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Welcome

The Unplugged Woodshop.com is finally a reality. After blogging my way through the last three years on Working Wood, (www.tomfidgen.blogspot.com) I’m extremely pleased to welcome you to my new web site and sincerely hope you enjoy it. First off I’d like to thank Luis Martins (aka The Dovetail Kid) for spending countless hours putting this new space together for me. It was actually by coincidence that Luis and I met through wood working blogs and after a few brief contacts he offered to help out with the new site construction. I personally think he did an outstanding job and would never have been able to have done it without him. Thanks again Luis!!!

So the first thing I’d like to mention about the new site are the dedicated areas for all six of the book projects. If you mouse over the Made by Hand button on the top bar you’ll see each project title. Once you click through to a new page you’ll find FREE downloadable SketchUp models and a detailed bench plans that you can print out and keep with you at bench side while you build. With expanded galleries (The Cutting Room Floor) and afterthoughts of the projects that never made it into the pages of the book due to space limitations. You can also send me photographs of your own versions of these designs and I’ll post them in the Readers Gallery section. I encourage readers to do this and post comments and questions there as well. This will give others the opportunity to see some variations on the designs and possibly answer some of the questions or concerns that may arise while working through the pieces at home. The more feedback we get here, the more success readers will have when building so I hope everyone puts in their two cents!

You’ll notice the Classes button up there as well. I’m excited to say that I’m now offering private  classes here at the Unplugged Woodshop- from one or two hour week night meetings to half day, weekend workshops- learning the tricks and techniques of the trade in a ‘real working’ wood shop could never be easier. If it’s half blind dovetails or mortise and tenon joinery, hand planing basic or sharpening routines, I’m completely open to any and all wood working related topics. That’s the beauty of a private class, they can be geared towards what ever it is you’d like to learn!

I would also like to make note of the top right hand corner of the page- you’ll see the subscribe by email or RSS buttons. If you’d like to receive all of my posts as they’re published then simply click there. That way you won’t miss any and you’ll have them delivered directly to your email.

Besides all of this we’re still developing the Gallery page where I’ll showcase more of my own work and give some feedback and details on each one. All of my past blogs from Working Wood are available as well;  in the side bar collumn under Tales and Techniques you’ll find sub categories with a much easier and more organised navigation menu. Themes and categories have been developed so if its information on hand planes you’re after, then follow the links… Lots of hand tool information and general wood working related topics so browse around the new web site- I think you’ll find it easy to find your way through and you never know- you may just learn something new!

There are still a few more elements we’re working on so be sure to come back again soon- Thanks again for visiting.

Cheers!

22 Comments

  1. Posted by Luis Martins on Jan 25th, 2010

    Thank you Tom!
    It’s been a pleasure to work with you on this project for the last couple of months.

    It curious when I think that all you wanted was some minor layout changes and we totally redesigned the website and added lots of new features to it.

    I’m very happy with how it turned out.

  2. Posted by Mark mazzo on Jan 25th, 2010

    Hey Tom,

    Congrats on the new site. The layout and content are both terrific!

    –Mark
    The Craftsman’s Path

  3. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 25th, 2010

    thanks Mark,
    happy to hear you’re enjoying it!

  4. Posted by Gary Roberts on Jan 25th, 2010

    Tom… welcome to the world of website owners! And you thought blogging took up your time…

    I’m going to enjoy perusing your site as it grows. Good stuff already.

    Gary

  5. Posted by Vic on Jan 25th, 2010

    Sweet! Your new digs look great!

  6. Posted by Brian Meeks on Jan 26th, 2010

    I am so impressed!!! The site is beautiful, but that isn’t what is so impressive to me. The work you do is incredible, but again, that isn’t it. The fact that you have been blogging for 3 years, that is Awesome. I have been at it for 24 days. I love it, but I can’t imagine what it is like to do it for 3 years. Well done!

  7. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 26th, 2010

    thanks Gary-

    I hope this will only be a glorified blog at the end of the day-
    all the best.
    Tom

  8. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 26th, 2010

    thanks Vic-

  9. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 26th, 2010

    Thanks Brian,
    writing is a real joy for me as well as a needed vent or outlet. Working wood is a passion so making the two meet is really a perfect world and that’s the goal.
    thanks for the comments-
    keep well.

  10. Posted by George Beck on Jan 27th, 2010

    Outstanding new website. Very informative and friendly.
    Congratulations
    George

  11. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 27th, 2010

    Thanks George-

  12. Posted by Vic Tesolin on Jan 27th, 2010

    Hey Tom,
    Great new website! Looks top shelf…just like your work. Looking forward to working with you in the future.
    Vic

  13. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 27th, 2010

    thanks vic-
    see you soon!

  14. Posted by Roger Wicks on Jan 28th, 2010

    Tom
    The new site is great! Clear graphics, easy to navigate, attractive to look at and an enjoyable read. i like the idea of taking a break while working to get ice cream – sounds like it should become a regular routine…Continuing to enjoy the book, but battled to download the project files ex the website – for some reason I cannot open a .skp file. Any advice how I can do this? Do I need to download sketchup first or is there another way to do this?Thanks.
    Roger

  15. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Jan 28th, 2010

    Hey Roger,
    happy to hear you’re enjoying the site. Not too sure about the file- seems to be working. Maybe you do need to install Google Sketch-up which is a free program.
    Try that and if no luck maybe it’s your operating system. What are you running? I think older versions of Windows may have some problems with certain Word Press themes- at least that’s what I’m told! I’m not at all a computer expert.
    thanks again for the comments and good luck!

  16. Posted by Roger Wicks on Jan 28th, 2010

    Tom
    I now think it is the Sketch Up software that is missing at my end – thanks. I have the pdf’s which is a good start and have been browing through the additional pics on the site – helpful and challenging all at the same time….
    Roger

  17. Posted by Luis on Jan 28th, 2010

    Roger, you need to get Google SketchUp here: http://sketchup.google.com/
    It’s free software with no ads or any other nasty features. The Pro version is not free but you only need the free version which does too much already.

    Without installing SketchUp there is no way you’ll be able to view the files.

  18. Posted by Todd A. Clippinger on Feb 7th, 2010

    Tom – Your site is as professional and well thought out as your wonderful book and finely crafted furniture.

    As with all things you do it is simply superb.

  19. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Feb 7th, 2010

    Thanks for the comments Todd-
    but all of the site ‘cudos’ should go to Luis for bringing it all together-
    Cheers!

  20. Posted by Howard Lobb on Feb 15th, 2010

    Tom
    I have just ordered your book and am pleaseed to find this site. The ability to follow a fellow wood worker through their days is a huge treat as it connects a lot of dots, when trying to figure this stuff out myself. Helps to follow and share information, ideas, processes and ideology, philosophy, and life in general as a person doing this follow your dream stuff.
    It takes courage to put this life out there for people to really see what is happening as it is real and personal. Sharing a passion is exciting and sharing a passionate and passion filled life is even more exciting as one never knows who is watching. Or where it can reach, who it will touch.
    The whole idea of finding our personal way soon opens our lives up to so many possibilities to explore, as a wood worker I have found that I need others to communicate with to share with, learn from in order for me to grow and walk this path. I thank you for opening the door to your shop, experience, life, hopes and dreams, here, and in your book. ,,, H

  21. Posted by Tom Fidgen on Feb 15th, 2010

    Howard,
    thanks for the comments-
    very well said indeed.
    I’m happy to share my work and my passion for woodworking with anyone interested-
    Nice to hear you too are walking along the same path-
    perhaps we’ll see you along the way!
    keep in touch and happy shavings-
    Tom

  22. Posted by Andre on Feb 16th, 2010

    Hi Tom,

    Just read a review on ‘The Joiner and Cabinet Maker’ as re-issued and modernised by Christopher Scwarz and Joel Moskowitz. (Lost Art Press).

    I too have the book and reading Howards’ post above (which is indeed very well put) made me realize that following your ways through your site/blog, your video’s, your book(s?) and personal contacts makes me feeling like a ‘digital apprentice’ .

    Being a ‘digital apprentice’ not only teaches one something on woodworking (as in techniques) but also gives one an understanding on the so important ‘habits’ (the things a professional woodworker does without even thinking but can puzzle beginners in the ‘how and why’ department).

    Apart from woodworking one also gets something on a lot of other topics and life itself.

    I find it a great way to learn and like it a lot. I too think communication and sharing improve on the learning curve in a great way.

    Peace and out.

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