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Tommy Mac & ‘Rough Cut’

 In Interviews

Season two has Tommy all over the country for road trips and project selection. This Greene & Greene-inspired dressing mirror is the subject of the first show.

Year One vs. Year Two Differences
The short time span is amazing when you begin to analyze “Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac.” Woodcraft Supply agreed to sponsor the show in March 2010. The first show aired in October 2010. That was but six months in which to build the projects, and film and edit to produce 13 episodes. Needless to say, the entire crew was rushed. There was no “getting up to speed.” They just did it. It was all learn-as-you-go. Hours of film were captured making the editor’s job difficult – a reflection of the show’s name: Rough Cut.

When I asked Tommy what was going to be different about this year’s show, he quickly responded that for season two, the team had time to plan the shows and projects – and better planning means less unused footage in the editor’s junk folder. Filming of the shop portion of the show for the 2011 season was scheduled for two days per week – usually one day early in the week and one day toward the end of the week so that Tommy, Cleveland and the crew had time to better prepare. As a result of more planning, season two shows will be much smoother and less hectic, Tommy said.

The “Rough Cut Road-trip” feature from season one continues in season two, but it’s been shortened to allow more time for the project build. And this year, Tommy doesn’t travel solely around the Boston area. The 2011 shows take us out to California for a visit to the Gamble House in Pasadena and a stop at the shop of legendary woodworker Sam Maloof. There are also a couple trips to New York as well as a few around Beantown.

Another difference is that Tommy had more of a hand in project selection for season two. Because of this, you’ll see projects not only out of wood, but of other materials including metal and marble. You’ll learn techniques such as sand-shading and bent lamination. There are Greene & Greene-inspired projects and other Arts & Crafts work, as well as furniture in other period and contemporary styles.

Tommy keeps the show moving along – and in season two, a few production tweaks allow guests more time to share their expertise. In this picture, Tommy is working with professional woodworker (and frequent Popular Woodworking Magazine contributor) Chuck Bender.

You’ll also see more interaction with guests. While I was on the Rough Cut set for a photo shoot, frequent Popular Woodworking Magazine contributor Chuck Bender was the guest for the episode, on which he and Tommy worked together to build an Arts & Crafts-inspired Morris chair. In season two, along with many guests, you’ll also see the regulars from season one – Cleveland, Steve Brown and Al D’Attanasio.

While “Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac” imparts valuable woodworking information, I think the most important lesson Tommy’s experience can teach is that to succeed, you have to be willing to work hard and take advantage of every opportunity – and a little luck never hurts.


VIDEO: Learn about season two shows as Tommy wrestles his make-up artist.
WEB SITE: Get an up-close look at some of Tommy’s furniture.
WEB SITE: Learn all there is about “Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac.”
TO BUY: Pick up DVDs of season one of “Rough Cut.”
IN OUR STORE: “Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems of Wood and Light.”

From the November 2011 issue #193
Buy this issue now

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