Growing Up with Norm & Roy

I was born into a family of Carpenters and Contractors. I’m referring to my father, who built houses by himself from the ground up, as well as my PBS friends, Roy Underhill and Norm Abrams. Roy built stuff using old hand tools while Norm used the latest in power tools. Norm started out with the This Old House series with Bob Vila. He was the on site carpenter doing all the hard work while Bob Vila just ran his mouth. Norm finally broke away from This Old House to start his own show, The New Yankee Workshop. Norm is from Massachusetts and filmed his show in the New England area.

At the same time Norm was doing his thing Roy Underhill built his own little empire on PBS with his Woodwright’s Shop, the longest running “How To” show in history. It always amazed me how Roy could build a complete project using only hand tools in a half hour episode. Roy’s bubbling, overly enthusiastic personality was contagious. Born in 1950 Roy is just a year younger than me so we could relate to him. Roy continues to teach Woodworking classes at his Woodwright’s School in North Carolina.

Roy Underhill


Norm Abrams


I still enjoy watching their original shows via YouTube. There’s still a lot I can learn from watching how they went about their craft, whether it was done with power tools or hand tools. Thank you Norm & Roy.


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