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The Fine WoodWorking blog reports that Boston’s WGBH will be producing a new PBS woodworking show featuring Thomas J. MacDonald (a.k.a. T. Chisel from his series of web videos). Maybe we’ll have someone to fill the void created when Norm retired from TV?

Thomas, who has previously been in Bob Vila’s Home Again show on Modern Colonial (the video can be accessed here), intends to focus the new show on furniture making using both hand-tool and power-tool techniques, but also include newer technologies like CNC. Filming will mainly be done at his shop in Canton, MA. His 207 Woodworking site has several video podcasts for projects ranging from a step stool to a bombe secretary.

The Federal Breakfront shown above is one example of his craftsmanship. More details are available on his personal website.

207 Woodworking [Thomas J. MacDonald]

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11 Responses to New PBS Woodworking Show

  1. steve says:

    No one can replace Norm’s character and charm

  2. Coach James says:

    T. Chisel?

  3. greg says:

    Cool! Looking forward to checking it out.

  4. ShopMonger says:

    Also The WoodWhisperer is on PBS now………… Marc Spagnuolo..


  5. Eric Dykstra says:

    My question is what is there to add that norm hasn’t already done…probably several times. Are they really going to add anything new?

  6. ShopMonger says:

    Eric, to answer your question. there is still more to be found in my craft. I will never take away from His NormNess….. i thins there is always more and even better there is always another way to do things. Norm did lots of shaker stuff, and Tommy does some great artistic work…. search for his Bombay secretary series. As for Marc S. he is fantastic at showing the techniques, in fact is probably the best at showing techniques.


  7. Pezdad says:

    I would love to see Marc on the TV, I agree with ShopMonger that he is great at showing techniques. I am not anticipating much from T-Chisel, because I tries to watch his web videos and they were amazingly boring. For those people who complain about Norm or David Marks finishing a table in one show, on one video T-Chisel worked on flattening a tiny piece of trim for about an hour, yabbering on all the time. His furinture looks quality (though way too fiddley for my taste) but it would have taken him about 100 years to finish it if he worked at the pace of the web video I saw. Hopefully with a good PBS editor it will be watchable.

    Neither will be Norm, but then again who would want a fake Norm? Hopefully they will do their own thing and be good at it.

  8. Kurt says:

    I miss Norm already.

    My local PBS affiliate replaced NYW with American Woodshop with Scott Phillips. He’s seems like a decent guy, and the show is educational, but it just lacks…something…

    To be sure, there are a lot of subjects that can still be covered in woodworking shows; I would like to learn a lot more about CNC carving for one. I’d like to see a show on those fancy decorative turning lathes, and shows on how set up and use the basic shop equipment. There is plenty of material for the next Norm

  9. ShopMonger says:

    Pezdad, I have watched T-chisel from the beginning, and yeah he is a tad boring, but he does do fine work. I am interested to see what he puts on TV. Marc S is already on PBS in some areas, just call your local pbs affiliate to get him…… or watch his Podcast…..

    Kurt: Scott Phillips is a great teacher…….lots of great information, he will go down as one of the greats…..


  10. paganwonder says:

    Norm opened the door and made woodworking accessible to the masses- but it was just the beginning- just like Bart and Jerry and Ray and Paul were just the beginning. I never thought back then that they would EVER be surpassed.

  11. Bob says:


    Is this what you meant? 🙂

    In his 1843 report to Congress, the then commissioner of the Patent Office, Henry L. Ellsworth, included the following comment: “The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.”

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