Quick Poll

It’s been more than a year since Norm Abram called it quits with the New Yankee Workshop. Since then, we’ve seen the debut of Rough Cut with Tommy MacDonald.

Now that he has a season under his belt – along with some pretty cool looking projects –  what do you think about the show?

[poll id=”158″]

22 thoughts on “Quick Poll”

  1. I don’t mind Tommy, but i have to say the media attention and the phrases like ” the next norm” are working against him. He is not Norm, he is a whole different beast, and there is no comparison, he is a tad jumpy and a little scattered in his presentation, he also need to relax, and jut let some things flow

  2. I agree. I followed Tommy for a couple of years via his podcasts and website, and while I was put off by his mannerisms and attitude at first his obvious skill and desire to help people make that leap to the next level of expertise won me over. I do wish they’d give his shows a full hour though – they would be so much better since the level of detail he has to cram into half an hour seriously works against him.

  3. It would be great if they could place the shows online so that we can watch them. They air in my part of the country during the day when I am at work, I think he would be getting better coverage if they did.

    Oh, if they are online then where can I find them?

  4. I really didn’t pay attention to the hoopla much. I come at it from the point of view that another show about a great subject is always worth the risk. I think they are doing ok for this first season. I think the traveling section takes up too much of the show though I understand the need to show design inspirations. The making section has felt very rushed on over half the shows I’ve seen and I hope that they improve that. Of course, some of the better shows anymore are coming off the web and they can take their time as there is not fixed time slot.

  5. I have only seen one episode.
    He’s no Norm is right! And even more so
    He’s no David Marks!!
    There needs to be more showing and less
    Explaining. Also he needs to calm down and
    stop addressing his audience as “guys” all the

  6. I can’t get the program locally despite the fact that I’m located in a major Canadian city that gets about 35 US Stations. In addition they’ve chosen to not make their program available online or as a podcast. I will stick with Matts Basement Workshop and The Wood Whisperer video podcasts.

  7. I loved his podcasts, but the show has some flaws. Get rid of the “assistants.” They just take up the limited time. He could do some of the tasks with avoice over more than talking about what he will do, and then not showing it. Too many predone parts. Norm seemed to do more in the same time.

  8. Couldn’t agree more with Jimi. Even if it meant more commercials. I like the projects Tommy does (most anyway) compared to what Norm did as they are a bit different (not better/not worse) but it all seems so RUSHED which isn’t good for trying to communicate help to others.

  9. Yeah – Jimi hit it – the 30 minutes is seriously against him. The stuff he makes, while small so far, takes quite bit of time due to the details. He can never cram it all in, but does his best. He’s just a jumpy dude in general 😉

  10. I have been looking forward to watching the show ever since I heard about it, but local PBS station in Connecticut doesn’t carry it. Do you have any pull in this regard? I’d really appreciate you putting a bug in their ear.

  11. Do I have any pull? I pull myself out of bed every morning…. does that count?

    Actually, your best bet is to write to your local PBS station… EVERY DAY… until they tell you to beat feet or they give in…

  12. I do not understand how Norm was able to leisurely build large projects in 30 minutes of air time and yet Tommy takes 30 mins to build little things. I feel like I just got off a high speed rail while hanging on the outside after one of his shows.

  13. I suppose if I had a TV it would matter more. I still watch the woodwright on the web when it comes up every season.

  14. I like the show but as David mentioned, at the end of the show, you feel like you have been directing traffic on a LA thruway at rush hour. How many “guys” can you fit in a half hour show? I like Tommy and have no doubts that he is a superb woodworker but I don’t think the show will last unless he can slow down and explain things not necessarily better but in a manner that doesn’t leave the watcher breathless at the end of the show. The “assistants” don’t really add anything to the show – in fact I feel they just take away from the presentation time. This is his first season and perhaps he will mellow some – “a cat on a hot tin roof” comes to mind.


  15. Norm a carpenter……….Mac a North Bennet St. craftsman furniture maker……enough said.

  16. I agree with the general sentiment that the show feels rushed. Tommy’s mannerisms and spoken phrases are better left out of the show. I do think that the guy has a ton of talent and some of the episodes were intriguing with techniques that I had not seen before. I certainly hope he grows up and become polished in his presentation enough to be as watchable as Norm.

    Since watching Tommy, I can see what a fabulous job Norm did in his 30 minutes. I know he wasn’t always perfect but I really wish he had gone on for a few more seasons. Oh well!

  17. Ok I admit there needs to be a firm quota on “Sweet” and “Guys”. BUT.

    It is so great to see a truly nice young man who has been given a wonderful opportunity. Appreciates it and is trying to make the most of it.

    He also understands that he did not get hear alone. Not every one would be so eager to give credit to his community including the North Bennet St. school and the instructors who helped him realize his talents.

    Bottom line – this guy thinks its sweet.

  18. Have only seen one show-our local PBS station just started carrying it-like enthusiasm-like mix of machine/hand tool use-is not Norm but none of us are-a bit rushed-definite high level of skill-best wishes to him and all fellow woodworkers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. I don’t mind the show and his work. His demeanor is often obnoxious. He talks in a manor to imply he is in a rush. He uses entirely too much slang and often to the point where his English almost becomes unrecognizable. His over all presence starts to annoy you. He certainly could tone it back a bit and be better. His overall work and ability is mature enough to be enjoyable.

  20. Very talented craftsman.
    Drop the “guys”.
    Expand the show to an hour, and s l o w down the presentation.
    And get more PBS stations to carry it.

    And lastly, stop Norm comparisions.
    Norm is one of a kind.

  21. Haven’t caught a single episode yet. Not having a cable subscription means I only see what goes online. Since I’m mostly mobile (carrying an iPad) if it’s online but in flash I’m out of luck – pretty much everything on PBS then.

    I’m glad to see Roy continuing to get more episodes up. Plus the prolific podcasters (Marc, Matt, Kari, all the Pop Wood guys, etc) means I don’t see much use for a tiny 24 minute TV episode. The wealth of information shared online is staggering. I’m lucky I can get through the online content I want to see.

    If Tommy is as good as they say, I’m sure he’d be great with a show in which he takes all the time he needs and goes online.

  22. This seriously has to be online and viewable, you are missing a huge crowd of people who either don’t watch television, work when the program is on, or they don’t get the program in the area they live in. I would love to watch this but its not available online and I know others who feel the same way. Too bad your losing an audience of young people who are interested in the craft.

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