Created with Sketch.
The Mortise & Tenon Podcast
59 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
31 – How Do I Learn New Skills?
In this new podcast episode, Mike and Joshua talk about the struggle to learn new skills and ways to overcome the hurdles. The journey begins with a resolved commitment but is only carried out through regular practice.
57 minutes | Jul 3, 2021
30 – Tool Epiphanies
Ever had one of those “Eureka” moments in the shop? Maybe while using a new tool or facing a workholding conundrum, you all of the sudden realize why artisans did things the way they did? In this episode, Joshua and Mike were joined by archaeologist-in-training Nevan Carling to talk about specific tool epiphanies they’ve had over the years. They discuss various workholding methods, styles of hand planes, and even touch on controversial saw nib theories. Join the guys in the M&T workshop, with the recorder on the bench, for this let-it-all-hang-out woodworking conversation.
51 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
29 – Craft as a Daily Practice
Many of us find it hard to get time in the shop. Work is demanding, home repairs pile up, the kids need to be carted to and from extra curriculars. When life is full, how can we make room for craft? In this episode, Joshua and Mike explore the value of regular, disciplined practice in a low-investment way. What if you spent only 10-15 minutes per day making shavings? Could you find ways to put tools in your living space so that it’s easy to pick it up for a few minutes? In episode 29, the guys argue that regular craft practice (even if it’s only a few minutes at a time) is more valuable in the long run than dedicating a whole afternoon every other weekend. They encourage you to find ways to weave craft into your daily life.
59 minutes | May 20, 2021
28 – Should Work Be Easy?
This question of ends (goals) and means (methods) is an important issue in woodworking discussions. Some swear by hand tools and wouldn’t touch a table saw with a 10' pole. Others see hand tools as inherently backward and nostalgic. Many say each has a place but are fuzzy about what that place is exactly. In this episode, Mike and Joshua tackle this thorny question head on. When do they choose pre-industrial methods over modern technology? Don’t they see the irony in podcasting and blogging about hand tools? How do they see these things as coexisting? In this episode, they suggest that before examining our “means,” we would do well to examine our “ends.”
51 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
27 – A Tour of the M&T Headquarters
Take a walk with Mike and Joshua around the M&T headquarters and the rest of Joshua’s property. They provide a tour of many features: the blacksmith shop, the woodshed, the outhouse, and oak logs for another workbench. Then they make their way around the pond and drop by the chickens, goats, and pigs. Joshua’s kids ran amok, and the guys drop in on Joshua’s wife who was busy milking the goats. They complete the tour with a discussion of the upcoming Klein family 1810 cape house restoration project.
62 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
26 – How Many Tools Do We Really Need?
In this latest podcast episode, Joshua and Mike discuss the sweet spot between bare-knuckled minimalism and cupidinous hoarderism (also known as Tool Acquisition Disorder). Although we all can appreciate a sweet new tool, in real-life projects, the most experienced and pragmatic craftsmen tend to work with a small array of cherished tools. Joshua talks about why there is one chisel he loves. Mike echoes that one particular plane from his collection finds regular use. This simple, pragmatic approach is good food for thought for those just entering into hand-tool woodworking. Don’t buy the hype of the advertisers – you don’t need much to do good work.
58 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
25 – The Value of Batch Production
In this podcast episode, Mike and Joshua discussing the value of batch production as they reflect on their recent experience building Boxed Sets for Issues 1-10. They talk about some of the tradeoffs of working on multiples but primarily focus on the positive benefits that a woodworker gains in the experience. They also provide numerous tips derived from their experience working on this project. Lastly, they discuss the diverging views of John Ruskin and David Pye on the issue of division of labor, enjoyment in work, and the value of the workman as being the designer. They discuss how these two men agreed on several important points, which have deeply influenced the vision of Mortise & Tenon. Also, Mike sings some Whitney Houston.
51 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
24 – Our Tools Shape Us
In this episode, Joshua and Mike discuss the idea that “we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” – the very theme that runs through Issue Ten. They look at several of the upcoming articles and discuss how they were impacted by them as they worked through the editorial process. Issue Ten is full of deep, thoughtful reflection on our tools and the work of our hands.
48 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
23 – Blacksmithing for Woodworkers
In the latest episode of the podcast, hosts Joshua Klein and Mike Updegraff explore their early explorations into blacksmithing. They talk about their small forge setup, their struggles in the learning process, and the benefits of exploring new crafts all the same. Joshua also talks about his upcoming article in Issue 10.
60 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
22 – How to Examine Antique Furniture
In this episode, we tackle the question of “how” one approaches studying a handmade object to learn from it. There aren’t too many tools (all of them are inexpensive), and there are a few basic categories of things you should be looking to. We talk about color consistency, inexplicable holes or notches, and how to find things no one ever saw before, even though it was right in front of their faces. This episode was recorded in honor of our good friend, the late Phil Lowe. We’ll miss you, Phil.
45 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
21 – Saving Historic Windows
In our most recent podcast episode, we decided to do things a little different: We recorded the entire episode while working. As we reglazed historic window sashes, we talked all about why we decided to use these windows instead of buying brand-new double-panes, and discussed a few of the tips that helped us along our window restoration journey.
49 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
20 – Working Wood Outside
The summer has been about working outside for both of us, so we thought we’d talk about ways we’ve enjoyed doing just that. We have a deep passion to encourage folks to engage the natural world, and working wood is a powerful way to do just that. Whether you are growing veggies in the garden or walking in the woods, you know the power of being outside. Join us in this episode as we recount our experiences in the woods. How can you enjoy this big, beautiful world?
40 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
19 - Engagement with the World
In our most recent episode of the Mortise & Tenon Podcast, we spent time discussing how to make the most out of this social distance isolation most of us are experiencing. We talk about how we see the way this could open up new opportunities to experience life in a rich way both now in the midst of the virus and into the future once its passed. This episode is dedicated to inspiring you to not lose heart and to not give up on intentional living and craftsmanship.
35 minutes | Mar 2, 2020
18 – Issue Eight!
We recorded this episode of the podcast last Friday as Issue Eight was uploading to the printer – and at rural Maine internet speeds, there was plenty of time for a conversation! As we’ve spent the last several weeks getting this issue dialed in and ready to publish, we’ve grown even more excited about the content – our authors have crafted some beautiful and inspiring articles. From spending a few lively days with the Roy Underhill, to the story of a high-school English teacher reproducing Henry David Thoreau’s desk with 11th graders, to witnessing the mechanical genius and thoughtful choices of boatbuilder Harry Bryan, we’ll discuss some of this issue’s articles and the stories behind them. As we all await the arrival of this next edition with anticipation, we think you’ll enjoy learning more about what’s in store.
37 minutes | Jan 23, 2020
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.
32 minutes | Jan 4, 2020
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.
46 minutes | Nov 1, 2019
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!
33 minutes | May 25, 2019
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.
47 minutes | May 6, 2019
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.
43 minutes | Mar 22, 2019
12 – “The Radical Efficiency of Green Woodworking”
In this episode, Mike discusses his article “A Tale of Two Trees: The Radical Efficiency of Green Woodworking” in upcoming Issue Six. Mike presents a big picture view of procuring lumber by comparing industrial logging and milling with harvesting your own with hand tools. He makes the startling (and compelling) case that green woodworking is more efficient in the big picture than highly developed industrial processing. We discuss the value of curved branches, the genius of coppicing, and working the material before it dries.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021