by Steven D. Johnson
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More Most Frequently Asked Questions (MFAQs)
(I Missed A Few Last Month)
Last month I listed some of the most frequently asked questions from readers of this column and viewers of my videos. There were some prominent questions I missed, so here are a few more.
Question: Can you produce your plans/drawings/videos in metric?
Ummm… I had always hoped that some "down to earth woodworker" in Germany, Ukraine, Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, or any of the other 70+ countries where woodworkers watch my videos would take on the task of converting my drawings as a volunteer! The truth is, I don't mind doing it, but I hate looking stupid (you'd think I'd be used to it by now!). What if I convert a measurement and give it as something like 38 X 90 X 2438mm and someone says "Hey dummy, we call that a 2 X 4!" Oh well, I'll try. But if I make a mistake, I hope everyone will be gentle, compassionate, and forgiving.
Question: Do you have any hints (tips, advice) for someone who would like to make woodworking videos?
You will think this is a cop-out, but the subject is simply too complicated to answer in a short paragraph. I have been contemplating doing a video for woodworkers on "how to shoot a video." I'm no expert… not by a long shot… but there are some basic things that any and every one should consider when making a woodworking video. For example (and forgive me if this sounds simplistic or harsh), whatever you do, get a tripod and some lights. That moving, jerking, shaking, under-lit, grainy look works for something like "The Blair Witch Project," but not for a woodworking tutorial. By the way, the shaking camera technique is actually called "shaky cam" (or sometimes "queasy cam" since that's the way it makes you feel watching it) and has been around for years. One of my favorite movies that used "shaky cam" to artistic advantage is "Dr. Strangelove."
Question: Where do you get ______ [hardware items used in the project, i.e. drawer slides, knobs, pulls, casters, etc.]?
I have been remiss in the past and should list the specific hardware used on a project either in the video description box or on the project drawings or cut list. Every effort will be made to do that in the future.
"Frequent Requests" are closely related to Frequently Asked Questions, and the most prevalent is for a video series on building kitchen cabinets. If a kitchen remodel is on your horizon, be sure to check out
this month's video
. In this two-part series I will show you how I build a kitchen base cabinet in two hours or less (not including drawers and doors!).
The Down To Earth Woodworking shop is absolutely overflowing with wood and projects right now. Wood, because I am stocking up for the winter. Projects because I have so many things going on at once… I'm feeling a little overwhelmed actually, but in a good way. This is going to be an exciting woodworking season, so stay tuned! See you next month!
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Steven Johnson is retired from an almost 30-year career selling medical equipment and
supplies, and now enjoys improving his shop, his skills, and his designs on a full time basis
(although he says home improvement projects and furniture building have been hobbies for most of his
Steven can be reached directly via email at