Preview: A Shop Visit with Joshua Klein, Pre-Industrial Tools in a Post-Industrial World

*     *     * is a membership website with over 1,000 videos and articles on boat handling, repairs, maintenance, boat building, dream boats and more.

Sign up above to learn more, and get 10 of our best videos.

*     *     *

September 13, 2019

Josh sorted through career possibilities as a traditional woodworker and ended an authority on pre-industrial process. Watch him surprise us about the efficiency of hand-powered tools.

Get Free Videos Start Free Trial Members Sign In

Comments, Thoughts or Suggestions?

You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

Leave a Comment

14 Responses So Far to “A Shop Visit with Joshua Klein, Pre-Industrial Tools in a Post-Industrial World

  • Avatar

    Stephen Richie says:

    I like simplicity, too. On/off switches are simple 😊

  • Avatar

    Edwin Slaughter says:

    Growing up in South Carolina, my favorite PBS show was the Woodwright Shop. Roy Underhill made the series show all the techniques and tools used. Like the spring pole or treadle lathe. The different shaving horses. He wrote several books on the subject. This show is still although not in production now, was my favorite and remains my favorite series I have ever seen, and inspired me to collect planes, bow back saws, mortise chisels and etc.

  • Avatar

    Nathan Bayreuther says:

    Neat video. I wonder if he studied at the Harry Bryan School of Ingenuity!

  • Avatar

    Baxter Evans says:

    I remember my dad had those tools in his workshop when I was a kid, although I never seen him use them. I think they were more of a keepsake handed down from his dad who no doubt did use them. It was nice to see them in action here in this video. I’m all for holding on to some of the skills of the past. Keep up the nice work.

  • Avatar

    John McCarthy says:

    Interesting video, Joshua’s use of the hatchet was fascinating. But I’m afraid I just don’t get the point of the whole thing. The cupboard at the beginning really says it all. Rough woodwork and crude decoration. How is this better than a perfectly finished and decorated piece? Because it was made by hand? I have seen absolutely flawless hand made furniture. I guess if you are into the medieval look it would be ok. All a matter of taste I guess..

    • Avatar

      Peter Brackenbury says:

      I understand your thoughts on crude or rough work, but I think he was just showing one step (a step that he clearly enjoys and sees as beautiful and that has largely disappeared)of a process and this short piece just focused on alternatives to machines to rough a piece to dimension. So instead of running over to the tablesaw or planer (a step that we all mostly think is the only way to do things today) rough it with the hatchet or jack plane etc. I think he was showing the efficiency of these tools for their intended purpose; rough work. After that, you can take it as far as you desire be it whisper thin smooth plane shavings or cabinet scrapers to create a fine finish or leave it in the rough state if you like the marks. He clearly enjoys the physical input where his body is the machine and his hands have developed skills that allow him to bypass some of the tedious steps that distance his body from the process and the product. I too have seen incredible showy furniture and crude/simple yet beautiful cabinetry. Depending on the user and the intent, modern machines and pre-industrial tools can make both. Without the knowledge that there is an alternative we lose the choice.

      • Avatar

        Daniel O'Sullivan says:

        I think he makes some great points on the way builders used to finish the outside of furniture to a nice level and leave the unseen areas rough. You paying for the labor and most customers didn’t concern themselves with the parts that would not be seen. On the subject of how to get it done.. I like to do some prep work with power tools and finish with hand tools. So many things are not possible with just power equipment.

  • Avatar

    David Newell says:

    Joshua is awesome! a reminder and connection back into simplicity and letting go of perfection – balm for our troubled times

  • Avatar

    Kent Lewis says:

    Inspired. Just need to find my hatchet, but I think Skipper hid it :) Thanks for sharing the craft.

  • Avatar

    Paul Bould says:

    Dear Joshua. Love what your doing, just a little advice…. slow down! Listen to your heart, your breathing, you will live longer, your family will love you for it.
    Greetings from Norway, Paul

  • Avatar

    John Bukowsky says:

    Leave it to OCH to find another inspirational person who can give us hope that the craftsman in us, regardless of the craft, has a path forward. It’s not only ok to pursue a different path, it’s necessary. Flourish with your gifts. Thank you OCH and all of the skilled individuals giving purpose to OCH’s content.

  • Avatar

    What a lovely way-simple, quiet, independent of industrial schtuff- to start the day. Inspired to write with a pencil today. Ahhh…. Nice find, OCH. Look forward to more from Joshua!


Get Immediate Access, Plus
10 More of Our Best Videos

Your email is safe with us.
We'll NEVER share it, and we DON'T spam.

or …

Start Free Trial

Get Instant Access as a Member to the Entire Site

  • Access all 1000 videos/articles
  • No risk! Cancel anytime
  • Get a nice discount if you join