Chris Schwarz's Blog

Norm Abram Closes Up Shop

After 21 seasons, “The New Yankee Workshop” is closing its doors, and its much-beloved host, Norm Abram, is going to focus on his personal projects and PBS’s “This Old House,” according to Russ Morash, executive producer and director of “The New Yankee Workshop.”

“Norm has done this for 20 years, and he thought it time to step back and do a little less,” Morash said in a phone interview. “And because the show was so tied to him, we didn’t want to replace him.”

There has been lots of speculation among fans of the show and the woodworking press that the show was looking for someone to take the reins when Abram left. But Morash said he didn’t think that would be a good idea.

“Comparisons would be inevitable (between Abram and a new host),” Morash said.

The decision to stop production of new episodes of “The New Yankee Workshop” was a mutual decision between Morash Associates Inc. and WGBH Boston, Morash said. But that doesn’t mean that “The New Yankee Workshop” is gone forever.

A spokesman from WGBH declined on Tuesday to comment on the matter.

The show’s web site, newyankee.com, will continue to operate. And Morash foresees putting shows or segments from the show on the Internet in a “You Tube-like situation” so future generations could enjoy and learn from Abram.

Morash also noted that Abram may some day change his mind and want to crank up “The New Yankee Workshop” again.

“Who can predict the future?” Morash said. “He may want to do this again.”

In the meantime, Abram will continue to work on “This Old House,” and his own personal projects, both building furniture and improving his house.

When asked why Abram chose to stop working on “The New Yankee Workshop” instead of “This Old House,” Morash laughed.

“‘This Old House’ is a much easier deal,” he said. “Norm actually had to work on ‘The New Yankee Workshop.’ It was a lot of work. And I certainly respect his decision to step back.”

With the loss of new woodworking programming from “The New Yankee Workshop,” many bloggers and woodworking writers are wondering if the craft itself is on the decline or if TV woodworking shows are no longer viable.

“My own view is that broadcast is dead,” Morash said. “That’s my personal take on it. Newspapers are dead. And print is dying. The only hope is the Internet. And it’s my hope that you’ll see lots  of Norm on the Internet in the future.”

And what about the craft itself? Is that swirling around the drain?

“No. There is a fundamental human need to build,” Morash said. “People will always want to polish their craftsmanship.”

The other question is what’s going to happen to the shop itself, which is stocked with all manner of machines and hand tools. Morash said he’s personally looking forward to some free time so he can build a few things in the shop. As for the long-term plans for the shop, Morash suggested that the shop could be put on display at the Smithsonian.

“It could be like Julia Child’s kitchen,” Morash said, “which I’m told is one of the most popular exhibits there. Who wouldn’t want to visit Norm’s shop?”

– Christopher Schwarz

102 thoughts on “Norm Abram Closes Up Shop

  1. Richard Scott

    So Sad. The Fireplace Surround, Bedroom Nook, Glass Cabinet for my mother’s teacup collection all inspired by the NYW. He is an inspiration to us all

  2. shadyb

    I`ve always been a big PBS fan, was raised on these type of channels. When I left home many moons ago and moved to a place far far away, the one constant in my life was that I could still watch PBS on Saturdays. How many of us have learned that life is about the doing, not just sitting on the sidelines through this wonderful medium! I watched all the greats, Roy Underhill, Bob Ross, Bob Villa and his scruffy sidekick Norm. He introduced Norm to the world as the "Master Carpenter" on the jobsite on that first episode, and the world was changed forever..

    Since then life has progressed, life has brought so many changes over the years, but I still have that constant to hold onto. Through good times and bad, Norm has always been there, always a cherry smile and a new project every Saturday afternoon! Even though many were re-runs, I still watched as if for the first time, always learning something new, something I hadn`t noticed or missed on the last viewing.

    So, for the end of an era, I thank you Norm, for always being there. Goodbye for now Master Carpenter, hope we`ll meet again either on the airwaves or in cyberspace…

  3. Nick Nicoll

    I have been a fan of the show since it started and a fan of Norm since I first saw him on TOH way back in the late 70’s early 80’s. When I got out of the service in 1980 I was inspired to be like Norm. I went into contracting and made it my mission to be the best contractor I could be (just like Norm). When I decided to start my furniture business my inspiration to make the highest quality furniture also came from the teachings of Norm (I have your picture hanging above my workbench). Many thanks for all the inspiration and teaching through the years. I will miss having new episodes to watch, but I hope through syndication I will be able to continue to watch and learn, Thanks Norm.

    Nick Nicoll
    Hawk & Thistle Custom Furniture
    hawkandthistle.com

  4. richard armstrong

    its a shame but norm deserves to try new things anyway the wife must be putting presure on him to fix his own house, LOL,

    and for the workshop, turn it into a school or hand it over to a local public to use as a comunity workshop, after all if you leave the tools to rust it would be a shame,

    all the best norm

    richard armstrong (UK fan)

  5. Tom Lagreca

    NORM,
    Sorry to see you go. Hope you’ll come back. You were my inspiration to get into woodworking. You will be greatly missed.

  6. Dennis Vertrees

    Norm has been an inspiration to me all my teen years and into adulthood. I am 46 and started watching him with my Father when This Old House started and then on The New Yankee Workshop. He kept the spark alive that I got in high school shop and taught many young people that working with your hands can be much more rewarding than video games or watching tv all day. The projects I have made with Norms inspiration and teaching will grace my home and many others for years to come. Dads been gone since 1997 but Norm will live on for generations to come.
    Thanks old friend, enjoy your time off, You Deserve It. Dennis

  7. Nick

    Wow, I really hat to see the show go and wish Norm luck in his semi-retirement. I still look forward to learning from him on TOH. And yes, I would most certainly visit the Smithsonian if only to see Norm’s shop.

  8. Dave Anthony

    Thank you Norm for 20+ years of teaching! I’ll miss your down to earth style. I know you’ll never really leave the shop… even if it’s in the Smithsonian. You are an American Icon. Enjoy your semi retirement with your family and friends.

  9. Scott Lewis

    The show will be missed here as well but I’m not sad. I’m happy for Norm. After that many years offering us useful and interesting programming he deserves a break.

    I guess if there’s no show to watch we should all go spend more time in the shop. Maybe bring along the video camera too. Perhaps the next phase of The New Yankee Workshop will be a participative web site where Norm has an occasional new project but lots of us share projects too.

    Mine will feature routing done on the router table I built from Norm’s plans when I finally got off the couch and followed the inspiration he provided.

    Thanks Norm.

  10. Dave Migneron

    Like everybody I looked forward to watching TNYW every Saturday and it won’t be the same now.I have learned so much from you over the years.Thanks Norm

    Best Wishes

    Dave Migneron

  11. Gary

    Started watching TOH when I was an undergrad. Then happened to discover TNYW one week in grad school. It’s been a long time, Norm. I’ve learned a lot from you. You deserve a break, even if we’ll be sad to see you go.

  12. me.yahoo.com/a/XMEwLgxrsPMbucHp.YSzOgIWIty5aA--

    I just can’t believe it’s over. Thanks for all the years of the best TV on. I spent my Saturdays watching you. I’ve watched for as long as I can remember. I made projects I would of never tried without your guidence. Good luck in anything you may encounter in the future.
    THANK YOU NORM
    Will miss you!!
    Joe Willig
    Murphy, NC

  13. Ron Miller

    Can’t believe Norm will be leaving the workshop. I, like many others, started watching Norm from the very beginning. I too bought a Shopsmith starting out in my single car garage. Much later I build a workshop 18′ by 28′ due to Norm’s influence and put a beautiful Delta Unisaw in the middle of it. I was in heaven. I looked forward to Norm each Saturday morning. Breakfast and Norm, then to the workshop. I pray that Norm will come back in HIS own show to continue the outstanding work he does in promoting woodworking and teaching us old dogs new tricks. Best of luck in whatever you do Norm, you certainly deserve it and will be greatly missed by us all.

  14. Stan Bell

    I rarely watched TV when I was young as a lightning storm killed our set and it was five years before we got another one. Then one Saturday morning I discovered this guy doing the same things that I liked to do, and he was doing it on TV! It was amazing! I had no idea that so many people would want to watch someone making things out of wood. When the weather was bad and I wasn’t busy doing something else, I was glued to the TV watching Norm for the entire ten minute show. What’s that? Thirty minutes? That’s not how I remember it.
    Norm is doing more of his own things and I bet He’ll enjoy the freedom. Best Wishes Norm
    Stan Bell

  15. openid.aol.com/PhilJD

    Well, I did get up from being sucker punched last week upon hearing Norm is quitting New Yankee. Like many others, I figured something was up when Season 21 was a "best of" compilation.

    As I’m reading through these comments, it’s apparent to me from the huge outpouring of good wishes by appreciative fans that Norm would have no trouble jumping into the internet fray with some type of woodworking show or other. I imagine at this point in his career, he could pretty well write his own ticket as to what he wants to do online. It could easily be something less hectic, free from TV production schedules and the accompanying grueling pace. I can fully relate that he wants to power down a bit.

    To Mr. Morash’s comment regarding someone else taking over as host of New Yankee that "Comparisons would be inevitable (between Abram and a new host)," I say well, yeah, but so what? Woodworkers come in all shapes, sizes, skill levels, and have widely-varying preferences. That’s no big deal. Offering different perspectives just helps us learn that much more about the craft. There has been and will continue to be room for all who wish to participate.

    Norm, please don’t say "goodbye" to your fan base–maybe just "see you later", instead. Your inspiration to many woodworkers and other fans is akin to George Bailey in "It’s a Wonderful Life"–you’ve lassoed the moon for us, man. So let us down a bit easier—say, over the next 20 years…

    Best wishes to you with future endeavors, be they personal or professional.

    Phil D.
    Franklin, OH

  16. me.yahoo.com/a/ESpCLBQSyeeN76wVUaZfTtfGwKXk1AUG9Q--

    Norm came on when I was 16 and I knew everything. My father was the one who statred watching, he was the woodworker. As time went on and my father seemed to get smarter, I too started to watch Norm with him. I, now at the age of 37, love woodworking and will miss Norm very much. But, Norm gave me something better than the love of woodworking, he gave me my best friend — my dad.

    Thank you Norm.

    Travis Walsh

  17. Art Benson

    My father was a woodworker, but I never learned the craft from him before he died. Norm got me interested again and I am forever thankful for teaching me the things I wish I’d learned from my father. Thank you Norm for everything.

  18. TS Jones

    Thanks for the show, teacher. The checkered shirt, the unprentious attitude, everything.

    …….now about that Timesaver wide belt sander, will you be putting that on Craigslist per chance? I don’t think the Smithsonian will be interested that, really.

  19. www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkCU48Glyjky-yj9lB5c-AiPU718VH6IHE

    Norm is the greatest and he is the reason I have the shop that I do. The things he made for us on TV, a lot of us have made at home. New Yankee Workshop will go down in history as one of the greats. Thank you Norm!!
    But..
    After 21 years, might Norm be limited in how many projects he can make before repeating?
    Also, if you remember, when This Old House was doing so well, Bob Villa left because he was not getting a big enough piece of the pie. Bob pointed out at the time that TOH and NYW both belonged to Russell Morash. Perhaps this might be an issue with Norm as well?
    Also, Morash is a smart guy. If he did say "broadcast is dead", he might be right. He did NOT say video is dead but that the internet is where everyone goes for information now.
    What if? 🙂
    What if Norm comes back on in a while with a whole new website, (not NYW, which belongs to Morash) with a whole new theme and all kinds of new information, video, tutorials, etc? That could even be greater than TOH?
    The NYW website will stay up a long time because they are still selling the video’s and all the plans. (a real cash cow)
    Thank you Norm and Russell.
    May you both be even more sucessful in the future.
    Thanks,
    Smitty

  20. Elmer Opsahl

    I envied all your nice tools but you showed me that it’s not the tools, it’s the guy behind them.

  21. Clint Hoerner

    Thanks Norm for all the work done in 30 years time. I started watching TOH with Bob Vila and Norm Season 1 show 1 and NYW since the beginning. You helped make the long, rainy winters in Seattle as the go-to shows on TV.

  22. Jerry Lease

    Norm has certainly earned the opportunity to pursue his woodworking interests apart from The New Yankee Workshop…but I feel like I have lost my mentor, my woodworking godfather, my inspiration and my guiding light into projects I would never have undertaken without his calm and down to earth approach to everything he ever built on the show.

    Please don’t disappear Norm! Russell and PBS don’t let the shows already done sit on the shelf either. Keep the plans and DVD’s available. We’ll continue to buy them. Print is not dead in my woodshop Russell. Just ask my wife who recently measured more than 600 lineal feet of bookshelves dedicated to woodworking and DIY books…all less than 10 years old.

    Good luck and best wishes to everyone connected to TNYW for all the years folks. You grew me from a total novice to a pretty decent woodbutcher building Frank Lloyd Wright and Mission furniture and artifacts for my FLW inspired house in Worthington, Ohio.

  23. Shawn Stambaugh

    I have literally been a Norm and New Yankee Workshop fan since the beginning at age 14 and I’m almost 35 now. I have been an avid watcher throughout and credit Norm with a lot of the skill and knowledge of tools and woodworking that I have today. I will miss the teaching, the show and most of all the plaid shirts. I wish Norm luck in future endeavors and I hope to continue seeing him around on other shows.

    Shawn

  24. Robert Roy

    My father gave me the woodworking bug. I didn’t continue with it much until seeing The New Yankee Workshop. It inspired me to buy more tools and now I can just look at something and build it. I will miss watching the show were I learned new methods to build furniture and how to make better use of new and different types of machines. Norm is not only a master carpenter but also a great teacher.

    Rob

  25. Geoff

    It’s sad to see Norm go, but I’m sure he has a lot of personal projects to take care of in his house. I think someone should shoot video of him building those projects and post them on a blog/iTunes. It wouldn’t have to be fancy, just Norm doing his own thing in the shop.

  26. Robert W Stanbary Jr

    It is truely a hard blow to the industry to see Norm go, he has been an icon to the woodworking world. I have learned so much from Norm I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Alot of us younger woodworkers grew to see Norm as a master and us his pupil, now is the time for the younger generation to pass on the knowledge he gave us. I know that I will proudly say "I learned from one of the BEST, NORM ABRAMS". GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS YOU NORM, he already did us by sharing YOU.

  27. John Wood

    Sorry to see the show go.

    Thankfully, I have rows and rows of recorded shows that I watch over and over again. I could never complete one of Norms’ projects without a recording to re-watch. The "live" 1/2 hour goes by way too fast for me!

    Good luck with all of your future projects, Norm. Know you will be sorely missed!

    Beulaville, NC

  28. Larry

    I am truly stunned at Norm’s decision. Can’t believe it. There is a photo of me in my HS yearbook complete with a flannel shirt and beard in the school shop working on a hutch for my mother. It was taken in 1979, before The New Yankee workshop ever aired; but somehow it tied us together. I try to build a nice project each year and always looked for Norm during his show to explain the tricks of the trade to make wood working easier. I have learned alot over the years. Many times I would stop what I was doing on Saturdays to come inside and watch the show; I am gonna miss that. Good luck completing your own projects Norm.

  29. Joe Caputo

    I first saw the shows a long time ago and wanted to do woodworking. Never realy did it back then. After seeing my son do woodworking, and my wife needing a cedar closet, I focused on The New Yankee Workshop. I got so involved I took classes and became certified in Industrial Arts. I started a wood working program at school and it was great. Too bad administration thought it was not needed. I then taught Math. But I still kept woodworking and watching Norm. That inspiration was all I needed. The pleasure of building, the craft, skills, creativity and fun – the same thing my students learned – will always be there.

    Thanks for everything

    Joe Caputo

  30. SCOTT HOLLIS

    LIKE MANY OTHERS NORM INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO WOODWORKING AND CARPENTRY. AS A YOUNGER MAN I BOUGHT THE BEST TOOLS I COULD AFFORD AND TRY TO DUPLICATE WHAT I SAW ON THE SHOW. NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT FRUSTRATION TURNED ANGER THAT I COULDNT GET IT LIKE NORM. DIDNT REALIZE AT THE TIME THAT HE HAD A LARGE BARN/STUDIO WITH ALL THE TOOLS HE WOULD EVER NEED. STILL I WATCHED FAITHFULLY WHEREVER AND WHENEVER I COULD. AT 40YRS OLD NOW I CAN APPRECIATE EVERYTHING THAT THE SHOW HAS BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 2O YEARS. SO, THANK YOU NORM FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF WOOD AND BEING A PART OF THE FABRIC OF AMERICAN CULTURE.
    I DO HOPE THAT YOU COME BACK AFTER SOME WELL DESERVED TIME OFF.

  31. Roger Kugler

    I bet it was the kitchen remodel that did him in! Seriously, I got started in the business thanks to Norm. Hope to see some specials, ie "Thanksgiving Special at the New Yankee Workshop" sponsored by Delt……

  32. me.yahoo.com/a/9O3SXrF2s8qRcRXhgH9yrhxtKqggt9Y-

    I, for one, will be sorry to see Norm go. Perhaps the purists out there in sawdust land will disagree, too bad. He is an inspiration to all of us who aspire to do better woodworking. He is a natural teacher and, hopefully, all his programs will be available via the internet or DVD.
    Have a rest Norm. Enjoy it. But don’t go too far.

  33. Tom

    "and remember this there is no more impotant rule than this, wear saftey glasses" Yea i’ll miss my fellow woodworker, Thanks for all the great years Norm…

  34. Charles Miller

    All good things must…etc, etc. But Norm and NWY were and are beyond good. Watching, I always felt like I had a calm, knowledgeable friend guiding me through techniques that I never learned as a youth, but which give me satisfaction today. I have a great hobby because of Norm.

    His family are very lucky now that he has more time to devote to his own abode (too many fireplace mantles not gotten to yet, huh, Norm?)

    He has my thanks for years of a wonderful program. Hope to see him on the reruns (if PBS has any smarts!)

  35. me.yahoo.com/a/2hJcZQZwtckszvfg_orIqliVyRU-

    I started out watching norm with my father when i was little. We didn’t get a lot channels then, but even if I had i am confident that we would have still watched TNYW. Norm was a big player in getting me started in woodworking. I have always felt that he chose projects that targeted his audience. He is the reason that I am an amateur wood worker today. I still review his shows before a project to look for tips. There are a few woodworkers out their my age, but often at 28 i still find that i am the youngest one in the Rockler store.

    Norm you will be missed, and I hope they will contiue to show your old shows!!! I know they will inspre others like me.

    THANKS

  36. Larry

    I started in woodworking before Norm, but in the early days, before the tool endorsements, when he had his choice to pick what he wanted, those tools helped guide me to buying what I still use today. That distinctive blue Makita router, the D-handle one he used for so many years.

    He showed that you can just add a few brads to hold it until the glue dries. Some purists including other TV woodies made fun of him and his style, but he made it seem easy and got a lot of us off our duff and into the shops, woodlots and tool stores.

    Thanks for the memories Norm.

  37. Chris

    I just "discovered" woodworking about 3 years ago and much of that interest came from NYW and of course, Norm. When I learned that this season was built as a hodgepodge of past episodes/projects, I was a bit concerned – was Norm getting tired of this, does the show not have the audience needed to sustain new production? Regardless, I loved this show and am sorry not to have Norm in my living room every Saturday morning. Let’s hope we can have the show available to us as a podcast on itunes or via a youtube channel.

  38. Jack Hauser

    I built a work bench that Norm had on his show 20 years ago and still use it in my shop. Norm has made me and millions of others better woodworkers. He was a master of his trade and he wanted to pass it along to all that would watch and listen. He will be missed my millions! I disagree that "Broadcast is dead". If Norm had a show on HGTV that had advertisers and promoted products it would be a great success. So long old friend from someone who has become a great woodworker because of you.

    I hope that after being away form New Yankee Workshop for a while he will miss it and be back for all to enjoy.

  39. Jim Davis

    I worked in broadcasting for 45 years, most of it in TV, and was always impressed at the quality of the NYWS production: Morash is a fine producer. But I disagree when he says TV is dead. I still am always delighted to see a Norm show; I learned a lot from you, Norm, and I have great respect for you. I hope to see lots more of you on This Old House. You did a lot for so many of us by encouraging us that yes, we can! I hope to meet you some day, and wish you happiness in whatever you do
    – a fan of Norm’s

  40. patrick mcnulty

    Norm thanks for getting a lot of us started and keeping us interested in woodworking. this is a sad day for all of us and im hoping we will see you in some other woodworking venture again soon-pj

  41. Ronald Noble

    As I can see from the replies there are many of us who will miss Norm. It is one of the few DIY shows that has never wandered away from its original format as shows like Victory Garden and Gardening by the yard have.
    I disagree that shows like this are losing ground, with more and more "baby boomers" reaching retirement age, and having more free time, I believe there will be a larger market for them than ever.

  42. me.yahoo.com/a/8k8th1oM2Nyie8RaLufXmUd9M2N0vI8-

    It is a sad day to see Norm leave The New Yankee Workshop but a Happy day to see Norm striking out in new directions that are more pleasing and perhaps challenging to him. Twenty-one years . . . most people look to retire from their job and start something new. Norm is only changing direction, going where he will be happy.

    Change is inevitable. At least I/we will be seeing Norm on This Old House and possibly some future "specials" yet to be determined.

    For now, I am thankful for all I have learned from watching Norm every Saturday morning. While I am not someone who is always in the shop, when I do get there it is lessons I learned from Norm that help me complete the project.

    Thank you Norm.

    May God Bless and keep you and your family.

    Best wishes in the future.

    Bob Blubaugh
    Danville, IN

  43. Bob Helm

    I just wanted to say "Thank-you, Norm!" for all the knowledge and inspiration. Norm is one of the few celebrities I would go out of my way to meet, he is a special guy.

    Bob Helm

  44. Lance Frank

    The worst part about losing NYW is the void it will leave in the woodworking show market.Roy is still there for the "purists" and the Woodmith show is there for the beginners.Norm did diffcult projects using every tool under the sun (many in ways not always apparent at first glance)I would never have considered doing curved pieces were it not for Norms highboy.And if I hadn’t considered that I never would have made my oldest Daughters piano.Thanks Norm enjoy your freetime and new projects!Maybe you could do a blog so we can see what your up to?

  45. John D. Babcock

    I was given a router a long time ago. It laid around for several years, I was scared to death of the thing. I had a lot of other power tools but Norm gave me the courage to use it. Once I started I couldn’t stop MY saw horses (from his show ) has Ogee sides on them. I even made an address sign for my ex-wife. I’m glad I TiVo’d the show for the last couple of years . I’ll burn them to disk and store them alongside the Godfather.

    Thank You Norm You Will Allways Be Welcome Here Or On My TV.
    John Babcock MI.

  46. Kurt Schmitz

    Rats. Norm was my inspiration for a dedicated morticer and a joining with biscuits. That the cutting and assembly went by so maddeningly fast made me laugh at times, cry at others. But as the years have gone by I know that I’ve become capable of building (most?) Norm projects because my skills improved with his motivation.

    Sorry to see you go, Norm.

  47. me.yahoo.com/a/2ivlXSg92crYGvBRULH2c1M9WkgYvORIBCoqj36ApeDGqczX

    I hate to see Norm go but I am a member of the Alabama Woodworkers Guild in Birmingham AL and we have a shop that is called "The Woodworking Center" We hold classes in woodworking from beginners to advanced. This week I wlkl begin a series for "Building a Dulcimer" 16 members have signed up for this class series. I hope we can continue to fill the need in our area for woodworking promotion.
    Paul W. Owen
    AWG Birmingham, AL

  48. DWBeeks

    Sorry to see you go Norm. I wish you a long and healthy retirement. I’m not sure if I would have ever really gotten into woodworking to the degree I have without your influence. I learned a lot from your shows and I’ll miss seeing new ones.

    God bless you and your family.

    DWBeeks
    Peoria, AZ

  49. Brady

    This is a sad day indeed; Norm was been one of my personal heros, and a huge influence on my life. His show is also the last great woodworking show on tv(at least in my area).Let’s all hope he has a change of heart! Please Norm, come back!

  50. Art Surges

    My best to you Norm on your retirement. I leave you my thanks for the inspiration to start woodworking, which has been a passion of mine for many years.

    My shop is a tenth of Norms, and I still don’t have all the power tools he does, but I enjoy what I can do.

    With Norm retiring all that’s left on PBS is Woodsmith show. Scott Phillip’s show is in reruns on Create with Norm and the Router Table is gone. What other wood shows have come and gone?

    Hometime and This Old House have been around for 25 and 30 years, who will retire next? Time changes all.
    Norm, enjoy your retirement!

  51. Kathy Langan

    Fortunately or unfortunately for me my son watched many of Norm’s shows and was inspired to get started. My son has quadriplegia so guess who gets to do all the work. Scared to death at first, but I haven’t lost any body parts yet. Most importantly I always where "these" safety glasses; this is the big joke at our house. Do you suppose I can have his now?

    Thanks Norm; you’re great!

  52. Gary Hagaman

    It’s a sad thing to think of woodworking without Norm. I personally think that Norm did more for the woodworking industry in the last 20 years than any other. He took the mystery out of woodworking and showed us that it can be done (maybe not in 2 days though).

    Thank You Norm!
    Gary Hagaman
    Waterford, MI

  53. Brian McCoog

    "Watching Norm" is how we refer to the show in our family. My Dad and I started watching the show when I was just kid when it first aired. "Watching Norm" inspired us both to get involved in the craft and more important gave us a shared hobby and lots of quality father-son time either working on projects or talking about them.

    "Watching Norm" is now something I share with my own sons. And they like to talk about the projects with their PopPop. So thank you Norm from 3 generations of our family. We wish you success and happiness in your future endeavors.

  54. me.yahoo.com/a/7yShRCIB0tz8nQ4yxI8qj4IUBVlDww--

    Somehow I knew this was coming. It seems that truly our greatest sadness comes in threes..Maloof, Krenov and now The New Yankee Workshop. We morn passing of the men in the first two instances, but we morn the passing of an experience from the latter. Who among us has not spent happy joyous hours watching the workmanship of Norm Abrahm. Perhaps Albert Schweitzer said it best:

    "I always think that we live, spiritually, by what others have given us in the significant hours of our life. These significant hours do not announce themselves as coming, but arrive unexpected. Nor do they make a great show of themselves, they pass almost unperceived. Often, indeed, their significance comes home to us first as we look back, just as the beauty of a piece of music or of a landscape often strikes us first in our recollection ot it. Much that has become our own in gentleness, modesty, kindness, willingness to forgive, in veracity, loyalty, resignation under suffering, we owe to people in whom we have seen or experienced virtues at work, sometimes in a great matter, sometimes in a small. A thought which had become an act sprang into us like a spark and lighted a new flame within us."

    Norm Abrahm has not left us. Let us be thankfull for that.

  55. Francisco Castro

    I have only been enjoying the New Yankee Workshop for 10 years now. I have only just recently ventured into woodworking, in large part from the inspiration Norm’s show has given me. I will miss watching the NYW, but will surely enjoy catching him on This Old House. Good luck in all your future endeavors, Norm.
    Thank you very much.

  56. Chris Coon

    I can remember days sitting in the living room of my parents place as a young boy watching Norm some 18 or so years ago. This carried on into my adulthood watching the show. Even my 4 year old would recognize Norm when I sat down to watch Saturday afternoon.
    He has inspired me as a woodworker not only in the projects but in the methods in which he will describe the process of creating a building a project.
    I, one day would truly like to meet Norm and personally say thank you for everything great that has come out of the New Yankee Workshop.

    Thank You Norm.
    A loyal and grateful fan
    Chris Coon
    Smiths Falls, Ontario, Can

  57. Marc Spagnuolo

    Very interesting words from Morash. I think there is a lot of positive in his comments. Seeing content from Norm on the web would be a great thing. But given his comments about broadcast being dead, I doubt we’ll ever see Norm doing new shows on TV ever again. My DVR will never be the same. But Norm deserves a break. 21 yrs?!?! That’s incredible. Thanks to to Norm and the crew for getting so much new blood into the craft!
    (I thought I posted a comment before, but I don’t see it. So I apologize if this is a second post)

    Marc

  58. Dave Hall

    I saw Norm at a show onetime and he was just as he was on the show, no pretensions, just Norm. Great fellow.

  59. Steve Hanna

    Absolutely the best half hour on TV, and the best host
    also. I suppose that in our life times everything has
    to have an ending but this one is the most unfortunate.
    You and your sponsors provided the viewers with a top-
    shelf show each week for a cheap price each week. Best
    of luck, best of health to you, your family and also to
    all of the people involved with this production. HI 5vs.

  60. Edwin

    The new shows will be missed… but luckily there are many re-runs to watch. I can watch the same show over and over and still learn new techniques and things.

    I REALLY hope someone else steps in to take over the shop… or another similar show is created to capture the following that Norm has. I watch a bunch of web-casts that are phenomenal… like Mark Spagnuolo (sp?) or as he is known: "The Wood Whisperer" … he would be awesome to take a show like this and make it hip and cool!!!!

    That’s my vote…

  61. Karen Cail

    Norm, I will miss you. You are not aware, but, for years you were my dream husband. As a single Mom with a house that was always in need of some sort of repair, I decided that I would not get married again unless it was to Norm! You take care and thanks for the memories.

  62. Rick Simpson

    Years ago I went to a talk that Norm gave at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, and got to talk to him afterward. He really is just as nice a guy in person as he seems on the New Yankee Workshop and This Old House.

    Like many others, I started in woodworking after watching his shows. I use more hand tools now, but I’ll definitely miss the New Yankee Workshop.

  63. Terry Stolzoff

    Norm,
    Thanks for all the memories. I truly learned allot from you over the years.
    God bless you,
    Terry Stolzoff
    Chula Vista, Ca

    PS: Measure twice cut once!!!

  64. Robert Finley

    Norm, an American icon. The human being has a deep inner need to create with his mind and hands. The desire to create something beautiful and useful.
    In the developing digital and robotic time in human history it is even more important that we develop ways to express that need. Golf is not the solution.
    Norm has been the perfect example of fulfilling that inner need. He will be missed by millions of us.
    Good luck and God speed to Norm.

  65. Steve Kindem

    Having no experience in woodworking when I first watched Norm, I was always intrigued with how his projects came together. After a while I began to think that I might actually be able to do some of those projects myself. Although beginning at a relatively advanced age, I’ve finally amassed a garage full of tools, many of which are stored in the cabinets I learned to make from watching the "Garage Workshop" episode. I’ve recently made a few jigs for the shop, also based on the NYW, and I look forward to putting them to use as I take on some new projects and further my woodworking skills. I don’t know that I would have gone down this path if not for Norm and the New Yankee Workshop, as I don’t recall any other series that instructed and inspired in quite the same way. Thanks Norm.

    smk

  66. Craig Parker

    Curses! That blasted Norm has cost me thousands of dollars over the years. Now he’s up and left the stage and all I have to show for it is a 36" wide belt sander.

    Seriously though, I will truly miss you Norm. I have made 3 cherry cradles for gifts, a router cabinet, and numerous other pieces all inspired by you. May God bless you in all your future endeavors.

    Craig Parker

  67. David Ichelson

    Somewhere I remember reading "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". The sign on the door to my workshop reads "YE OLDE CANAJIAN WORKSHOPPE". It is there as a sign of respect to Norm. We will all miss him.

    David Ichelson
    Calgary, Alberta Canada

  68. John McKeegan

    Watching Norm break down the steps of complex furniture to manageable details was the reason I, like a lot of people, started doing woodworking. It took a lot of time watching him before I finally took the plunge and got up the nerve to try it. But I did and I will miss his show.

    One thing I really enjoyed was how he got better through the years. The first projects were not particularly complex, but over the years he really made some beautiful things. That’s the real lesson of Norm: Keep doing it and improve.

  69. Rick Cory

    While I’ve never had the pleasure to meet Norm (even though we probably live within an hour’s drive of each other) I feel like we are all losing an old, good friend. I watch every NYWS re-run that I can, because I still learn new things, every time.

    It would be fun to see a blooper episode, but that is not likely to happen. I read an interview with Russ Morash a couple of years ago in which he said that there isn’t enough material to compose a bloopers show – Norm did not make that many mistakes. I hope nobody ever points a video camera in my direction when I’m making sawdust!

    Thanks for everything, Norm, and best of luck!

  70. Becky Culbertson

    I have been watching Norm build things since the beginning, and our sons have joined me over the years, with wonder over the accuracy of his cuts, and the beauty of the finished projects. Two years ago, my 16 year old son and I built our kitchen cabinets, basing them on the island Norm built, learning from the DVD and plans that we ordered. It was because of Norm Abram that we felt brave enough to tackle such a job, and were able to finish it with success. I look forward to seeing what Norm does in the future, and wish him the best. He deserves a rest! God bless you!
    Becky Culbertson
    Hamilton, Ohio

  71. christopher m wentela

    i am really sad that norm abram go. i watch him when i was 18 year old, i learn alot from him. he is the bestest woodworking in the world, who else better? i will always support him all the way no matter whats happened to him also i wish i could autograph from norm abram. he know everything about wood. is there any tools for sale or keep in stock? let me know.

    good luck, Norm Abram.

    christopher wentela

  72. Jim K

    I always thought the show was more perfect-world than real world. I learned things from the show, but not what to do when I make a mistake, or how to do something when you don’t own a specialized tool.

  73. me.yahoo.com/a/2vHjfphhtdzPjV6XdVDOA5MYge89Xwc-

    Today is indeed a sad day! I’ve loved watching the New Yankee Workshop for years since I was a kid. I’m 24 now and I never miss an episode. I even re-watch episodes that are being aired now from past seasons. I feared this though since the show was going into repeats. Norm and the New Yankee Workshop my weekends complete. I’m not a heavy woodworker. But I love the art and just love it! Not much more I can say! Norm you will be greatly missed on TV (for woodworking). You taught us so much! So glad you will still be on This Old House (another weekend FAVORITE!) No one will "measure" up to you!

    Best Wishes,
    Nathaniel N.
    Middle, TN

  74. Lloyd Mccoley

    Norms design for a drop leaf table sits in my kitchen, and I use it daily, along with the bookshelves and end tables sitting in my livingroom, my entertainment center, bedroom suite, and my camp furniture. He will be greatly missed, and I wish him the best in the future.
    Good work Norm, you taught me a lot over the many years I have been enjoying your show.
    Lloyd Mccoley
    Vinita, Okla.

  75. Vern G McKinney

    I hate to see the show go. I watched it from the beginning when he used Shopsmith tools. I wish they would show a bloppers show so we would know that he is a mere mortal like the rest of us.

  76. Kevin Madigan

    Well, I’ve got to go tip over a couple ash trees this morning, for firewood and turning stock. I’ll be thinking about Norm and his decision the whole while. I truely will miss him. I think Mr Morash is correct, no one can replace Norm. I look forward to seeing what form The New Yankee Workshop will take in the future and I wish Norm all the best. We met once and I will always remember Norm’s straight forward honest smile and firm grip. Good luck friend.

  77. Erik Walter

    Wow – this is sort of like when Charles Schultz died – no more new "Peanuts" and now no more new Norm.

  78. A. Wayne Parker

    If it weren’t for Norm and PBS I probably never would have gotten into woodworking. Thanks Norm for hosting The New Yankee Workshop and best of luck for the future. See you on This Old House.

  79. Dave Claunch

    I’d like to tell you how much of an inspiration Norm has been to me over the years. But first, let’s talk about shop safety. Remember to read, understand and follow all of the instructions that come with your power tools. And remember to wear these, safety glasses (point to your face). Now then… Norm inspired me to get off the couch, buy some power tools, and start building stuff. My passion has grown over the years (as has my tool collection) but I always enjoy watching Norm build stuff. Even the reruns are enjoyable. My wife teases me about it. She got me an autographed picture of Norm a few years ago which I have hanging in my shop. It reminds me to always wear my safety glasses!

  80. Herve Goyette

    I just learned that I will not see Norm every saturday morning on PBS. His show helped me to create projects. It will not be the same. It’.s as if I am loosing part of myself. But I understand that Norm wants to do something else.

    Thank you Norm and besh wishes for your new projects.

    Herve Goyette

  81. Jeffrey Lapin

    This is so sad. Not just for us NYW fans but for the entire hobby. Norm was the last of the true craftsman carpenters. The absense of ALL woodworking shows on DIY and other cable channels shows that it is we, the woodworkers, who failed to support such shows.

    I don’t agree with Morash that broadcast is dead for such special interest/DIY shows. The internet is a great medium but these shows worked for years on TV and would again if we would actively support them.

    Anyway – hats of to you Norm – please don’t fade away.

  82. Delbert Carroll

    I’m sorry(for me) that Norm is changing direction; I will miss his Workshol. It made me feel at home. I did some woodworking when I was young but left it for years to earn a living. As I approached retirement I knew I couldn’t just play golf and/or watch TV. I caught Norm’s show several years back and was rehooked. I didn’t always get my joints just so on the first effort but Norm made me feel as if I could. Good luck to a friend.

  83. Jim Shaver

    I can only hope that Norm finds some new and interesting projects and processes that he feels he would want to share on line with us in the future. Norm inspired me to become a woodworker and for that I am grateful and thankful. Norm, God Bless You for sharing your gift and changing the lives of so many of us,

    Jim Shaver
    Oakville, Ont

  84. Kenneth Whitmire

    My father did some woodworking but didn’t show me anything. Norm showed me the challenge and fun that comes from tackling a wood project and the pride of accomplishment that comes from a well completed task.
    I hope we will continue to see Norm on the New Yankee Workshop whether as reruns on PBS or on the Internet and I will certainly look for him on This Old House. Thanks very much Norm, for 21 years of the best TV ever and for showing me all woodworking can be.

  85. Randy Kimery

    Another sad day for woodworking in the year of 2009. James Krenov, Sam Maloof and now the New Yankee Workshop! Norm had made woodworking fun for so many! The most important safty rule: Safety glasses! We all will miss Norm greatly.

  86. AAAndrew

    I could very well see the shop in the Smithsonian, as I could St. Roy’s set. Both have been a part of the resurgence of woodworking in this country for the past 20+ years. (though Roy has been on closer to 30)

    Maybe it’s my limited view, but I find that woodworking is actually more popular now than it has ever been in my adulthood. Just look at the proliferation of quality tool makers and that is the best indication that there is increased demand. Maybe it’s just the hand tool side, but I see more and more people getting into the craft, not fewer. I agree with Morash’s answer, this is more about Norm’s life decisions, and the nature and future of broadcast. Probably the reason Roy’s still on the air is how cheaply his show can be produced. (He jokes that it costs more to air the test pattern)

    But, maybe that’s just my little view from my limited vantage. Does anyone have a bigger viewpoint? (hint, hint) It seems to me that Pop Woodworking is doing well, and the success of Woodworking Magazine seems to point to something, and that’s old-school print!

    Just wondering.

  87. Tom Iovino

    I never thought about Norm’s shop going into the Smithsonian… but it does make sense. He has been an icon for two decades. Maybe not the whole shop, but some elements for sure. Kinda like Archie Bunker’s chair.

  88. Dave Colafranceschi

    I will miss Norm and that show very much. Filled many an fall and winter Saturday watching him in the shop. He inspired thousands to take up the craft. Thank you Mr. Abram.

  89. John Cashman

    I got started in woodworking doing "Norm" projects and using "Norm" tools. Although I don’t work that way anymore, I still looked forward to watching his shows. He is one of the Giants in the resurgence of woodworking. Anyone that could fill the woodworking ranks the way Norm has deserves praise from us all.

  90. Pete

    It’s sad to see Norm go. I do hope that he ‘pops up’ somewhere in the woodworking world again.
    We’ll miss you, Norm!

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