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The Mortise & Tenon Podcast

Podcast by Mortise & Tenon Magazine

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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15 – Workshop, Timber Frame, and Issue Seven

This episode is all about filling you in on our incredibly intense summer. Between the workshop with our six students, Issue Seven shipping out, and our hand-tool-only timber frame blacksmith shop, we’ve been out straight busy. Also, in this episode, meet Grace, our new team member. You’ll hear our enthusiasm for the whirlwind of events that happened as well as the new projects we’re working to wrap up now! A new book, a documentary film, and another apprenticeship video all on the horizon!


1 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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03 - Beginning Your Hand-tool Journey

This time, Mike and I tackled one of the most common discussions we have with readers: how to get started on the hand-tool route. What change of mindset is needed to make the switch from power tools to hand tools? Should we be cutting practice joints? What are the biggest hurdles we encounter on this journey? We hope this episode is an encouragement to you to get into the shop to work with your hands. Have further questions? Leave us a comment and we’d love to help. Thanks for listening!


1 Dec 2017

Rank #2

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06 - Setting Up a Hand-tool Workshop

We had lots to talk about today. On the magazine front, pre-orders for Issue Four opened yesterday, and we’ve been releasing the Table of Contents for the past two weeks leading up to the big event. We talk about our soon-to-be-released t-shirt design, commissioned from artist Jessica Roux. In our discussion, we go over the ins and outs of setting up a workshop specifically based around the use of hand tools. We consider decisions to be made around lighting, heat, and tool storage, along with details from period shops that might inform the way we approach this task today.


2 Feb 2018

Rank #3

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04 - Sourcing Lumber

Episode 4 of our podcast is centered around sourcing lumber for furniture making. In reality, Mike and I both source our wood from all sorts of places. We harvest our own from the woods, use a lot of salvaged material, and also order from lumberyards. In our discussion, we go over the best way to store lumber for air drying (it’s simpler than you think).


21 Dec 2017

Rank #4

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14 - Tool Marks Tell Stories

This episode of our podcast was recorded on the road yesterday as we headed back home from Portland, Maine. Fortified by delicious caffeine after a whole day of weaving rush seats, we reported on a number of research trips we’ve made in the past few weeks. We were given the opportunity to look deeply into an extensive collection of early 19th-century furniture and document their construction, and we share about the experience in this episode. Also, we discuss our visit into the workshop of Peter Lamb. Peter has a massive collection of antique tools and many of them have stories connected to people he’s close to. His philosophy of handcraft, creativity, and social justice is rooted in his relationship to his dear friend, Bill Coperthwaite, who has been a big inspiration to both of us.We also discuss the articles we’re working on for Issue Seven, and talk about the upcoming worksong event we signed up for, which will be led by worksong researcher and performer, Bennett Konesni.Oh, and we got cut off by a Jeep during the recording.


25 May 2019

Rank #5

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16 – A Handmade Christmas

In this episode of our podcast, Mike and I discuss our handmade Christmas gifts. This time of the year is a great excuse to get into the shop. We’ve been making gifts for years, and there are many ideas one could try out. We spent this episode discussing several of our projects in order give you ideas for the next gift you give.Handmade gifts are a special thing. It is not an easy to commit to making gifts instead of buying them, but it is rewarding to invest yourself in something that will mean so much to those you love.


4 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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08 - A New (Old) Way of Working Wood

This new episode of our podcast was recorded after two weeks of traveling to meet inspiring craftspeople of many different specialties. Mike and I share some of what we learned on our trips and discuss how learning hand skills is essential to surviving in a hyper-consumerist culture. Joshua also discusses his recent explorations into a pragmatic approach to wooden planemaking.


5 May 2018

Rank #7

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17 – Another Work is Possible

In this installment of the podcast, Joshua and I discuss the newly released video documentary and book that share the same name – "Another Work Is Possible." Both of these resources detail the timber-frame project that took place here at our headquarters in Sedgwick, Maine last August. Thirty five international carpenters brought their axes to hew and raise a frame for a blacksmith shop over 8 days. But this project was about so much more than simply putting up a building. We cover many of the concepts that Joshua writes about in his book – the idea that manual work can be enjoyed and celebrated, rather than seen as drudgery, and that building with your own two hands (whether it be a piece of furniture, a spoon, or a building) carries with it a deeply human sense of satisfaction. Another work is actually possible – one that engages with the raw materials and the world around us in a profound way.


23 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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05 - Why Make Things with Your Hands featuring Ben Strano

This episode of our podcast is the first to feature a guest. Since our friend, Ben Strano of Fine Woodworking, was up in our neck of the woods this week, we invited him to join us in a discussion about the importance of hand skills and making things with personal meaning. And because Ben is not only a passionate woodworker, but he is a tech-nut, we also discussed how both print and digital media support those two vital things for this next generation of woodworkers. Ben describes his work behind the scenes at Fine Woodworking and tells us about what it’s like working with the woodworkers he looks up to most.Photo credit: Ben Strano


12 Jan 2018

Rank #9

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13 - The Case for Hand Tools at Fine Woodworking Live

Ever wonder what ancient tool marks, a Swedish chair shop, Söetsu Yanagi, computer coders, spoon carving, philosophers, and communal singing have in common? This podcast episode ties them all together as we discuss Joshua’s recent talk at Fine Woodworking Live, in which he made a case for sweaty, gritty, hand-tool-only furniture making in the 21st-century. Built on excerpts from the talk itself, we look at this presentation point-by-point. If you spend large amounts of time in front of screens and are dying to discover something tangible, this podcast is for you.


6 May 2019

Rank #10