They cancelled "New Yankee Workshop" ... a year ago

Just turned on the TV, headed for the PBS cooking and how-to shows that make a pleasant background to Saturday puttering and napping. 5:00, time for New Yankee Workshop – where is it? check TV Guide check hit Google According to Wikipedia, they canceled it in October '09. Apparently all last year was reruns, which I totally didn’t realize (I guess because I’m usually puttering or napping).

Poor Norm. All that glue, all those biscuits, all that assemble-ee, and he’s tossed aside like an old pair of these, safety glasses.

I got the impression Norm gave it up voluntarily. A friend of mine is a pretty avid woodworker. He actually found the location of the Workshop, and has been to the set where Ask This Old House films its intro segments.

Too bad. I loved watching that show vicariously. A friend pointed out that some of his glue-up assemblies used thousands of dollars in pipe clamps.

I recall an interview with Russell Morash online last winter. Russ is the genius behind This Old House, Victory Garden, and New Yankee Workshop.

Russ mentioned in the interview that Norm asked for a break from New Yankee. He’s still a cohost on This Old House. Russ said there’s a small chance Norm might return to New Yankee after a break. But, it’s up to Norm.

Norm just turned 60. IMHO, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for him to return. New Yankee was a lot of work.

By the way, for every project on New Yankee Workshop, they usually end up with two copies of the project (one that he works on during the episode and an already completed example). So what happens to all of those cool things? Is that how Russell Morash furnished his house?

Waahhh for this news. I’ve never built anything more challenging than a BLT (and the B was work–all that frying and clamping and beveling the edges of the bacon so it would nestle perfectly onto the L and T).

If it weren’t for Norm, I would never know the joy of using my imaginary band saw or jointer or drill press. I spent many a Saturday afternoon ticking off on my fingers the number of power tools (mundane and exotic) he used in creating a simple table.

On preview, this sounds overly snarky. I don’t mean it to be so–I enjoy New Yankee Workshop in the most un-ironic way. Kind of like I enjoy Benny Goodman playing clarinet. I would never aspire to his greatness, but take great pleasure in his expertise.

Plus flannel shirts.

Roy Underhill is still going strong on his show. Norm was a more likable host, compared to Roy’s giggly nerdiness, but I appreciate the no-power-tool rule on the Woodwright Shop. It meant that unlike Norm, Roy would have to make do without big name manufacturers’ sponsorships

My favorite New Yankee projects were about 12 years ago. Norm was in England (I think filming This Old House). While he was there, he went to peoples houses, antique shops etc. and sketched plans of this incredible old furniture. Very unique designs. Then he spent most of a season recreating the pieces in various shop projects.

I was always amazed to see Norm copy a “one of a kind” antique. He was clever in finding ways to replicate work done originally by master craftsmen with hand tools. He always did it with modern power tools. Usually, it looked almost as good as the original.

I remember once on Ask This Old House one of them said something like “Have you seen Norm’s workshop?” to which Tommy jokingly replied “I could make that stuff if I had all those tools too.”

While I was googling prior to writing the OP, I came across a site that said that the reason the show was called the New Yankee Workshop was precisely that they allowed – er, celebrated to the point of masturbatory worship :wink: – the use of power tools.

I have that impression…

I love that show! The best part is how he’ll be all tired out by the end of the show because they don’t do any editing.

Yeah, I was never a regular watcher, but recall seeing an episode where he brought out a tool specifically for drilling an angled countersink hole (in a cabinet door or something). It was a tabletop-sized tool, and that’s apparently all it was for.