woodshop diaries

The Woodshop Diaries

woodshop diaries

After two New York Times bestsellers, Nick Offerman–woodworker, actor, comedian, and co-host of NBC’s crafting competition series Making It–returns with the subject for which he’s known best: his incredible real-life woodshop.

Nestled among the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown, Offerman Woodshop produces not only fine handcrafted furniture but also fun stuff—kazoos, baseball bats, ukuleles, mustache combs, even cedar-strip canoes. It’s a testament to American elbow grease and an honest hard day’s work.

What I’m Working On

The most difficult part of this woodworking gig has been finding the time to get to the shop. With my kids at home and in school, my shop-time is at a premium. The only time I’ve got to make serious headway is at the weekends, which is a good thing. The best part of the woodshop experience is being able to see what my fellow shop hoppers are up to. And if you’re lucky, you may get to join in on some of their antics as well. My best buddy is a woodworker in training who happens to live a stone’s throw from me. And he’s got a great sense of humor and is quite entertaining to boot. I’ve also made a few new friends with the likes of me, including the most recent addition to my merry band.

Shop Stories

The shop is a key part of the woodworking experience, both in the way it inspires creativity and in the way it serves as a focal point for work. The shop’s layout is a reflection of the woodworker’s style and personality, and it says as much about their individual needs as it does about efficiency and convenience.

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced woodworker, you will find plenty of inspiring projects and helpful tips to keep you on your toes in these pages. These projects have all been crafted by Nick’s ragtag crew of champions, and they’re designed to help you learn and practice your craft at the same time.

In addition to the project-based content, this book is brimming with good clean fun, including recipes for comestibles and mirth, humorous essays, odes to woodworking heroes, insights into the ethos of woodworking in modern America, and more assorted tomfoolery. It’s sure to be a welcome addition to any woodworker’s library and their shop.

Lessons Learned

When I walked into Kelly Parker’s basement woodshop in her Parkville home, the first thing I saw was a prototype of a chair she was making. It was a white-painted bar stool with splayed legs.

I was immediately impressed with the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into these projects. She’s known for working raw timber into furniture, a process that starts with harvesting trees from her clients’ properties and drying the lumber in her back yard sheds until it’s at a low enough moisture content to work with.

It’s easy to see how much these pieces mean to her and the people she makes them for. They’re not only beautiful, they also give her a chance to get close to nature and help keep her rooted in the community that she lives in. It’s a combination that she’s proud of.

Shop Notes

Among the many things I do in the shop, a large percentage of my time is spent on my lathe and my router. This leads to a lot of hands on time for me and the rest of my crew and a bit of shop-scenario indoctrination for the many students who come through the doors. The best part of all is being able to share my enthusiasm for woodworking with everyone from the uninitiated to the seasoned pros. The result is an ever-growing community of fellow makers and a plethora of projects that test the woodworking mettle every time they leave my shop. This podcast is a perfect complement to the myriad of events that occur in the shop and a welcome respite from a long and busy workweek. You can listen to a new episode every week at your convenience or subscribe via iTunes or RSS. You can also find the show on your mobile device via our handy app.