Is anyone else getting fed up with Norm?

Page 3 of 5  
He IS the "power tool junkie", isn't he? There are occasional woodworking shows where the guy has fewer tools.
I enjoy watching Norm at lot more than Billy Mays!!!!
Pete Stanaitis ---------------
Vic Baron wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
spaco wrote:

Before everyone gets to upset, please note that many of the hotshot tools are donated to the program by the manufacturer/retail sales store. That's how he got the BIG belt sander. The carved wood sign was donated also. What gets me is David Marks and his marvelous MULTI-ROUTER. He sells it for something like $3,500. That and his favorite wood finish: TUNG Oil
Dave N
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah - everybody knows the stuff is donated. That's what makes us all jealous...
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Vic Baron" wrote

Simple solution for that ... hit the "next" button. ;)
For me, as one whose interest in furniture design has developed and advanced beyond simply copying a plan, it is the _project_ itself, followed by Norm's take on the joinery/method of construction of each, that has become the focus of my interest in his shows ... not the tools he chooses for each step.
IOW, the more complicated the projects that I've designed and built _without benefit of plans_, the more I have begun to appreciate Norm's take on the methodology of constructing the project, whether it reaffirms, or differs from, what I have already figured out on my own as the best way to do something.
Then there was Bruce Johnson ... proving there are some you just can't learn a damn thing from ... unless it's how not to. :)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/18/08
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was thinking the same thing. I don't watch Oprah, I don't watch Maury, nor any of the judge shows. I rarely watch anything with my free time that irritates me.

I think few truly understand and actually appreciate the breadth of Norm's experience and projects. Or his experience with tools and his knowledge of how to creatively apply their uses. Or his huge variance in project selections.
In all the years I have been on this group as well as a few others, there have been Norm bashers. I don't know why as I have never heard him set himself out as an ancient zen master of woodworking as say, Krenov. He has never, ever, put himself on a pedestal. He has never held himself up and anything more than a simple woodworker, which is simply not true. He shows doable projects that can challenge the neophyte as well as the experienced wood worker.
When I started, the best advice I ever received about woodworking came from my boss. I didn't have the tool in the truck to do a specific job that I was assigned to do. So, I went back and complained to him that we didn't have the right tools to do the job, so we couldn't do the work.
He blew up. "WTF do you think is going on here? Where do you think you are, in a tool store? Do you think where ever you go to work you will always have the perfect tool for the work? Either go over there and get it done or you can go home because I don't need you".
It didn't sound like advice and guidance at the time, but it certainly was. For those that think they cannot do some of the projects because they don't have the tools Norm does, they need to rethink their procedures. They need to rethink their methods.
Norm builds by procedure, each project step by step. He shows how to use the tools he has. But I have seen enough of him to bet any money that without many of the tools he uses in the show, he could still get the job done without many of them.

Allow me to expand on that a bit. I think there is a curve of appreciation on watching Norm's show.
When many are beginning woodworking, some folks lay the fact that he can do all the neat things on the idea that he has all the tools to do what he does. So the tools make things so easy, he has a huge advantage.
Then skills pick up, you find yourself able to do more with the tools you have, and you start to think you are "getting it". You understand more of what you read about woodworking, and more of the concepts involved.
You knock out a couple of book cases, maybe a project for the wife, and of course a couple of heritage pieces for the kids.
Now you are a craftsman. You have tools, a few projects behind you, and your family and friends love your work. You must be good at this stuff, right? Everyone says so.
People ask you for advice from time to time on their projects. You try to help, but sometimes working with a noob can be frustrating. You do what you can.
You decide that you like doing something differently than the examples of work you have seen on TV. Great! The more you participate in ANY craft, the more you realize how many paths there are to reach the same goal, so you should get that fact.
Then, the dreaded day comes; you think you are better than you are.
Yup; definitely a better craft person than your neighbor, your wife tells you that the vanity you built for he bathroom is much better than the ones she has seen in the store, and the kids pounding on their toy boxes and step ups haven't broken them yet. And that storage shed you built out back to look like a little barn is holding up quite well.
(Note: Norm STILL hasn't hit this point. He talks with a great amount of respect of people that are in all manner of trades, and seems to get a real sense of appreciation of his fellow craftsmen.)
Back to the curve, you are now dismissive of Norm and his baseball bat project, his shadow boxes, or his coffee tables. You toss in the heap his blanket chests, his Federalist style furniture, etc., and let your buddies know you aren't impressed. Hell ya, you could build any of that stuff if you just had the time, right?
You quit watching Norm.
If you keep working on developing your skills, or start to work professionally, you change your idea of where you are in the big picture of woodworking skill sets. Probably not as far along as you thought if you are around the right people.
Then one day it rains on Saturday and you are inside. Nothing on TV, nothing to do outside, so between the cooking shows you decide to see what Norm's up to.
You now have different eyes to see this work. Eyes that understand that one little detail in design and execution can save hours of work. These details don't have anything to do with the tools he uses. But you missed the details the first time because he didn't sound a horn when he is executing them, and since they didn't look that important you missed them. But now you see.
Then you start to appreciate Norm. My style of building in my business is different from Norm's. There was no Norm when I started, and we didn't have a lot of tools. We were on site carpenters, and we learned to use the tools we had. My old habits are sometimes hard to break, and I don't.
But on the other hand (see, here comes the end of the curve, right there at your post) I really appreciate a good look at alternatives to all kinds of carpentry work. I like Norm's pragmatic organization/ detailing/procedures in building his work as that is the way my mind works.
So in the end, I think you have to learn more to appreciate old Norm for what he really is; a good teacher and a fearless woodworker. Pretty damn good craftsman, too.
Just don't get me going about his finishing...
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well said ... what I meant, but didn't get across.

LOL I can sympathize with him on that ... we all have our Achilles heel! :)
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/18/08
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That used to drive me nuts. He is better now though.
I remember years ago when my wife saw him paint over a beautiful wood project with green milk paint. She screamed, "Why is he doing that"?
I tried to explain Norm Abrams to her. She didn't get it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Truthfully, neither do I. :-)
At the first Woodcraft Parking Lot Show I went to in Madison, they had Scott Phillips from American woodshop doing some demos. That was fun. Especially the part where he talks about Norm's Belt Sander. "It's a great machine except it takes up more space than a car and when he turns it on he browns out Boston!"
But I still watch the show. He's like family. He exasperates me at times but his heart's in the right place.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lee Michaels wrote:

I've seen Adam Cherubini do the same, for entirely different reasons.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Robert;
It should also be noted that Norm isn't above commenting that he just learned a new trick or new technique from someone. I know that I learn something from every show I watch, even one that I have seen a dozen times. Norm is a TEACHER as well as a CRAFTSMAN. He's just luckier than you and I.
Dave N
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The full line was: Haven't watched the NYWS in a while and had some free time and tuned in - now I'm irritated again.
I HAVE been using the next button, just not the last time!

Actually, I agree, I would just like to see him do it the "old" way. As far as the broadcast is concerned it takes no more time than using the dedicated whatever.
I would venture a guess that IF you own a dedicated molder then you pretty well know how to use it. If Ihad to make that multiple curved foot he made on the show I watched, I would have to use either the bandsaw or multiple passes with a router. I would have preferred his technique on doing that rather than running a chunk through a molder and voila! a curved foot.
I think that he can scare away as many new woodworkers as he attracts - at least with this type of show.
Just MHO

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So what? Do you really believe those beloved "old ways" would be more enticing to those scores of new woodworkers that you suspect he scares away?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"So what" could be said about any post in any thread - it's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
And who the heck said anything about beloved old ways? I don't really give a rat's ass. I am being totally selfish. I do not use a dedicated molding machine and I want to see how he would do it without. I am not interested in seeing him use tools that are beyond the average *home* woodworker. If I wanted to see how a major woodworking company might tackle a project, I'd look elsewhere.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vic Baron wrote:

There are molding machines that cost less than a cabinet saw.
<http://www.southern-tool.com/store/WilliamHusseyOriginalMolder.html <http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyId 58> <http://grizzly.com/products/G1037Z>
There's always Bruce Johnson...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vic Baron wrote:

I just thought of something else.
"The Average Home Woodworker"...
If you take away the TimeSaver, Norm might be a lot more average than we think.
When I think of amateur woodworkers here, on the various web forums, that I've met at seminars or classes, etc... The folks who have been at it for a few years and are very serious about the craft have home shops just like Norm.
It's not all that much of a stretch, either. Norm's shop brand new, minus the Timesaver, would cost less than a decent boat, a Harley, a killer home theatre system, a grand piano, a few years of season tickets to major sports, a few seasons of golf on nice courses, a hobby car (show or race), a horse, etc... Yet we all know people with custom Harleys, boats, show cars, grand pianos, horses...
Woodcraft is an entire chain aimed at the hobby market. They even offer classes to teach you to use the stuff they sell. I'll bet many more hobbyists buy stuff from Lee Valley, Lie Neilsen, Highland Hardware, Tools for Working Wood, Tool Crib, and so on... than pros.
I remember when my own shop was a Jet contrator's saw, a jig saw, one router, and 4 "C" clamps. Back then, I didn't see Norm's shop as something I'd ever have. But the bug bit... <G>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Excellent analogy. I use my tools to make a living, but in perspective don't really have all that many. Yet I get teased a great deal by my friends for their costs.
Yet, they hunt ($$$$$), plan deep water fishing trips (seen the price of a good deep water reel and rod lately?) and invest in "kick ass" home theatre systems, etc.
One of my friends has never teased me since I pointed out to him I could buy all my tools in just a couple/three years with the money he spends on cigarettes and a quart of beer after work. Apparently cut a bit deep there.

Couldn't agree more, and I think spot on. I went to our monthly woodturning club meeting last week, and while there was looking at the Kapex saws. Impressive. Sales are good; they sell one a week, religiously and have for the last couple of months or so. My amigo the assistant manager and I were talking about them and I asked him if they sold them to any full time professionals.
Only one, he said. To a guy that does picture frames. The rest, hobby guys. He told me that was the way with all the Festool tools, except the sanders. The shoe is on the other foot there, and the guys that use their sanders a lot are scooping those guys up. He has a cabinet shop that uses them for touch up sanding before shipping, and he said they bought five last time the purchased. He called a friend of his, and they bought the last three in the store.
He opined that it was a mixed bag of pro and hobby on the Domino, but as seen here, those that purchased them love them.
He and I noticed the same thing on the Fein multi when it was the "it" tool and line. 90% of the sales go to hobby guys. The professional guys that buy them swear by them as sanders, and cutting tools for flooring, door jambs, and all kinds of other flush cut applications when remodeling/retrofitting.
Strange how well the marketing works. They have 1/3 the Fein space they used to have when the Fein was the "it" tool, and no longer carry the Fein router or vac in the store. Both can be special ordered, though.
But the can't keep the Festool stuff in stock (except their router, which they are pushing hard this month with free demos which only further pushes your point!) and it has about 20' of display in the store.
I don't know how well this applies to all the tools sold, but I remember reading in one of the AAW publications that 70% of all lathes are out of use in the first year, and something like 90% are out of use by year three.
Judging by our club and the lack of offerings in the local Woodcraft, I think the wood turning rage has seen its day, at least until the marketing departments see fit to have a "renaissance" of an old craft. I would gladly bet that 97% of all lathes sold five years ago are no longer in use.
Since the Euro tools are all the rage these days, it will be interesting to see what washes up on shore in the next year or two. IMHO, they will be really hard pressed to beat out the Domino for originality and actual real life application.
But hey, I never saw that one coming, either.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
B A R R Y wrote:

.. snip of other good stuff
I think you are spot-on. I don't have a boat or a killer home theater system, I have a well-equipped shop and a couple of old tractors that comprise my hobbies. I think a lot of people who see Norm's shop see it as unattainable as an all-at-once acquisition. I started with a few tools and have added to them over the past 14 years. A few tools at a time or one at a time, and pretty soon you aren't that far off of what the NYW has.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Mark & Juanita" wrote in

A couple old tractors, eh? There is nothing that warms an old farm boy's heart like an old tractor. Brings back memories. Lots of stories associated with old tractors. Any pictures you would like to share?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mark & Juanita wrote:

Try <www.mklange.cnc.net>. Sorry, the previous one didn't come through as a link
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.