Rough Cut

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by DougH posted 01-30-2011 03:59 PM 3928 views 0 times favorited 84 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DougH's profile


40 posts in 2931 days

01-30-2011 03:59 PM

Ok, I am going to be a critic, and I’m sure I will get beat up over this. I am sure that Tommy Mac is a great guy but the show is the New Yankee Workshop all over again. It starts out by visiting some place that he gets his ideas from. This is one part of Norm’s show I didn’t care for. I want all woodworking and techniques.

Tommy is like Norm on crack, he is like the speed-talking guy, and how many times can he say, “OK”? There is good content in the show just not enough of it and it all seems rushed but that may just be the effect of how fast Tommy is talking.

Is there anyone else that feels the same way I do?

-- Doug, South Carolina

84 replies so far

View lew's profile


12513 posts in 3996 days

#1 posted 01-30-2011 04:23 PM

It hasn’t been shown in our area, yet, so I can’t comment on Tommy’s style. But, I do miss Norm.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3316 days

#2 posted 01-30-2011 04:29 PM

FWIW – I sent an e-mail directly to Tommy expressing my preference for no trips and more time on the technical instruction. He responded and advised me that he needs to appeal to both woodworkers and non-woodworkers and the trip is very popular with the non-woodworkers.

Nonetheless, it is my observation that the trips are getting quicker and taking up less time in the more recent episodes.

Yes, Tommy talks fast and is borderline hyper. It is something I am willing to overlook because I believe the substance of what he presents is very good. He understands the role of power tools and hand tools and his instruction is first rate. It is rare that I don’t learn something of value from each episode.

With all due respect to Norm, Norm was primarily a power tool guy and he often had the latest and the greatest power tools that were beyond the reach of many of us.

I expect that Tommy will be personally responsible for an increase in the use of hand planes (that is a good thing) just like Norm, at one time, was responsible for the increase in the use of biscuit joiners.

The first season of Rough Cut is complete and they are working on the second season. I believe they have learned from the first season and they will make the second season even better.

FYI – Tommy appreciates input from viewers and he is an LJ.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3155 days

#3 posted 01-30-2011 04:41 PM

Tommy Mac sure throws Madeline Hunter under the bus when it comes to well planned instruction and Tommy doesn’t seem to address half (and then too rushed) of Gagne's 9 general steps of instruction for learning.

Like you say, Tommy is Norm on crack but with an even heavier ethnic nasal.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View DougH's profile


40 posts in 2931 days

#4 posted 01-30-2011 04:50 PM

My intent with this post is to generate this type of discussion, not to down the guy. I know nothing about the guy and as I said, I’m sure he is a great guy. He is obviously very talented beyond my capabilities. I am not sure if all the rushing is due to the producers or Tommy himself. I just feel the show is being rushed and I find myself becoming somewhat anxious while watching. I am watching hoping to learn something so I prefer to slow it down. As far as the trips being for non-woodworkers, hmm, how many non-woodworkers actually watch a woodworking show? I like trips too, let’s take one to a sawmill and make it the whole show. This doesn’t mean I will quit watching, hey, it’s a woodworking show.

-- Doug, South Carolina

View AaronK's profile


1507 posts in 3705 days

#5 posted 01-30-2011 04:59 PM

when I was a kid (like 5 yrs old) and had NO real interest in woodworking I’d watch a lot of stuff on PBS… including Roy Underhill, Norm, and some guy who used to carve ducks/decoys. I just thought it was cool to watch, so I could see people watching this show who arent WWs.

Anyway, I got to watch the show to make up my own mind. I’ve only watched Tommy’s videos, and I thought they were pretty great. Then again, you can always pause and rewind a video, so I dont know.

View Popgun's profile


4 posts in 2918 days

#6 posted 01-30-2011 05:20 PM

He talks faster than I think. I have watched his show several times and it is not one of my favorites. I think it will get better as time goes.

-- A man who never made a mistake, never made anything !!!

View cut3times's profile


116 posts in 3248 days

#7 posted 01-30-2011 05:22 PM

I agree with Rich, I learn something from every episode. And I do not recall Norm ever doing a compound miter with dovetails by hand. :)

-- And Still Too Short - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3424 days

#8 posted 01-30-2011 05:23 PM

I do agree he does go a little fast but there does seem to be a good mix of power and hand tool usage and now I’m looking to get a few more hand tools of better quality like chisels and a few planes. His work does look to be of good quality. I do hope that if they’re looking to attract non woodworkers that they’ll become woodworkers thus increasing the demand for longer episodes and maybe a broader variety of shows dealing with a diverse range of woodworking. Back in the 80s there used to be a show dedicated to carving and I seem to remember one that covered turning. One can only hope and dream that this comes to pass. I hope the Wood-Smith show continues.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Drew's profile


350 posts in 3341 days

#9 posted 01-30-2011 05:28 PM

Tommy takes a little getting used to, that’s for sure. Hang in there. Once “you guys” get past it, “you know what I mean”, I think you might start to really enjoy his show. I know I do.

What I find most interesting is the way he keeps making all these ‘small’ projects, but yet he is teaching everything needed to make large projects, just teaching it one piece at a time-over the entire season.

I think one day he will make a bigger project that will leave people scratching there heads, but if they look back at all the other episodes then they will realize that they actually know how to do everything.


View bigdog72's profile


16 posts in 4051 days

#10 posted 01-30-2011 05:29 PM

I fast forward through the trips. That’s the wonder of DVR’s. I like the show because he doesn’t use tools that many of us don’t have and couldn’t fit in our shops if we wanted to buy them. Norm really helps me to think that I can do something. Tommy Mac is showing me the same thing in different ways.

-- Geoff, Lillington, NC

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3155 days

#11 posted 01-30-2011 05:30 PM

People are not computers, and you can’t just crank up the bandwidth and expect folks to retain much of anything. This is Tommy’s biggest biggest error. I saw some other earlier comments on another LJ thread about Roughcuts (it may have been Rich’s comments—I’m sure he will pipe in if my memory is off) and the jest of the comment was that Tommy spoke so fast that he had to record the show and play it back several times to understand what Tommy was doing/saying.

The last thing in the world I want to do is to have to record a show, re-play and stop it several times to jot down a half dozen tips that I will then HAVE to conduct additional research independently of the show because those tips were so sparsely covered in the show as to be nearly useless as stand alone advice.

Doug, I answered your questions and expressed MY opinion addressing your ORIGINAL concerns about Tommy’s ”Norm on crack” style and NOW you say you don’t want to ”down the guy” so I’m a bit concerned and confused about your motives. If you want to actually control opinions then state so up front. My opinions are valid and if you take the time to at least glean over the links’ information, you may begin to understand that (at least hopefully). Just my 2-cents…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3673 days

#12 posted 01-30-2011 05:41 PM

I remember when I made my first real workbench. The guys on Woodworking Guild of America made it in two 30 minute tutorials. When I made it, it took me two full days! But the beauty of it was that I could stop, run into the house and re-check a step. While Tommy may seem to work too fast to keep up with, DVR is the way to keep up with what he is doing. I think that when you are trying to complete a project in <30 minutes, it takes some fast talking! His compound mitered serving tray was a lesson in making a jig more than making a tray. Recall the first year of Norm or Villa or anyone else… this is a learning experience for Tommy and his crew just as it was for those that came before him. I think he is growing into his role nicely and look forward to the next season.
As for the nasal twang… what nasal twang… he sounds like most of the people I know (of course, I live outside Boston too!!).

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View CoolDavion's profile


452 posts in 4065 days

#13 posted 01-30-2011 05:58 PM

I like the show, yes it does seem to be a little fast pace, but it is the first year of the show, so it may be his nerves or the producers urging to try and get lot of content in to it.

One thing I do like is the use of hand and power tools that anyone can easily own.
One of the drawbacks/turn offs of Norm, for me, was that he had all of the latest and greatest large expensive tools.

It will be interesting to see how the show grows.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View AaronK's profile


1507 posts in 3705 days

#14 posted 01-30-2011 06:01 PM

to paraphrase the intro trailer “rough cut is about making simple pieces that are inspired by classical traditions that you’ll find in landmarks around new england.”

anyway, to repeat what some others have been getting at: i’m not sure what the complaint about speed is getting at. There’s no way I’m going to build anything he does in the time it takes him to do it. It’s the same with Norm, and its the same with Roy. Roy “built” a Jeffersonian 5-book stand in half hour. Thing’ll take me a half a year! the main thing is, these shows/videos need to be posted online for people to watch and rewatch (that’s education!).

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 3034 days

#15 posted 01-30-2011 06:01 PM

There was a marathon on the tube yesterday, of Rough Cut, and I had some free time so I got to watch it. I didn’t understand the fast talking thing that was brought up before on LJ, but now I get it. OK? It is hard to get past the Boston accent, being form the left coast but it is still a pleasure to watch a wood working show that isn’t all about selling tools.
As far as the road trips are concerned, I liked most of them. The ones I liked were way too short. Bringing up moire questions than answers. The trip I liked best was the one to the USS Constitution. If I ever make it out that way that ship will be on my list of must sees.
I think the biggest knock I would have against the show is the half hour slot.
So to answer your question Doug, yes he does talk to fast. And yes he does have more than one verbal tick, And yes non-wood workers watch the show. My wife watched it with me. She thinks he’s sexist. Oh well I will continue to watch it when it’s on and I have time to sit in front of that TV thing.

-- Mel,

showing 1 through 15 of 84 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics