Finally saw Nahmie for first time in 20 years...

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The David Marks shows are shot 1 day per project. Production assistants, many of whom are members of the Sonoma County Woodworkers, do a lot of the grunt work to get the prototypes and pieces ready to shoot.
Television production is _not_ an inexpensive business. Neither can the show be allowed to unduly tie up the Marks' shop. He still has a woodworking business to run.
And he does make beautiful projects.
Patriarch
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On Tue, 04 Jan 2005 05:05:14 GMT, Patriarch

There are plenty of shows where he'll say "we put this aside for a week" or whatever, particularly when working on different finishes. You know, the few he doesn't use tung oil on. ;)

Indeed he does and he makes his living doing it. Norm makes good stuff too. It isn't the skill or the knowledge of the woodworker, it's how the knowledge is presented.
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<<I gotta believe people that beat up on him for using so many different advanced power tools are the same people that beat up on atheletes for being successful and businessmen for making money. Gotta be a jealously thing.>>
I don't think that's it. A lot of people here have swell power tools. Unlike Norm, they might have had to pay actual cash money for theirs but I still don't believe jealousy is the issue. I think what it usually boils down to (including the OP in this thread) is people slamming Norm for doing things differently from the way they would do them. Norm gets a little nailgun happy sometimes (OK, a lot of the time), and people gang up on him because they prefer glue and clamps only. Norm slaps some dark stain on a newly crafted piece of cherry furniture because maybe he likes the color or it matches all the other Queen Anne furniture in his house, and people climb all over him as if he has violated one of the 10 Commandments. What so many people fail to recognize is that NYW is all about demonstrating different (most often power-assisted) ways of achieving similar outcomes. So one week you might see Norm making mortices and tenons with his dedicated morticing machine and a table saw and another week he may use a bit and brace and some chisels. And the more different techniques he demonstrates to perform the same type of operation, the more likely he is to deviate from the way any one guy "always does it."
Lee
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My primary objection to what Norm does is the tired old antiques that he is always trying to duplicate. Talk about an OLD Yankee cliche. Surround yourself with a luxurious shop with heated floors, and what do you create?? Modern replicas of moldy, old furniture from a hundred years ago or so.
I would be much more impressed with discussions of new designs. And how to make things for the shop of a modern house. I remember a computer desk that he made using all the conventional antique criteria. What about a discussion of ergonomics and trying to preven overuse injuries?
There are a thousand and one applications of woodworking knowledge in the modern world. But at old Nahm's shop, he is anywhere from 200 - 40 years in the past.
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On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 17:42:48 -0500, "Lee Michaels"

Well, you're welcome to your opinion, but I LIKE those tired old antiques. And judging by both the genuine antique market and the repro market, so do a lot of people.
Although David Marks is okay (he has a long, long way to go to be as smooth and have the presence Norm does), I don't care for 90% of the stuff he makes. Too artsy fartsy or "modern" for my tastes.
But in neither case does that make Norm or David wrong or eligible for our criticism. The styles are different. Period.

Or you could say, "move to California and fill a shop with 12 or 16" jointers, behemoth band saws, and thousands of board feet of mahogany, wenge, bubinga, and other exotics and what do you create? Modern crap (albeit well made crap) worthy of the new owners of the house in Beetlejuice, which will be long and gratefully forgotten a hundred years or so from now."

Again, that presumes that old, venerated, tried and true designs are bad (your opinion) and "modern" designs are good (also your opinion). I'm unmoved by your choices. But they are your choices. So watch Norm or not, but leave his choices alone because they're just fine by me. Go watch David.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
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On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 17:42:48 -0500, "Lee Michaels"

Nothing wrong with that really. What I hate is that he takes expensive antique wood and shoots it full of holes, pretty much ruining the wood and the furniture.
Come on, that wood is in VERY short supply, don't waste it!
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On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 17:18:55 -0500, "Lee Gordon"

No, that's not it either.
See, the problem as I see it, and I do like Norm and have a lot of respect for him, but he's presenting the extreme of one point of view to the newbie woodworker crowd. He's giving the view that you need a shop full of tools to do even the most basic woodworking tasks to people who largely don't know any better. If all I had to go by was Norm back when I started woodworking, I'd have never gotten started because I'd never have been able to afford the tool obsession.
I'm certainly not jealous of his tools, I couldn't care less. What bugs me is his complete and absolute reliance on every tool in his shop, even when the job could and probably should be done faster, easier and cheaper another way. It's pretty bad when even Steve Thomas was making fun of Norm and his tools.

Personally, I don't care if Norm uses his nailgun or a $20k Clamp-o-matic. It's irrelevant. What does matter is that he lets people know that there is an option, something he doesn't do. He's not demonstrating technique, he's taking the easy way out and showing off his sponsor's products. I'm sure that's where he makes the majority of his money, PBS can't pay much, but we're there to watch him teach woodworking, not the Delta or Porter Cable Home Shopping Channel.

But it isn't. It's about demonstrating one $1000 machine after another doing things that could also be done with a hand scraper or a chisel

That would be nice. Even if he just MENTIONS it once in a while, I'd be happier. No matter how many people he's introduced to woodworking, I'd be curious to know how many he's scared away because he only shows what you can do in a $20k shop and very, very few people can afford anything like that starting out. If they could, we wouldn't get all the posts here about cheap table saws, would we?
Norm certainly has a place in the woodworking pantheon, but he's really not a good representative of how woodworking should be done for the beginner and unfortuantely, that's the role he's largely been given.
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<<Personally, I don't care if Norm uses his nailgun or a $20k Clamp-o-matic. It's irrelevant. What does matter is that he lets people know that there is an option, something he doesn't do. He's not demonstrating technique, he's taking the easy way out and showing off his sponsor's products. I'm sure that's where he makes the majority of his money, PBS can't pay much, but we're there to watch him teach woodworking, not the Delta or Porter Cable Home Shopping Channel.>>
Sorry, but this represents a profound misunderstanding of how television works. Norm is not the boss, he is an employee. To be sure he is a well compensated, high profile employee but he is not the one who decides what projects will be made or what tools will be highlighted in any given program. I imagine he has some input but it is not based upon some sweetheart deal he has with Delta or Porter Cable. To be fair, this does not invalidate your assertion that the tool manufacturers influence the content of the show. I would be naive to believe otherwise. I'll bet that Masterpiece Theater (underwritten by Exxon-Mobil) is not about to do a dramatic recreation of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster any time soon either. It's just that Norm is not the culprit.
<<But it isn't. It's about demonstrating one $1000 machine after another doing things that could also be done with a hand scraper or a chisel>>
Longtime viewers of NYW know that Norm often uses different methods to accomplish the same end. And believe it or not, he does use hand tools although I concede that more often than not he uses power tools (LRod could probably give you the exact ratio <g>). However, the program is not called the OLD Yankee Workshop; it's the NEW Yankee Workshop. And apparently some people fail to understand that "new" in this case refers to demonstrating new ways to achieve woodworking results. Quite often that means using new tools. And that's what attracted Delta and Porter Cable to the show in the first place.
Lee
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To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"



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On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 03:32:55 -0500, "Lee Gordon"

Actually, I can't, quite (thanks for the nod, though). However, I do have a section in the Tools category labelled Neanderthal. It's not large, but they're there.
Regarding the previous poster's assertion about " one $1000 machine after another" I got to thinking about it and tried to grasp how many tools he has that actually cost $1000 or more. There's the TimeSavers sander, of course. And the Hitachi resaw. And of course the Unisaw--the cornerstone of the shop. The RAS, too, and the DJ-20. Maybe the DC-380. Ah, and the new lathe. I suppose the dust collection system probably is, too. Then I ran out of $1000 tools.
With the exception of the TimeSavers and the Hitachi, it seems to me that no one would begrudge the presence or use of any of those tools in even a just reasonably equipped shop. I mean we're talking tablesaw, jointer, planer, RAS, DC, and lathe--basic tools. Very good basic tools, but basic nonetheless.
It just doesn't make sense. Ah! That's it. Norm bashers don't need sense. They just need to bash.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
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LRod
Last year they were running a contest to "Win Norn's Workshop" which basically was a win the tools. Of course, the Wide Belt Sander and that Resaw bandsaw were NOT included, but the bottom line is the contest rules (fine print) said that the estimated value of the tools was right around $20k.
And as you enumerated, one could put together pretty much a comparable shop for probably under $10k. Considering most folks would NOT be doing this in one big chunk, it really ISN'T economically prohibative if one actually uses the tools to build "stuff", but for the person debating about getting into woodworking, and not sure if in a year or so he will still be woodworking to any real extent, it only makes sense to start slow, and in that case, a good cabinet saw is a GREAT START as the cornerstone of a shop, and holds it's resale value pretty good - all things considered
John
On Wed, 05 Jan 2005 13:59:24 +0000, LRod

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Of course the trick there is that they ALWAYS value the product at MSRP so that they can get the full write off (all Seinfeld fans can start the "write-off" dialog here), vs the street price that we, the great unwashed pay. My post, naturally, related to the street price. MSRP is for suckers (Seinfeld fans can...).

As far as the majors are concerned, yes. If your (or anyone else's) shop is like mine, however, when you start adding up the routers, jig saws, circular saws, drills, sanders, chisels, planes, bits, etc. you can easily double or triple that number.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
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<<Regarding the previous poster's assertion about " one $1000 machine after another" I got to thinking about it and tried to grasp how many tools he has that actually cost $1000 or more. There's the TimeSavers sander, of course. >>
I distinctly remember Norm giving Steve Thomas a tour of the shop (it might have been on TOH, not NYW) and mentioning that the TimeSavers was a loaner.
Lee
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Lee, it's not going to make any difference to reiterate fact, as you can see from the thread. It's envy, pure and simple which drives comments like this. Norm must "pay his fair share" in the words of another continuous envy sentiment. If he has more tools, it's obvious he uses them poorly - with the implicit suggestion that the critic could or does do so much more. All gains are ill-gotten, all praise undeserved, all information inaccurate unless it originates - with the poster.
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, all information inaccurate

travelling at the correct speed...except you! :o)
Terry
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No true. The guy following patiently behind me is traveling at the right speed.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote: ...

Unless, of course, he's at exactly the same speed and only 2 car lengths behind as some do... :(
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Oh, please, lay off Norm. The guy never said he was an artiste, as some who critique his show might view themselves, and has never held himself out as anything but a master carpenter, which I believe he certainly is. He has started many on the path to making stuff out of wood, and for that alone he deserves credit. And hey, if they offered anyone on the wreck the job as host of NYW there would be a small riot as folks lined up to get the gig. Do I do things differently than Norm does, sure, and there's likely four more ways to get any job done. Do you need a 2hp 220v oscillating belt sander to taper a table leg, hell no, but he's got one available so why not use it. Norm never said you have to have one, or a wide belt sander, or a lathe duplicator, or a $65 glue bottle from Lamello, etc. My uneducated guesstimate is that 95% of the operations in any given episode involve a TS, BS, jointer, planer, drill press or router table, and anyone who is even close to being a serious hobbyist has those tools available to him or her at various price points. And it is my view if it were not for Norm and the interest in the craft he generated over the last 20 years or so by NYW and TOH (i.e., hobbyist demand/volume of sales) those tools would not be available in the range or at the price points that make sense to a lot of folks on a budget. Nuff said.
Mutt
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I agree. Like him or not, he is credited with a vast amount of people getting into woodworking such as myself. Watching the show, I would say, I could do that, I just need a few tools. Now with a complete shop, I am able to do the methods he has demonstrated for so many years and I'm having a ball doing it and much of my home is filled with practical things I've made and am proud of..
I've watched David Marks and frankly, I'd rather watch Norm - I'm not into the artsy stuff and he (Norm) builds practical things that are within the reach of an intermediate woodworker. As to the power tools, I really don't understand the fuss. If a person wants to use hand tools and that is their thing - go for it. The truth is however, even the Shakers were very progressive people and used tools that were the latest available in order to be more efficient. It was a Shaker sister that invented the round saw blade and they were among the first to have cars and use powered lathes (steam). If they were prevelant today, I'll bet they'd have a complete shop, using Unisaws, dado stacks and dovetail jigs. Don't you think the pioneers would have used a Homelight if they'd have had one? I'll admit that I've backed off the brad nailer on anything that might show but I love pocket hole joinery - fast, efficient & strong. Purists can do what they like but I don't understand the need to bash Norm or anyone else that uses power. I agree on the jealousy thing.
Don

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And, I think this business about all his "powertools" is mostly baloney. Except for the wide belt sander (lathe, production pocket hold machine), I'd venture to guess that most of the experienced woodworkers probably come close to his shop inventory. As a matter of fact as production shops go, he's probably towards the low end of the scale.
I really think where he has most of the rest of us beat is a large dedicated shop building.
Just hazarding a WAG (wild ass guess), I'd think that his shop could be reproduced for $10,000, certainly less than $20,000. (I don't know how much that sander costs).
Cripes, I know guys that have spent (much) more than that on their boats, just to catch fish that they turn around and throw back.
James..

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J&KCopeland wrote:

And if you don't mind giving up all your Saturdays for a couple/few years you can cut the $10,000 back by 25-50% (Your Mileage May Vary). Of course you have to give up all your Saturdays for a couple/few years.

That was my argument for getting the zero-turn radius mower.
UA100, who likes cutting the grass and damn it I'm going to have some fun while I'm doing it...
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