RavinHeart on April 13th, 2014

Earlier this year I took a ride down to the Woodworking Show in Milwaukee. I had the opportunity to do some filming and as always pick up a few things for myself. I now have a couple of new texturing tools from Ron Brown and got a pretty good deal on a big pack of foam brushes. There was time to catch up with Andy Chidwick and his family when I got the show. As you can see in the video I had a chance to speak with several of the exhibitors including Ron Brown, Earlex, Aqua Coat, Dubs Longboards, Milwaukee Lutherie, Kreg, MicoJig, and many more. After the show I had a visit with Jim Heavey, Roland Johnson, David Heim, Richand Wedler and some of the Bosch Reps at Dinner. It was a great show and a great time after the show as well.



RavinHeart on December 31st, 2013

At my local guild meeting we had Michael Doerr give a presentation on his process of building sculpted chairs. After a few conversation with Michael we decided to record a conversation at his shop about his chairs and school. During our conversation we get to discuss how he got started in woodworking, some of his process for building chairs, and a great surprise to me … I get to return to Michael’s shop and learn the process in the spring.

If you have questions for Michael or myself, feel free to comment, Skype, or use the contact form.

You can follow the podcast or me on this site, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Be sure to check out the contact info at the end of the video for other ways to contact the show too …



RavinHeart on November 7th, 2013

At Woodworking in America this year, I ran into and had a conversation with Regis Will. We also I talked about doing a conversation for this episode of Shop Time. As it turns out, we both have a passion for hand saws and fixing them up, we both work in tech, and both of us do a lot of bicycling. We both received prizes this year from completing in the Hand Tool Olympics too. Regis won his jointer plane, for his abilities and doing the best at an event. While I won the set of spoon bits from Tools for Working Wood from the raffle part of the of the event. Regis has his own blog at The New Yinzer Workshop. He also presents and teaches at the Western Pennsylvania Woodworkers and the Foundation’s Preservation Resource Center in Pennsylvania.

If you have questions for Regis or myself, feel free to comment, Skype, or use the contact form. Be sure to check out the contact info at the end of the video for other ways to contact the show too …


RavinHeart on February 17th, 2013

The Woodworking ShowsEarlier today, my friend (and sometimes co-host on a live casts) Dave and I took a ride down to the Woodworking Show in Milwaukee. It’s always fun to goof off and catch up on the drive down. Traffic and parking are always interesting around the fair grounds that house the show. We ended up getting to the show a little later than we usually do and had to park what seemed like across the city from the building on the below freezing temperature walk.

Roland JohnsonOnce we got inside we saw a lot of familiar businesses and faces. Kreg, Lee Valley, Bosh, Micro Fence, Woodline, Microjig, Neu’s, Peachtree, and all the normal players were there. After learning about sharpening turning tools last year, I was happy to pick up a set of Raptor tools from Craft Supplies. I also got some pen blanks from Amazon Silhouette, and sanding mops form Sand Flee. As always there were plenty of things I could have brought home. Thought long and hard about the Dewalt trim router and ordering the larger Fibonacci gauge from Woodpecker. But, after so many years going down to the show, this was the first time I didn’t go with the goal of expanding my tool collection and I didn’t really “need” anything.

Crazy CanadianThe biggest part of the show, and the reason I was there, was the speakers and presenters. Years past had seen the lessening of the topics and time devoted to this part of the show. Last year it started to grow the learning section again, and it did not disappoint me in the slightest this year. There were more areas to watch, learn, and ask questions, than I have seen in a very long time.

Alex SnodgrassWith only one day at the show I didn’t get to see every presentation. But, Jim Heavy’s sessions have long been some of my favorites. He is an excellent presenter and has a great sense of humor. His pointers on finishing, as always, gave me some techniques to keep in mind for any project and I got to chuckle too. Talking with Jim after and hearing about the upcoming Weekend with Wood was in interesting topic I hope to talk with him more about the future. Bob Settich inspired me to look into wooden plan making last year, and his presentation on simplifying thinking about hardware gave me a few ideas for an upcoming project. Ronald Johsson helped me put my mind at ease when it comes to my love of old hand planes and knowing I have used many of the same methods when acquiring mine. Watching Ron Brown just makes you want to get home and turn on the lathe. Paul Moore, better known as the Crazy Canadian, had everyone in the audience laughing while learning a few things along the way including not to take things so serious and have some fun. The session titled “The Most Important Tool” by Andy Chidwhick was my favorite part of the show this year. Not just because I got to hang out with Andy at the show or because I got a Sawdust tour shirt. But, for the ideas Andy helped bring back into my head. For getting me to think outside my self-defined “box”, his show title of “The Woodworking Coach” is fitting and deserved.


The woodworking community, online, or in person, is an inviting and inspiring and group of people that I am proud to be a part of.

RavinHeart on December 1st, 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho … the holiday season is upon us and I feel kind of like Santa. I reached out to a few of the companies I use regularly to see if they would participate in a Holiday Give Away, with an overwhelming response of yes. I figured I might get a prize or two to offer to my viewers. But, so far there are 5 companies offering multiple prizes. The Live Cast scheduled to start on the 9th of December 2012 at 8PM central time is going to a good one.

The prizes will be given away to people in the chat room on the Streaming & Chat page during the Live Cast. You need to be logged in to the chat room and able to make comments during the Live Cast to be eligible to win. You can log in as a registered member of the site, with Facebook, with Twitter, or as a guest … If you win a prize I will get your info and the company will ship the prize right to you.

If anything changes or is added to the prize list below I will update this post. I hope to see you online at the Live Cast.



The Prizes (So Far):





Fox Chapel Publishing is offering a copy of any book I have previously reviewed on the site. Selection is up to the winner.





Gorilla Glue is donating a Prize pack the includes several of their products and a Gorilla Glue T-Shirt






Klingspor through is offering a 5 pound box or sand paper sheets, a 5 pound box of sand paper rolls, and box of 50 sanding discs






MicroJig is donating a ZeroPlay Guide Bar, an MJ Splitter, and a GRR-Ripper





General Finishes will be contributing two sets of a Quart of their Enduro Var and a Quart of stain of the winner’s choice.





I will also be giving away at Three different items from the RavinHeart Renditions merchandise


RavinHeart on April 8th, 2012

I had the opportunity to take part in the Northeast Wisconsin Woodworkers Guild spring show again this year. I had a table and demonstrated making scrollsaw bowls and promoted the site. I took this video on the morning of the second day before the doors opened to the public. If you didn’t make it to the show I hope to see you there next year.



RavinHeart on February 5th, 2012


Tom Iovino came up with the idea for “Get Woodworking Week”. As I thought about it, it got me pondering the idea I had a few weeks ago. At that time I started and need to continue to follow my plan.

Everyone’s schedule is busy these days. Myself, I work full time, I am going back to school, I help coach my daughters basketball team, I help with my wife’s business when she needs it, I am a board member and webmaster for NE Wisconsin Woodworkers Guild,  trying to do the blogging / podcasting thing, and there’s a ton of other stuff that I’m not thinking of right now too. Finding time to get in the shop is not always an easy task.

For a long time I would work my butt off all week with the hope I would get “ahead” on stuff enough to get a whole day in the shop on the weekend. But, somehow, even if I got ahead enough to get that days of worth of time (which rarely happened anyway) it was never used for woodworking. The weekends always fill up if there is time open. Either something comes up or a relative or friends finds out I have time and fill it for me.

So, last week I started just walking down stairs to the shop whenever there was time. There are times I would have no more than 5 minutes and times I got a couple hours in the shop. In the course of 5 days I finished up my mini router table base, designed and built a saw till (still working on the drawer), sharpened my chisels, practiced my dovetails, cleaned up and organized the shop, turned two pens, installed a bork splitter in my table saw, and finished up a few projects that have been waiting way too long. Instead of waiting until I had “all the time I need in the shop” just taking the time I can get I did more in one week than I could do in a couple of weekends in a row. Even if I did get the illusive full days in the shop.

During one week of committing myself to just get my “arsch” in the shop and do anything I have time for, I feel better and more confident in the shop when I go down there. There is no substitute for using the tools to get better at the skills we use as woodworkers. Even though I have made an uncountable number of cuts with my tablesaw using it almost every day makes things go much smoother. And having limited time gets me to use it safer and more efficiently. Cutting a board to a line with a hand saw or planning an edge at 90 takes practice. The more often I do these tasks the more confident I am that the results will be dead on. Because of my time to unwind in the shop and do the woodworking I enjoy, I feel better and more relaxed too. I am defiantly going to keep up my new shop time no schedule, schedule.

So, if you have 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, take the time and sharpen, cut, plane, sand, carve, turn, and finish as much and as often as you can. You will be happier in your shop and no matter if you just started woodworking or have been making sawdust for a life time, you will increase and improve you skills.

It boils down to exactly what Tom stated with this week … GET WOODWORKING !!!

RavinHeart on October 20th, 2011

On this episode of the podcast Matt Vanderlist, host and creator of Matt’s Basement Workshop podcast and The Spoken Wood podcast and I discuss the new theme and talk about Woodworking in America …