Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vintage Roy

When I first became interested in woodworking 20 years ago, I relied on Norm to teach me how to build things.  But besides the New Yankee Workshop, there was another show I watched regularly—The Woodwright's Shop.

I was a power tool junkie back then, so I couldn't figure out why I was so intrigued with this guy Roy. He built things with antique hand tools and talked about old ways of working wood—things which were outside of my purview. But there was something Andy Taylor about him that I found very appealing.

I liked his southern accent and conversational style, and his Mayberry charm made the day's stress disappear.

On Roy's shows, he talks about self-reliance and human-powered energy—things that seem to be making a comeback. His episodes are still relevant, entertaining, and educational.

Popular Woodworking Magazine is working to make all of Roy's shows available to us, including the early episodes of The Woodwright's Shop—episodes that most of us have probably never seen and to which we would never otherwise have access.  Until now you could only watch his current episodes on TV, if your local station carries it, or the past few seasons on the PBS website.

So far, PopWood has made the first three seasons available and is planning to add one new season each month. There are several ways to view Roy's shows based on your style.

If you're like me and watch a program only once or twice, the six month streaming option (where you can watch any of Roy's videos as often as you like for six months for $69.99) might be best for you. If you're only interested in watching a couple shows from each season, then you can rent the individual episodes as you would any movie (i.e., you do not own them). And third, if you like to watch shows a number of times and want to develop a reference video library of traditional craft, then you might want to buy the DVD of each season.

You can preview every episode before you make your choices, which is awesome.  Another great thing is you can watch the videos on your iPad, which means you can watch Roy anytime.  And that means I can bring my iPad to Sunday night dinners at my parents' house and opt out of watching Lawrence Welk reruns. (You think I'm kidding?)

For answers to how the various options work, go here.

To watch (for free) The Woodwright's Shop 20th Anniversary episode, go here.

For 32 years, Roy has been animating traditional craft with wit and homespun appeal. He's become part of our history as a woodworking community, and I'm glad we'll be able to share that history with future generations.


Unknown said...

You lost me at 'carbon footprint' ...such a hackneyed cliche. There is nothing wrong with is what you and I are made of, as well as every living thing on the planet. It is what wood is made of.

95% of our energy is dug out of the ground...of that, 90% is made of carbon...who controls carbon, controls the world. This bastardization of carbon is merely political...don't buy into the lies.

However, I agree 100% with what you say about Roy...he is nerdy cool.

Kari Hultman said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm not interested in getting into political discussions so I removed the phrase.

Howard in Wales said...


..... and I thought that you said that you were taking a sabatical to get a bit of work done!

.. watching Roy on the telly!

All best

Howard in Wales

Kari Hultman said...

Haha! Just trying to take a break from the heat. Although, we did just reinstall the A.C. window unit in my shop, so I'll be back in there today working on a new screen door. :o)

Robin Wood said...

I'm sorry you removed the phrase Kari but glad the stuff about self reliance etc is still there. Carbon is all around, we as well as the trees are made of it. We can dig it all out of the ground and return the earth to how it was before the ancient forests locked that carbon away but our kids and grandkids will pay the consequences if we do.
Got to love Roy

Kari Hultman said...

Robin, I didn't actually realize that I had used an incendiary comment (which just shows how far removed I am from politics) and was concerned that this post would turn into something other than woodworking. My bad.

Bob said...

Wait! They're still showing Lawrence Welk reruns? The horror!
Ok fine, I used to feign delight in watching LW with my parents back in the 70s. never was my cup of tea)
I think they were all recent tapings at that point, but I'm unwilling to do the research to find out. (the tea thing?)
I can readily understand your dilemma on a Sunday night, although you do have to admit that it's a privilege to still have living parents, yes?

Kari Hultman said...

Oh, I do, Bob. I'm grateful they are still around. :o)

Anonymous said...

"I liked his southern accent and conversational style, and his Mayberry charm made the day's stress disappear."

That describes me to a T, although ex-wife plantif probably wouldn't agree with the stress thing...


Anonymous said...

Roy doesn't have an accent. I assume you do.

Kari Hultman said...

David, I suppose 3 out of 4 ain't bad. ; )

Anon, you have a point! I guess everyone who doesn't talk like we do has an accent. I used to have a strong Pittsburgh accent until I moved to Virginia at 13 and no one could understand me. I had to learn to slow down and enunciate.

Dave said...

I'm not sure what would be worse in the non woodworking realm, talking politics or Lawrence Welk.......gotta love those bubbles though!!!

That has me thinking, have you ever considered playing polka and turning on the bubble machine in your shop? It would be original!

Steve Branam said...

My first 4 DVDs (seasons 1-3 and 20) arrived last week. 24 solid hours of Roy! My wife loves woodworking DVD's: she lies on the couch and I give her a foot rub while I watch. She's usually snoring away blissfully in 15 minutes.

Jack from Malvern said...

Have started to watch the last few years of Woodwright Shop on the web. As I get older and more focused on hand tool work, I have developed a much greater appreciation for Roy Underhill. I really like the show and I learn a lot by watching. My accent - all Philly. Yo.

Anonymous said...

Learned a lot from Roy over the years will need to put this on my wish list.


Scott said...

"CARBON FOOTPRINT" amounts to politics. You are very good at keeping woodworking at the forefront but you have to have a personality. I guess that's why I am a reader and not a blotter. Keep up the good work.

Scott said...

SORRY. meant blotter. Another reason I'm a reader. Thanks.