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?