Interview with Chad Stanton

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.


Wood Choppin Time

Stanton Fine Furniture

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.

I want to thank Chad for all he does and giving me this opportunity to take a peak at him.
We cant forget Safety Dan. Thanks Dan for putting a smile on my face as well.

Please be careful. Some of the things I do are dangerous. It is not my fault if you get hurt. Use your brain, be safe.

12 Responses to Interview with Chad Stanton

  1. roger says:

    Gr8 interview Dave. Chad has a good time, and it moves on to his watchers. I think fun goes right along the side of serious

    • davidbardin says:

      You know Roger I do remember paying more attention in class if the teacher made it a bit more fun. Everything doesn’t have to be stuffy and serious. Good to see you Roger.

  2. davidbardin says:

    Thank you Eddie. As always you are a pal.

  3. eddieantley says:

    great interview Dave ,really enjoyed it

  4. William says:

    Great interview Dave.
    Do you plan on making interviews a regluar segment on your site?

    • davidbardin says:

      Yes William I am. I have asked a few blacksmiths and one has responded. He wants to skipe but he lives in Europe and timing is hard.
      You watch and read guys but its interesting to ask the questions.
      Thank you.

  5. Tony says:

    I have known Chad for a while now. He is a great guy and is always willing to help me out with woodworking projects. He really knows his stuff, a real craftsman. Dan is pretty cool too. Those two crack me up!

  6. DIYaholic says:

    That was a great interview. I espacially related to the “learn hand tools” portion. I have most of the machines needed/wanted. I now need to add to my assortment of hand tools and learn how to use them properly. Yeah, I too fell for the “Norm Factor”, get the machines be a woodworker. There is soooo much more to it than that!!!

    • davidbardin says:

      Randy he said it so well. Its not the tool, it is the man and mind behind the tool. I have been an operator most of my life now I am trying to learn to be a craftsman. “Learn to hone the details only hand tools can give you. Then add the power tools to make the laborious tasks easier and faster.” That speaks volumes to me. But you know I am impartial. Thank you for that Randy.

  7. JL7 says:

    Hey Dave – another good one. I need to watch some of Chad’s videos – sounds like a funny guy. And maybe try some hot sauce n the pancakes!

    Thanks for bringing this all together.


    • davidbardin says:

      Jeff, in one of Chads videos, when times were real bad he gave advice on how to get some extra business. His sense of humor is, well go see for yourself. I had to ask that last question and leave it wide open. Chad didn’t let me down. And Safety Dan is a hoot.
      Thanks Jeff for stopping by.

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