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

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I can say that NYW (and ToH) certainly influenced my decision to make woodworking a serious avocation back in the late 1990s. It provided some vision, some ideas, an appreciation of tools and a few times, it helped ease away some things that beginning woodworkers miss, such as the fact that wood doesn't have to always be 3/4" or 1/2" thick and actually shouldn't always be 1/2" or 3/4" thick...5/16" might be the right choice proportionally for a given project. (The Shaker wall clock project comes to mind here) Yes, a lot of glue and brads "to hold things while the glue sets up" happened, but perhaps it's better to deal with too much glue than not enough. And honestly, Norm was and is a VERY likeable person whom I admire a lot for reasons beyond the show.

    Yes, time and technology has marched on and there are a lot more sources for folks to access content on woodworking and pretty much everything else. Some of it is bad; some is good and some is even outstanding. I think that had YouTube or similar been available "back in the day" Norm and the folks who created NYW would likely have embraced it if it supported their mission. As it was, PBS affiliates were the only game in town for material like that.
    Pretty much everyone with show on TV has supplemental content on YouTube these days. Norm would be no different. You can watch a lot of TOH on YouTube.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim M Tuttle View Post
    Pretty much everyone with show on TV has supplemental content on YouTube these days. Norm would be no different. You can watch a lot of TOH on YouTube.
    Just to elaborate on your point, the original question implies that it's one or the other. I think there's room for both. If it were not the case then TOH and the raft of HGTV shows would be off the air.

    I could even make a case that one medium actually helps the other. When I was in business school, we had the classic case study of the single gas station or convenience store on an intersection. Conventional wisdom would say this would be better than an intersection with competition but the study revealed that when one or even two more gas stations opened up, each of the competitors did more business than the sole station did when it had the intersection to itself. The conclusion was the increased awareness brought about a increase in the market which in turn caused all boats to rise. So here, imagine a person that develops their curiosity about woodworking from a PBS show and then finds themselves immersed in YouTube or vice versa. In this way, one medium helped the other.

    Another way of looking at it is that the increased content is not chasing a static group of woodworkers, rather the increase in content is contributing to a growing population of woodworking enthusiasts. Just a theory.

    Side note: the rising tide phenomenon should also result in more tool vendors, more competition among those tool vendors, more innovation in tools. I think I see this happening. Thinking back 20 years ago, there seems to be more tool vendors to my eye. Just look at the way Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen have grown from what they were.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 01-03-2020 at 1:41 PM.

  3. #33
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    I remember watching with my Dad and being fascinated by the Woodwrights Shop with Roy Underhill before Norm. Everything was made with hand tools or by older methods. Once Norms show started the shop seemed over the top to anything I had ever seen. Miss watching more shows like those now that I’m older.

  4. #34
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    Norm was like watching paint dry. Roy was always great, never knew what he would bleed on.

    My YouTube channel will never get big, but I try to post videos that pertain to little seen, little known stuff that has to do with the equipment and machinery side of it.

    Free advice is just that, free and may not even be worth the free part.

  5. #35
    I have learned a lot from Norm, and never felt the projects he made were out of reach because of tools. Sure, I'm not going to have a mortising machine, but there are alternatives. The basics were generally done with the table saw, chop saw, and router.

    I feel like TOH is a totally different animal, given that most of the renovations have ridiculous budgets and unless you are a PE partner they are no longer relatable for this DIYer. Ask TOH has much more relatable homeowners, but the projects are all very small and done within a 5-10 minute segment.

  6. #36
    Even as a professional it was fun to watch Norm. Norm was new, the internet was new and DIYers were beginning to get out of control. It was just movement for the period...

    He got out of hand with expensive tooling and took the fun out of it for many...This old house weren't doing average Joe work anyore and ruin it in the end...

    Now where is Bob Villa. I thought he was king o diy...
    Last edited by jack duren; 01-03-2020 at 2:59 PM.

  7. #37
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    I believe it all comes down to commonsense and understanding. Knowing and understanding how whatever tool you're using works will help to operate it safely. Also using the proper tool for the task at hand. I work in a machine shop and I am truly amazed at the level of cluelessness I see.

  8. #38
    I am with the youtube fans. Norm was fine in his day ó but he was just one guy with one approach and one skill set. He was engaging, personable, skilled, but limited. There is now a wealth of knowledge being openly shared, a great range of skills and perspectives available, and multiple approaches to solving every problem.

    One youtuber I watch brings a wealth of engineering knowledge to problem solving with wood. Another two channels are building big ocean-going wooden boats, and a third shipwright seems to be taking a break from content production. I follow other content producers who are creating beautiful joinery, another combines an architectís design sense with wonderful precision in execution; one fellow I enjoy is a wooden wheelwright who combines great skill as both a carpenter and a blacksmith.

    The problem for some folks seems to be that the quality and skill level of the content producers is uneven. The solution for that is simple: donít follow the weak ones. There are lots of highly-skilled and highly-trained content producers who can offer insights and solutions. Itís easy to follow them instead.

    Some folks have commented on safety practices. When any woodworking content producer indulges a practice that could be seen as hazardous, just look in the comment section: there is a thriving cottage industry among Safety Nazis (some call them safety nannies, but thatís a different debate) and they are on patrol!

    It is pretty much the same with the other complaints about shop practices: keyboard warriors are fearless and never hesitate to offer criticism.

    Norm was great in his time. So was *Cheers.*

  9. #39
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    Reading Jack's post about This Old House reminded me of the early episodes, where the owner of an average house got the makeover, but had to help build it with 'sweat equity'. I gave up on it after a couple seasons of the show becoming This Old Mansion.

    Who remembers when Norm had a ShopSmith, and a Craftsman RAS in the Yankee Workshop?


    PS: I recorded all the Norm show's, starting with the second season to the end. My wife, edited out all the ads at the beginning and end of each, then put them in order for me (they were not always recorded on the same machine, or the first showing). This was using a VCR, and it took a lot of time. When DVD's took over, she copied them onto the DVD's for me.

    Bless her heart, she did it all to please me. I still have them, but now they are available (mostly) on YouTube.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 01-04-2020 at 3:04 AM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  10. #40
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    I'm coming in late. A couple of points.

    Firstly, I owe Norm a debt of gratitude. I watched his videos decades ago, and they were an important source in teaching me awareness and use of power tools. Over time, I out grew his techniques, tools and methods. That did not alter my affection for him. Although there is a world of difference in both our workshops and furniture styles, I would happily re-watch old shows if the opportunity arose. My wife is addicted to TOH, and part of this for me is spending time with old friends.

    With regard the presentations on YouTube, my opinion is that there is an awful lot of "look at me" and that some of this is also inspired by dreams of commercial success. Overall, from my vantage as a reasonably experienced woodworker, much of the available content is dreck, and some of it potentially dangerous. At one time I wanted to yell out, or leave comments, to this effect. I bite my tongue and move on, hoping that the viewers are divided into three categories: those that are not woodworkers but looking for entertainment and get this; those that are aspiring woodworkers, as I was with Norm, and are learning vicariously - that is, not actually committing themselves to building something; and those with enough common sense to recognise what is workable and what is not.

    There are some wonderful YouTube presentations. If I suggested that we compile a list, what I expect will happen is that the varied tastes on this forum will create a smorgasbord and illustrate that one man's meat is another man's poison.

    A few of the one's I like:

    Doucette and Wolfe Furniture Makers

    ISHITANI FURNITURE

    Dorian Bracht

    Peter Galbert

    Sampson Boat Co



    Regards from Berlin

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 01-04-2020 at 9:37 AM.

  11. #41
    I enjoyed watching Norm, but was already well established in the notion that we needed to make due with MUCH less in the way of tools and machines in our shop. I saw his as a fancy shop with all kinds of fancy tools that no home shop would ever have. Dad's shop was pretty basic, but we turned out what we needed to. I watched Norm, but it was mostly entertainment and I didn't really feel like I learned much from it at the time.

    Later I was enamored with the woodwright's shop. I loved the idea of making stuff with hand tools in a traditional fashion. Even though I never pursued the traditional aspect of that very far, I learned a lot from watching and did learn to use hand tools more. I probably a lot learned a lot more than I did from watching Norm.

    YouTube is great in my opinion. Sure you have to sort through all sorts of crap and filter out what is and isn't of value. It does put the responsibility of your safety on yourself when it comes to seeking out enough content to learn basic safe practices. You can still learn them if you actually make the effort to do so. The unsafe practices on the videos often are pointed out in the comments, commented on in forums, or otherwise used as a teaching tool. Also some videos actually to a decent job of showing safe practices.

    The best thing about YouTube is that there are so many creative people out there sharing ideas, good and bad. Those ideas, even the bad ones, are all food for thought and for a creative mind can be just the thing to get you started on the path to new ideas. Sometimes seeing someones failed project is just the thing to get you started on a great new idea.

  12. #42
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    I am becoming a bit of a YouTube addict now that I can watch them on the big screen TV. The one that really has been impressing me from a woodworking perspective is the one from Sampson Boat Co where he, with the occasional volunteer, is almost completely rebuilding a hundred year old sailing boat. Giant ship saw, chain saws, hand planers, chisels, lots of hand planing on 4 foot scarph joints. Man, this guy does it all with some pretty impressive joinery where everything is curved. Timbers big enough he has to move them with a fork lift. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rswOuvATmdA Check this one out, you won't be disappointed.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 01-04-2020 at 11:07 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

  13. #43
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    I got hooked on these bad early last year.

    Made the fanatical workaholic recluse in me want to build a wooden sea work yacht sell everything and disappear.

    Need a bigger property first to build it on. Then sell then disappear....

    Awesome seeing others that are not afraid to just go for it regardless of the scope and scale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    I am becoming a bit of a YouTube addict now that I can watch them on the big screen TV. The one that really has been impressing me from a woodworking perspective is the one from Sampson Boat Co where he, with the occasional volunteer, is almost completely rebuilding a hundred year old sailing boat. Giant ship saw, chain saws, hand planers, chisels, lots of hand planing on 4 foot scarph joints. Man, this guy does it all with some pretty impressive joinery where everything is curved. Timbers big enough he has to move them with a fork lift. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rswOuvATmdA Check this one out, you won't be disappointed.

  14. #44
    The problem with the tube... is I get pretty bored with the guy explaining the same thing over and over for 30 seconds. Move on...most the time I move around the video to get to the point for which I turned it on...

  15. #45
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    Both have merit. It’s really that simple.

    I grew up on TOH, NYW so forth and so on. Being a tradesman from Boston it seemed all that much more relevant as the construction techniques and work on old homes I could relate to as it’s what I was also doing. But you know once past the initial stages as a carpenter it was not that there was not much to learn but well there was not much to learn.

    I often even today find myself watching only to keep up on new cutting edge building materials as I am no longer building homes but cabinetry and soon to be Organs.

    Just the other week I was watching and they were making a coffered ceiling. Instead of coping the crown they mitered it and built it on the ground. For me that is just a mortal sin and a clear indicator of a good enough throw it in the dumpster in 10-20 mentality I see rampant thorough the residential building trades and our society as a whole.mi have zero respect for it and zero interest in doing that type of work.

    Anyway thank god for those shows as at one time they really helped. Teaching safetyI don’t think so as my feeling on the Uber safety freaks is well pretty clear. It’s really annoying kinda like that jerk friend that knows you can’t spell but always has to correct your spelling. There are all kids of annoying but as a guy whom makes his living building stuff and always has “the guy who never drops the safety thing” just gets ignored as it’s like a broken record and most times can’t be taken serious as if he put as much effort as he does into worrying about safety he might also be a talented maker. Not that some obsessed with safety are not talented makers but nine outa ten times they are really hard to take serious for a myriad of reasons. First being it’s just annoying and well annoying gets ignored most times.

    Spend one year of your life out on a job site actually building and making things for money and most of these people couldn’t get past the front door when they simply saw the rats nest of extension cords all over the dam place. Oh yeah that 2x10 covered in splits spanning the 8x8x8 hole in the ground for a form while a excavator digs and you have to drag your whole van of tools in while 300 other trades jockey for position and omg the safety guy makes zero money. When you have 15 different trades and it’s crunch time and one or all are interdependent on the other and the schedual must be kept or no lay gets paid next week it’s not that safety does not matter but it’s only realistic to focus so much on it. You just gotta get to work and keep producing. I’m not saying you have to be reckless but sometimes what would appear to reckless to the uninitiated is well within control to the guy that does it everyday.safety generally imop is common sense and if you don’t have commune sense your not gonna get very far building stuff.

    Just saying.

    As for the shows I’ll take em all as I can find something to learn from everyone. If you can’t weed out the unsafe behavior or crap building techniques well I don’t know what to say. Maybe power tools are not or should not be your thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack duren View Post
    The problem with the tube... is I get pretty bored with the guy explaining the same thing over and over for 30 seconds. Move on...most the time I move around the video to get to the point for which I turned it on...
    Last edited by Patrick Walsh; 01-04-2020 at 12:51 PM.

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