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Forum topic by BentheViking posted 05-27-2011 05:44 AM 3315 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1782 posts in 2562 days

05-27-2011 05:44 AM

With all these shows on nowadays with antiques and shops and restoration and what not, when are they going to have a show that solely focuses on the things we all love…just dreaming I guess

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

18 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3456 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 05:45 AM

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2688 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 11:51 PM

It was called “The New Yankee Workshop” but after 20 years either PBS or Norm must have called it quits. There is also the Woodsmiths Shop.

Tommy Mac is way to fast paced for me and I haven’t seen anything on his show that you could do in a home workshop unless you had big $$$$ in equipment. At least Norm showed you ways to do things with the big tool budget and a small one as well.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4095 days

#3 posted 05-27-2011 11:53 PM

There is also the American woodworker, but I cheered when they replaced it by Tommy’s show. Is Roy Underhills show still on?

There also used to be the Router workshop.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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1916 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 05-28-2011 12:00 AM

I was never a big fan of the American Workshop and Roy only uses the OLD tools and Router Workshop is still on as far as I know but they ONLY show the stuff you do with the router and just barley mention any other tools and nothing at all about doing a finish on a project, plus if they have 12 parts to cut you get to see them cut all 12 parts so it hogs up a lot time that could be spent on showing somethig else.

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5423 posts in 3661 days

#5 posted 05-28-2011 01:58 AM

Wayne—Yes, Roy Underhill is still on … I have caught some of his shows recently on the PBS Create channel.

If you want to watch them online, go to


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

View rblank's profile


10 posts in 2579 days

#6 posted 05-28-2011 03:03 AM

I for one am getting sick of all the same types of “DIY” shows. If I see one more new landscaping or real estate show, I’ll scream.

-- Commercial Construction Manager - Attleboro, MA

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3259 posts in 2673 days

#7 posted 05-28-2011 04:31 AM

I am with you rblank. Lets just rebuild this kitchen in a weekend. Ever try that? Any professional out there that ever tried that? I hardly watch PBS anymore since I have to go to the antenna to see it. Norm was on the dish but no more. I guess we should call them and complain. Maybe there is a Norm Jr. out there….any volunteers?

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3158 days

#8 posted 05-28-2011 05:28 AM

How about StevInMarin, or Marc S.?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View MrRon's profile


4769 posts in 3241 days

#9 posted 05-28-2011 05:56 PM

David Marks was one of the best. A TV show has to have an audience before they will consider producing a show targeted towards woodworkers. I don’t think there are enough interested parties out there to warrant a show that focuses on what we love. I think you would have a difficult time finding a sponsor ready to pony up the cost of a TV show. If several sponsors could get togetner, but I don’t think that would work.Imagine having Delta, Jet, Sawsafe and Ridgid on the same show? Never happen. No one company alone would be able to afford to sponsor a show. There are two types of DIY shows on TV; one that is instructive like New Yankee Workshop and the other that is for pure entertainment. I guess the latter dominates the scene. Probably the best source of instructional material is going to be the internet and especially U-Tube. Brain drain will always be synanamous with TV.

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#10 posted 05-28-2011 06:25 PM

MrRon—I think the sponsorship thing was a factor in the end of the New Yankee Workshop … and maybe Norm was tired of it after 20+ years.

It is true, however, that WoodCraft is the sole sponsor of Tommy MacDonald’s Rough Cut.


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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3478 days

#11 posted 05-28-2011 08:49 PM

I am still trying to find out what happened to Tommy Mac here on PBS…it was on a few times on Saturday morning, but then it disappeared and I havent found him since…they might have dropped the show. I liked Norm’s New Yankee Workshop…you kind of felt like he was part of us and not way over everyones head. Although I will have to admit their website is worthless. They suggest sending in pictures of projects etc. and they respond well if you are buying something, but they hardly ever post pictures of work you send them even if its from thier plans. They have had the same picture of one guys work on the website now for months. They are really slow on questions too. Whoever runs the website must be half asleep.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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4258 posts in 3158 days

#12 posted 05-28-2011 10:41 PM

I watched a lot of Norm’s shows, and learned a lot. After a while I got to where I could speed watch his stuff because he does a lot of the same thing over and over. I don’t need to watch him square his lumber, or put a biscuit in on almost every show. Towards the end, I could watch a 30 min show in about 11 min. I still considered it a good show though. Cons: He always had a full shop of equipment. He never made a mistake(at least they never showed it on the air). He did a lot of big furniture I’d never build.

The Woodwright Shop:
I’ve always enjoyed Roy’s show, despite the fact that I’m mainly a power tool guy. His show is REAL, he cuts himself, he makes mistakes, he is rushed. He is a genuinly great teacher and truely interested in you learning what he’s showing you. He’s all over the map with his projects. He builds big furniture pieces, and he builds tiny boxes, puzzles, and toys too. When I do try one of his projects, I usually(but not always) build it using power tools. I’ve learned a lot from him. Cons: The show is not long enough, I want more.

Marc S.:
He is getting closer to what the typical home woodworker has in his own shop. This makes it more believable that I could benefit from building his projects. One more thing, he gives back to the ww community through his publicly available videos. Cons: He seems to be getting too ‘big time’. Leaning towards having every tool he’d ever want. This makes it less real, and not as achievable. He could stand to smile a little more, but I guess that’s just his personality. I still enjoy many of his videos though, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

You know who I’m talking about “Crazy Steve in Marin’ Ca”. He is as real as it gets. He uses some crappy tools like we all have(and some good ones too), he uses unsafe practices(like we all do sometimes), he has to work around the fact that he can’t afford all the latest tools and gadgets(like we all have to sometimes). And to top it all off, he shoots his vids with a (relatively) cheap video camera & technical setup. One of the BIG reasons I believe his videos are so successful, is because he is usually smiling and engages you. Don’t be confused into thinking this is only entertainment, you learn things in his projects too. Almost like subliminal learning. Cons: Uh…. Are there any? OK, I doubt the network will never pick him up because he doesn’t fit their mold. Oh, and his web domain name is too long. I guess he could do with a little more deliberate teaching.

The Woodsmith Shop:
I used to have this set on my DVR to record every week. There were a few projects I enjoyed, but I never could get over the heavilly scripted hum drum monotone of most of the presenters. I tried watching with the sound turned off and it helped a little but I finally dumped it. Cons: Totally scripted and boring to listen to and it went at tooooo slow of a pace. Not too many interesting projects other than just basic stuff.

Well, I’ve watched several of his shows. He aparently builds great furniture that might go in a museum. But how relatable is that? How many of us desire to build a Bombe? I’d like to see more of a variety of projects from him. He seems to be stuck in “Furniture mode”. Cons: Yes, he talks too fast, and even the network can’t slow him down. He doesn’t seem to be concerned about the teaching aspect. He thinks too much of his own muscles.

David Marks:
I enjoyed a lot of his shows. He is no longer on where I live. Although I didn’t aspire to build much of what he built, I learned a lot from his techniques. He had some very different practices for finishes. And he had jigs out the wazoo. Cons: For a “Professional woodworker”, he used too many unsafe practices over and over again. And that’s something, coming from me. He could stand to build some smaller items too. All of his work tended to have the same asian slant towards it. Variety is the spice of life. :)

Junk Brothers:
Yes, my wife and I enjoyed these guys. Again, more relatable that what is on TV now. I’m not suggesting they repace what we have, but they were fun to watch.

There were a couple of brothers that built things together, Itallian, I believe(Itallian brothers, not Itallian things they built). One played the dumb guy and the other played the professional. They had a WIDE VARIETY of things they built. Not only that, they often incorporated different materials with woodworking like copper, plaster, glass, and yes….. PAINT. Cons: Not too many things I’d want to build, but I still learned a few things from them. They seemed to be more for entertainment than learning.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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Joe Lyddon

10097 posts in 4050 days

#13 posted 05-28-2011 11:01 PM

Also on PBS, there is a Woodturning Workshop… usually close to The Woodwrights Shop…
Look on PBS “Create” channel.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#14 posted 05-29-2011 01:15 AM

rance—You are spot-on about Steve In Marin … his stuff is funny, interesting, and often quite useful.

A year or so back, he built a little folding stool. I took some notes on it, and turned it into a project that I was able to build with my grandsons when they visited from out of town. We spent a whole weekend on them … even routed their initials in the seat of each one’s stool. Those kids treat those little stools like family heirlooms!

Click for details


-- 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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340 posts in 3650 days

#15 posted 05-31-2011 05:06 AM

David marks show was interesting. He really focussed on fine woodworking.

Another thing my wife spotted (this annoyed her) is that each time he was coming up with a good fit or pulling some tricky part he would have this little smirk on his face.

-- Yves

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