Interview with Podcasters and Bloggers #3
I have been watching the dancing woodworker and his safety guy for a long while now. Chad Stanton has offered a good show with a whole lot of entertainment. Chad was nice enough to respond to my request for an interview.
Chad’s show covers a wide range of topics and woodworking help. He adds a bit of humor in his production to make sure your awake and paying attention. There are joinery tips, furniture construction, tool ideas and cabinetry, amongst a lot more. Chad is informative and a friendly kind of guy.
Chad was very helpful to respond to me when I was having a problem. I know his schedule was full because he had just picked up a gig with the American Woodworker magazine. His help was very appreciated.
Chad is all over the internet. He has a YouTube channel, woodworking blog, his business site, he is a Lumberjock and everywhere. You will find him in the American Woodworker magazine.
Chad was happy to ask a few questions.
1. What was the influence that brought you to woodworking?When I was in the seventh grade, I took an industrial arts class. We made a pop cap opener. It had the opener attached to a piece of 1 by. And a little box at the bottom to catch the cap. Of course that was when pop came in glass bottles. It was an easy project. All we used was a bandsaw and belt sander. But I was hooked. That summer i managed to buy a cheap little black and decker band saw, and i used the neighbor’s belt sander to make more of them over the summer. I can’t really say I sold a lot. But i had fun making them. Hummmmm…. seems much hasn’t changed today.:-)
2.What was your start, where are you at now, and where do you want to go in woodworking?
Professionally I started about 15 years ago. But I never stopped woodworking since the seventh grade. I used to be an ASE certified mechanic. I love working with my hands. But I hate grease, and there was a certain element missing from automotive that i just couldn’t put my finger on until years later. I had a good job. I spearheaded the world of front wheel drive half shafts. The remanufacturing of them was new territory, and i was given the position to research it. It was new and exciting. I became a big player back then. I wrote a nationwide catalog for it, and even helped Dana Corporation do a globe catalog. But the excitement began to fade. So i made a bold move. I quit at the peak of my career. I had no job to go to, and within a few weeks my money ran dry. With 14 dollars left in my pocket, i made flyers stating “handyman” and hung them in a rich neighborhood. I got my first job repairing tile. I knew nothing of tile. So on the way over to do and estimate i stopped at the library, thumbed through a book, and learned enough do to a fair estimate. After that i lived in the library learning all i could. I did handyman repairs and eventually got my contractors licenses. Now as a contractor i was doing remodeling and finally using my woodworking skills. That is where i realised it wasn’t just working with my hands, that i enjoyed. I realised it was the creative aspect of the job i missed. Automotive you troubleshoot the problem and make the repair. In contracting you troubleshoot the weak areas and can offer some creative alternatives. And in woodworking you combine everything, troubleshooting, creativity, and the pure joy of creating something with your own hands.
Where I’m at now, I’m 80% furniture making, 20% remodeling. But it is always changing based on the needs of my customers.
Where I plan on going? I don’t really think of it much. I realise this is not a wise business plan, but i like to keep myself free to explore new opportunities that come along. I’ve had the opportunity to become a contributing editor for American Woodworker Magazine, I’ve been featured in the Craftsman Experience, I’ve had the pleasure of doing national videos for Titebond, Irwin, and Elmer’s Glue. What else is out there, who knows. But even if nothing else came along, I can say I’m thankful for it all and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
3. Are there any major influences that you lean towards in your work?
There isn’t any one person that has influenced me, however there are certain styles which i like and I’m sure that influences my furniture design. I like Asian style, as well as Chippendale, and Greene and Greene. (which evolved from China) I like to put some kind of curve into each of my pieces. I curve in a rather straight and square piece seems to soften the look and add more character to it.
Each piece I make is very dear to me. It was a journey of past, present and future. Knowing I was able to make something that gave life, shade and shelter and now transform it into something with a specific task, yet with beauty and style, is a process that I will always give proper tribute to doing.
4. Humor is a big influence in your podcast. Do you and Dan cut up as well while you’re working?
Dan Kine, (Safety Dan) is a good friend of mine. He doesn’t really work for me. The first few videos I did he felt I was really onto something different. He asked if he could be in one. I took some time to think of a character he could play. And well, the rest is history. He has a loyal fan base.
I take a lot of time planning and scripting the videos. I even draw storyboards of what each angle should be for each scenes in the video. This takes extra time up front, but it makes filming a lot easier and I think it gives a more polished look when it’s edited. It also leaves more time for Dan and I to have fun while filming.
I work alone on remodels or furniture making. And I am quite serious when it comes to my work. I’d have to be, right? I mean, who would hire the character i play to work on their home?:-)
5. What advice would you tell a starting woodworker?
I’d tell them to not make the mistake i made. I spent much of my youth watching the New Yankee Workshop. I was convinced that to be a good woodworker i needed those machines. I also thought, once I had the machines I could make everything just like Norm. I used to laugh at the Woodwright Shop, because I felt there was no value in it. Well now I’d like to think I’ve become an enlightened woodworker. I would tell a new person to buy good hand tools. Learn to hone the details only hand tools can give you. Then add the power tools to make the laborious tasks easier and faster. Using only power tools, in my opinion, makes you an operator not a skilled craftsman.
6. What is on your mind right now?
I love hot sauce. The hotter the better. I put it on everything. I recently discovered hot sauce on pancakes is good. Don’t believe me? Try it. Some things it’s not good on, coffee. Somethings it’s so so on, bananas and brownies. Now I’m looking for what else it can go on.