Traditional Woodworking with James Wright

This week we chat with James Wright from WoodbyWright about all things hand tool woodworking.  Despite having a long background working with power tools, find out why James switched to hand tool shop and the lessons he has learned along the way.


  • Getting started as a kid
  • First project Jimmy remembers



Brandon: We want to welcome you guys back to the Make or Break show. We're hanging out with James Wright today. A master hand tool maker you. Thanks for hanging out. We're looking for to chatting with you.

James Wright: I'm having fun. It's good to be here.

Brandon: We were just talking that you run some ultra marathons and so you seemed to be like a glutton for pain because also just like you put down your entire hardwood floor by hands that's your most recent video right? This is October 23rd.

What it is like installing hardwood floors by hand.

James Wright: Yeh.

Brandon: Thats cool. That's that's crazy.

Brandon: How was that project for you?

James Wright: The flooring was it was dumb.

Brandon: How exhausted are you?

James Wright: It wasn't tiring really it was just it was just monotonous and slow because there were 1700 nails and every single one of them had to be pre drilled and every single one of them had to be nailed and then every single one had come back with the nailset and drive it all the way home.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: It was just time consuming. It was a lot of time in the knees and well.

Brandon: Did you start like hallucinating at all like I know people do like repetitive tasks over and over again like their brains start doing crazy stuff?

James Wright: I don't know none of the flooring I've hallucinated on a couple training runs but never never with hand tools. Maybe I should try it harder.

Brandon: Yeah that's cool. I actually won't ask you but you're running for a second. How long have you been running.

Why James got into running.

James Wright: I've been running for about well off and on for six years I started six years ago I just decided you know one day I want to do a marathon out of the blue, I had never run a mile in my life. And I want to do a marathon so I trained up and ran a marathon and then quit running. Four months of training for a marathon and I stopped.

James Wright: But then I ended up putting on a little over a hundred pounds and you know three years later I finally got tired and went back to running to lose the weight and eating right over six months lost that and so running was an enjoyable thing for that. But once I lost the weight I quit running. And I just remember thinking back on that it was about two years ago and then I thought you know I was always happy when I was out running maybe I should do that again. So I started running and you know 5K wasn't enough and 10k wasn't enough and half marathon wasn't enough and marathon wasn't enough. And now I'm an ultra marathoner planning around a 200 mile race in the not too distant future.

Brandon: That's nuts. Actually when you tell people that you're an ultra marathoner or you tell them that you work with just hand tools. Which reaction do you get the most like man you're crazy from?

James Wright: I get about the same reaction from both and both of them usually come from a stance of not understanding what it is what's going on. Most people can understand a 5K or a half marathon but anything longer than that it just it doesn't compute. There's nothing to compare it to. [00:03:08] It's the same thing with hand tools. You know most people don't even realize that it can be done. So there isn't even a schema that they can fit into you know how much work is it going to take to dimension a board with just hand tools. [11.9] So it's most people are like.

James Wright: Oh yeah it's cool.

James Wright: But they have no idea what it is.

Brandon: Yeah I want to get into your background ask to get listen to an interview from the last year late last year that you had done and one of the youtube channels. Did I see that your dad was in the construction. Is that kind of how you got into working in DIY?

How James got into woodworking.

James Wright: Yeah. My father Well my father was a pastor and during the winters just because it was a nice thing to be able to do some woodworking. So a friend in the church had a had a shop that would make most people drool it had router's with dedicated bits had a 30 inch thickness planer.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: I think it was like a 20 inch jointer. It was something pretty big like. So it was a tricked out shop with all the best things. And so that's where my dad learned to do woodworking and I was about five or six at the time so I was always stumbling in the shop behind him you know catching the board at the end of the table saw him you know helping him move things around and learning things like that.

James Wright: By the time I was six I was making my own things in the shop and enjoying it. And from then on I always had a power tool shop. I had you know the whole nine yards bandsaw, table saw, joiner.

James Wright: I was always in my dad's shop until I got married and moved out of the house and I got my own shop and had all the cool tools. [00:04:46] I never touched a hand plane in my life and I don't think I ever sharpened a chisel. I didn't have any way to sharpen it. If it got dull I just went to the store and got a new one. [10.7]

James Wright: That's all I knew about it until about five years ago.

James Wright: We started moving quite a bit and every time we moved we moved into a smaller space and I ended up selling tools and selling more tools and then a couple houses ago we moved into a house that I had no garage I had no basement space I had no space for shop. So I moved everything into storage and out of that storage [00:05:24] we kind of got to the point why are we storing this stuff let's just sell it all off and I sold all my tools everything I had and I just you know I kind of threw my hands up and said I'm never doing woodworking again. [12.0]

James Wright: I guess that's the end of it. It's kind of sad but oh well that's life. I move on to other things. Then we came to the conclusion that my job in theater I finally got my dream job and that's one of the reasons why ever moving as I was I was focusing on my dream job and I finally got it and it was a blast and I was absolutely loving it. But we were paying the babysitter because we had three kids we were paying the babysitter just a little bit less than I was making and just wasn't making any sense for me to be working just to be paying babysitter. With my wife she's a RN and makes more than I could dream of.

Why James decided to stay at home with his kids.

James Wright: And so we just decided you know let's just I'll quit my job. Move back to family and we'll live off what my wife makes and I'll be a stay at home dad. That's a lot of fun but being a stay at home dad would just drive me bonkers. I've got to have something I can do.

How hand tools got James back into woodworking.

James Wright: One day I came across a video from a YouTube channel called Worth the Effort. He's a predominantly hand tool guy does a lot of fun things. But he was he was making a grooving plane using only hand tools.

James Wright: And after seeing him use this grooving playing it was just like this lightbulb moment of.

James Wright: Oh wow I could I could actually do woodworking in my basement and the house we moved into I had a small space about eight foot by 10 foot that I could turn into a shop and make a bench and it would be quiet so I could have the kids with me. It would be you know no power tools would be safe for the kids that would be no dust so I could actually have the kids in the shop when I'm working so I could be a stay at home dad and still do woodworking.

James Wright: Well yeah and that's how I got into woodworking that was you know about three years ago. And so up until that point I had never touched a hand plain in my life. I've never never sharpened anything and of that cool light bulb moment that everything took off from.

Brandon: When you were young and in your dad's shop or I guess shop he was going to. Is there a project that sticks out that you remember working on like that maybe that first one?

First project

James Wright: Well the first thing I ever made was a boy scout car a pine box derby. But all of the kids from the store with these little pine blocks that everyone it then put weights into the bottom to try and you know make them go a little faster put more energy in them.

James Wright: But I was in a wood shop and I had oak and maple and all these woods and like I'm going to make my own. And so I sculpted it on a bandsaw and shaped it out and sanded it down it and it made it look really nice it didn't perform very well but it looked great.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: But I think that's good the first big furniture project I did is I made a dresser six and a half foot tall two foot deep three and a half foot wide. Huge massive dresser. I had no idea what I was doing really. And it worked great though it was a nice dresser. It was functional. It wasn't terribly pretty but it worked. And I was very proud of it. It did not last through all of my moves. It was all dowell joinery and it just wasn't it wasn't built terribly strong. It was built fairly much like an Ikea built but with dowells as opposed to wood joinery and move to the house we're in right now. It finally fell apart. It literally fell apart while carrying it into the house.

James Wright: And so all the lumber from that got turned into the coffee table which was my first full hand to woodworking furniture piece.

Brandon: Did I see you that you went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison but you had your degree was in theater, or technical theater. Is that right?

Background in technical theater.

James Wright: Yeah. My undergrad was in biblical Biblical Counseling my master's was in technical theater. So it was. But that's all yeah it's the the basically engineering for building sets. Some lighting, some audio but mostly the structural components and designing the set to withstand what the director needs to do. And then the actual building of it so there's a lot of steel work.

James Wright: A lot of coming up with new technical ways. All the special effects things like that all fell under the purview of the technical director that it's my job to moving out to Pennsylvania. I get to do this on a theater out there called sight and sound and they would pump in like seven million dollars into a set. And so I get to build like climbing mountains that would be GPS controlled and fully autonomous and filled with all these tech. Oh yeah it was a lot of fun.

James Wright: But I'm a hand tool guy.

Brandon: Yeah that's a crazy. I listened to the Crafted PPodcast and so I thought you were just straight he and tools. But then you're like yeah I've got experience welding and like he kept talking about things you've done before I'm like now he's done like a ton of stuff like that this isn't just hand tools.

Brandon: What was it like you were moving and you were selling off your equipment. Were you kind of accepting hey this is kind of the next step or was it like ah this is like this it's hard to get rid of this stuff?

The impact of moving on his development as a woodworker.

James Wright: I'm very flexible. I grew up moving constantly. I mean I moved twenty five times and lived in nine different states. So I've been all over the place. Every time we moved from about like you know six years on for six years old I was I was always picking up jobs working construction, working siding, working roofing. Trim work inside, laying flooring and you know all the things I could do. I was just I enjoyed that I was home schooled so wherever we moved I could do my schooling that evening and work in the morning and I like that.

James Wright: And so every time we moved I learned a new trade. And it's just kind of my life. And I went to college for for my counseling thinking I'm going to follow my father's footsteps and be a pastor. And then I said no I'm going to go to theater. And so it was just another step.

James Wright: I don't get too attached to anything and it kind of becomes I'm ok with transition I'm ok with moving on. And so that was just the next step.

Brandon: Yeah yeah. So I know video it seems like it's been a part of your story for a while because you've had, did I see there was a channel where you were building a plane?

Why James keeps a video record of his hobbies.

James Wright: Right. Yeah I actually have I think I have eight working channels right now.

Brandon: Oh wow.

James Wright: And that's that's really where the the hand tool channel came from is I. Whenever I start a new hobby I document it for myself and I document my shooting videos. You know this is what I completed. This is what I learned this is why I purchased for it and talking about those in video form is good for me because I can go back and look at my future and I did the exact same thing with hand tools and I've kept all my oldest videos on my channel.

James Wright: So if you go back on my channel and you look at my first few videos it's like.

James Wright: Hey look I just bought a hand plane. Now I'm going to go restore it.

James Wright: And so I can go through all those things. Yo u know buying my first hand plane, buying my first set of chisels, building my first bench with construction lumber and they're not the greatest videos or videos intended for me to just document what I'm what I'm doing.

James Wright: But a lot of people like going back and look at those and seeing you know [00:13:52] I started with 12 dollars I bought a handsaw that I got at a big box store. It was basically free. They had a rebate for the price of the sauce that you know the cheapest one they had. I bought a set of Harbor Freight chisels and then I bought a hand plane for five dollars that was completely rusted. And so for for twelve dollars I built my shop.

James Wright: I [24.8] started with just those three tools and started working from there.

Brandon: Yeah. Did See your first video then on the WoodbyWright channel was that September 2015. Is that about right?

James Wright: It was only two years ago only two years. OK.

Brandon: So you mentioned you were making those videos almost as like document to yourself for later. At what point did you realize like other people like were watching your videos and it wasn't just like people maybe like your family your friends?

Realizing other people were watching his videos.

James Wright: Oh I actually had a friend randomly come up to me and say how I watched your video about making a mallet and I'm like.

James Wright: How did you find my video?

James Wright: You know a dozen subscribers at the time you know just random people that trickle in. And it was one of those odd ideas of OK someone's watching this maybe I should you know talk to as if someone else is there.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: And then I think somewhere around 80 subscribers which would have been like December of that year. Matt Cremona posted a video of me making the coffee table.

Brandon: Oh cool.

James Wright: And it was like oh OK there's actually people who want to see this.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: And overnight I went to like three or 400 subscribers and it was it was that moment I just decided I'm not going to I'm going to learn what it takes to actually turn this into making decent videos that other people want to watch. So it wasn't like I started out with that. It was something I kind of grew over time.

Brandon: What were some of those lessons that you learned. Like kind of how is the half of those videos transitioned?

What lessons James has learned producing videos?

James Wright: Well number one it's you know how do you how do you talk to a camera without it. Number one feel it's always going to feel somewhat odd to you. But how do you talk to it without it you know coming across as feeling odd. And then there's all the technical things of audio is so much more important than people think and mastering Good audio is very difficult. And I haven't gotten there yet. It's something I'm still working on.

James Wright: And then you're working with video quality and learning all the editing and it's just a thousand little steps that you that you have to take one at a time you can't jump into it and do it all great.

James Wright: It's through regular iterations of doing it over and over again and learning from your mistakes and seeing how you can make something better. I think that's one of the reasons why I ended up as I normally putting out three videos a week and I did that because it was I found ways of making them faster. And I found ways of learning from my stuff faster and I kind of realized ahead of time I've got a lot I need to learn and how to do this. And so the only way I'm I do it is put out more videos that I can learn from.

Brandon: Gotcha. So flipping into the hand side the grand scheme of things like giving only and doing it for a few years from back when you purchased that like first hand playing you restored it to now. Have there have been some big things or maybe some misconceptions that are out there about hand tools. Oh this is a lot different than I thought going into it?

What misconceptions people have about handtools.

James Wright: Oh there's a lot. Well there's the whole mindset that's very very different in the power tool world when something is dull you replace it yeah. Or if it's very expensive you send it to someone to be sharpened which might happen like once a year.

James Wright: Whereas in the hand tool world because you are the power behind it you have to learn...I mean there's a gradient from deadly sharp to so dull that it won't cut anything and you have to learn where in that gradient do you want to stop. Wear in that gradient do you want to actually sharpen.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: And learning what it feels like to be dull and then learning how to sharpen it. You end up you know sharpening every day almost every tool you touch. And it's a it's a very it's a different mindset that you know the sharpening process is the woodworking. It's not you know it's not something that's disposable and changeable. There's a lot of things like that even just like how you hold a chisel. The power to a person almost always wants to use a chisel or a plane with the bevel up it makes a logical sense to have the bevel because your your force is in line with the with the cutting motion when the is up but when the bevels up you have far less control.

James Wright: [00:19:06] You have other problems that come into it with you know steeper angles harder to use and a hand to a person becomes very very familiar with putting the bevel down with it with a chisel for carving into things you get far more control you get far more use out of it. [13.8]

James Wright: The only things you have to be used to putting the force in the direction of the bevel rather than in the direction of the chisel itself. And that's a mindset change that once you suddenly click that everything becomes a little bit a little bit different and how you are affected.

James Wright: And then as to you know tools in general I think a lot of people particularly hand tools feel that they've you see all of these hand tools being used and a vast collection of new and used in antique in every tool for every style and tools that get used for one very specific purpose. It's not like you know power tools where you have your router your table saw your drill and your planer and you can do just about anything you want.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: [00:20:08] But I think that one of the big misconceptions that you've got to have a large collection of hand tools and do the work. Now I have a large collection of hand tools now, but you don't need that if you have a saw a chisel on a plane. You can make anything you want. [15.3] Yes some steps are going to take a little bit longer and that is a good thing because the only way you're going to learn hand tools is to do.

James Wright: Whereas you know with a power tool if I were to set up a table saw and I set up the fence right and I put a feather board on there and I spend the time to set up any monkey can run boards through the table saw all day long reproduced perfect cuts.

James Wright: I can set up a handsaw perfectly and set every tooth exactly and sharpen the thing within an inch of its life. And you're not going to be able to follow a line unless you know you spend several dozen hours cutting. You know I can I can teach you how do you hold your arm so it becomes better it becomes easier. But even then you're still not going to improve until you do it.

James Wright: And I think a lot of people run into that wall with hand tools. [00:21:14] Whereas with power tools if you spend the money and you spend the time in the setup you'll end up with a good product and hand tools you can spend all the money in the world you can spend all the time in setup you're not going to get a good product until you learn how to use it. And the only way to learn how to use it is to do it. A lot [17.0] of people really get frustrated with that. I spent all the money and it it's set up perfectly but I'm I'm getting bad results and people get frustrated with that.

Brandon: Yeah, and you've got you've got a great series I'll include definitely the shownotes I think about six months ago where you had folks there wanting to get into hand tools and you walked do you like this is what I recommend for the beginner, the intermediate. But to scale that even further down it's like the tool that you find yourself using just the most. What's kind of your go to that you always know your going to use in the shop?

Most used tool in the shop.

James Wright: The half inch chisel. Honestly I'm going to be doing a project here in the next few weeks where I'm going to build a box out of a piece of firewood using only a chisel.

James Wright: [00:22:20] And every tool you use is just a jig for holding a chisel. Yeah even like the table saw it's just a whole bunch of chisels in a line and the rest of the saw is just how do you move those chisels through the wood. [11.9] And if you think about it in that mindset you know even a handsaw is just a bunch of chisels or a bunch of knives you can easily do any anything you want just a chisel as long as you think about you know if I want to plane down a board with a chisel either I can make a jig to hold the chisel just right which is a plane or I can teach myself to hold the chisel which is my hands and plan a board and you can do anything with just a chisel. It takes more time.

Brandon: Yeah. Actually it's funny when my dad was helping me. We've got a baby on the way and so we're painting like a nursery. And what he had to get somethin out of like a little crack. And like I had these like they're not super expensive like a little like DeWalt like chisel said. I think from like Home Depot but like I sharpen them down like I've got a great edge on them. And I walk out and my dad's like out there like treat it like a screwdriver just like and into like something with it.

Brandon: And I'm like: Oh no.

Brandon: He's like: No it's fine.

Brandon: No I sharpened them it was hard to get.

Brandon: But all that to say when when was it when did you realise sharpening was like a really big deal? And he mentioned you know we know when something sharpen versus when it's a dull like was that really early on when you were restoring that plane.

Learning to sharpen a blade.

James Wright: No I mean it's something that you'll be learning for the rest of your life. Now the first project that I had was building my bench and that I had a folding table that I bought I brought down 24 two by fours stud grade two by fours and I had to then plane down all these two by fours by hand. And Pine is fairly easy but it has knots and it has reversing grain and it has things that make it difficult. And that was a great learning experience because I bought the plane and I got this cheap sharpening stone that was you know designed for knives and so I started I figured I'd feel sharper feels good I'm going to use that.

James Wright: And you worked it cut it felt great until the next time I sharpened it. I got a little bit sharper and I felt that was like oh oh this is what sharp feels like. Yeah. And the next time I sharpen it I got a little bit better and I was like oh oh no no no This is what sharp feels like. And so every time I could get a little bit sharper I suddenly realize that there's a whole nother step to it.

James Wright: And every time you do that then you suddenly realize that you get comfortable with that really really sharp feeling and when it starts to get dull and you're like oh it's going sharp and I don't want to feel that anymore. And the more you spend with it the more you you tend to hold yourself to that really sharp edge and you end up sharpening more and more and more.

James Wright: And so it's something you grow with over time and if you don't have someone to show you you know right of the bat that this is what sharp really feels like. It's a whole experimental process.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: And it's not a bad thing. It's actually a good thing to learn and feel and grow through. But you know a lot of people want to skip that step and want to have someone you know sharpen it up quickly and show you this is what it should feel like. Everyone's a little different.

Brandon: Yeah I know. Seems like workers in general are perfectionists and they always kind of have the best finish or have the smoothest plane is there a too sharp? Like is there a point like hey it's you can get a sharper but it's not.... it's diminishing returns at a certain point?

Can you over sharpen a chisel?

James Wright: I think there is kind of in a mindset way. A lot of people like to put you know a secondary bevel or a back bevel to speed up the sharpening process.

James Wright: And I think that also comes from the power tool mindset is that the sharpening isn't working so we've got to get through it to get to the woodworking. [00:26:26] Whereas the hand tool mindset is you know the sharpening is the woodworking. [3.8] And so I don't use any back bevels, I don't use any I don't use and use secondary bevels. And now that I've gotten used to it I can sharpen just as fast as anyone who does or you know uses the ruler trick which I don't have any problem with that it's not an issue I don't have an issue with it.

James Wright: I think that a lot of people are trying to find a system that is fast that produces a sharp edge and they can get back to woodworking. And I think that a lot of people spend too much time in that system. But there isn't such a thing as too sharp. The sharper you get it the better your cut will be and the finer the work you want to do the sharper that will need to be. So I mean if I am if I'm rough dimensioning a board using my scrub plain my scrub. My scrub plane I rarely sharpen. I mean I might sharpen it once every three or four months is really dull but oh well I it's just the rough plain that hogs material.

James Wright: Now my smoothing plate on the other hand if I do more than like four or five square feet with the board I'm going to take it back and sharpen it.

James Wright: It's a it's something that I sharpen every time I get you know if I'm using it for three or four minutes I'm going to go sharpen it again I keep that as deadly sharp as I can possibly get it. So I mean there's a continuum of what you're going to be wanting to do.

Brandon: I know you've got really great video that include a link with your kind of sharpening station with those three DMT diamonds and you have a strop that pretty much you're go to? That's how you sharpen everything?

James Wright: Yeah for all of my my straight edges that's why I do it. The only thing I don't is if there's a concave edge such as like you know the inside of a curving chisel. But all the convex edges and all the straight edges are done the three stones and a strop.

Brandon: Well I kind of want to get into your schedule a little bit or just what it looks like.

Brandon: So how old are your kids now?

James Wright: Right now they are 5 4 6 and 7.

So you've got just the 4 year old is at home all the time is tthat right?.

James Wright: Then first grade and second grade.

Brandon: So what's it like staying at home and balancing like your kids as well as doing woodworking. How does that work or does it just change depending on what they're doing.

Balancing kids and woodworking.

James Wright: It is a constant juggling act because my wife works three to four days a week. She works 12 hour shifts.

Brandon: Wow.

James Wright: So then they're completely different show work weekends every third week. But everything in between is completely random. You never know what day she's going to be working. I mean there's schedules out about a month ahead of time but they're completely different.

James Wright: So I live on days when my wife works days when my wife doesn't work and days when it's kind of in-between where we have things we have to get done in the house so she's still officially working but she's here.

James Wright: And so if she's working then usually I have you know the eight hours in the morning when the kids are at school I just have Arthur here I can I can really down and do things if I have you know a video where I'm talking through something I'm not actually building anything I can do an entire video at a time I can shoot it and upload it during that time and that's a very efficient time for me.

James Wright: Then a lot of my build projects I'm just trying to fit them in here and there so I'll work on them for 20, 30 minutes thing go do something else then I'll come back for 20, 30 minutes and go do something else.

James Wright: So my wife's at home and I want to spend a lot of family time. I do a lot of that little in-between things where I'll go play a game with a family and then I'll go downstairs and work in the shop for 20, 30 minutes and then I'll go on my run and then I'll come back and work in a little bit.

James Wright: So I try and keep very flexible but I am very scheduled the only way that I can I can fit in all those blocks is actually to schedule them all I live and die by my calendar. Yeah I try and schedule out the next week or so. When are we going to really get all the content needed for those videos and fit it all in there. That's the the driving thing.

Brandon: Yeah well I definitely want to keep you too long to keep the scheduled blocks that I'm sure you have later today. We've got a couple of questions that we ask everybody that comes on. You might have already mentioned it so it's the make or break show. And so on the make, two questions on the make side of things. Is there a favorite project that you have does have to be something that even that she filmed but something that you just look back on.

MAKE: Favorite project.

James Wright: Valentine's Day two years ago so two years from this February I made a box for my wife.

James Wright: And looking back on it now it's kind of a mishmash it was back when I really first getting into hand tools and I had all this wood on hand and so I have Paduk and Purple Heart, Oak and Sapeely and all these colors into it and carving and it's kind of busy but it's still one of my favorites.

James Wright: It's a very cool piece that I spent a lot more time than I was expecting on it but it was it was something I had my heart into because I was making it for my wife and it was a really kind of a cool video a long time ago.

Brandon: On the break side of things. Is there a project that really went wrong that is that stands out to you. There's something kind of like you learn because of it?

BREAK: Lessons learned from failure.

James Wright: Yes. About a year ago I decided to make a cabinet scraper because I hadn't seen anyone else make a cabinet scraper. I've seen a few jigs for holding a card scraper but not a cabinet scraper with two handles on it.

James Wright: How hard is that. It's a way to hold a card that you know a hole through it and you use it. Oh yeah. And so I started into it just kind of experimenting play with things. And my goal was to build it in one day and just film it and be done and it fell apart. It was one problem after another. I just hadn't thought through it at all. And it was it was a bad build that I learned a lot about how I do things how I work through things what can be done what can't be done and how to work it better. So I ended up actually making a video about that you know how not to build a cabinet scraper and then next week build a video, you know this is how I want to do it and actually build one that I learned from all my mistakes and build one that was quality. That was a very good learning experience yeah.

Brandon: Do you find that since you're doing hand tools and the guess the speed is slower they like mistakes aren't as drastic. Running something through the table saw and like something gets caught like you can break the whole board or do you still find that you can still make some pretty quick mistakes.

James Wright: Yes and no. Mistakes as in cutting myself every tool I have is flesh sensing. So I end up I probably scratch myself more with hand tools than I would have power tools. But the chances of a large disaster you know cutting off a finger or really slicing into yourself are a lot less.

James Wright: So there's that aspect of it but the actual you know problems in the build it kind of goes back and forth because sometimes you really get into this mindset you get in this machine mindset you know I've got 34 boards I need to play down. I just I go into it and I remember marching through it and you playing down through 30 34 boards and then you realize wait a second I was off.

Brandon: Yeah.

James Wright: That still happens. But I think just as often there are a lot of times where I'll realize after the first or second joint that I'm doing like usually if I have a project that you know there's four mortars Mortise and tenons on just about everything as you you know you fit everything together is four joints four corners and so you're always making one item to match another as opposed with power tools. You might make all the tendons and then you make all the mortises and because you're going off measurements. If first one fits then. They all fit.

James Wright: Whereas with hand tools you're you might make the first mortise and then you make the second you make the tenon and but it doesn't matter what their measurement is as long as they fit together.

James Wright: So you're making whatever the second item is to match the first item and so you're every piece you're doing you're making to fit. So there's a little bit less problem with that because even though you're making four of them you're really making four individual joints. You're not making for it one time. And so if you're messing up one it's usually just one joint that's messed up and a lot of times then you can you can easily fix the one or replace the one as opposed to replacing all of them. So that becomes a little bit easier that way if that makes sense at all makes sense.

Brandon: Well I appreciate your time. It was a blast chatting with you. Is WoodbyWright, is that the best place to send people to ask if they want to check your stuff?

James Wright: Yeh I'm on YouTube Instagram and Facebook mostly on a few other places. But those are the ones I'm regularly on.

Brandon: Well thank you so much. Yeah thank you so much it was a blast chatting.

James Wright: Indeed. Thanks for having me.

Brandon Cullum