David Thiel.

Is this guy related to Bob Villa? I had never seen him before watching him on the DIY website. In the few shows I've watched, I've seen him demonstrate extremely unsafe practices and very bad work. Is this the norm for this guy? Where do they find these people?
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There are two types of wood working professionals on TV: Those that sell products and those that showcase their skills. DIY's got a lot more "product sellers" than "skill showcasers."
Puckdropper
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I totally agree. My question though, what in the world is David Thiel selling.
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Well, the DIY website for one...
Puckdropper
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If he acts as if he knows more than every sub on the project then he could be related to Bob
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I don't care much for his presentation, and I've found some of the things he does to be questionable, but I know at least one fellow who's been to a Marc Adams class with him who found him to be very personable. He posts periodically over on WoodCentral and seems like a nice guy--not at all the dick that Vila is. I realize that has nothing to do with unsafe practices and very bad work.
Keep in mind that the TV hosts are not in complete control of what is aired. Even David Marks told me that the producers often wanted him to do things in the name of expedience that he wasn't comfortable with. He mentioned they wanted him to do a glueup that in real life was a ten or fifteen minute job in forty seconds because that was the time allocated in their schedule. After unsuccessfully arguing with them, he just did it the real way and let them "fix it in post" as they say.
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wrote:

I agree with all of the above, and must point out that he's had some decent stuff (about tools, not fine woodworking) published in Popular Woodworking
His DIY Channel stuff is on mar with the rest of the stuff on DIY, except for Mr. Marks.
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The hey what is this and how do you use it is a great approach to getting others that are new and just checking out the show to see what it is all about type deal . His way of coming across makes beginners feel at ease and not fearful as after watching lets say David Marks or maybe even the Norm which is who I have been watching as long as I have been interested in woodworking. But these guys can make a beginner feel intimidated.
wrote:

him
demonstrate
guy?
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Every show looks like his first unrehearsed. Most of the time he looks like he has never seen the tool before the show.
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On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:12:06 GMT, "Leon"

Yes, that's him. I know he's been doing this for a while and must be fairly experienced, but he really does look like a beginner.
tt
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Hi CW,
I've got some insight on the man and the process. David Thiel is described on the DIY web site as "the Senior Editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine". He hosts the "Tools and Techniques" show and also appears quite often on The Woodworking Channel:
http://www.thewoodworkingchannel.com
interviewing product reps at tradeshows (like IWF). In December of 2003 Beth Knott, Producer of the DIY "Tools & Techniques" show, contacted me about using a Jr. in a couple of episodes. She represents "Fantasym Productions" which has produced shows for HGTV and DIY for years. In the Bio that she sent me, I learned that she and her co-producer Brad Staggs shoot thousands of shows per year. The shooting schedule must be absolutely maddening (at least three shows per day?). I suspect that the budgets are extremely tight and that there is little time for any preparation or rehersal.
Anyone who is familiar with the Jr., and has seen the demos that David did, knows that there was no time taken to learn anything about the tool before the shoot. I cringed the first time I saw it. But, it was still pretty effective (for my purposes). I imagine that just about everything else on the show is like that. The scripts seems pretty loose with a lot of improv. If David doesn't have intimate, first hand knowledge on a particular procedure, then the first take is probably his first try and that's what likely ends up in the show. And, I can appreciate the difficulty of doing something correctly on camera even when you are an expert. Some of the scenes in the Jr. video had dozens of takes. Eventually, I just let the camera run while I did it over and over and over. I can appreciate using the word "talent" to describe someone who can do something well on camera.
As you read magazine articles and watch TV shows for information about woodworking (or any technical subject), keep in mind that most of the people involved are Journalists with an interest in woodworking. They are very rarely woodworkers (or anyone with a technical degree) who have an interest in woodworking. I have offered my expertise as a free technical consultant to Beth (and to a few woodworking magazine editors) in an effort to raise their technical competence (and my own reputation). Unfortunately, no takers yet.
As you compare the commercially produced woodworking shows to the PBS shows, keep in mind that they don't get free money from the government or from semi-annual begathons. Everything is operating on a shoe-string budget, the "talent" has no experience, and the schedules are incredibly demanding. Under these circumstances I would be pretty happy to be able to maintain the quality that they do.
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
CW wrote:

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On 18 Nov 2006 12:50:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com wrote:

Oh? I always thought David Marks seemed like a really stand-up sort of guy. Same with that Underhill fella, though I only saw his show once. The older guy on "The router workshop" seems to know his stuff- though I don't think I'd let his kid touch anything of mine.
You have to apply the same rule to tv as anything else- 95% of everything is crap. The producers are just trying to cater to people who know nothing, but have an interest in learning a thing or two, because that's where the market is. Overly technical information is likely to go right over the head of an average viewer.
Just keep building that nice website of yours (and I'm not being sarcastic- it's a good site.) If there's a market for your expertise, people will eventually find it, though it sometimes takes a quite a while. There really aren't that many good nuts-and-bolts how-to sites on the internet, and putting the time in to make one- which I can see you're willing to do, almost certainly boosts your sales.
Though I have been meaning to ask you something-
Why isn't there a jointer/planer aligner product? While I'm unsure about personally needing a Ts-aligner, I would certainly be interested in a tool that could help set jointer and planer blades without slicing and dicing my fingertips, and help adjust infeed/outfeed tables to eliminate snipe. Those are the really touchy tools that can really use some help, IMO. Get one of those on the market, and I'm in.
Just a thought.
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Prometheus wrote:

I have seen David Marks once, on the DIY web site. I thought he presented a very good show. I'll have to watch some more. Roy Underhill, Norm Abrahams, The Rosenthals (router guys), and Scott Phillips are all funded by Public Broadcasting. They can afford to hire expertise and spend lots of money on production.

Very true. Basically, they produce shows to sell advertising. Advertising is based on viewership. Viewership is based on interest. So, it doesn't do any good to spend a bunch of money on expertise which may not increase interest (unless you get your money for free). Which is why I thought they might be willing to accept free technical advise. I can think of a number of good reasons for turning it down.

Thanks. I'll just keep plugging away. I think people appreciate expertise when they discover it, not when it presents itself to them. ;-) So, the web site is a good medium.

Both Aligners do jointers quite well (the Sr. works best on 8"+ machines). Planers are another story. The Aligners can be used for bed rollers, feed rollers, chip breaker, and cutterhead alignment (with some hieght limitations). This would address any snipe problems (assuming proper feeding technique). Some of my competition would lead you to believe that it's proper to align planer knives from below (in reference to the table). It's not a good idea. Planer knives should be aligned to the cutterhead. Then the cutterhead should be aligned to the table. There are a number of jigs for doing the knives. I've had one in mind for several years (called the "TP Aligner") but just haven't had the time to get it out.
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
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With some of the demos that I have seen on the DIY channel I think your advise would be over their heads. Even with a shortage of funding and time I do no believe that they have a valid excuse for doing some of the things the way they do. I simply think they do not know any better. I'll never for get the tall dark haired guy, host of The Ultimate WorkShop, demonstrating how to use a stacked dado and proceeded to make a cross cut dado on a 1 x 6 with the guard in place. He looked puzzled when the board hit the back of the guard and it stopped moving. He then proceeded to pull the board back through the spinning dado blades. I cannot believe the next shot was not of him laying on the floor. That was ignorance, not a lack of funding or time.
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Yup. Or, can you imagine what a monkey wrench would get thrown into a 3+ show/day schedule if someone came along and said "You can't do that..."? I think that a technical consultant would need to be in on the planning stage when they put together the season lineup. That's why I contacted them last Summer (they shoot T-n-T in December). Alas, I was told that they plan the show in December! As I recall, they called me in December to request the Jr. which needed to be sent ASAP. I guess that particular episode was being planned!
If they had more funding (or perhaps more time) I think that they could probably get better (more experienced) talent. I'm sure that they can find actors that will do it for next to nothing (call the local guild). But, I bet that it's very difficult to find a skilled woodworker that will work for the same amount (let alone be any good on camera).
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
Leon wrote:

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A little research reveals this about he host of The Ultimate Workshop
He claims to be a carpenter. HA!...
Believe it or not, Jay Baker was not born a handyman. He started out entertaining people as a musical stage performer at the age of 17. That led to a cross-country move to Los Angeles where he spent two decades as a working actor.
Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize Jay's appearances in Dukes of Hazzard, Baywatch, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as other popular television series of the 80's and 90's. He's also featured in the cult classic films April Fools Day and Shag.
In 2001, after moving his family from California back to his native Tennessee, Jay looked for a way to combine his skills as a carpenter and handyman with his professional pursuits in television. That effort paid off when Jay was booked as an on-air carpenter for DIY Network's Emmy-nominated home improvement program, Warehouse Warriors.
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<<I've got some insight on the man and the process. David Thiel is described on the DIY web site as "the Senior Editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine". >>
He was Sr. Editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Sometime during the past summer he left that post and moved over to the company's book division.
Lee
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