He sure does rush about, doesn't he? Perhaps decaf??
Of course, when your hands are the greater part of your tools, they get
dinged up a lot.
Don't ever work all day milling hard (sharp?) maple and then volunteer to do
the dishes. Death by a thousand burning cuts....
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 19:15:27 GMT, the inscrutable "Bob"
You've never hit yourself with a hammer, cut yourself with a knife or
tool, scraped yourself on a table or tool, or gotten a splinter?
Oh, you've done all that? Then what's the beef?
Leave our Good Lord Roy ALONE!
(Do I hear an "AMEN!"?)
"Boy, I feel safer now that Martha Stewart is behind bars!
I can not imagine working in a wood shop and trying to put on a TV
show at the same time. Given Roy's level of animation I am surprised
he isn't hurt more often. It is a good thing he doesn't use power
The only thing that may top that is working in front of the public. Like
Roy, I worked at Colonial Williamsburg in the Crafts Dept. One constant
concern was to make sure the public didn't get hurt... No small feat. I had
visitors try to pick up items that they just watched me take out of the
forge, red hot, and hammer into shape. I had a woman sit down on a chopping
block while I was splitting a walnut log to make short boards for a storage
box. I watched people reach into a wooden tub of corn meal, ground in a
quern, take some cornmeal and eat it. Mind you, there were so many bugs in
the tub that if you watched it the corn meal moved! I also had kids take
hand-filed wood screws off my workbench when I looked away. Another time
someone stole a hot-cut hardy that we left in the anvil when we went inside
for a break. Visitors never ceased to amaze me...
I'd been on site with Roy while the carpenters were pitsawing lumber and
other times when they were hewing beams. It was interesting to see how
willing people were to put themselves at risk... they'd walk right up to
someone using an axe or stand so that chips could hit them. It was also
interesting to see their reactions when they realized it was Roy--if they
When Norm was at Sturbridge Village the public was kept significantly
further away from the intepreters who were hand hewing beams than what I saw
at CW... I guess they were more risk averse.
Mon, Feb 21, 2005, 7:15pm (EST+5) firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob) says:
I saw on Sunday's program where he had another finger stitched up. I
wonder if he has ever thought about getting into another line of work.
Doesn't matter. Roy is a demi-God. As is Norm.
Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
- David Fasold
I like Roy. I wish I had just half his talent. His knowledge of tools is a treasure and should be admired. I know he looks like a spaz but I would bet anyone putting out the volume of work he does with the tools he uses would be "in stitches" also.
I met Roy in Williamsburg while attending a conference last January. He had
no bandages at that time.
He's really a nice person. He let us examine a collection of antique tools
and handplanes he has acquired. I was flabbergasted, as some one in the
crowd of 250 could have pilfered something. I think he demonstrated a basic
trust in people that he possesses.
I did get his autograph on an unused Band-Aid. It broke up the group (of
about six woodworkers) when I approached him about the autograph.
I've met him also ... anyone making a value judgment about him being a
"dope" and a "spaz" is seeing his own reflection in the TV screen
Roy Underhill is one of the nicest woodworkers you will ever have the chance
to meet ... any woodworker worthy of the name should hope for the
I agree with the above and would add I kinda like the sight of Roy
Underhill's sore thumbs: it validates what I am seeing, that he is in
fact doing what he shows. I have no doubt that Norm Abram, another hero
of mine, is absolutely capable, but I do have the feeling he is more an
ormament to his work, which I suspect is pureed for him by unseen grunt
I was actually reading a couple of Roy's books this weekend. A relevant
"I like to work fast"
He also explained that he turned from craftsmanship to showmanship when he
worked at crafts fairs. Simply selling spoons wasn't enough so he turned
spoons with one hand, chopped a bowl with the other and played the
Certainly he tries to entertain and inform at the same time. Norm doesn't
seem to have the same sort of motivation.
Why? Is that the way you work?
In any event, although Roy does a complete 24 minute show in one take,
he doesn't build a project in that time. He shows the steps in the
project, but he may have as many as five or more of the same part in
various stages of preparation.
I fail to see what the point of this is.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
You see it. Most all of us see it. Envy. Any gain is ill-gotten, any
praise undeserved, unless it devolves on me or "my" guy. Same old story.
The difference, as I see it, is that the hand is part of the tool for Roy.
The reason they began building machines to work wood was to diminish the
importance of skill in the hand that fed it. Along the way they reduced
the number of operations which required handling, reducing the opportunity
for the knuckle-scratching, finger stubbing (stabbing) piece pinching types
of injury. Of course, there's a new, and more horrible set possible now!
I've done a bit of lesson-planning, and initially it's often tough to
distill what you want into the time alloted. By rev two you've got a more
refined piece that leaves a quarter of the time unused, some visual aids,
etc. If you continue to polish, you either have to include more material,
or learn to tap-dance.
As I see it, Roy begins with a sketchy lesson plan, assumes no knowledge on
the part of his viewers, makes poor use of his visual aids, and ends up
crammed for time because he never made a run-through - or should I say
"prototype?" Norm is maybe too smooth, as the Norm thread also running
shows. He may assume too much knowledge on the viewer. Does anyone really
_not_ know why you plow a centered groove with two passes on the saw?
Apparently that presumes too much from the viewer, as does a prototype,
rather than staged interim work.
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