It's the combo of
1) excess glue smeared onto the wood with a wet rag,
2) beaucoup brads, and
3) poly slathered on top of that
which gets to me.
I recently finished his "Measure Twice, Cut Once" book and was
astounded that the entire book was devoted to tailless tools.
Amazing. Norm's a good guy despite his few ugly habits.
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Norm is sort of like the Mr. Rogers of Woodworking. How could not like him?
I saw David Marks only once on the DIY promos on HGTV and he seemed OK, but
a bit impressed with himself if I remember. I was less than impressed with
the other DIY promos I've seen and certainly wouldn't request DIY from my
cable provider. The DIY quality of shows seem less than the "Other Marks"
(Jodie, the "shop bunny" with Pat Simpson on HGTV)and at least she's cuter
than David ;)
On 29 Jan 2004 20:21:11 GMT, email@example.com (Jerry
McCaffrey) brought forth from the murky depths:
PLEASE don't diss Norm like that. I hated the sweatered dork.
You may, however, diss his plaid shirts.
The sugary-sweet, Yuppified descriptions of his works
don't do anything to endear him to me, but I know that
he's not like that. Ever see an early, pre-TV picture
of him? He has tattoos all over both forearms. Ever
notice the long-sleeved shirts he wears on the show?
Now you know why he does that. ;) I hope he gets more
comfy with the camera next season.
I wrote to DIY to tell/ask them:
A) I watch only one show on their entire DIY lineup: Wood Works.
B) Please show more of the Wood Works episodes.
She's a babe alright.
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That's because he's not allowed to. If he started naming brand names,
PBS wouldn't air the show anymore. That's why all the brand names are
taped over as well. It certainly wasn't Norm's idea.
However, I do think not being "owned" by your corporate sponsors is a
good thing. Instead of having to show off the latest products for the
guys paying the bills, you just get to focus on woodworking, which is
exactly what David Marks does, IMO. That's not to say that Norm is
bad, he's just not at the same level as David, nor does he try to be.
There isn't anything on NYW that's going to teach me new techniques or
craftsmanship, but if Norm is going to be doing things the wrong way,
and his semi-automatic brad launcher, among other things, are simply
WRONG IMO, it lessens the show. This is supposed to be woodworking,
not hammering things together. If I wanted to see that, I'd watch
I'm more interested in seeing a beautiful piece of furniture that will
last generations, not in brads through the face frame "until the glue
dries" and a quick coat of poly. I want to see it done right, not
done quick. Craftsmanship takes time and not every project can be
done in a weekend.
Yes, I'm aware of that. That's why I mentioned his name.
I don't think you can say unequivocally that he doesn't mention brands
because he's not allowed to, unless of course you're connected with
the program and know for sure. He just doesn't strike me as a shill. I
have the impression he's about the show and the project and not the
marketing of tools. You obviously have the feeling that he's
practically about to burst from the strain of withholding the vital
information that the clearly visible DJ20 is manufactured by Delta,
which is so cleverly obscured.
Well you certainly can't accuse Norm of showing off the latest
products of his sponsors. While he may get new tools occasionally from
them, he then uses them for years. He certainly doesn't have a load of
new tools every episode. Moreover, as I have pointed out before, he
uses plenty of tools (the same way; for years, if they're any good)
that aren't even made by the sponsors.
Not only all of that, but exactly how does Norm lose his focus on
woodworking with all of that corporate bill paying you claim he does?
In a 24 minute episode, How much time does he spend hawking tools?
And how does that compare with all of the commercial breaks in
WoodWorks and the shilling for the DIY website that Marks does in
them? Not to mention the reminders of "what we've done so far" after
each break. How many minutes of actual content are in a WoodWorks
episode? I'll wager quite a bit less than the 24 minutes that a NYW
Then what's the point of watching? You know it all already, maybe you
should do something else. The rest of us, who are not so accomplished
as you, do find things to take away from each episode.
Well, your opinion doesn't agree with my opinion. And from reading
another thread here in the last few hours, there are plenty of others
who don't share that opinion, either.
You'll find that your definition of woodworking suits you, just as my
definition, which is different from yours, suits me. Again, you focus
on a few seconds of brad nailing and disparage the entire program
because of it.
Apples and oranges. Using brads doesn't consign a work to a short
life. Every method you use to join materials is only "until the glue
dries." Apparently that phrase irritates you and you use it to justify
indicting him for using those convenient and useful brads. How sad.
That assumes (by you) that several coats of poly (he doesn't do a
single, "quick coat" finish) is somehow inadequate or of lesser
quality. Maybe you're special and have the time, inclination, and
resources to do other finishes, but there's nothing wrong with poly,
unless you have a specific requirement that it won't meet or you're a
What a load of blather. I've seen Frank Klausz hand cut a dovetail
joint in about two minutes that's probably better than one you can cut
in an hour and certainly better than one I could cut in a week. By
your standard he must be a hack because it only took him two minutes.
Of course it can't. What's your point? Norm does projects that are
completed in a two day shoot. What's wrong with that? Just because I
couldn't and maybe you couldn't get it done in a weekend is
immaterial to anything. Do you approve of the two part projects?
And, miracle of miracles, doesn't Marks complete each project in one
episode? Is that a one, two, three day shoot? I"ll bet you'll say if
he does it in one, he's a hack; two he's a little less of a hack; if
it's three or more, he's a fine craftsman.
Why don't you cut to the chase and repeat after me:
"My name is Brian and I'm a Norm hater."
Admitting you have a problem is the first step in the long, difficult
road to recovery.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
Then why did you say it suggested ownership by Norm?
Can't remember the last time I watched Norm, to be honest. I don't
get PBS here and they pulled his shows off HGTV, so...
And there are a lot who do. What's your point?
No, any more than whacking in 6d nails consigns a work to a short
life, but it makes the thing look ugly. Norm doesn't even pretend to
fill in the holes, he just polys over everything and calls it done.
It has nothing to do with what you or I can do, but with the
complexity of Norm's projects. He only takes on things that can be
done in 1-2 days. While there's nothing wrong with that, a lot of us
aren't beginners and that's primarily what Norm appeals to. You
eventually get to a point when craftsmanship is more important than
Actually, some of his projects take weeks to finish and he says so.
There are times when he needs to put the finish away for quite some
time for it to complete.
I don't hate Norm, but he's not the end-all-be-all of woodworking that
many people make him out to be. He's a good start for the beginning
woodworker, he gets people interested, but he's something that most of
us outgrow eventually.
Maybe someday you'll even make it.
I'll take the reins. I think Marks would kick Norm's ass. Norm is a fat
outa shape guy and Marks could wear him out with a stick and move
technique. Besides, didn't someone say that Marks is covering up all kinds
of jailhouse tattoos with those long sleeves and the wimpy demeanor is an
I dunno ... I think there are folks who question some of his
techniques. I don't see how that's necessarily a bad thing.
Actually, it's not so much his use of powertools as it is his use
of tools that aren't available to anyone who doesn't have corporate
sponsorships. (And there were those problems with him using too much
glue and brads and RBS for "coloring" his projects).
Cool. So when was the last time you saw Nahm joint or surface a
board by hand?
Sometimes it evens takes a week!
BTW, several of my recent projects involved taking a mesquite log
and dimensioning it exactly as you describe. Know what? It was great
fun, even if it did take more than one afternoon.
So go for it. I maintain my girlish figure by doing 99% Neander
Just say (tmPL) BTW, I give you about a 5 on the trollmeter.
Don't worry people, I realy do like the Norm man 8^) I was really just
pointing out their differences in design and construction approaches. Norm
goes practical, Marks goes artsy. It was just kinda neat seeing them make the
same basic thing. I don't fault either of them for using out of reach power
tools, I know well enough how to achieve the same effect with what I have.
Norm really does love his TimeSaver and I noticed that Marks is really
slipping in the "word" for how he likes his MultiRouter. I can get the same
cuts with my handheld router as with the MultiRouter, it just will take more
time for setup. I do envy the drum sanders though since I really can smooth
plane some very thin veneers and instead have to make do with thicker stock,
but someday I'll practice with a sled and double sided tape for my planer or
I asked David in a note about the MultiRouter. He gave me the name of
some guys in NC (?) that build them. They said the cost, without any
bells and whistles, and without the router, was about $2,400. Yikes.
I like both of these guys, but I'm new and just keep plugging along.
I think they both love what they're doing and have fun at it.
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