Get Started Woodworking – Intro to the "Prerequisite Course" – Understand All Woodworking Tools

Get Started Woodworking – Intro to the "Prerequisite Course" – Understand All Woodworking Tools

Starting out woodworking with zero base knowledge can be frustrating which leads to disappointing results and usually a lifelong none-woodworker. So the first video in this new series will explain how all woodworking tools (with the exception of laser cutters) work. And this first one is a bit longer than most will be because I take time to explain the series purpose and introduce myself.

I’m calling this series “The Prerequisite Course” because it covers general knowledge, terms, theories and whatnot that will apply to any branch of the craft you wish to travel (carpentry, furniture making, carving, turning, bush craft, timber framing, joinery, ….)

The series also targets those that might want to teach the craft to their teens, family, friends or whomever even if you lack lots of DIY woodworking experience. That is actually the best use in my opinion. Take tidbits, techniques, wording, theories and such to help you convey the right knowledge in a timely manner to give you and your new woodworker the best chance of survival in the craft. For the best I can do with this type of work is be a glorified animated textbook which is no substitute for a real life teacher.

So along with each video in the series will be some “Teachers Notes” in the form of an ancillary video, vocabulary, prompts and sometimes teaching tips.

So please enjoy as we begin the process of making the next generation of woodworkers.

Teachers Notes No. 1 – The Prerequisite Course:
– age appropriateness
– tool requirements
– exercise
– vocabulary terms (Contributions and corrections are welcome for terms utilized in this video.)

Prompts: If you have a selection of tools bring out samples. If not find photos. Then ask your student “Is this tool designed to rip or crosscut”. Some good ones would be:

– a forstner bit (answer is both – rim does crosscutting while blade connecting shaft to rim does rip)
– brad point drill bit (answer is both – rim does crosscutting before the start of spiral rips away bulk of waste.)
– draw knife (it’s a planing tool so rip)
– blade for a jigsaw (likely it’s mainly crosscut)
– router bits (likely rip though if you have a spiral you could draw out “could it also crosscut a bit?)
– spade bit (both)
– a knife (depends upon how used)
– roughing gouge in turning (curve ball – the sides crosscut a little and the U splits, you’ll have to explain how this tool is used to draw that answer out.)
– rasp or file (depends on use but mostly crosscut)
– float (generally rip)

This channel is based on the value for value proposition. We depend upon patrons like you to fund our channel if you receive value from it. The time away from ‘real work’ that is our biggest expense. So if you feel these videos and series are of value to you and others please consider shopping and patronizing these sites:


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  1. V Shybee J on April 14, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    I very much plan to watch your complete series class by class! Thanks so much!!

  2. Tobie Johnson on April 14, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    Wow. I am so glad I Found you. Awesome work! I’ll be watching ALL of your stuff now lol.

  3. Jim S on April 14, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    I watched a number of your recent videos and just found the prerequisites course. I am so glad I did as it is teaching me the basics / theory that I never had explained before. This video made me think of the wood like a bundles of straws. Strength in the lateral, compression in the vertical and easy to see how the fibers would react to the actions of the tool. Thanks!!! I will be ordering merchandise today to help support the channel!

  4. Esteban Rodrigo on April 14, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Man this is so informative and enlightening! Thanks!

  5. Frank Sulka on April 14, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Excellent video. I can’t wait to learn more.

  6. James Wright on April 14, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    I knew all of this, but I did not understand it as well as I thought. Great video! Thanks.

  7. TubeOzaurus on April 14, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    This man, Sean Graham, is outstanding. I always thought that if someone really knows something, that someone can surely teach others efficiently. I think I have some miles over youtube and haven’t seen a better teacher. This wouldn’t be any idolatry, as Sean is just a man and I acknowledge this… Actually, I think he’s a little choleric, so if I would be his apprentice I’d score probably a lot of yelling… :)) No offence, Sean! Thank you so much and God bless you and your family with all His might!

  8. Owen Thomas on April 14, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    I very rarely comment, but I needed to pass on my immense gratitude for your videos! I have been bouncing around many channels over the past few days, which have been a great source of inspiration into what can be made via woodworking, as well as some great blueprints, but this is the only channel I have come across that actually goes into the mechanics and breaks down the skills and information in a way that is actually educational. You even admit to the fact that one-way teaching is not the best way to learn, which, tells me that you are a seasoned teacher and are planning these videos in a way that will allow for the most efficient absorption of knowledge and understanding. Thank you for your videos, I am looking forward to going through each one!

  9. Lisa Lovely LPA on April 14, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Amazing. Should be put in the public archives for future generations.

  10. Mike L on April 14, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    I’ve been interested in woodworking for about 20 years and learned some new things from your very effective teaching style. Kudos to you sir.

  11. g on April 14, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    As a teacher, I have studied both cognitive science and brain science. The modern understanding of "HOW HUMANS LEARN comes from observing how children learn BEFORE they are indoctrinated by Prussian schools. The most important element of learning is PLAY. We must PLAY with our tools and toys, whether they are sticks and stones or computers and calculators. It is that element of PLAYFULNESS and experimentation your method uses. And that is why I think it is the fastest path to mastery.

  12. Simon Little on April 14, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    This is the coolest channel on Youtube. I’ve watched a lot of wood themed videos lately and this is the MOST informative and enjoyable.

  13. LJ CROWN on April 14, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you so much!
    54 year old lady, and I am just learning to woodwork, its a very enjoyable/peaceful hobby. You have a wealth of knowledge and experience, your teaching method is thorough and I understand exactly what you are saying. Also, I am able to stay focused on what you are teaching, as I, quickly get distracted on some other teaching videos I have tried to learn from.
    Again, thank you!

  14. James Bradley on April 14, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Just watched this video as a referral from a Facebook group. Glad I found it. Good info. Well presented. Thank you.

  15. Paul Mouradian on April 14, 2022 at 6:14 pm

    good job well explained

  16. Bluebeep on April 14, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you for making this!

  17. EndlessEtudes on April 14, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    it took me way too long to find this channel. good stuff

  18. CMBOWNE on April 14, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Very nice explanations given for each topic thank you for what you do. I’ve learned quite a bit from you in the few videos I’ve seen so far . Now to put them in to practice and improve my craft.

  19. Fierro SE on April 14, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    More than one enthusiast, motivated in extrem and very good communicator we have here a really big professor. Thank you very much.

  20. Mr. Critique on April 14, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    You are a very good teacher, probably one of the best for helping others understand all the in and outs of working with tools and wood. I’ve been woodworking for over 35 years and I still enjoy watching your videos. Thanks for sharing these videos.

  21. darquehope on April 14, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you! I am just getting into woodworking and I find that I am learn better through theory then just practicum. Can’t wait to watch the rest of your series.

  22. MrBenstero on April 14, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for those videos, found you about a month ago and you’ve been an amazing source of info for wood working.

  23. V Shybee J on April 14, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    I loved this video! I actually learned a great deal! Thank you so much!

  24. Aziz Qassim on April 14, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Seriously.. thank you very much.. you are a great teacher

  25. bhatiajai007 on April 14, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    This is the video every beginner must start with! Thank you for this series!

  26. Richard Whennell on April 14, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Wow! Blew my mind with just this video. I’m starting out from scratch and I learned more about wood from this short video than in hours of other YouTube videos. Just goes to show, you gotta go back to basics to learn the right way through thorough understanding. Great video and great teaching. I look forward to watching more and trying things out "under your tutelage". The number of dislikes this video got speaks reams about the quality you have brought to YouTube. Thank you, sir!

  27. Illeagle80 on April 14, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    This is great. Thank you for your work.

  28. Chimene Miller on April 14, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    animated textbook that is so cute! I’ll buy the whole series LOL

  29. Cheryl on April 14, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    My mom has an outdoor (not sure what you call it) two chairs with a table in the middle and wheels under one of the chairs so you can pick the other end up and roll it to where you want it. Anyway it has a bad crack ans I wondered if I could please send you a picture or two of it and you could tell me how to fix it please?
    I really enjoy your videos. I haven’t done much yet. I’m also into leathercraft and have started making things with it. I’m kind’ve waiting until I can get people to stop stealing on my 5 acres so I can set up in my pole barn. I’m currently caring for my 97 year old mother who got brain bleed. I am very interested in woodworking too though. Can you help me pretty please?

  30. Michael Powell on April 14, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Awesome video! I definitely learned more about saws and how to properly utilize each type more efficiently

  31. Stephen Leung on April 14, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you. This was really cool. I learned lots from the foundations from the wood grain and how the blades change using the chisel as the example. Way better than my industrial arts class 33 years ago!!

  32. hiker64 on April 14, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful introduction – I look forward to the rest of your videos!

  33. fpr on April 14, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Exactly what I need at my stage and excellent format Sir! Thank you!

  34. Michael Smith on April 14, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    You are such an incredible teacher. I am learning so much from you. Thank you for doing these great videos.

  35. Chicken Little on April 14, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    You sir are terribly under rated and undersubbed. You talk wood shop and woodworking the way it actually goes down for woodworkers we don’t need festool and rockler t track lol. We don’t need a few thousand dollar dust system actually if we can just hold something still when we need to and keep the dust off the finish at the end its really that basic for wood people in real life. I use my popaws old shop and I still use his "work horse" table it’s similar to your build in that his is whatever wood he had at the time it’s affixed to the wall and it’s got holes all over the place with a big old vice attached to the edge and a sacrificial top and apron boards he would just replace when it got to bad lol but he just drilled the corner of something to the bench or he drilled two other boards down and pushed against them or whatever he just used his bench as an old bench and he was a pro its not about expensive for real woodworkers. He was a general contractor for about thirty years and in retirement he made trim and moldings for our local ace plus took trim work jobs in businesses all over because he loved finishing and he had a reputation for it. I now own his old shop and it was a humble disaster he didn’t care about pristine perfect expensive or fancy except for a few tools his Makita saws his router table his press and he wanted specific blades and bits but…. As far as that shop and poor old bench…..hey does it work….it’s fine and if we tried to vacuum up "his dust" he would turn off the machine he was at and go what you doing? Just leave my dust alone I know where all of it I might need that loll but really he meant hey don’t get it all stirred up it’s not bothering anyone but you leave "my dust" alone lol he was a mess. He built beautiful things though from that humble shop a humble truck and a humble little house that I still can’t belive I was lucky enough to end up buying and now that I’ve been able to push myself to use his shop without it just absolutely breaking my heart that he’s not in it I miss him so much but the lessons I learned from him are still with me now in the shop in life in everything and I’ve stumbled across your channel thankfully because your style of teaching woodwork and the simplicity you teach is so much that basic woodworker mentality that’s been around for millennia and I also had an uncle that was a carver cabinet furniture and custom mantle work kind of woodworkers he was amazing in his trade and even made woodwind instruments for years he’s also gone and you really remind me of him he was a long hair hippie actually but he of course too had this basic does it work……well let’s make something to heck with a perfect shop I want a perfect product mentality and listening to you is so awesome after seeing so many unrealistic wood folks on you tube that are really just shop building folks . You and Thomas Johnston are fantastic totally different channels but you both put off "actually woodworking in reality vibes" I can’t get enough of that

  36. Alan Carvajal on April 14, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Having lived in an apartment all my life, I never had the space to cut wood or to store any tools. Now that I have my house, I wish I would’ve taken a woodwork course in HighSchool or JR College. I’ll have to pick up the basics through your videos, as I don’t have the availability to go take a full course in person, so I am grateful you took the time and effort putting this together.

  37. SC Rider on April 14, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Necessary info. Thanks.

  38. MAJID NARAGHI on April 14, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    I love your teaching and almost watched all of your videos twice and I’m so glad that I was able to make use of it. I’m from Iran and wish you all the best

  39. Tim Shear on April 14, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Wow. Brand new to seriously learning the craft, Sean. Your teaching bona fides fascinating, Sean. Your technique superb. Thanks so much, as I delve more deeply into your most excellent woodoworking pedagogy.

  40. Elizabeth Wright on April 14, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    You are an excellent teacher. I am just getting started and wanting to learn the craft of turning. I have signed up for some local classes at Rockler but enjoy watching you and gaining information to take with me to those classes. Thank you for taking your time to help teach.

  41. Joey on April 14, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    This channel is a gem

  42. matheuslbarros on April 14, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    Hey, congrats! I’m a developer and I started last year with woodworking as a Hobbie. I like the way you explain and demonstrate, thank you from brazil

  43. M. Peters on April 14, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    I started woodworking at 60. I’m 61 now and these videos are really helpful. Thanks!

  44. Terry Bromm on April 14, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Fantastic education for a beginner like myself

  45. Aung Kyaw Aye on April 14, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    I love your lesson immensely. I am a beginner in wood working and this is the first time I learned this knowledge about wood grains and the way cutting tools are designed. You are a very good teacher. I liked the post and subscribed immediately.

  46. R on April 14, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    This series is pure gold

  47. Catfish Cave on April 14, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    “Saw teeth are like little chisels.” That one short sentence along with your chisel demonstration clarified decades of questions and gave me a whole new understanding of wood working. You’ve removed the mysterious fog around my head. WOW! Thank you.

  48. Valerie 1961 on April 14, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Can you tell me please, from the 1st lesson on how to make a bench, the name, make or where you can buy those metal corner brackets that you put on the legs of the bench. It was a box of 8 pieces , l think and the bench leg slides through the bracket.

  49. Ron See on April 14, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    This guy deserve more subscribe!! Kudos

  50. smclarehart on April 14, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you so much. This is awesome knowledge. Can’t wait for the rest of this series!