One fine Rough Cut

Last night I finally had the time to watch Rough Cut with Tommy Mac, and I have to say, it was one fine Rough Cut.

The project was a shaker style night stand, made from a beautiful figured maple. I’ve made a couple of night stands like these myself, but I added drawers. They were fun to make and were good skill building projects.

But do you know what made this episode better? The fact that Tommy is getting better and better in front of the camera, and having his former Teacher at the North Bennet Street School there with him. I believe his name is Steve Brown. (please correct me if I am wrong) As you know, I am not a fan of having a sidekick just standing around, but the combination of Steve and Tommy really worked well. Steve is a natural teacher, he presented his parts of the project very well and just has a natural charisma. I hope the two of them will work together on another project one day.

The road trip was interesting too. It was fun to see the North Bennet Street School and learn more about it. The only downside to the show is that there was just not enough time. I wish they had more time to explain why they used a spring joint for the top, and talk more about how they got that really great finish on the example table. I know, I know, you don’t have time to talk about everything. But me personally, I’d rather have a minute less road trip for the sake of more details.

Do you know why I spend my time reviewing woodworking shows? Because I love woodworking! Norm inspired me to become a woodworker, but there were things about the show that left me wondering why in world did he do this or that. I did not take any woodworking classes or have friends who were woodworkers, so most of what I learned was from Norm. (btw, I did take shop in 8th grade, but at was long long ago) If Rough Cut is going to inspire a new generation, I don’t want the show to repeat the same mistakes NYW made. 

All in all, a really good episode! So happy to see that each show is improving. I am especially interested in seeing the next episode about finishes.

click…………… . . . .

About yaakov

Husband, Abba, Furniture Maker, Turner, Bookseller, and all around working stiff.
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One Response to One fine Rough Cut

  1. BikerDad says:

    I got to see most of the Rough Cut marathon this past weekend. I would have seen more, but I was spending my time in the shop. I agree with you about Tommy’s verbal mannerisms, and I think it would be nice if he would slow down his speech just a bit. Also, I was noting a definite “beefcake” sensibility, with the ubiquitous form fitting T-shirts. Perhaps it’s to get more female viewers, perhaps its for comfort under the lights of the shop, maybe it’s to avoid the long sleeves, or it’s possible that Tommy just enjoys working out and showing the results, but it’s there.

    All that said, the show is hitting it’s stride. Tommy explains why he uses the smoother, although often the camera shot showing the mill marks doesn’t actually show anything. The director/producer needs to be aware of when Tommy calls something out, and the camera doesn’t actually catch it, usually due to a failure to zoom in enough. I’d like to see them fill the whole 30 minutes with show, rather than working within the standard 22 1/2 minute frame. Yes, if you consider the length of the opening credits, the length of the closing credits, and then the interminable promos for other shows that follow until the next show, you’re only getting about 23 minutes of the show. Commercial free broadcasting my keester!

    One big plus this show has over NYW is Tommy truly is a hybrid woodworker. He’s equally comfortable with hand tools as he is with power tools. He’s not a carpenter turned woodworker (where’s that brad nailer???), he’s a woodworker from the git-go. And it shows. The octagonal lazy susan episode’s coverage of veneering was excellent, with only one real “oops” in the information. He really shouldn’t have glossed over the solution used for conditioning the veneer the way he did.

    I would like to see more in depth treatment of things as well, perhaps by doing multi-part shows. I also hope that he’ll get to break out of the New England thing. It may be hard for WGBH to realize, but there actually are woodworkers out past the Berkshires!!

    Woodworks remains my favorite WW show though. David Marks’ design sensibility, his explanations of “why”, the fact that his shop looked like a real artisans shop rather than a set, all these combined to boost it over the top. I enjoy Scott Phillips, when I can catch it (it rarely shows here), the Woodsmith show really does focus more on individual techniques than any show I’ve seen, and St. Roy’s just more fun to watch than any other WW host I’ve ever seen.

    Now if somebody would put together a gag reel from these shows…. that would be a treasure!

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