|Forum topic by pablodomingo||posted 01-16-2011 01:32 AM||3250 views||1 time favorited||36 replies|
01-16-2011 01:32 AM
I had a chance to see an episode of this new show on my local KOCE today. Eventhough I’m a fan of Tommy’s work and as a casual contributor to his community, I had not seen an episode of the show before today. Having seen Tommy’s podcast I’m familiar with his style and his skills so his addrenaline-filled zest for woodworking and his down to earth personality didn’t shock me or take getting used to. But, if you’re used to Norm Abrams more down home at-ease style it will probably seem like Tommy talks like he’s had one too many espressos for the day!
Personality aside, there was so much valuable content in a single non-stop 30 minute episode that I had to wonder how casual non-watchers would perceive the show. But, for us woodworkers, there’s some great content here. In this episode Tommy met with Alan Breed who showed his approach for cutting speed dovetails by hand. For those of you impressed by Frank Klaus, you should check it out. I’m definately going to learn this approach because I’d bet for building simple projects it would be faster than setting up and using a dovetail jig and the way he does layout without even dividers is killer.
As far as the actual build, I’m amazed that the entire build of a project could be squeezed into a 30 minute show. Let’s just say I’m glad that I tivo’d it because I plan to watch several parts over and over and save them in my woodworking library where I keep methods of work for joinery on my computer. I’ve built the step stool he builds on this episode and even his podcast covering the build of this project takes probably 2 hours of footage to cover. Here he covers it with high quality filming and editing of course and the episode probably takes up 2/3 of the show episode. If I were trying to build that step stool just by following the show it would be hard. I’d either consider the show to be inspiration for my own design or I’d have to go to the forum that supports his show and ask the people there for the lumber list and the dimensions. From what I’ve seen there are some very skilled guys there including a guy named Eli and Tommy’s old teacher from North Benet Street School where Tommy got his break in woodworking and unlike the “members only” feel of period furniture grade work online communities I’ve visited, these guys are helpful and more than willing to help others who sincerly want to learn.
On a purely personal note, I’m honestly glad to see that Tommy and Al didn’t try to act like highbrow woodworking snobs once they got a show. I’d like to see him slow down a bit and become more at ease in front of the camera, and I think that will come in time as he gets a good sense about how to pace himself to cover everything needed in a single show. Otherwise, I’d like to see it become a full hour so he could expand on both the out of shop exploration scenes and the in shop builds. At the least, this show is going to inspire a lot of new woodworkers to stretch beyond basic cabinetry by seeing a young enthusiastic guy having fun creating beautiful stuff. I just hope that Tommy keeps up with a serious approach to exploring furniture grade woodworking and the show doesn’t take a detour once the fan mail starts coming from all the non-woodworking females who think he’s cute and talks funny. My wife never sat through a single episode of New Yankee Workshop eventhough Norm was a great guy and she met him with me when he was in Orange, CA a couple years ago. But, she sat through the entire episode and said “he’s like the Bobby Flay of woodworking.” Hopefully he will get another season of episodes in the can before casual viewers discover him and he slides into more of the DIY/HGTV turf.