Woodworking T.V. shows I'd like to see

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Blog entry by Stevinmarin posted 10-03-2010 06:40 AM 13049 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Part 2 of my article on woodworking shows.


Television money guys need to understand that woodworking is quite popular and that they could actually make money producing a woodworking show. But first, we need to scrap every preconceived notion we have about woodworking shows. Start from scratch and look at them as entertainment first, education a distant second.

Read the complete article...

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

9 comments so far

View hairy's profile (online now)


2846 posts in 3918 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 08:25 AM

Agreed. As usual, money is calling the shots. Do you remember Hammered? It didn’t last long. Pure entertainment, with a slight chance of picking up a tip.I was a fan.

It’s amazing when you think how much $ folks are spending on woodworking these days.

How about Hell’s Woodshop? A bunch of craftsmen getting terrorized by some psycho with a shop apron.

Do you remember Build Or Bust? Maybe a remake, where some wannabe has to build something like a roll top desk in a short amount of time.

Dovetail buildoff, ala Biker Buildoff? Woodshop wars, instead of Junkyard Wars? Why not? Every tv network is copying their competition. How many shows do we have about bakeries now, I lost count.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Benighted's profile


57 posts in 3248 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 10:38 AM

Some ideas are great, and of course it would be interesting to follow a master woodworker in some way, but I wouldn’t personally want it to be a mentally unstable/dysfunctional person as Paul Sr (who for sure isn’t a master metalworker, just a master pain in the ass, who destroyed all interest in the show for me, and for sure for all of his family.). To me making everything mainstream just sucks, why does every show today be about dysfunctional persons/relationships.

Well, i guess I’m just a wierdo in the way that I don’t like everything being the same show. And celebs doing wood, I don’t see the point in this, but thats probably because I’m not the one looking at a show just because some stupid celebrity with no life is on it.

But of course, most wood shows are plain boring, step by step, educational videos and something needs to be done to make them fresh and interesting. But going the Hollywood route would probably make me sick, but then again, I’m a wierdo who is a bit tired of the fast-paced do it in a week or die mentality, I get that all the day at work (working with development in telecommunications, which is a very fast paced world), so for me woodworking (and my other hobbies) is about taking your time, make it right, enjoy it and relax. A show with people screaming at each other may interest some, but I don’t think it’s the persons who will become the future of woodworking, they may test it, but then they learn that it takes skill, patience and a attention-span longer than one commercial to another, to make anything nice in wood, and they go to the next hit-show on TV. I don’t know if it’s just me who has the feeling that most woodworkers are quite mellow persons who enjoy making things right, and enjoying the craft.

I know I don’t come with any new ideas but I think there are some great ideas in your article. Just some opinions.

Just my 14├Âre (approx 2 cents ;))

-- Jani, a Neanderthal woodworker in Sweden.

View Rob200's profile


313 posts in 3555 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 12:19 PM

I do agree with you we need more woodworking not carpenter’s but woodwork’s and put wood working back in school s where math is hand’s on

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4410 days

#4 posted 10-03-2010 12:54 PM

I commented at the site, but I’ll go two-for-one on this one. I’m with you, Steve. Woodworking instruction is all well and good, but you can’t get people interested that way. Shucks, I’ll say it: Norm could put ME to sleep! Someone needs to break things out of the old PBS format and do something to grab people’s attention. I’m not a big TV fan (REALLY rather be in the shop), but my wife is, and I can’t help but notice what she watches and what people talk about at work.

You’ve really put your finger on the problem, and I hope Hollywood listens.

Who knows, I might even watch!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View SPalm's profile


5333 posts in 4268 days

#5 posted 10-03-2010 02:12 PM

Hmmm. I’ll agree with most people that I have weird TV watching habits. If I don’t learn something, I probably don’t want to watch it. The most popular long term cooking shows were the ones that teach: Lidia, Good Eats, Julia, etc. These shows taught you how to cook and made real food. Now we seem to be moving in the direction of competition instead of teaching. I think this is the wrong way to go.

And the most long term woodworking show was Norm. He actually built real things. Not simple little crafts and he did not do kitchen remodels (except for the last year, but he actually made all the cabinets). It will be interesting to see how Rough Cut will do. I think you have to give it a few years. Seems like everyone now days wants to sit on their butts and be “entertained” too much.

But hey, each to their own.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CoolDavion's profile


458 posts in 4210 days

#6 posted 10-03-2010 04:35 PM

I like to watch Woodturner’s Workshop on PBS. I don’t own a lathe (yet?), but the show is interesting in part because of the host Tim.
He makes mistakes both in dialog and in his projects. Case in point in a recent episode he drilled a hole in the wrong side of a bowl.
I feel that Tim gives the show a sense of “I can do that” because he is not perfect.

I must say that was one of the things I did not like a bout Norm, he was always perfect, and seemed to have all the tools one could think of. What I think we need to help get more people interested / maintain interest in wood working is to have more show that focus on the low-budget small shop/ garage woodworkers out there. Make it a show that more people can relate to.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View hairy's profile (online now)


2846 posts in 3918 days

#7 posted 10-03-2010 04:40 PM

Ok, serious this time. I think all the ww shows have the same issues. They try to do too much , too quick.

Someone could do a 30 minute show on sharpening a chisel, and not cover it all. Woodsmith is the best I’ve seen in this regard, but how many times do I need to see how to pockethole. I do watch and like Woodsmith Shop, and I have a subscription to their magazine.

Yesterday we got Roughcut in this market. I will dvr this, and as usual, watch it over and over. I’m glad to have it, but it is still not what I would really want to see. I would need a roadtrip in the Cash Cab to have a shop like that.

Let’s see some reality tv in this area; real garage/basement workshops, real folks with kids and a mortgage to go along with their hobby. I already know the answer – there’s no money in it.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Jason's profile


659 posts in 3894 days

#8 posted 10-04-2010 07:31 PM

I agree with everyone else. Gravedigger mentioned how Norm would put him to sleep. I don’t know how many times I would be watching the NYW and would doze off before he finished. I would wake up halfway during This Old House and be PO’d because I missed the final product. It got to the point that I quit watching it.

The stuff that is truly entertaining and relates to the garage/basement/shed woodworker are the short blogs and videos posted by garage/basement/shed woodworkers. My suggestion would be to do a compilation type of show that takes these short vids and compiles them into a 30 minute show. You could give the contributors a fee or free schwag and that would keep content coming in. Maybe Lumberjocks can pitch the idea to some channels/networks and get LJs to offer their material.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4099 days

#9 posted 10-04-2010 07:39 PM

Much like your suggestion for “I Got Axed” is a show called “Canada’s Worst Handyman” where a series of people nominated by their ‘friends’ demonstrate just how terrible their home improvement skills are whilst at a home renno rehab centre. It is very entertaining and kind of scary knowing that there are people like this who own power tools!

Beknighted there is a fellow with two tv shows here in Canada, his name is Mike Holmes and his motto is ‘do it right’. The two shows are “Holmes on Homes” where he saves nieve people whom have spent obscene amounts of money on home rennos because of unethical contractors and the second is “Holmes Inspections” (I think, I’ve not seen this one as the day job keeps interfering with my shop and tv time :-), it is about, as the name suggests, Mike doing home inspections for homeowners. He is a pretty entertaining guy, and a real life contractor who somehow got caught up in the television business.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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