915-2004) and Sam Maloof (1916-2009) were both the elder statemen of woodworkers, and their departures has been a real loss to woodworkers everywhere. Their practices, and woodworking principles are worth analysing, studying and copying.  Both knew their craft beyond measure, and produced many stunning pieces, while also influencing generations of woodworkers with both their techniques, as well as their approach to the “Zen of Woodworking” (if I can call it that!)


So that is a brief list, and I’m sure I’ll remember others to add.  If you have any that are particularly your own, please feel free to list them (and some notes why) in the comments section.

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