I guess it is official now. I recall some one here mentioning that the end
was probably near some months back. Apparently the end has come and gone.
This past Spring the 21st and last season was shot endign with a 2 part
series on building a desk. The NYW web site will remain open, at least for
a while, and Norm will still be seen on TOH.
LRod, you can finally give it a rest. LOL
Exactly, Norm made woodworking accessible, and he encouraged people to
expand their boundaries and try new techniques. I can think of things I
tried after seeing Norm demonstrate them--I'm going to miss that show.
I watched and liked him in the first few seasons. Then it became
endorsement-heavy and downright silly with TimeSavers etc.
Then again, you can do birdhouses only so many times as well...
It is hard to make it interesting for such a diverse audience.
I'm surprised it took this long.
He was always an easy target to make fun of. For that reason I will
It is to bad - but what can you do.
Years from now on one of the DIY, HGTV, Create channels there will a "new
show" that doesn't have a host who does all the talking while a team of
carpenters, plumbers, etc. work in the background. It will be a person in a
shop who explains how to make things. Those of us who are old enough will
say - Gee it is just like the NYW used to be.
Just another thing that I have to preface to my kids by saying "There used
I am getting old
It would be interesting to do a study, if one could at this late date,
to see exactly how many billions of dollars worth of supplies and
tools Norm sold, simply via the creation of interest in "hey *I* can
Everybody likes to tinker, build and create stuff. Stuff they can step
back from and feel proud about. Even better if that project draws the
compliments from friends, family and neighbours.
Norm made things look easy. That was/is a confidence builder. THAT is
what makes a guy buy a tool "like Norm"..thousands and thousands of
I'm not making light of his contribution to the industry. I think if
it were known in real numbers, it would blow your mind.
Too limited. You could do a similar study on Billy Mays. Now what
would be really interesting is if a study was done on how many people
Norm got interested in woodworking to the point that they continued on
with the craft.
"Ed Pawlowski" wrote:
> I have to wonder if a bit of jealousy is involved. After saving up
As the years went on, the tools became more automated, more complex,
and more expensive; however, the basics of the table saw,
router/router station, drill press, band saw, etc still remained.
I'm a great believer in a drum sander for instance, but no way would I
consider buying one when commercial shops are available at reasonable
If nothing else NYW offered more than just a single application of a
drum sander which was in itself a worthwhile lesson.
I think I am a bit more cynical. I always that it was stupid
arrogance combined with ignorance. I was pretty damn sick and tired
of hearing the weekend guys standing around saying things like "well
hell yeah, if I had all those damn tools I could build that too!".
As an empirical comparison, I could take almost every one of those
same guys and sit them in front of a computer and show them estimating
spreadsheets, accounting programs, photo management programs, and word
processing software. By simply having the computer in front of them
with he programs loaded up enable them to turn out a sophisticated
estimate backed with embedded/notated pictures, cost breakdowns of the
job by subcontractor, and then a legal, binding contract? Not one
Better yet, I have let a couple of the larger mouthed guys borrow a
tool or two "that they needed to get the job done". 9 times out of
10, the tool is of no help. Other strange forces seem to conspire
against the barstool geniuses of woodworking.
Norm built such a wide variety of projects over the years you know it
takes a full time dedication to learning all the techniques, processes
and protocols involved in every aspect of his projects.
His solutions to cutting, assembly and actually thinking out details
of design and construction show he was much more than just a pretty
face in plaid.
I watched an interview with Morash one time, and he said that the
budget was so low for the show for the first 10 years that Norm did
everything down to cleaning up the shop. Of course all of that has
changed, but as with most craftsmen, they can turn out the project
with the tools they have. I know that a panel sander was a handy tool
for Norm, but he didn't always have one. I know that he put rails and
stiles together without Kreg equipment, but he didn't always have that
either. Same with the biscuit machine, cordless drills to drive
purpose made screws, and many other of his "stuff". I still remember
when Norm used the lowly pipe clamp as his clamping device! Yet his
projects sill came out, and new ones were always in the works using
the tools he had.
Not so sure about the envy angle, but you might have something. I'm
sticking with stooopid.
Agree completely. Remember watching probably one of the first shows with
Bob V. Norm was the carpenter on a large farm house in New England. His
knowledge on construction was unique. He did make it clear that most of it
came from his father at a very young age. Use to tape those early shows and
replay them every chance I got. Believe Norm had a lot to do with me
getting into woodworking and the business of remodeling after I retired.
Enjoyed his simply approach and easy to understand instructions.
I too lost the connection with PBS and never able to follow when the show
was on or the Begathon's preempted the show. I always thought Norm was
never comfortable being in front of the camera and the center of
attraction. To me he was a simple man thrown in front of an idea that took
off and did his best to make it work and it did. I will miss him.
Good Luck in whatever he decides to do
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
If anything, I hope Norm goes off and specializes in some other craft.
~ Something similar to what Leonard Lee is doing after Robin took over
the tool business. I believe he's specializing in medical products. At
least, that's what I think he's doing.
Two problems with your theory. First, my wife will never believe that you
are more cynical than me.
Second, I could build all that stuff it I had all those tools, a shop that
large, and the budget for materials. It would take me longer than the 30
minutes he does it in though. Trust me, I'd never kid about that. Just get
me the tools and I'll prove it to you. Of course, the only way to prove it
is to try it so you guys should chip in and get me the tools. If I can't do
it, I'll give them back.
I find it kind of odd that they wont keep the show running with a new
host. Have Norm make guest appearances, etc. This Old House has had
major changes with hosts over the years and it's still going strong.
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