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new yankee workshop hiatus?

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  • #16
    Watching Norm has taught me a lot about woodworking. I built his Router table and I should have watched his poker table show before building mine--it would have saved me a lot of trouble. He has had some great ideas on his show. There are times when I thought he went too far in doing things the hard way--tenons and rabbets when butt joints would do. He has started to use some Kreg jig pocket hole joinery.

    I also built his folding game table. I would never have tried that without watching him build one first. I am hoping that some sponsoring company sees the value in his show and brings it back.

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    • #17
      For simple face frame cabinetry, pocket screw joinery is the cat's meow. Kreg got rich quick! I have had my jig for a number of years now, and have worn out at least four bits. Not heirloom maybe, but he11 for stout, and easy.

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      • #18
        "Then we go to Swamp Loggers. Poor ol' Bobby needs to cut/haul 20 loads per day to break even.
        But something always interferes. Be it weather, breakage, mill shutting down, etc."

        so I'm not the only guy who watches him! Seems like a likeable person. I don't know if I could put up with the crap he has to deal with to keep that operation running.
        "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment" R.M.Brown

        My shop tour www.plastikosmd.com

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        • #19
          We don't even get Norm's reruns here in north Fl. The "wonks" at our local PBS station put on "THe American Wood Shop" series in his place. I have to admit that the host has improved his woodworking skills a lot since his show was first run, back about '97 or so, but he is still not what I would call a professional woodworker or tradesman.

          We have not gotten Roy Underhill's fine shows here in about 8 years. I don't know why they took them off (too cheap to pay for them I guess ). I think I enjoyed his shows the most of any. He actually showed you how things were set up and done. Norm is really good but often does not show how he does the actual setups to make some of the amazing parts he does.

          As someone mentioned "not enough fighting on TOH anymore," you could always bring back Bob Villa and it wouldn't be long before the fireworks started up. The way he used to snatch thing out of the hands of the tradesmen for his TV explanations used to rile the guys up. I was amazed that someone didn't stomp a mudhole in his butt for doing that.

          Deep sigh...!
          Jim (KB4IVH)

          Only fools abuse their tools.

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          • #20
            Jim your correct he's not perfect old Norm ,but you should see some of the crap we get here nothing here we get even compares to Norm.We get a guy settled in France called le salvager what crap he churns out. He has an old carpet in his house come shop what a (gadgy durty fulthy bar steward )need to struggle with some bars of soap before I'd let him in my shop. Phew have you aver seen him?Alistair p.s. at least norman washes himself.
            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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            • #21
              Originally posted by garagemark
              Hey Reg… You were expecting museum quality furniture from ol Normy? Why? You are na├»ve to think there is no educational value to NYW episodes. Norm took a fine museum quality piece, adapted it for today’s AVERAGE woodworker’s skill and shop equipment, and taught the technique to accomplish the work. He uses wood that, most of the time, were readily available to us all. No, I cannot get sunken logs, but I CAN get cherry veneer ply.

              You must be blessed with a ton of money, a buttload of skill, and limitless supply of fine materials. Maybe you can startup a Smithsonian quality furniture school for us dim bulb woodworker wannabes. I’ll attend.
              Nope, no expert woodworker, but I do remember Norm from the first season of TOH. Skinny, young, inexperienced carpenter, good at figuring out what needed to be done and how to acomplish it cheaply. How he bacame positioned as a furniture builder is a mystery to me. He may build items, centered around the average woodworkers skill level, but the shop he works in is anything but average. Every tool and toy from Delta, Freud and others, plus every pneumatic tacker, brader, hammer and stapler. Yes, the shows have value. Many of the techniques can be adapted to construction of other items. From his "build a workbench" show, I incorporated his "sacraficial workbench top" into my benches. But in typical Norm fashion, his bench probably consumed $500 in materials, when many of us utilize things like recycled solid core doors for tops and pallet rack uprights for legs.
              Last edited by reggie_obe; 02-08-2010, 05:11 PM.

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              • #22
                I enjoyed NYW and Norm. Probably learned a bit. I liked that the shop was a real place he'd built and not made in a studio. Gave it a certain verisimilitude...

                I always wondered if he was trying to be funny by using that big power nailer to drive in a brad or two; and always referring to a completed piece to show how to make it. I've been trying to figure out how to do that for a long time...

                Gary

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                • #23
                  I am saddened to learn that Norm will no longer be doing his New Yankee Workshop show. I have been following the show since; well I really don’t remember how long it has been on.

                  I think I have at least 90% of his shows on either video tape, or DVDs. (probably all of them) I have learned a great deal of my woodworking skills from him. Now I have a serious woodworking hobby, and have made several of his pieces.

                  Another poster is right about his woodworking skills getting better as time passed. A couple of techniques he used in the beginning would be detrimental to the longevity of the projects. As time passed those mistakes were corrected, but he never mentioned his previous mistakes when showing the changed technique. This is why you don’t see the earlier shows as reruns.

                  I have great respect for him and his skills, and I wish I could have built something with him just to see how he thinks off camera.

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                  • #24
                    Norm is definitely not the best In the world or even USA .Man there must be ten thousand guys working everyday better than him so why do we panic surely he can be replaced.I like him too but he can be replaced .And if he goes he should be.Theres alot of talent in the USA alone despite the fact other countries too have just as good workmen if not better.Alistair
                    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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                    • #25
                      Sorry to bursy your bubble....

                      It would seem that no one here has ever worked in the film (motion picture) world. Norm's shop is more than likely a purpose built studio set. It was constructed so well and the segments edited so perfectly, that you never saw a light or cable in the show. Yes, every show had Norm standing in the doorway of "the shop", but that didn't make it a "real place". If the set/shop was constructed on his property, it's because he chose to have them do just that. That fact that Norm improved? Well our skills all naturally improve with time and repetition. I'm sure that the show/production company had advisors/consultants/artisans that instructed Norm. Told him how the project was going to be completed, step by step, maybe even build the prototype. Who do you think produced the "measured drawing and complete materials list" that was offered at the end of each seqment? Norm? Don't think so. He certainly possessed greater skills than Bob Villa or Steve Thomas, but he is no Roy Underhill.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by reggie_obe
                        It would seem that no one here has ever worked in the film (motion picture) world. Norm's shop is more than likely a purpose built studio set. It was constructed so well and the segments edited so perfectly, that you never saw a light or cable in the show. Yes, every show had Norm standing in the doorway of "the shop", but that didn't make it a "real place". If the set/shop was constructed on his property, it's because he chose to have them do just that. That fact that Norm improved? Well our skills all naturally improve with time and repetition. I'm sure that the show/production company had advisors/consultants/artisans that instructed Norm. Told him how the project was going to be completed, step by step, maybe even build the prototype. Who do you think produced the "measured drawing and complete materials list" that was offered at the end of each seqment? Norm? Don't think so. He certainly possessed greater skills than Bob Villa or Steve Thomas, but he is no Roy Underhill.
                        There have been several magazine articles written about Norm's workshop, and it is not a studio set. It is the real deal.

                        I believe that you can also see behind the scenes panned shots at the web site. http://www.newyankee.com/tour.php

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ron of Va
                          There have been several magazine articles written about Norm's workshop, and it is not a studio set. It is the real deal.

                          I believe that you can also see behind the scenes panned shots at the web site. http://www.newyankee.com/tour.php
                          Believe what you want. Google "wild walls" as related to set construction. Would you place that massive clamp cart in front of your rolling exterior door?

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                          • #28
                            When does Roy Underhill come on PBS??

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                            • #29
                              new tv prog starting this week in the uk friday 9 pm bbc2

                              mastercrafts
                              looks good

                              so torrenters look out for it.

                              all the best.markj

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                              • #30
                                How he bacame positioned as a furniture builder is a mystery to me.
                                Luck. Norm was building a garage (shop?) for a public TV honcho, and the guy was so impressed with Norm's speed and frugality that he offered Norm a show. Neither of them appreciated that furniture making was a different craft than carpentry, which Norm is very good at.

                                And Norm's shop is a real fully functional shop. That doesn't mean it was used for projects after hours. It just isn't a 2-dimensional set. And I don't think it is actually Norm's. I think it is the TV Honcho's.

                                but he is no Roy Underhill.
                                When did this become a competition?

                                And furthermore, I am not sure why you're trying to pull Norm down.
                                Last edited by Tony Ennis; 02-08-2010, 10:04 PM.

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