Good Morning fellow citizens. My pelt is veritably glistening with pride and anticipation at the thought of you all learning some woodworking as you gigglingly traipse through my new book Good Clean Fun. That said, do please ask me anything that pleases. Proof: THAT IS MY TIME! Thank you very kindly for your gentle indulgence. Hug before punch.

Comments: 1825 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

Shaniqua_jones1990 karma

You seem very much at peace with yourself and with life. Do you have any suggestions for those of us, like myself, struggling with their temper and lack of patience?

NickOfferman6429 karma

This is a very good question. I am indeed grateful that I have somehow been blessed with a relatively complacent disposition. I don't tend to get stressed about much of anything. That said, when the forces of the world seem to be conspiring to spill my milk, I am generally able to avoid crying over the puddle by altering my gaze from the spilt milk to something that pleases me, like my gorgeous wife and all the goodness with which she fills my life, or my redoubtable friends and their inspiring children, or my stalwart family members, or the nearest dog, or a Sycamore. Every time you take a deep breath and maintain your temper, your power is increased.

vaggietales993 karma

What's the most feminine thing that you do?

NickOfferman3844 karma


TannerBannerBaker970 karma

I can't grow a beard. What do I do?

NickOfferman2927 karma

Get into hats.

loveofmoz918 karma

How do you recommend that someone take their first step into the world of woodworking? It seems like a hobby that needs a lot of expensive tools, even for the beginner/amateur.

Also, is there anything you made in your early days that makes you laugh or cringe now that you have so much experience under your tool belt?

NickOfferman2940 karma

A woodworking discipline can be undertaken inexpensively by focusing upon hand-tool projects. Spoon-carving, for example, or crafting canoe paddles, can be practiced with a much lighter outlay of cash than operations requiring machinery (& the commensurate space and materials). I recommend that you seek out a local sawyer and just go look at some of their favorite material. By a small board of hardwood, cut it to a pleasing size with a handsaw, sand it to a level that you find pleasing and then oil it. It could become a coaster, or a cutting board, or a board upon which to serve cheeses like Gruyere the very best cheese and cured meats. Once you make sweet love to a mere rectangle of local hardwood, you will be hooked and then you will begin to strategize what more you can do with this charismatic material. Pt.2) I have made many mistakes and will continue to do so. I laugh more than cringe because if I'm stumbling that means that I'm in the race. To wit, I adore this New Year's quote from Neil Gaiman: "I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something."

Atorata704 karma

Do you have a preferred wood when making cutting boards?

NickOfferman2977 karma

Flaccid to semi.

muzakx566 karma

Hello Mr. Nick Offerman,

As someone who shares your enjoyment of crafting something with your own hands.

Why do you think manual labor jobs or skilled trades are looked down upon today?

NickOfferman1588 karma

This is a great question, and has a lot to do with why many "rural" or "blue collar" Americans have come to feel disenfranchised. Wendell Berry is great on this topic, telling us that we have been sold a bill of goods since the Industrial Revolution, that working with our hands is somehow beneath us, or less valid than working in an office. This disregard for "the trades" is partly responsible for our nation's disinterest in who makes our goods/grows our food and where they do it, which is shameful. This is why I encourage my audience to make things with their hands, whether it's furniture or clothing or crockery or food or music or blacksmithing or orgasms. These are all things we can make with our lands to enlarge our lives, strengthen our communities, and enrich our experience without ever needing to consult a shopping mall or website.

Nibiria552 karma

Mr. Offerman -- I am a very clumsy man who wants to get into some sort of craft, like woodworking. What can I use that will reduce the likelihood of me chopping off a finger?

NickOfferman1675 karma

Your common sense.

LilaFaith503 karma

Morning Mr. Offerman! I have two very important questions. 1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be? 2. What is your guilt pleasure that can make your day a little brighter?

NickOfferman1220 karma

1) I would enjoy life as a beaver, for the woodworking and cozy lodge lovemaking career. 2) My guilty pleasure is switching the radio from the news over to the Judge John Hodgman podcast. That estimable fake internet dignitary dispenses justice with admirable consideration for decency and good manners, and he's as funny and smart as a fellow might be.

MusicandCoffee375 karma

Howdy! Can you please give us some background on the video for "Cocaine" by FIDLAR? It's one of your finest performances in my personal opinion, and totally underrated.


NickOfferman531 karma

Thank you for this fine review. FIDLAR (Fuck it dog, life's a risk) members Elvis and Max Keane are friends of ours, and they mentioned that they would enjoy doing a video together if I ever had any desire to do so. I was later reading an article about a show of theirs at which the lead singer was purported to have been urinating onstage, which I thought sounded appropriately punk, and gave me the idea to do a video about a man (played by me) who meets life's bad news head-on with an irreverent and disturbingly powerful stream of urine. A clever young sprout by the name of Ryan Baxley shot it all in one day around Los Angeles, mostly in Mount Washington. Very impressive.

matvavna355 karma

How often do you actually use that canoe you made? I would have a hard time risking damage to something I spent so much time on.

NickOfferman1114 karma

I use my canoe not nearly often enough because I am a workaholic and the use of my canoe Huckleberry requires the time to travel to a river or lake, neither of which we have in Los Angeles, to speak of. However, I greatly enjoy putting scratches on my beautiful hull, as that's the whole point of building a boat - adventure! I would feel like a fool if I spent so much time working on constructing that magical watercraft only to see it sit unblemished in storage, longing to be on the water braving the elements, gliding past trees and deer and waterfalls...a canoe is not furniture. If you want your flawless woodworking to impress passers-by and remain pristine, perhaps you might assay a Queen Anne highboy.

Chtorrr303 karma

What is the very best cheese?

NickOfferman843 karma

GRUYERE is the very best cheese.

louielouayyyyy294 karma

Ron Swanson is a man of carnivorous culinary excess. If you were framed,for murder and put on death row, what would be your last meal?

NickOfferman1328 karma

Megan Mullally

english06287 karma

As a manly man you have surely done many manly things. What, in your opinion, do you believe is the manliest thing you have ever done?

NickOfferman1810 karma

I don't ever think about my life as being particularly manly. I think that people want to conflate my own actions with those of my previous character on television, Ronald Ulysses Swanson, who wielded some rather super-heroic levels of testosterone. Both of us, however, would be less interested in coming across as manly than in living our lives with decency and representing our beliefs and our loved ones with integrity and character.

Haegar_Hardstriker283 karma

What is your secret to growing a manly beard?

NickOfferman1261 karma

Don't shave.

BillohRly253 karma

What is your favorite beer?

NickOfferman776 karma

My favorite beer at the moment is Snaggletooth Bandana or Whisper Kisses, both brewed by my brother Matt at Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville, Illinois. I also thrill to a jar of Pliny The Elder or Delirium Tremens.

klamonic1243 karma

If a movie was made about your life, what other actor would you want to potray you?

NickOfferman664 karma

a mix of Oliver Reed, ERNEST BORGNINE, Kris Kristofferson, and Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter

gdk130227 karma

Besides your newest book of course, what are your favorite books?

Basically, what do you recommend if I want to be like you?

NickOfferman572 karma

Some books I love: All by Wendell Berry but especially (for starters) - THE MEMORY OF OLD JACK, FIDELITY, THE UNSETTLING OF AMERICA, OUR ONLY WORLD, A TIMBERED CHOIR All by George Saunders but especially - THE TENTH OF DECEMBER, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO (coming in Feb.), THE BRAINDEAD MEGA[HONE, CIVILWARLAND IN BAD DECLINE Sarah Vowell's several titles, like LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES Neil Gaiman - start with Sandman then continue through his fiction Matt Crawford - SHOPCLASS AS SOULCRAFT, THE WORLD BEYOND YOUR HEAD

RECENT PLEASURES: Ian McEwan's latest - NUTSHELL Peter Wohlleben - THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES Eric Ruthkow - AMERICAN CANOPY Ed MClanahan - THE NATURAL MAN Patti Smith - JUST KIDS, (M TRAIN on the pile)

ed_merckx192 karma

Shout out from /r/woodworking

Doing some serving trays for family/friends this Christmas, I've got some bubinga off cuts left over from previous projects, that I'm wanting to use in these. nothing crazy, simple strips from table saw then laminated together.

What other domestics/exotics do you think go good with bubinga?

NickOfferman307 karma

I've enjoyed the chocolate browns in walnut complementing the reds in Bubinga, but really any wood in the spectrum from birch, beech or maple to the blackest wenge will be a nice pairing with it. A more colorful choice would be to bring in other species in the red color group like purple heart or red eucalyptus or mahogany or sapele...we tend to just pull scraps and small sticks and line them up together to go with our gut on color choices. My brother has some really sweet stripe combinations in his cribbage boards in our new book.

voltaa181 karma

Hi Mr. Offerman, as someone with no woodworking experience who is likely to inherit a TON of very nice woodworking tools at some point, what sort of novice projects do you recommend to build confidence in the craft?

NickOfferman1327 karma

This will be just the thing: Build a large, sturdy crate on a trailer designed for road travel. This modern covered wagon will want to be impervious to the weather and also to thieves. I'm thinking a hardy pine, reclaimed if you can find it. For the best protection, finish it with a spar varnish containing UV protection so that the sun doesn't damage your handsome container. Once you have completed it, load it full of this bounty of tools, drive to Los Angeles and give them to me.

dimplejuice148 karma

When you pick up a guitar, what is the first song that comes out on the fretboard through those big burly hands of yours? And what is the secret chord?

NickOfferman306 karma

I am not particularly talented as a musician, and rather than the sounds of great players that I admire, I find my playing to be much more suited to my donkey-like needs, that is, accompanying my medium-humorous remark/songs. That said, the song that I desecrate most frequently is the theme from Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid by Bob Dylan, "Billy". The secret chord is D. (shhhh)

thank_bossy22142 karma

Mr Offerman, where did you come up with idea for the build your own damn hatchet kit? As a person who bought one, I would just like to say I use it for everything so thank you.

NickOfferman255 karma

As my new book attests, a great deal of what happens at Offerman Woodshop (.com) is the alchemy of our cooperative members. The hatchet is the brainchild of Thomas Wilhoit, one of our champions. I am very satisfied to hear that it is doing you some good. My shop could not exist nor produce a fraction of what we make without the 6 ardent woodworkers housed therein. Often referred to by me as the "Elves", Lee, Josh, Matty, Jane, Krys and Thomas are responsible for all of the products that we make for the world, so that I can go into the shop and play.

Apatschinn142 karma

Nick, thanks for doing the AMA! I would like to ask you if you were a professional scientist, what would you study?

NickOfferman405 karma

Trees. Particularly old growth forests of the earth, especially the Spruce, Fir and Redwood of the Pacific Northwest.

NukeWave138 karma

Mr. Offerman, what are your thoughts on using japanese wood joining techniques? Also a followup, if you have never thought of this before would you be willing to give it a try?

NickOfferman381 karma

Japanese joinery is a pinnacle of human achievement. Western-style joints have a lot in common with those of Japan, it's just that they have taken the craft to an incredibly deep artistic level, whereas our standby joinery is pretty utilitarian. That's not to say that their work is not also serving specific utilities with aplomb, because it is. Their timber-framed temples containing zero hardware are masterpieces of engineering, employing joints that make allies of time and gravity so that they actually become stronger as the centuries tick by. In our new book, our shop boss Lee creates a really cool knockdown joint in her white oak bed that I would dare say is rather "Japanese".

SheepishLordKOs85 karma

Hello Mr. Offerman! I hope you're doing well! My question to you is; How do you deal with that voice in your head that says "you can't do it, you're going to fail" ?

NickOfferman305 karma

Doggedly apply yourself to punching that voice in the face.

truc1981 karma

Which woodworking joint best describes your marriage with Megan? End of post.

NickOfferman326 karma

Finger Joint.

yummyyummypowwidge78 karma

Hey Nick! Big fan, I saw you when you were in Bloomington IN two years ago. My question is: do you ever feel that your political activism has turned certain people off of your stand-up? If so, how does that make you feel?

NickOfferman320 karma

I would absolutely hope that my material would turn off some people; as Bertolt Brecht said (in this clumsy paraphrasing), "if you're not offending a quarter of the people, then it's not art". I can no longer actually find that quote, I dimly recall it from theater school, so let's just say that this loose sentiment was put forth by a badass of the ilk of Brecht, and I agree. If folks don't care for my brand of chuckles, that is their business, and would still like to shake their hands and work together to bolster this great nation by making our own goods rather than depending upon overseas hands for fabrication, and re-acquainting ourselves with who grows our food and how much care is taken in doing so, and so forth. If we can focus on these sort of items, while paying fealty to simple human rights and decency for EVERYBODY that's all I am after.

cs50268 karma

Hi Mr. Offerman. Do you have any tips on identifying old lumber and the type of wood it is? Also, another question...

A part of me feels really tacky for doing this, but the other part of me feels like I would want someone to make me aware of something in which I would possibly be interested... So here goes..

My family has a farm for sell in Henry Co, Kentucky. Same county Mr. Berry is from. My grandfather was a carpenter and on the farm is his old shop and several barns, full of wood he gathered from the woods over his lifetime. The thought of it being sold to someone that is going to turn it into a big subdivision makes me sick. Full disclosure, I own 1/12th of it, just a small amount, and one of these days, I will get a check for my share and it'll be the same amount, regardless of if the buyer wants to keep it a farm, or turn it into a parking lot. I believe Mr. Berry and my grandfather were friends. I went to the same church with the Berry/Smith family.

The farm I think is around 200 acres or so. It had been split into 3 lots, and the wooded lot was sold to a family of hunters. But the wood shop has that same familiar smell whenever I go inside it. Lots of tools, and lots of lumber. I love that place.

So anyway, I just thought I would want to let you know. Chances are you have driven past it when out in Henry County. It's impossible not to if you went out to the Port Royal area.

So yeah, shameless whatever, but I dig your writing, and your carpentry work, and just thought I would make you aware of something that I love. I'd buy it if I had the money. I still ride around on my ATV that I keep at my Dad's house which borders the property. A farmer currently leases some of the land for crops and cattle.

As the youngest, and 1/12th owner, I don't get told much about the farm. When the first 1/3 of it sold, I didn't even know until after it sold. So anyway, keep on doing what you do. If you wanted any more information, I would have to look up who to call because I'm so disconnected from it as it's kind of upsetting, but I could get messaged on here.

NickOfferman154 karma

Your best bet for identifying lumber is to befriend a salty man/woman who knows their stuff. If you look around the neighborhood, especially if you offer a few sticks as payment for their time, you'll find a good expert I imagine. As for your farm, I have indeed seen it and been made aware of its availability. I am chagrined that I am not quite at the status of income to purchase it, but if I were, I would buy it and then call Mary Berry at the Berry Center in New Castle to ask how best it could be utilized to further their noble and imperative efforts to reacquaint America with the small farmer, a quickly disappearing breed.

deadrabbits7664 karma

Are you a fan of The Sandman comic book?

NickOfferman214 karma

Fan is way too weak. Disciple. Neil Gaiman shaped the artistic lives of me and many of my peers with that masterwork.

diveintoatrain64 karma

Small question - Helping someone restore a white oak table and they want the final product to keep the very light brown colour of the sanded timber. What finish could we use to provide heat resistance (i.e can take a hot plate or coffee cup) while minimising darkening the final colour?

NickOfferman191 karma

Ughf. This is a question we deal with a lot when working with designers who want a certain wood grain, like oak, but then want that grain in a specific color to match a greater palate they have created. The most fulsome answer to your question, since any finish is going to darken the wood, is to bleach the wood before finishing. You need to do a set of sample scraps to determine how much bleach/finish will provide the desired hue, but I find it all to be pretty sacrilegious. A friendlier, faster, and easier option is to build up a good coat of paste wax and insist on coasters and heat trivets, etc.

Rick128057 karma

Mr. Offerman, what is your bourbon of choice, and favorite cut of beef?

NickOfferman229 karma

My absolute favorite bourbon is the one in my glass and as for beef, why the cut sitting on the plate by my bourbon glass would have to take the cake.

rblanc0057 karma

What facial hair tips do you have for a 22 year old guy with a bad mustache and a patchy beard?

NickOfferman238 karma

Shave, son.

Yesmandog53 karma

What watch do you wear? And p.s. your woodwork is truly outstanding!

NickOfferman252 karma

Thank you for the nice compliment. I wear a Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle that my wife bought me many years ago. It's very simple and bullet-proof, and I can use it to tell the time of day which is my favorite feature in a timepiece.

ExistentialBanana51 karma

In your opinion, what is the best way to cook a steak?

NickOfferman215 karma

Near me.

Dastardliii51 karma

Is whittling an acceptable gateway into the world of woodworking? Or is it like preparing for NASCAR by riding a bicycle?

NickOfferman119 karma

Whittling is Carving is Woodworking.

MaxDoubuss33 karma

Hi Mr. Offerman,

Have you had the pleasure of tasting any Australian drams? While not smoky like Laga, Lark is quite delicious.

Also, what are your thoughts on the octomore range? I really like the 7.1.

NickOfferman100 karma

I am pleased to report that I was able to purchase a bottle of Lark whist visiting Tasmania, and found it's properties to be magisterial, inspiring a life-changing turn through the MONA exhibits... I have not yet sampled the Octomore but will now endeavor to do so, as I was heretofore unaware that the heroes of Bruichladdich had undertaken such a noble quest. Thank you for the elucidation.

jackkerouac8131 karma

is Roy Underhill a god, or an anachronism?

NickOfferman56 karma

I would vote for neither. I do find him to be absolutely heroic, however, and a woodworker of the highest order. We could all use a lot more of what he is teaching us about what can be achieved in life without electricity, relying on good old human ingenuity and elbow grease.

pan_beasley27 karma

Any book signings planned? Specifically in the L.A. Area? My husband, kids, and I all love you!

NickOfferman53 karma

I had a big Pleasure Faire book event a couple weeks ago for just that purpose! However, you can purchase signed books at our website Thank you for your enthusiastic approval, that is good fuel.

Ondine1826 karma

My fiancé and I live in the Los Angeles area. He wants to learn woodworking. Do you know of anywhere he could go to cultivate the skill?

NickOfferman49 karma

Great workshops at Allied Workshop downtown. Cerritos College has great full-on college program.

_i_am_a_banana19 karma

Hi Nick! I love you. What is your favourite part of your new book?

NickOfferman46 karma

Thank you kindly for your approval. My favorite part of many (every page, really) is the group effort involved. My creative life depends on a community of like-minded makers and clowns, and this book is a richly colorful celebration of those people in my life, from deep woodworking paeans and impressive construction plans to full-on grab-ass and tomfoolery.

Jomi2717 karma

Nick, I am about to be a father for the first time. What advice would you give to someone clueless as to how to raise a productive member of society and a gentleman/lady?

NickOfferman54 karma

I am not a parent, so you are already ahead of me, but I would imagine that paying attention and listening to your child, whilst teaching him/her good manners, will go a long way towards the leavening of a loving and responsible citizen. As Wendell Berry tells us, "it all turns on affection".

jayhawk122515 karma

Good morning! As a man who seems very concerned with the concept of masculinity and what it is to be a man, do you draw any inspiration from Ernest Hemingway and his work?

NickOfferman150 karma

You have mistaken me, as have many. I am completely unconcerend with the concept of masculinity. Be true to your self, regardless of your gender, regardless of old-fashioned notions of what it means to be a "man" or "woman". I have greatly enjoyed the reading of Mr. Hemingway's writings.

kidnorthstar14 karma

What songs are on your playlist right now?

NickOfferman35 karma

I spent my day in the shop yesterday listening to Petra Haden's amazing THE WHO SELL OUT and Laurie Anderson's STRANGE ANGELS, UNITED STATES and THE UGLY ONE WITH THE JEWELS

coltonj122512 karma

What's your inspiration to pursue comedy?

NickOfferman55 karma

Life is often brutal, or at least displeasing. I like to lighten people's load whenever possible, because this long, strange trip is more comfortably digested with a giggle and a wink.

FryingdutchpaN12 karma

What are your thoughts on Dust Collection system for a wood working shop? Do you have one, and if so: do you have suggestions on a brand or type to buy?

NickOfferman25 karma

yes it's imperative if you are creating machine dust of any sort - look at ONEIDA

HostaMahogey10 karma

Beef or pork?

NickOfferman53 karma

Please and Thank you.

tokeartist7106 karma

What is your favorite scotch to drink when working with walnut wood?

NickOfferman16 karma

Woodworking, whilst being an incredibly fun and satisfying discipline, also requires a great deal of respect for the tools and techniques involved. Therefore, SAFETY is the first requirement of any undertaking with hand tools or machines. For that reason, I would never enjoy a magnificent dram of Lagavulin until the work is done.

miketophat5 karma

Will you consider running for president in 2020?

NickOfferman38 karma

I am a clown best known for performing the role of an administrator on an NBC program. Such a man as I am is in no way qualified to engage in public service. Traditionally our leaders have devoted their lives to the study of the laws of this great land, serving their constituents' needs with policies and services and it seems foolhardy to break with that tradition.