New Yankee Workshop
#11
A little back ground. My wife found some old This Old House shows on tv and asked if I would like to watch a couple with her. She couldn't get even one to load, electronics is not our generation. Anyway I had seen the New Yankee workshop show up on YouTube. I typed it into the search area and I found I had excess to all the episodes. I selected the second episode which was a work bench, which was from 1979. Setting the stage. I had purchased the same RAS  in 1973.  I used it along with a Craftsman router until 1978 or 1978 when I sold it and purchased a Shopsmith. So here I was with the 5 tools needed to build stuff along with a Craftsman router and I had also purchased a router table. It is now 1977. Just so you understand how things were. I was making $6.25 an hour at John Deere tractor works as a Tool and De Maker. It was labor grade 1 and most production personnel were 4 or below. The router cost $39 and the table also cost about $39. I could be wrong but I think the Craftsman RAS was $279 which I sold and the Shopsmith was $825 plus shipping.

Any way Norm was at the Hancock shaker village and showed the famous 12 foot long bench. Back at the shop he showed an European bench which he stated cost over $700 And then proceeded to build a bench for a little over $100. He proceeded to build it step by step, and I realized I could build stuff too and I took off in my hobby. Up until that point the only information one could get is from Workbench and Popular Machinic. About that time Woodsmith came out. The first issue I saw was issue 22. I used to read each issue at least 4 times ,word for word.

So here I am on Woodsmith's forum around 45 years later reminiscing about the past.  I realize now that they were just learning how to produce a show like that just as I was in learning also. I did not agree with everything he did, but I watched the show faithfully anyway. On the show, anyway the second episode there was no concern for dust collection. Today one has to have a Hepa dust collector hooked by a hose to a random orbital sander to capture everything, like the dust bag that came with it is bad and only can get 95%. It just seems that every thing is being taken to extremes today and the younger generations is not buying in.

Norm connected with you on a personal level. Like he was talking just to you. He did things at the grass roots level. To day it seem that everything that is done is just trying to sell you something.

Anyway Norm showed the workbench at Hancock shaker village. Scott Landius has a picture of it in his book. I went to great lengths to match color using chalk paint, glaze and Antique Oil. Here is my bench that was somewhat inspired by the shaker bench. And like a lot of benches it is a mess most of the time.

   

   

   

Ps I enjoyed Norms Show and I am planning to go back and watch them again. I will be reminded as to why I love working with wood. I can't afford a domino. But I can still cut a mortice. Actually I can afford a domino, I just do not see the need, there for I have no plans to buy one. Please do not read into something I didn't say. There is nothing wrong with a Domino and if you want one,  buy it. It is just not for me. 

Tom
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#12
Great story an trip down memory lane Tom. Enjoyed it in so many different ways. Similar story line here too, except I don't have a nice bench like yours nor did I own a ShopSmith.
The more interesting aspect in 1977/78 (and beyond) I was working at our local, small community Deere ag dealer as the Service Manager. I think I was making about $6/hour.

Even better, who knows, I may have actually seen you for about that time, I was on one of the Dealer/Customer winter fly-ins where we visited and toured all of the major manufacturing facilities...Moline, Waterloo, Bettendorf, Dubuque, etc. Weren't you the guy wearing the John Deere green cap, safety glasses and steel toe shoes? ;=)
If you continue to cut corners, you'll end up going in circles!

It's my thumb so I'll hit it if I want to!
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#13
(01-01-2024, 02:28 PM)Grandpa Dave Wrote: Great story an trip down memory lane Tom. Enjoyed it in so many different ways. Similar story line here too, except I don't have a nice bench like yours nor did I own a Shopsmith.
The more interesting aspect in 1977/78 (and beyond) I was working at our local, small community Deere ag dealer as the Service Manager. I think I was making about $6/hour.

Even better, who knows, I may have actually seen you for about that time, I was on one of the Dealer/Customer winter fly-ins where we visited and toured all of the major manufacturing facilities...Moline, Waterloo, Bettendorf, Dubuque, etc. Weren't you the guy wearing the John Deere green cap, safety glasses and steel toe shoes? ;=)

I am sorry to say you never met me. I was in the press room at that time. Never wore a hat at that time but I did wear safety glasses, steel toed shoes and ear plugs. If I remember right Moline was headquarters and Combines, Waterloo was tractors ( where I worked) Bettendorf. I do not have a clue and Dubuque is construction equipment.

 I am getting into Shopsmith territory because I also watched episode 3 and Norm used a Shopsmith a lot to build a drop leaf table.  I do not plan on getting into why but I sold the Shopsmith and went with stand alone machines.  But the Mark 5 is weak in every way but it has a couple of features I really missed and that was the Horizontal Drill and Disc Sander so I bought another Shopsmith. Because to my knowledge no one is making a horizontal drill press today except for Shopsmith. I have since bought 3 sanding discs because it is faster, easier and more cost effective to change discs than sand paper on the disc. It also goes up into a vertical drill press if my drill press is otherwise tied up.

So if you have the room it is never to late to consider one. 

Great talking with you

Tom
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#14
I just realized I have two of the same pictures so here is the lost one. The one at the Handcock village had a leg vise.

   
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#15
Norm was the best. I'm certain I've seen every single episode. NYW and TOH were must viewing every week.

Doug

P.S. Very nice bench, indeed!
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#16
I loved the NYW and watched it every Saturday when it was current. I've also watched every episode on the website.
Frank
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#17
I do not know when I first saw either a picture or the bench at Handcock Village or if it was in a video, but when I bought Scott Landis's book, The Workbench, the bench with measured drawings was in there. Thought the painted portion would be kind of neat to I went and got all kind of color samples. To make things look old I kind of like Chalk paint, it sands easily. I prefer Van Dyke Brown glaze by General finishes which I bought from the Woodsmith store. After distressing the paint, wiping it with glaze, the glaze dries real fast on the chalk paint. I wipe on a coat of Antique oil by Minwax. Anyway not being able to actually compare color for color I think I did fairly well from a picture. 

Anyway I posted pictures just to show the influence a Shaker Craftsman had on my work, from some give or take 200 years ago. There are times when I wish I could work left handed at a bench so I put a left handed leg vise on the back side. The shaker bench had a tail vise instead of a wagon vise but one tail vise was enough to build. 

The shoulder vise and tail vise on the front side of the bench was influenced by Frank Klausz. And watching the 2nd episode of the first year of the New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abrams inspired me to write all of this.
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#18
I miss seeing you Tom

To me it was a sad day when NYW stopped.
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#19
I was more into TOH than NYW because I was remodeling my house. Eventually, I started watching NYW because he showed techniques that I could use for remodeling. Took me a while to get into furniture building, but once I got started there was no looking back.
I miss Norm, he was just a plain spoken guy who never talked down to you and didn’t seem to have an agenda except to keep you interested in the hobby.
He did sell a lot of Delta tools!
VH07V  
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#20
I have built most of the wooden furniture in our house and many other smaller projects from watching Norm and thinking "I can do that." I would really like to know how many garage workshops and hobby woodworkers started by watching NYW.
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