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new yankee workshop hiatus?

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  • #31
    How come there isn't a canadian version of that show- oh wait, come to think of it there is- the red green show
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


    • #32
      I used to really like NYW back in the early days. After a while the techniques seemed pretty repetitive, but there was always some little new thing to see. The repetitiveness came mostly from me not knowing from shinola in the early years and later being bored once I learned it a few times over. That's nothing wrong with Norm or his show. It just means it's a really good show for folks who are relatively new to the subject.

      The turning point for me was the show when he used about ten thousand dollars worth of tools to make a coffee table from recycled pallets. I was learning beyond NYW about that time. Norm is pretty spoiled with the sponsors giving him every new toy from the catalog. I don't blame him for that - I would be too.

      No TV show is perfect for everybody. Criticize it all you want, but no NYW episode is anywhere near as boring and useless as the "Woodsmith Shop" show which has been running on PBS for a little while now. Gawd that show has painfully little content. It's the "Motor Week" of woodworking. Just terrible. Norm with all his faults could outdo that one if he had the flu and ten cats running wild in his shop.

      This is NOT to be confused with the "Woodwright's Shop" show with Roy Underhill which is also on PBS. That one is darn good even on a bad day, and on good days I think it's incredible. Extremely entertaining and pretty informative too. I enjoy it more than NYW these days. The last one I saw he gave a tour of a place which makes windows using a building full of old line-shaft woodworking machines. That was just too cool. They say he's been on air for 29 years! Where was I? The first time I saw it was only a couple years ago at most. Hmmm.

      Well Norm had to move on at some point. I'm glad he did what he did and I hope they fill the void with another good show. We'll see.
      Last edited by tyrone shewlaces; 02-08-2010, 10:21 PM.


      • #33
        Originally posted by tyrone shewlaces
        The turning point for me was the show when he used about ten thousand dollars worth of tools to make a coffee table from recycled pallets.
        Doesn't every amateur woodworker own a timesaver?
        EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


        • #34
          Originally posted by tyrone shewlaces
          ..........Norm is pretty spoiled with the sponsors giving him every new toy from the catalog. I don't blame him for that - I would be too......................
          Early on, at the same time, there was a woodworking show where this guy wore an old go-fast-cap on the program and he only used handtools with no electrics. I thought, what's the point? Would the old world furniture makers not use electricity if it were available? Is making something with handtools or flint somehow more nobile. I'd easily use $10,000 worth of tools to make a toothpick as I'm not into noble

          Funny observation. No one here has attacked his on-show-safety-practices. The safety nazis beat the hell out of him on woodworking forums.
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          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


          • #35
            Originally posted by Tony Ennis
            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.

            When did this become a competition?

            And furthermore, I am not sure why you're trying to pull Norm down.
            on one show he built a sort of dolls house model of his shop ..and it is real ......


            • #36
              Originally posted by reggie_obe
              Believe what you want. Google "wild walls" as related to set construction.
              Thanks! That was an eye opener. Apparently movies and TV shows aren't all shot in real locations--really; check it out if you don't believe it.

              Like that whole bogus "moon landing" in '69. Had me fooled.

              And all those "This Old House" episodes...I can't believe I was gullible enough to really think those were real houses and real owners contributing "sweat equity". How do you hide all those cables and lights in a real house?

              From now on I'm only going to watch the woodworking and machining and car repair and home improvement shows on the networks where I know it's all real and approved...




              • #37
                >The turning point for me was the show when he used about ten thousand
                >dollars worth of tools to make a coffee table from recycled pallets.

                Then (just a heads up) - don't think about getting into hot rodding or racing. Because, that's what it's about. I take my used parts to places with a half million dollars worth of tools so I can re-use them, and if I had the coin I'd have a half million bucks of decking, valve grinding, boring, etc stuff for building an old 351C here and there. If I spent the money on a house payment that I spent on tools to work on an old house that's still not done, we'd have a nice house. And maybe a screwdriver. But - as I explained to her - I'm not built like that.
                Merkel, Tx


                • #38
                  Roy Underhill is the guy with the reddish brown hair that usuallly cuts his finger berfore the show ends. His show starts with him walking to the workshop through the woods and across the stream.

                  He builds stuff usually without motorized tools, which, in itself, is interesting but who would use his techniques to build anything these days? And the stuff he makes is outdated, mostly useless.

                  Norm's workshop is not much better than a lot of them I have seen. We probably don't have W & H Moulders and huge resaws, but the rest is pretty commonplace. I looked forward to Saturday morning when the NYW ran on public TV here. Now we have a remodeling show doing stuff that I already know how to do.

                  Think about all the lathe work Norm has shown us how to do. Beading, joinery, jig tricks. Where would I have seen that? My local cabinet shop wouldn't want me around all day and wouldn't have taken the time to explain what was done and why.

                  God Bless Norm Abram and bring back his show!


                  • #39
                    Apples to Oranges

                    Norm punched over his weight on TOH but I was never impressed with the NYW. Trying to brand Norm with his ratty tool belt in a furniture shop was pathetic.

                    Honestly, if Norm worked metal rather than wood he would be scorned endlessly on these machinist forums.

                    As has been pointed out in this thread Norm was by no means a master in his field but I can see how your average garageshop/homeowner could identify with his easy going manner. Frankly we were invited to watch a home renovator get up to speed in a woodshop. To call him a schill for his sponsors would be shrill but not too far off; hey he was in the TV business. Many of his techniques were "tool driven" and clumsy.

                    His little galvanized finish bucket full of Minwax something or other made me crazy.

                    Nonetheless, the show was well edited and Norm was obviously a good host and I can't take that away from him.


                    • #40
                      I always loved the Woodwrights Shop, I didn't see lots of episodes but my favorite was (IIRC) he went through several different scarphing techniques with nothing but a few hand tools- hammer, wood chisel, might've been a couple saws too. Every time I get dragged through an old factory turned scented soap tourist trap/fern bar/restaurant and see the old joinery in the "fabulous" ceiling I think of that show.



                      • #41
                        The wife liked Norm's show, much of the appeal is that a carpenter was able to make decent furniture without having to learn a lot of technique. My main dislike was that he did not have blueprints available, only drawer-rings.
                        North Central Arkansas


                        • #42
                          He builds stuff usually without motorized tools, ... but who would use his techniques to build anything these days?
                          I do. I don't have the skill or time to start with a tree, but I like using hand tools. Just bought a dovetail saw, in fact. I enjoy being a wood worker versus a wood processor.


                          • #43
                            Apples and Oranges

                            Comparing Norm's work with Roy Underhill's is not really a true comparison because they work to different ends. Norm uses jigs and fixtures to make items that can be reproduced en mass. He generally makes several pieces at a time. Roy is generally demonstrating a technique and showing how it was used in typical applications. The sharpening show was a real confidense builder for beginners, showing the correct way to sharpen chisels. One of my favorites featured the old method of sharpening hand saws, the tools needed, the differences in how the teeth are set, and even how to start with a blank and make a saw from scratch with just a cant file (low angle triangle file). His show on Colonial Williamsburg featured a foundry producing brass handles and lock plates, all explained step by step. I have never seen Norm go into that much detail and it is not a time constraint issue. They are both half hour shows.
                            Jim (KB4IVH)

                            Only fools abuse their tools.


                            • #44
                              lol how about Woodwrights Shop