The Shopsmith National Woodworking Academy “webcasts” innovative experiences in virtual craftsmanship to the Internet collectively called Hands Online! Each of these webcasts is built around a video demonstration but also includes plans, illustrations,  jigs and fixtures, and other valuable materials to make the experience as complete as possible — you can almost smell the sawdust.  We augment some of these webcasts with close-up photos, images, shop notes, and instructions to create “VBooks,” unique in-depth treatments of woodworking subjects that you can own on disc for viewing and reading at you leisure.

The Virtual Classroom

Each webcast takes place in a “virtual classroom.” Your computer screen is divided into areas, each delivering a different type of information. The video plays at the top left. To the right is the “Blackboard.” With your mouse you can call up photos and illustrations or download plans and instructions. Beneath the video and  Blackboard is a multipurpose area. During a live webcast it becomes a chat room, letting you to communicate with the host. In a Shopsmith VBook, it displays the notes of the presenter in a form that you can print out and follow in your own workshop.

Video Shop Tips

Once a week, we send out a FREE video shop tip not only on Shopsmith tools, but also on topics of interest to all woodworkers. You can view these at the Shopsmith Academy web site and the Shopsmith Channel on YouTube. We also included relevant video tips with the disc-based VBooks that we create around our Sawdust Sessions.

Sawdust Sessions

Twice a month the Shopsmith Academy webcasts a two-hour INTERACTIVE “Sawdust Session” on a variety of woodworking subjects, hosted by Craftsman/Author Nick Engler. These are streamed live and viewers may ask questions and make comments. We also record these sessions and post them on the Sawdust Sessions page on our website where you may view them free. After a time, we add additional materials, mold them into a VBook, and publish them on disc.


The term “VBook” (pronouced vee-book) is a contraction of “video book.” This concept was developed by author/craftsman Nick Engler who combined elements of print, video, and web design to create a superior, up-to-date method of sharing woodworking information. Each Shopsmith VBook lets you watch demonstrations; study plans, illustrations and close-up photos; read instructions and other materials; even print them out for reference in your own shop.

other super stuff

We’re always developing something at the Shopsmith Academy. When we aren’t webcasting Sawdust Sessions, sending Video Shop Tips, and creating VBooks,  we are either working on new ways to bring you woodworking information or making the old ways better. If you would like to watch additional video shop tips, participate in a live Sawdust Session, attend a virtual class, or get involved in one of our other woodworking adventures, your are most welcome to visit our web site and explore from time to time.

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