Get Ready for Roy!

So…those of you who last week asked if we might have something up our collective sleeve? Well…I’ll admit it now. You were right. I’m delighted to announce that Popular Woodworking has negotiated an exclusive deal to bring back all the episodes from the first 28 seasons of “The Woodwright’s Shop.” We plan to bring out each season on a multi-disc DVD set and broadcast individual episodes on a special “Roy Underhill Channel” at ShopClass On Demand.

We’re starting off with the first three years and Season 20 of  “The Woodwright’s Shop” (Roy says Season 20 is among his favorites). Later in the year and into next year, we’ll be releasing more chunks of Roy (as it were) for your viewing pleasure and traditional hand-tool edification.

I don’t have much else to report at this point – but I can promise you that the DVD sets and the Roy ShopClass channel will be reasonably priced (the only gouges you’ll encounter are those Roy uses at his lathe).

So hang in there – vintage Roy is on the way. And below, please enjoy this short clip from the first episode of “The Woodwright’s Shop” – an amuse-bouche, if you will, for everything to come.


— Megan Fitzpatrick

62 thoughts on “Get Ready for Roy!

  1. taco58bell

    Well, it is coming up on a month since this announcement of the DVDs becoming available. Is there any update or date of availability that we may know? Thanks!

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      We’re working on it! These things take time (sorry!) Probably at the end of June (if not a little earlier).

      1. taco58bell

        I’m happy with this answer and I’m thrilled that it has not gone down to the fate of other good ideas that have died a’borning. I was just hoping that I could pass onto my good family an excellent idea for Father’s Day, other than another tie that will just hang in the closet. But I’ll wait. Thanks!

  2. switzforge

    WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! – WE WANT ROY! –

  3. sidney_jones

    I can’t wait. He was dropped from the local station, so I haven’t seen him except when visiting out of the area. I want all the episodes!

  4. dndculp

    YOU ARE NOT BEING FAIR!! When can we atart ordering?? Can we pre-order??
    I can hardly wait so don’t keep us in suspense too long:-)

  5. waltamb

    Super duper! Fantastic! Wonderful, can’t wait to see the first episodes all over again for the first time in 30 years.

    Roy is the best and the Pioneer in his field and hee should get some sort of award for sticking with it.

  6. David Cockey

    I talked to Roy at the first WIA in 2008, and at that time the shows from some of the past seasons were available on DVD. If I understood Roy correctly he said he was personally making the DVD’s on his computer at home. I assume a more efficient method will be used for the new offering. Otherwise Roy will never get away from his computer.

  7. Galoot

    Fifteeen years ago or so, I wrote UNC to ask about prices. They were selling the videos back then. I had to pass, and I’ve regretted it ever since. THANK you for bringing these back. It’s not often one can make amends for past regrets. I’ll gladly forego Father’s Day, birthday, anniversary, and Christmas gifts for the next two years if that’s what it takes to get copies of these old shows.

    Did I already say THANK you? Thank you.

  8. Ferlopag

    As a foreigner, without a chance to watch your pbs channels I´m delighted with the possibility to own those DVD’s. Thanks a lot.

  9. J. Pierce

    Are these videos going to be available to current ShopClass subscribers (been one since the beginning!) or is this new “channel” going to be an additional/separate fee? Just curious, it wasn’t really clear from the description. Perhaps that’s still to be decided.

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      I don’t know — sorry! As soon as we do know more, you can be sure we’ll let you know!

  10. wcm17

    Whem I was growing up our TV only picked up about three channels, PBS being one of them. One Saturday when I was about 12 or so (around 1983) for something to watch and came across Roy hacking on something. I was entranced by what he was doing. Thinking about it this morning, that was a life changing moment for me. It led me to a craft I truely love. It will be great to be able to see the old shows again!

  11. John J

    You have made my day. Great work. Thank you so much for this. Preserving and making this TV series is such a valuable thing. BTW, I am glad that Roy has shortened the opening sequence by at least half, but he still seems rushed by the 1/2 hour time constraint.

  12. Sleeping Gnome

    What a fabulous announcement. I can’t wait. Thought it looked like a great walk, I am glad he found a shorter way to work as he aged.

  13. nateswoodworks

    Yippieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it….

  14. taco58bell

    You could not have started my day any better than by this announcement. The preservation of these episodes and the making of the availability to the public is not only furthering the appreciation of traditional woodworking, but an act of history preservation in and of itself. Thank you so much!

  15. texasbelliott

    This is fantastic news! I eagerly await the pre-order announcement. More Roy is a good thing. A very good thing.

  16. MarkSchreiber

    Megan, my mind is still reeling. Is there a list of all the shows? I looked on the PBS and Woodwrights site and did not find any.

    1. MarkSchreiber

      Thanks guys, I found it. You are right, there are some holes. Filling them will keep me occupied until the big release date.

  17. MarkSchreiber

    Boy, Roy’s shop looks so big, so open, so organized, so uncluttered. I know the DVDs will not be cheap so I am going to get a second job and get ready to buy 30 years of knowledge. I want my grandchildren to understand why Grandpa is nuts about his tools and woodworking.

  18. aspicer

    Megan, that is fantastic! (Both Roy and the video preview) One thing really struck me. While Roy certainly does look young, and the cars certainly do look old, the tools and our craft look comfortingly familiar through time. I think that thread of continuity is something a lot of us are re-discovering thanks to Roy, Chris and many others. Very cool.

  19. lawrence

    Sure… re-releases… and bringing in the bucks I suppose.

    With new computer-generated pole lathes and Roubo benches added in. I’m sure there will be a scene where Roy “conveniently” has a saw drawn on him first before he pulls his out and takes out the bounty hunter in the cantina in Mos Eisley.

    …oh wait.. never mind… that’s Star Wars’ re-release…
    ——————————————————
    AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to watch the originals and am so very very excited. Roy is not just one of my favorite woodworking personalities, he is one of my favorite entertainers/teachers. His charisma and personality on his shows make me feel like I’ve known the man for years even though I’ve (to my dismay) never met him.

    I have to go now as my wife (while reading over my shoulder) has just commented just how nerdy I am and that “no one will get the jokes… woodworking nerds are different than star wars nerds”

    I beg to differ and make her watch the first five minutes of “the spirit of woodcraft”.
    http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/2600/2607.html

    Bravo to PWW, and though I look forward to getting to know the younger Roy, I am pleasantly unsurprised that the sparkle in his eye and the joy in his voice has not changed one bit over the years.

    Always aim at the chopping block…
    Lawrence

    1. wrduffield

      We’ll get the jokes. I still laugh whenever I think about one old episode, in which Roy went to Scandinavia to visit a reproduction Viking village. When they rolled the end credits, on one line was “Norway by Slartibartfast”. I don’t know if Roy, himself, or one of his production crew was responsible for the gag. I have the episode on video tape somewhere, but alas I no longer have either a TV or a VCR to watch it again, so this is fantastically good news.

      William

  20. MHomer

    Wow just look at how nice and “freshly” built his tool tote looks. I am so stoked, I can’t wait

  21. MHomer

    I think I just broke everything in my house with excitement I’ve been bugging and bugging PBS to put out a DVD THIS IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO READY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Marlon1

    I remember that intro he had. Seems long now. I’ve been waiting for someone to do this. I thought the old shows were history. Glad you bringing them back. Count me in the bunch that’s wanting them!

  23. anselth

    Megan, Great news. I’ve been getting back into woodworking, and a lot of it was driven by finding Roy on PBS again one day. Question though: Why are the most recent seasons left out? Is it a licensing issue that somewhere down the line they’ll become available?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Yet another question to which I don’t know the answer. But, you can watch the current season on the “Woodwright’s Shop” web page (just clink on the link in the post)

    2. kireland123

      PBS corporate has rights to the three most recent seasons and you can watch them online at PBS.org.

  24. Tony Z

    Thanks for the clip!

    I forgot how much I enjoyed the original intro, with steps through the creek, on the RR tracks. Megan, during your next visit with Roy, you have to convince him to start using this intro again!

    T.Z.

  25. Niels

    SO GOOD!
    I’m glad to see that over the years Roy’s weekly town&country commute has gotten a little shorter. 🙂

  26. jeffreyi

    Forgot a question…will there be a commentary on these DVDs? Updates and interesting trivia and insights?

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      Seriously – I know no more than what is above. But I’ll try to find out (that would be a nifty addition).

  27. switzforge

    It must be Christmas. I can’t wait to own the whole series. Roy is the reasson I became interested in woodworking in the first place and the same reason I became a blacksmith.

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