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#21 Chester

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:20 AM

I think Norm's brads are kind of like dissolving stitches, right? They just absorb into the wood. :)

I just finished up the Chest of Drawers series for the Guild today. Now this project would normally take me a week or two at the most to build. But because I filmed it over the course of 12 videos, the actual time was about 2 months! On the web, I have the luxury of producing very long video presentations. On television, there are a whole host of reasons for condensing an entire build into a 30 minute time slot......its just the nature of the beast. So I would never use a TV show to gauge things like time because you'll always come away with the wrong impression. Video content on the web (and some DVDs), however, will give you a much better perspective for how long a project will take in the real world. As nice as a well-produced TV show can be to look at, I don't think they provide the best service to the viewer in terms of setting realistic expectations. But its a great format for inspiration and general tips.

The issue of unrealistic time compression for shop projects is something that I have written about before. But I come at it from the point of my concern for shop safety. I am often frustrated by the amount of time that it takes for me to do some of the most basic shop operations. My main frame of reference (at least in my head) is the visualization of Norm (and others), zipping through the most demanding of operations ... and all in 27-minutes. On a rational basis, I know that Norm is using staff, video production pasting, etc. ... not to mention that he is always showing us the one that he builds the "second time" (remember, he always first builds the "prototype").

Even with this awareness of the un-reality of the "visualization of TV furniture building," the "zip-zip-zip" of the flow of these videos affects my expectations in my own shop. I am always telling myself to "slow down, you are not on TV!" I hope that I will keep saying that to myself ... and that I will keep listening. Still have all my digits and hoping to keep 'em!
Just my 2¢ ... Chester

#22 Derekg

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:33 AM

Maybe I grew up around construction/basic woodworking and watching Norm and St. Roy with my dad that I never really thought abut this topic. There are very few shows I know of that show the real pace of creating anything. If you think about cooking shows, the happy tree painting guy on PBS, travel shows and so forth it is always condensed. The viewer should understand that and realize the show is pointing out the key parts of the building. That is one big plus I see in the Woodsmithshop program. They usually take time to explain the jigs they are using and how to make it.

Now I do get jealous of Norm when he magically swaps out dado blades faster than I can change socks :)

#23 Chester

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 01:34 PM

Maybe I grew up around construction/basic woodworking and watching Norm and St. Roy with my dad that I never really thought abut this topic. There are very few shows I know of that show the real pace of creating anything. If you think about cooking shows, the happy tree painting guy on PBS, travel shows and so forth it is always condensed. The viewer should understand that and realize the show is pointing out the key parts of the building. That is one big plus I see in the Woodsmithshop program. They usually take time to explain the jigs they are using and how to make it.

Now I do get jealous of Norm when he magically swaps out dado blades faster than I can change socks :)

... and Norm is always telling you "well, that's it for today. Tomorrow, when I come back, I will finish this and this and this." Then when he continues the show (supposedly the next day) he tells you that before he "left last night" he did an additional eleven things! We all love Norm but sometimes ... we love to hate him :lol:!
Just my 2¢ ... Chester

#24 jHop

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 08:04 PM

The funny thing about this topic is that I've been kicking around the idea of creating a podcast of my own entitled "The 5 minute woodworker." Basically, projects that can be completed in 5 minutes, or portions of projects that only take 5 minutes to do. So that all of us who have ADD (woodworking or otherwise) can focus on a task, and those of us who are starting out and have no realization that tables cannot be completed in 26 minutes (including finishing and drying time) can believe they can actually accomplish something when setting foot in their shop.

The biggest reason I haven't set up this podcast idea, is I have looked to see how much effort Marc puts into his videos (at least on the free side. Hopefully, come February, I'll see how much he puts into the guild side.) I'm a realist; I'm too lazy to put that much effort into even one video, let alone 100+.

But I agree that the initial impression from many TV woodworkers is "quick and easy." Think about it from the producer's side, though. If they didn't make it appear simple and quick, would they still be able to get massive sponsorship and viewership? On the makeover shows, you do know that the majority of the people doing basic home renovations (not gut the walls and rebuild, but tweak the room and add paint) tends to be an average home-owner (or the wife of one) with a basic set of tools? (This courtesy of a marketing professional I know. yes, the data is a few years old, but the trends have not changed.)

Now, here's good old Norm showing that a cowboy-themed table can be done fairly simply, and in just 30 minutes you travel from original inspiration to prototype to Norm's completed project. This gets added to the "honey-do" list, and the show can keep on truckin'. Never mind that the project needs to sit for 4 weeks while the finish fully cures, or that the lumber needs to sit for 4 to 52 weeks to acclimate to the shop, or that the credit card needs 2 or 3 years to cool down from all the tool purchases to get enough lacquer or shellac to cover the project. If the producer didn't make it "appetizing" enough to make you want to go tackle it, they couldn't get more beginners to start on this path.

Wow, it's late. I can tell from my rambling and profuse writing. I'm going to get off the soapbox now, and hopefully get some sleep before I add another sentence. FWIW, I'm grateful that the TV shows are out there, because I never would have followed my father out into the workshop, nor thought I could make some of the pieces I've seen done on TV.

Slowly establishing the Five Minute Woodworker at WordPress  

                                               "But you don't have to take my word for it." LeVar Burton  


#25 Chester

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:15 AM

AJ -

Your posts are very entertaining. I look forward to seeing more ... :)
Just my 2¢ ... Chester

#26 Ronald Tei

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:54 PM

Norm was selling tools, drawings and videos, most of those shows are selling something. They are sponsored. They are there to give ideas thats all.They are no there to instruct. Those that think they are there to instruct are in for a big surprize. Same with the home remodeling shows.

#27 lighthearted

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 08:24 PM

I work in television...


As I write this I am working on a baking competition show. We started at 5:30 this morning, the timed competition is 12 hours straight, then followed by several hours of judging, several hours of what we call "beauty shots" , 4 hours or so of interviews, and then reset time.
There are 10 cameras- each shooting about 20 hours per episode, which equals 200 hours of footage (all on baking cakes!)-- add to that other story lines, recaps and graphic effects. All for an hour program--which after commercials is 42 minutes of TV.
A 1/2 hour show like Norm or Rough Cut is 22 minutes of TV! What can you do in your shop in 22 minutes? and can you be entertaining for all 22 minutes? That's why Tommy Mac talks that fast!! It's not just the Boston accent!

I love my job, but...

TV is a lot like sausage. You don't want to see how it's made.
-Chris- http://thelightheartedwoodworker.com/

#28 sancho57

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 10:55 PM

First of Norm at the begininng was into actual wood working when he had his contractors saw and makita router. But once he got sponsored, he was into selling tools and demonstrating their use. It wasnt what you would call instructional any more.

Most TV shows appeal to a certain audiance. They are entertainment value. Most home improvement shows are the same.

Entertainment/ demonstration purposes only.

There are some people who actually believe they can remodel a kitchen in a weekend from womb to tomb on the project.





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