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Thread: the new yankee workshop would never make it today - discuss....

  1. #1

    the new yankee workshop would never make it today - discuss....

    I learned how to woodwork in large part thanks to 'Norm' and I was heavily influenced by the
    NYWS. I can't walk into the shop without hearing in my head "there is no more important safety rule, then to wear these: 'safety glasses'" and of course I always wear them.

    This was largely pre-youtube, and I wonder with so many options to watch and learn woodworking now, if a show like NYWS could make it?

    I guess as an off shoot are the YouTube shows, bad for woodworking? I enjoy some of them, but it nit unusual to see some very risky use of tools and little to no explanation about safety.

  2. #2
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    YouTube allows anyone regardless of skill, experience, or other qualification to put something out for the world to see. The shows like NYWS, Rough Cut, Woodsmith, etc on TV essentially guarantee the skills and experience part. Rough Cut with Tom McLaughlin has been rebranded by Fine Woodworking (due to a lawsuit) as Classic Woodworking, but I have not found it yet on my local PBS station. Season 1 shows are available to members on Fine Woodworking's site Looking forward to watching new shows again.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  3. #3
    Couldn't agree with you more. If it weren't for Norm, I would never have gotten into woodworking like I have. Before him, I couldn't even make a square box. It always amazes me, how much I learned just from watching his show.
    Some of the things I see on YT drives me nuts. Even with poor video quality, I can see joints not fitting properly, simple procedures not followed, yet this is what an entire generation of woodworkers is learning from. As with many things in our current world, I think the internet has done a ton of harm to woodworking. I think it's a lot easier to learn from scratch, than to unlearn the bad.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff norris 2011 View Post
    ...I guess as an off shoot are the YouTube shows, bad for woodworking? I enjoy some of them, but it nit unusual to see some very risky use of tools and little to no explanation about safety.
    I suggest you never go into a commercial shop. It's almost as if the first sentence of the user's manual reads, "Immediately remove and discard any guards you find".

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  5. #5
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    Norm's shows were great, but watching him build stuff, I just couldn't afford the $10K worth of tools, used on the project, well at least not back then.

    I watch the others shows, on PBS, when I can find them and enjoy them very much.

    But I must admit, YouTube is far more educational. Pretty much any tool has reviews. I spend a lot of time reading this forum, discovering a new tool or technique discussed and then going over to YouTube to watch several videos on the related subject, which often leads to something else new that I was unaware of.

    Although I did a couple of hands on classes on wood turning, there are a lot of great instructional videos, many from folk on this forum, that fill in lots of gaps in areas that I either forget or were not covered in my brief hands on classes.

    Just prior to Christmas, I turned 4 bowls for presents. I knew nothing of buffing on a lathe, three or four Youtube videos got me in the right direction for the tooling I needed and I followed the techniques presented and my bowls look great.

    Last week, I decided to make a small project that needed a thin base, so I learnt all about veneering. Project supplies arrive tomorrow (thanks to reference from this forum).

    It just amazes me how many people, and the age ranges, actually wood work and also have the ability, equipment and time to produce quality informational videos.

    Yes, you find the odd clunker video, but if you have any common sense around power tools, it's easy to recognize when someone is presenting or operating in a dangerous or impractical way.

  6. #6
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    I wasn’t gonna say anything but that’s also the first thing I thought.

    I actually have a running joke about that american workshop show going with my mother. From time to time we have watched it together in don’t know why..

    But anyway her nickname has become Susie when in the shop and prior to staring every machine I say aloud, “ok let’s make some cuts. And always remember your eye and ear protection”.

    I do the same at work form time to time but I have yet to meet any other pro that actually watches any of the woodworking shows.

    My opinion is I find much higher quality content regarding skill and execution online and on YouTube than I ever have on this old house or NYW..

    Actually quite often I watch that show lately and find myself saying “he did not just do that, what a hack”..

    I know I’m gonna continue to not make friends as who do I think I am but you know that is what I think and I’m not ashamed to say so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    I suggest you never go into a commercial shop. It's almost as if the first sentence of the user's manual reads, "Immediately remove and discard any guards you find".

    Erik

  7. #7
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    My option of Utube videos is they are made by people who can not formulate a logical thought or use words to explain what they are doing. They are basically stream of consciousness in the shop. If they can not write out what they are doing and why they make a video instead. A good video like Norms, can be understood even if the picture is blank. On a utube videos the camera work is shaky because they do not know what they should be focused on anyway. They would be better if the sound was dubbed in after the filming but then they would. have to know what they are talking about to begin with.
    This is still the reason that Disney movies are still the best. First they come up with a plot and good writing. Then good actors, write some good songs if needed, plan it all out, then finally film the movies. After that is all done they make some toys to sell.
    Ijn asia step one is design some toys. then make a movie using these toys to help sell more toys. Then come up with some lines and lastly a plot, if needed.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    My option of Utube videos is they are made by people who can not formulate a logical thought or use words to explain what they are doing. They are basically stream of consciousness in the shop. If they can not write out what they are doing and why they make a video instead. A good video like Norms, can be understood even if the picture is blank. On a utube videos the camera work is shaky because they do not know what they should be focused on anyway. They would be better if the sound was dubbed in after the filming but then they would. have to know what they are talking about to begin with.
    This is still the reason that Disney movies are still the best. First they come up with a plot and good writing. Then good actors, write some good songs if needed, plan it all out, then finally film the movies. After that is all done they make some toys to sell.
    Ijn asia step one is design some toys. then make a movie using these toys to help sell more toys. Then come up with some lines and lastly a plot, if needed.
    You've described SOME YouTube woodworking videos. There are a lot of videos on YouTube with excellent production quality and solid instruction and a lot of the time the creators will answer any questions you have via comments, email or IG/Facebook messaging.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    Couldn't agree with you more. If it weren't for Norm, I would never have gotten into woodworking like I have. Before him, I couldn't even make a square box. It always amazes me, how much I learned just from watching his show.
    Some of the things I see on YT drives me nuts. Even with poor video quality, I can see joints not fitting properly, simple procedures not followed, yet this is what an entire generation of woodworkers is learning from. As with many things in our current world, I think the internet has done a ton of harm to woodworking. I think it's a lot easier to learn from scratch, than to unlearn the bad.
    . The internet, particularly YouTube, has educated way more woodworkers than Norm could ever dream of. Just the ease of access alone. I watched Norm growing up but it was only if I caught it while it was on. I can go over to YouTube and watched thousands of hours of quality woodworking programming. Millions of hours if I don't care about quality.

    I've learned way more from YouTube than any other medium. Yeah, there is a lot of crap but there is also a lot of great content on YouTube and if you supplement YouTube with other sources you can easily sift through what is good and what is bad.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim M Tuttle View Post
    You've described SOME YouTube woodworking videos. There are a lot of videos on YouTube with excellent production quality and solid instruction and a lot of the time the creators will answer any questions you have via comments, email or IG/Facebook messaging.
    Exactly...but are you watching the videos that give good advice or are you watching the ones that give bad advice? That's the question. We know which ones show good practice, but if you're just starting out or looking to start, there's no way you would know, because no one is weeding out the bad ones. That's the problem.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim M Tuttle View Post
    . The internet, particularly YouTube, has educated way more woodworkers than Norm could ever dream of.
    I disagree, a lot of YouTube is full of bad safety practices, bad technique and bad advice -that's not the definition of education

    I grew up with TOH, NYW and the Woodwright's Shop. The only thing wrong with any of them is that when Norm got a new tool, whether it be PC biscuit joiner, or 8" Delta jointer or something else, everybody wanted one. The advertisers on that show were happy campers

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Crout View Post
    I disagree, a lot of YouTube is full of bad safety practices, bad technique and bad advice -that's not the definition of education

    I grew up with TOH, NYW and the Woodwright's Shop. The only thing wrong with any of them is that when Norm got a new tool, whether it be PC biscuit joiner, or 8" Delta jointer or something else, everybody wanted one. The advertisers on that show were happy campers
    You're implying that anyone that gets educated in woodworking via YouTube has bad safety practices. Other than high school shop 20+ years ago the vast majority of my woodworking education has been on YouTube and I'd venture to guess that I am on the safer side than most when it comes to woodworking. Like I said, when you watch a lot of it, it's easy to sift through the bad. And just because you are unsafe doesnt mean you are a bad woodworker. I'd venture to guess that there are a lot of incredible woodworkers out there who are unsafe. Hell, John Heisz has forgotten more than I'll ever know and he's the most unsafe person I've ever seen.

  13. #13
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    Norm single handedly built the brad nailer industry, and tripled the amount of wood glue sold in the United States. That guy would have built this furniture in half the time if he didn't have all that glue to scrub off!

  14. #14
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    There are way more resources available today than when I began woodworking in the mid-1970's. I appreciate access to YouTube, forums, and various other online sites and do get a lot from all of them. The problem is that, if I were a beginner, it would be difficult to filter out the videos that didn't provide the best guidance on joints, squaring up lumber, sanding, finishing, etc. With Norm, you always knew that, while there might be other ways of woodworking, Norm's way would definitely yield a good finished product. The same holds true for most books that have been around for awhile. They wouldn't have survived if they promoted improper techniques. That reliability is missing on the internet because it's too easy to just put a video out there and not know everything you need to know. So, for experienced woodworkers looking for a resource to get supplement existing knowledge and experience, it's a great place to go. For beginners it's just not completely reliable meaning you have to sort through the videos to make sure you get the right answer.

  15. #15
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    An interesting, and I expect generational, divide. I grew up with, first and foremost, a subscription to Fine Woodworking, Norm as my TV teacher, and rec.woodworking on Arpanet and later Usenet as my source for diverse opinions (you guys are pussycats by comparison!). I learned from all of them, now I've added Youtube pretty heavily to the mix, for all of my hobbies and interests. (Well, I've never gone to youtube as a source for information on molecular genetics).

    I find that if you watch 4-5 videos on a given topic, whether it be woodworking related, a photographic technique, how to do some complex manipulation in Excel, or how to build a wood-fired pizza oven, you can pretty quickly figure out who's competent and who's not, even knowing nothing about the topic when you begin exploration. Most safety stuff is pretty obvious if you have any grasp of Newtonian physics and basic chemistry, and it's crystal clear which youtube folks have no such clue. So I use it as a rich, diverse source of information and ignore the morons. It doesn't seem very hard, and I've learned a ton on just about every topic I've encountered.

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