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Late last week Tommy MacDonald posted a tidbit about the new WGBH television show that he’s hosting, so technically things were official then. But we have more information about the show, including when it’s taping, how many episodes are scheduled and a few juicy details about what could be the first show. We also now know what company stepped up to sponsor the newest woodworking show.

Congratulations to Woodcraft for becoming the show’s sole sponsor. We’re all familiar with how Woodcraft has sponsored, backed or been involved with many woodworking shows. And now the company is in front on this show, as well. We should all take our hats off to the company that has been helping woodworkers complete countless projects since 1928, and has delivered woodworking education to our homes via programming such as this for many years , a heart-felt “thank you ” to Woodcraft, and to the folks at WGBH.

WGBH is not wasting any time in getting things rolling. This Monday, May 24th, the show’s producer, the crew and its host began taping the first of 13 episodes of “Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac” , the official title , and the team was not in the studio. Where did they go right out of the gate? That’s the cool part. The first episode to hit tape is on location at the Old North Church in Boston. Laurie Donnelly, an executive producer and director with WGBH, tells me that this show , which may or may not be the first to air (that decision will be made after a few episodes are in the can) , focuses around mouldings, including dentil moulding, found at the historic church and how mouldings can influence your project.

Also, in each episode the show visits an accomplished woodworker, so viewers get insight into 13 different cabinetmakers throughout the first year’s run. Tied in with the Old North Church episode is a trip to talk with Phil Lowe of the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. Lowe certainly meets the criteria of an accomplished woodworker. And, “there is going to be a large online component tied in with the show,” says Donnelly. That is something we all would like to see.

While I didn’t get a firm launch date, and as of yet, I don’t have anywhere to send you for more information, I am told that a dedicated web site will be up and running about a month prior to when the first show airs.

An official press release is scheduled for later this week or sometime next week, so anything new will be announced then. We’ll keep you informed as to when you might get your first look at the new show , maybe we can get WGBH to pop up a short video just to wet our whistle. I asked Donnelly about this and she admitted it was something WGBH had discussed. Check back for more details.

– Glen D. Huey

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  • Jerry Boshear

    Regarding the title, I think it is missing a hyphen.

    Rough Cut – Woodworking with Tommy Mac

    That’s how I saw it written when I first read about this.

    It reads better that way.


  • Neil Brooks

    The title. Hm.

    I had a 2002 Prius. Reviews of the car griped that one of the buttons, for the stereo, was hidden from the driver’s view by the steering wheel.


    But it was a problem ONLY the first time you drove the car.

    I happen to like the title, but … for those who don’t … I’m betting a buck you’ll never think about it again, after episode one 😉

    I just met these guys, last evening, and got a better understanding of the concept, and how it will be different from what’s already been done.

    I think that the concerns already voiced, here, WERE thought of, in advance, AND dealt with … smartly.

    While — of course — they had me at ‘new woodworking series,’ I’m positive they’re going to be hugely successful, and can’t wait for the first episode to air !!

    Let the sawdust fly !!

  • Chris C

    "Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac" ? The marketing
    team really needs to sit down and think this one
    through. Call that title a Mulligan and try again.

    Love the idea for the show, just not the title.


  • Al Navas

    Congratulations to Tommy, and KUDOS to WGBH, and Woodcraft for taking on this. I expect it will be a great show, full of not only the woodworking part(s), but also of the *people*. I know that Tommy wanted it this way, and I am happy that WGBH and Woodcraft will see to it that it is done.

    It is terrific news! But I also have to wonder if the message is getting out. How can it not, given that Glen Huey has written this article? I, too, am puzzled about the lack of response and Comments to the article…

    Now my only hope is that, somehow, the show will be available in my area of NW Missouri. For some reason, the local stations, including PBS, etc., are not allowed to broadcast on Dish Network. Maybe podcasting the show will be an option available to us starved for Tommy’s work.


  • Rob Young

    +1 Neil! 🙂

    Congratulations to Tommy and here’s hoping that The Rough Cut Show gets onto the national PBS feed (Create Channel for example).

  • Neil Lamens

    What I find interesting in all the comments or lack of comments is that here is a fellow internet woodworker who produced one of the first woodworking video podcasts and took a "craftsman’s path" in a bumper car to the heights of a multi-year PBS deal. This isn’t Wayne and Garth on public access cable, this is with the pinnacle of public broadcasting WGBH and sponsored by Woodcraft.

    The story is how the heck did Tommy MacDonald,a fellow internet woodworker go from itunes to a WGBH Production.

    I had the pleasure of attending a RISD Museum showing of Tommy’s piece….."the Bom" as its affectionately called. As a point of reference for readers, the same RISD Museum that houses Townsend, Goddard, Eames, Panton, Tage Frid, etc.

    What stuck out most for me was a comment made by the curator of the RISD Museum.

    During the course of open discussion, the curator made the comment, that this "Boston Bombe Secretary" is the first interpretation of the form in 200 years.

    That’s just one part of how he did it, but when is the entire back story going to be told??? Podcast to WGBH is unbelievably fantastic.

    A fellow woodworking podcaster gets the opportunity to go BIG!!!

  • staggerlee

    This sounds promising….Maybe.

    Hopefully it won’t end up being another Russell Morash product placement show. I would much rather WGBH didn’t produce a replacement for Norm, because it will kill any hope of ever getting the Woodwright’s Shop in the Boston Market.

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