I am grateful that Roy Underhill did not begin his career during the YouTube era, where shorter is considered better and thousands of disgruntled viewers sling misspelled insults like an angry version of the infinite monkeys theory. Roy makes long-form shows that dig deeply into historical methods and forms, creating a body of video content that probably would never have gained traction if it had started in the early 21st century.
I’m also glad that Roy is not really a “tips and techniques” guy. If the producers of “The Woodwright’s Shop” filled his shows with lots of pull-out segments on how to choose drill bits or the like, we’d all lose the flow of Roy’s running narrative. We’d lose the bigger picture.
All that being said, however, “The Woodwright’s Shop” is very much a part of the 21st century. It is fast-paced, forward-looking and visually intriguing. And Roy Underhill is a very smart and efficient woodworker with some terrific methods in his repertoire, even if we don’t want to call them “tips and techniques.”
Here’s a fine example where Roy cuts a dovetail – waste and all – in less than 2 minutes. I couldn’t resist uploading it to our YouTube channel.
1. Roy is using a carpenter’s rip saw, rather than a fine-toothed dovetail saw, because he is cutting oak for a workbench he’s building. In other words, it’s a tough wood and the end product does not need to be visually perfect.
2. If you’re not keen on using a brace and auger for this little job, do it on a drill press. Many of Roy’s methods are equally useful in a power-tool shop – you just need to use your own creativity to adapt them.
3. What’s this about a workbench build? The excerpt is from Season 23, when Roy produces a small, sturdy workbench based on a 20th-century American design. If you’re currently considering workbench options for your shop, Season 23 is worth checking out.
Season 23 is also worth checking out if you’re just plain interested in the show as a whole. We recently released the new DVD in our store, and you can find all the previous seasons there as well. Fill out your video library!
I promise we won’t upload any “Roy Underhill with Kittens” mash-ups, but I’m hoping to continue building out our YouTube channel with these short, useful segments. What are some of the best 2-minute segments you’ve seen on “The Woodwright’s Shop” over the years?