Hey Mikey! He liked it!

Well, I just got finished watching the 4th episode of “Rough Cut” with Tommy Mac. And you know what? I liked it! The road trip was really good, the project was a good one too. It offered them the chance to focus on aspects of the project with more detail. I am very pleased to see they are getting better as they go. As I said in my first article about the show, WGBH, and or the producers, really hit the mark with the way the filmed the episodes. It looks great on my high def TV.

The way they flattened the base walnut board in the “old school” method really pleased me. I was happy to see that they did not just run it through a drum sander. It if had a wild grain, I would not have blamed them, but seeing them demonstrate how to flatten a board with a plane was a good choice.

The veneering was section of the show was explained really well and they made it look like fun. Ely Cleveland was a better assistant. If the show is going to have a second person, I want to see them do something rather than being a third hand.

I am so relieved to see the show getting better. Tommy MacDonald obviously has some die-hard fans and that is something that woodworking really needs. Norm Abrams inspired me to become a woodworker years and years ago, so let’s hope that the guys like Tommy MacDonald, Scott Phillips, and even the crew with the WoodSmith show will inspire a new generation of woodworkers.

You know, you don’t have to be a TV host, to inspire a new woodworker. There are a number of gentlemen at the Baltimore Area Turners club who really inspire me to do more challenging work. And the best way to bring more people into woodworking is teaching children. I have given talks at my daughter’s school, and I teach woodworking to kids on and off throughout the year. I have a fully equipped shop with all the power tools you could want, but I only use hand tools when working with students. I want them to learn sound techniques and be able understand the whys and hows of what they are doing.  I wish I had this kind of instruction when I was a kid. My shop teacher just plopped us in front of the table saw and instructed us to not cut our fingers off. He was a not a great teacher, but it really implanted the desire to learn more about the craft.

Who are your local woodworking heroes? Who inspired you to start woodworking?



About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
This entry was posted in Woodworking TV Shows and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hey Mikey! He liked it!

  1. I don’t watch TV, I play music, but I don’t even think that show is on our cable network. I have been watching this Old House and NYW for ever. I always dug Norm because you knew could build houses out of the ground and had been through the remodeling wars too. When you looked at his hands the were messed up like mine.

    While it is tempting to envy his shop setup, my wish as a woodworker is a constant source of free material. I’m doing fine with a pretty basic shop set up. I don’t need to have more stuff to break, stuff to sharpen, buy bits for, belts or discs or dominos, something.

    For me coming up, James Krenov, Sam Maloof, George Nakshima and Tage Frid, stuff I could read about in books and magazines in the ’70. A guy that had big impact on me was guy named John Burt in Campbell Ca. and Tomas Keller in Redwood City, Ca. too. They seemed to have the professional image and steady streams of fantastic work flowing their way. I grew up with a guy named named Kenny and he turned me on to the Meier Brothers.


    There are so many guys I have run into that had put together really nice shops out here on the west coast. Every time I turn around there is another one. I have eleven neighbors in the building I’m in now in Portland, who have woodworking businesses. There are guys that have developed cnc machines and programing to produce some pretty cool stuff. However you feel about that, these guys are so firmly rooted in traditional joinery and hand work, one could never fault them for wanting to stretch the limits of their creativity. Its just painting with a different brush.

    While have taught a ton of carpenters through the years I’ve never taught woodworking a shop situation. Teaching is great because it makes you distill your process in order to communicate the ideas. My shop teacher in seventh grade was Mr, Ziminsky. He had us planing, chiseling and sawing in short order and he constantly had us doing mechanical drawings. Basic orthographic, isometric, perspective views. Man has that ever served me in life. Good for you for wanting to teach.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s