Norm

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Norm rules . . .

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Norm isn't perfect, but some of the characters here seem to think that they are. In my opinion, Norm is a very qualified woodworker and does a pretty fine job of building many more projects than a lot of the characters that seem to like bashing him on this newsgroup have ever done. So what if he doesn't make every joint perfect or finish every project to the quality level that some here seem to think is perfect in their minds.
What Norm has really accomplished with his shows is to get a huge number of people interested in woodworking and furniture making who probably would never have attempted it if they hadn't watched Norm do it. Watching him makes people say to themselves "I could do that", and then many of them actually have. With the large number of high schools discontinuing their shop classes in recent years, the number of people even interested in doing woodworking would have been falling significantly faster than it is if it wasn't for Norm. He is a very good teacher and he shows machining and assembly steps well enough for people to actually learn how to do it by just watching his shows. I don't care if he's not perfect, he's a hero in my mind for what he's done for the woodworking public and for increasing interest in woodworking among our young generation, many of whom might not have ever picked up a tool and built something out of wood if it wasn't for Norm. We need him and more like him.
--
Charley


"Steve DeMars" <no_spam_4 snipped-for-privacy@cox.net> wrote in message
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Amen
wrote:

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Charley wrote:

Watching the NYW was what got me started!!
Sarge
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The Charley entity posted thusly:

Hey, a critic doesn't have to be better that the one he is criticizing. I watch what few woodworking shows I have access to in order to learn something.

OK, so I'm interested. He did good. Now I look for other ways to progress.
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wrote:

That's right, that's exactly what he is. He's the guy that gets people who have never held a hammer to think they could do what he does. But it doesn't take too long after you've got that hammer in your hand to realize that what Norm does isn't what you should be striving for. He's like the high school English teacher when you're trying to be a professional novelist. He'll get you started, but it doesn't take too long before you outgrow him and have to move on.
The thing is, the mistakes that Norm makes, he could EASILY do better. If you're trying to show beginners how to do things, you don't show them how to do it easy and take shortcuts, you show them how to do it right the first time. I don't think he's really quite sure what his audience is. He produces servicable work, sure, but what he makes is more suited to the weekend handyman with a couple of power tools, but how he does it seems aimed at the dedicated craftsman with a huge budget for every power tool under the sun. And the wood he uses seems aimed at high-end artists who cringe when he paints over antique pine. It seems to me that he's trying to be all things to all people and isn't doing any of it particularly well.
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I watched him for the first time 18 years ago. I had a bit of a history with tools, but I credit him for inspiring me. Even still I long to be able to build what he builds.

Can you give some examples, please? I watch his show and I see little if anything wrong with what he does. I read Fine Woodworking, I lurk here, I converse with woodworkers I know and I spend my own time and money working wood. Am I retarded?

I admit I don't like it when he stains and glazes a large cherry piece of furniture, but I also admit that I usually like how it looks when he's done. I won't do it that way, but I still think he does a good job.
I would also like to know how come he never seems to inflict all the tearout I do when he's milling with power tools. Even with a freshly sharpened blade I have to take the time (and lots of it) to score the fibres on a piece that's going to show. I use backer boards and the whole bit, but I never seem to be able to measure up to Norm's lofty standard.
If he's not so good, how did YOU get beyond him?
- Owen -
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On Thu, 11 May 2006 15:17:31 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"

The same thing everyone complains about. His hideous finishes, his full-auto brad nailer, etc. Technically, what he builds is certainly credible and I'm never going to fault him on his ability to build and design, he comes up with some really nice stuff. There are just a lot of points when you stare at the TV going "why in the world is he doing it like that?"

Experience and not being limited by what he does. Once you learn what a clamp is, you stop putting brads through face frames. Once you learn how to stain and finish, especially once you get working on a HVLP system, you stop thinking that ugly paint is the way to go. Now granted, Norm is usually building simple household-style items, not fine furniture and doesn't pretend that he is, but it's when people start moving beyond simple cabinets and the like and into projects that take an artistic bent that they've outgrown Norm.
For what Norm does, he's fine, but Norm is certainly not the end-all-be-all of what woodworking can be or is.
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