Attended Scott Phillips, American Woodshop Classes today!

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Forum topic by Tommy posted 03-13-2011 05:33 AM 5869 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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138 posts in 3003 days

03-13-2011 05:33 AM

This morning Shopmania and I woke up and started driving at 7 to attend a woodworking expo at Mann Tools in Columbia, SC (3 hours away). We had the ABSOLUTE BLESSING of sitting in on all day FREE classes with Scott Phillips from American Woodshop (the PBS tv show)! It was literally the highlight of my novice woodworking career. Scott was one of my original inspirations and a wood working role model for me, this is all the more confirmed after spending the day with him.

I can not say enough about how great his teaching was or how totally natural and genuine a guy he is. When you see him on screen he is being completely authentic and acts no different in real life. He was very personable and, of course, a MASTER woodworker with 45 years experience. He even walked us through sections of the store giving candid opinions on products and preferences.

If any of you are fortunate enough to attend a seminar by this guy then GO!!! He is based out of Ohio and I just can not say enough good stuff about him.

LIKEWISE, let me give big time kudos to Mann Tools on Chris Dr. in Columbia, SC for providing this FREE all day seminar including pizza lunch. I’m a believer of this place and if you live close enough to go by and ask for Eric Albrecht who is their guru. I’ve been to Woodcraft and Rockler….let me just say, if those places are convenience stores then Mann Tools is a supermarket!!!

-- Tommy, ---- It's Never Crowded On the Extra Mile.

12 replies so far

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138 posts in 3003 days

#1 posted 03-13-2011 05:55 AM

I just found an old topic where many of you were bashing this show and I did not know the topic existed previously. That said, my opinions above DO stand. I thought the guy was great and that he demos stuff on the show and in person that is applicable to MY OWN wood working journey. Respectfully, this topic is intended to be positive. Please choose words carefully and respectfully if you feel otherwise.

-- Tommy, ---- It's Never Crowded On the Extra Mile.

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463 posts in 3028 days

#2 posted 03-13-2011 06:00 AM

I love that show, I’m a big fan and can’t wait till season 18, (Weekend Projects). That is so great you can take classes with him. I wish I lived around there.

Thanks for posting, and nice to know I’m not the only American WoodShop on this site.

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


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463 posts in 3028 days

#3 posted 03-13-2011 06:23 PM

Are there any more fans of The American Wood shop ????

Come ON..

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


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5534 posts in 3837 days

#4 posted 03-13-2011 06:40 PM

I watch Scott Phillips whenever convenient … maybe I don’t agree with everything he says or does, but every so often I pick something up that is worthwhile, and certainly see no need to bash his show. I have emailed him a few questions, and he always responds with accurate information and good advice.

For those who do bash his show (or Woodsmith Shop, or Norm, or …) I have some advice. If if doesn’t suit your tastes, change the channel or, better yet, hit the OFF button and go your shop and do something you enjoy!


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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612 posts in 3841 days

#5 posted 03-13-2011 08:22 PM

I watch all TV shows from NYW to AW to Routerworkshop to David Mark’s to WS to Roy Underhill and to, now, Rough Cut. Each presenter brings different styles, skills and projects to the table. And that’s a good thing because we can learn something from each of them. The pace of AW and Rough Cut seems to be faster than others and to some, the details or more complex techniques are not well covered to the extent that they deserve. The time limitation is a factor. However, if I remember correctly, unlike Norm, Scott promotes products on vid clips (not TV) for other businesses (Woodcraft?).

In terms of reinforcing learning, RW, and David Mark seem to do a better job because they always repeat/summarize what is taught or covered between segments. This summary skill is well used by experienced speakers or teachers.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

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53 posts in 3481 days

#6 posted 03-13-2011 10:00 PM

Well as far as I’m concerned you can’t really learn anything from AW. The man wastes wood and materials like it was given to him. I once saw him put stain on a project by just throwing the stain on from the can and spreading it on with brush. Maybe he does better at his teaching seminars but his show leaves a lot to be desired from an educational standpoint. Bring back Norm. Now that’s a woodworker who inspires. As The Dane pointed out above, I have the option of turning it off but in my area (Pittsburgh, Pa) there are no woodworking shows to watch except the Woodwright Shop, and Woodsmith but these are always repeats. These are excellent shows to learn by. AW comes on after those shows and I just watch it cause there is nothing else on. That’s just my .02, and my tale of woe.

View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3357 days

#7 posted 03-14-2011 06:08 PM

Well I went with Tommy to the show Saturday, and I was very pleased with the presentation. He was speaking to a diverse group of about 30 woodworkers of different ages and experience levels. I think everybody got something out of it. I especially enjoy his easy going and informal style. He is very genuine, and a likable guy. I had only seen his show once or twice, but will definitely watch it more now that I’ve found it. He gave us some honest opinions, good advice and information. He did some finishing with shellac (which I have never used but now plan to!) and I was very impressed with the results, and also the fact that it is less toxic than both poly and lacquer.

Some of his presentation was more familiar to me (bandsaw boxes and bandsaw tuneups) but I got something out of all of it, and enjoyed being in a roomful of guys who love what I love.

I have to say that Mann Tools in Columbia SC is the NICEST and BEST woodworking store I have ever been in, bar none, which includes several Woodcrafts and a Rockler. The big box stores don’t even compare. It is a true woodworkers paradise, with a 10,00 sq. ft. showroom, lots of stationary tools SET UP on the floor to look at touch and drool over from all the major brands. If you live within driving distance, (4-6 hours) you owe it to yourself to make a day trip and check it out. You can get nice stuff and good deals online, but it is great to be able to ”see with your hands” and compare stuff in 3D. The people in the store were very friendly and helpful and knowledgeable, and went out of their way to answer my questions, finding the right person to ask if they did not have a ready answer. Kudos to them also for bringing Scott to Sc for us.

Thanks also for my new Woodpecker Router table/Fence/Plate/Sidewinder lift package that I got which was an extra 5% off b/c Scott used it in his demo (total 15% discount).

Thanks Tommy for finding this show online and giving me the heads up and sharing a ride.(and for 1/2 the gas money) What an AWESOME day!!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

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1922 posts in 2865 days

#8 posted 03-14-2011 07:10 PM

I watch all of the shows and find good information on all of them as well. But I do like the NYWS best and wish they would bring back new episodes of it. Norm just seems to show more ways of doing the same thing depending on the tools you have available to you ( Not all of us have MEGA $$$ worth of tools ) and I just really like his way of showing the process.
On the Router Workshop I wish they would cut back on showing the same item being done 6 or 8 times, ie you have 4 legs to taper you really only need to show it for one , then you have more time for other information to be provided. Also they never really show the entire process, only what can be done on the router (OK I know it is the Router Workshop but there is more to it than just the Router )
Tommy Mack just needs to SLOW DOWN some, have to record and rewind to catch most of what he says. But he is good and has a lot of skill and information to pass on.
Again this just my 2 cents worth. Bring back Norm please.

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40 posts in 2804 days

#9 posted 03-16-2011 01:27 PM

Tommy and Shopmania, thank you for sharing your show experiences and the pic. Paul

-- Take your time and do it right once.

View bandit571's profile


21531 posts in 2858 days

#10 posted 03-16-2011 04:18 PM

Actually I usually watch Scott’s shows. From where I live, his new house is about 18 miles away. I used to go by the place while they were building it. About halfway between Lockington Dam, and Piqua, Ohio. Nice big lake there, an old quarry, I think. BIG house.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View rf58's profile


78 posts in 3384 days

#11 posted 03-08-2016 07:35 AM

i have watched a lot of home improvement and woodworkers since the 60s and it has made me a pretty good handy man and woodworker and have met a lot of them in person TOMMY SILVA IS THE ONE I LIKE THE BEST…

-- rf58, Illinois

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 3776 days

#12 posted 03-10-2016 12:47 AM


I had the pleasure of meeting Phillips a few years back, and my sense of him is the same as yours. Genuine and approachable.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

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