Guitar Build Afterglow

Rob, George, and ChrisA couple of weeks back, I had the opportunity to join my boss, Rob Johnstone, and George Vondriska — one of our frequent contributors — in Chicago at Craftsman Experience. Both Rob and I have been there before to give various demonstrations, and you may have caught some of that coverage late last year. This time around, though, our triumvirate efforts were focused on a very worthy cause as well as some fun woodworking. We were building a kit guitar to donate to Guitars For Vets. These folks provide guitars and lessons free of charge to veterans who are trying to cope with the after-effects of overseas combat.

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A New Experience for a Worthy Cause

Rob Johnstone with GuitarIf you’re a regular follower of our blog, you have seen videos of our projects at the Craftsman Experience in Chicago and Rob’s video from last summer’s Guitars4Vets event (if not, you can view them here, here, and here).

We’re gearing up for another journey to the Craftsman Experience in the Windy City this week, but this event is a little bit different: we’ll be building a guitar in the span of three days. At the end of the build, the guitar will be presented to Guitars4Vets, who will then auction it off to benefit their organization.

Sounds like a daunting task, right? For such an undertaking, we’ve enlisted not one… not two… but THREE Woodworker’s Journal authors: editor in chief Rob Johnstone, field editor Chris Marshall, and regular contributor George Vondriska.

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Chris Marshall’s Projects at the Craftsman Experience

In late December, I had an opportunity to head to the Windy City to do a two-day project demonstration at Craftsman Experience. In case you are unfamiliar with it, Craftsman Experience is a fairly new venture for Sears. It’s a hand’s-on studio space in the heart of downtown Chicago for all sorts of DIY experiential learning (mechanics, woodworking, lawn and garden, garage projects, etc.). Guests like myself and Rob Johnstone are asked to come in, and the project construction is performed during a live-feed video broadcast over the internet. Then, after a healthy dose of editing to trim down the time and those inevitable flub-ups, the video segments are posted to YouTube.

Maybe you didn’t get a chance to catch my appearances during the pre-holiday frenzy, but they are viewable now by clicking below. Even though we’re past the holidays at this point, it sure couldn’t hurt to build the Safety Sign I demonstrated in one segment, or watch me build Luminarias in the other and put that on your project list for the 2011 holidays. My wife likes the Luminarias I made for her so much that she’s threatening to leave them up and burning all year. So, I guess that’s a true testimonial for you.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the video coverage! Rob and I will be headed back to Craftsman Experience in the coming months for future appearances, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted about those live-broadcast dates.

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

Experience the “Craftsman Experience” with Chris Marshall: Live! Tonight! (And Tomorrow!)

In a limited engagement, Woodworker’s Journal Field Editor Chris Marshall will be appearing live at the “Craftsman Experience” tonight and tomorrow (Dec. 9th and 10th), doing woodworking demonstrations. No tickets required, but if you’d like to watch from home, you will be able to view a live video feed via Facebook: Go to and click on the “Experience” tab. After “Like”-ing Craftsman and being asked to accept some Facebook-required permission prompts, you’ll be able to enter the Experience app and watch the demonstration live from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Central time (same time, both days) — all from the comfort of your own computer.  There will also be an opportunity to send in questions through the Experience app, so make sure to have some ready to ask Chris!

Of course, if you’re in Chicago, you can attend the event in person by stopping by the “Craftsman Experience” from 5 to 9 p.m. to meet Chris and watch the demos firsthand. Click here for the map of how to get there.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

And On With The Show!

Rob PortraitAre you ready for some holiday entertainment? Well, you are in luck! On November 12th and 13th I was in Chicago to do a couple of demonstrations at the Craftsman’s Experiential space. I was asked to demonstrate some examples of woodturning – which I was more than pleased to do. One fun aspect of the event was that both sessions were streamed live on the Internet … with people asking questions in real time. (I even answered some of them!) Another fun detail is that those live feeds were then converted into Internet quality video … and you can see them here and now. (Okay, or you could view them later, but why wait?)

The folks at Craftsman were great to work with and the resulting video is not bad as well.

So take a look and let us know what you think of it.

Rob Johnstone
Woodworker’s Journal

Rob in Real Time

As mentioned in a recent blog post, Editor in Chief Rob Johnstone is going to be doing woodworking demonstrations at the “Craftsman Experience” in downtown Chicago tonight and tomorrow (November 12 & 13).

As it turns out, you don’t have to be a resident or visitor to the Windy City to see the demo. Anyone with an internet connection and a Facebook account can join in the fun as well. You’ll be able to view the video live as it’s happening by visiting and clicking on the “Experience” tab. After being asked to “Like” Craftsman and accepting some Facebook-required permission prompts, you’ll be able to enter the Experience app and watch the demonstration live from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Central time (on either day) – all from the comfort of your own computer. Of course, if you’re in Chicago, you can stop by the “Craftsman Experience” from 5 pm – 9 pm to meet Rob in person and watch the demos first-hand. Click here for the map.

See You in Chicago!

You heard it here first — my advancing career on stage (well, maybe not an actual stage) and screen (the really small ones you find on the Internet) will take a huge step forward this Friday. I will be teaching and demonstrating some woodworking techniques at the Craftsman Experience, right in downtown Chicago (map and location, click here) on November 12th and 13th.

As a person who has been fond of every camera and crowd I have ever gone in front of (no, I am not a politician; there is not much call for the Quirky Woodworking Party), I am really looking forward to this event. And, of course, I am inviting any of you who live in the Chicagoland area to come on down to see me.

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