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From Fine Woodworking, “the New Yankee Workshop is ending after 21 years on PBS.” But don’t throw out all your plaid shirts yet because Master Carpenter Norm Abram will continue working on This Old House.

“We’ve had a great run, built challenging projects, met wonderful woodworkers and received loyal support from millions of viewers,” Abram said in a statement.

The New Yankee Workshop is a co-production of Morash Associates, Inc. and WGBH Boston. Russell Morash — whose backyard is the secret location of the workshop — is the creator, executive producer, and director of the series. He is also credited with introducing the “how-to” programming concept to television through other celebrated WGBH produced series as This Old House, The Victory Garden, and Julia Child’s The French Chef.

New Yankee Workshop Series Ends [Fine Woodworking]
Norm Abram Closes “Yankee Workshop” [Hartford Courant]

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Watching reruns of This Old House between shop-cleaning sessions this weekend got me to thinking about the Aussies — they seem to have a no-nonsense approach to problem-solving that works very well.  The episode I was watching mentioned a dishwasher setup that stores and washes the dishes.  I love this idea.

It negates the whole “Is the stuff in the dishwasher clean or dirty?” scenario.  It also removes an entire step from the list of chores.  Now when people make fun of my revolving laundry basket system, I can simply say, “It’s Australian-style laundry.  It never has to be put away in a drawer.”  I knew I loved the Aussies.

I wonder if they heavily favor tool carts where the tools never get put away either?  If so, I might have to move down under.

This Old House [Website]


Harry Sawyers over at This Old House dropped us a line this morning to tell us about his “This Old Glory” series, where he’s posting “the most unabashedly patriotic products he can find.”  Today’s entry: a flag-covered hard hat.

Well, Harry, how ’bout a good ‘ole fashioned challenge?  Let’s both post all the patriotic gear we can find today and tomorrow, and then we’ll post a list of all the items on the 4th and let readers vote for their favorite.  If you win, we’ll send you a Toolmonger coffee cup signed, “You rock, Chuck and Sean.”  If we win, you send us Norm Abram a piece of TOH memorabilia of your choice.  Either way, the readers win. 

Sound like fun?

Hard Hat, Easy Rider [The Hardware Isle, TOH]


After posting today’s Hot or Not regarding layout squares, it occured to me that some of you who don’t already use them might wonder what all the hubbub’s about.  I found a nice, short article by our friends over at This Old House that neatly sums up how useful this measuring tool is and how it’s used.

How I Learned To Love The layout Square [This Old House]



Like chess and racquetball, the procedure for hanging wallpaper is deciptively simple and remarkably difficult to master.  Thankfully the folks over at This Old House took the time to pump New York pro wallpaper hanger John Gregoras for his best tricks, acquired over his twenty years of installing the sticky stuff.

From layout to assembling your shopping list to actual installation, this is a great how-to post loaded with photos.

The Best Techniques For Hanging Wallpaper [This Old House]


Our friends over at This Old House’s Hardware Isle blog made it out to the National Hardware Show this year — we had other obligations — and ran across some interesting pegboard solutions like the StuckOnTools magnetic board pictured above.

We know how much some of you love (and hate) pegboard, so you’ll definitely want to give their post a read.

Putting Pegboard In Its Place [This Old House/The Hardware Isle]
The Pegboard Archive [Toolmonger]


We always enjoy TOH’s photo galleries, and this one caught our eye today: it’s titled (quite pithily) “Drill Bits Are Boring” and it covers a wide variety of bits that see everyday use around the house and shop including twist bits, brad points, boring bits, spades, and more.

If you’re new to the drill game, this’ll help you catch up and understand what each type of bit looks like, what materials it’s meant for, and how to use it.

Drill Bits Are Boring [This Old House]



Our friends over at This Old House compiled a great list of ten ways to re-use a worn out garden hose.  Our favorites: slitting a piece open to serve as a cover for the teeth on a handsaw and sliding short sections over wire bucket handles to make soft grips.  Check out the link below for the rest.

10 Uses For A Garden Hose [This Old House]


Our friends over at This Old House clued us in to a gallery full of awesome old tools that we somehow missed on the first go-round.  Thankfully it’s still available in their archive.

Our favorite: an 1872 “Miller’s Improved Joiner Plow Plane” (pictured) which was “manufacturerd by the Stanley Rule and Level Co. of New Britain, Connecticut, now known as StanleyWorks.”  Talk about reason enough to hang on to your old “sentimental value” tools: TOH says this sold for $8 originally, but “fetched  $18,150 at auction in 2005.”


Old Tool Gallery [This Old House]



Sizod pointed us to another great post over on This Old House about how handy common stuff from your medicine cabinet can be in project work.  Not only is this a great post, we can’t possibly pass on anything with MacGyver in the title. 

Some of our favorites:

  • Using dental floss to work glue into splits and cracks in woodwork
  • De-burring hacksaw cuts with emory boards
  • Fixing scratches in stained wood with eyeliner pencils — which even come in lots of shades and colors
  • And lubing sliding drawers with beeswax balm

There are lots more; check out the article for all of ’em and great pictures to boot.  Is anyone else here addicted to the This Old House site?

Medicine Cabinet MacGyver [This Old House]