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  • 1998-01-03T13:00:00-05:00 on PBS
  • 30 mins
  • 6 hours, 30 mins
  • United States
  • English
  • Home And Garden

In this PBS series, craftsman Norm Abram demonstrates how to build quality furniture in one's own workshop using traditional carpentry techniques. Abram also gives pointers on restoring and caring for antique furniture, along with short history lessons regarding famous craftsmen of America's past.

13 episodes

10x01 Irish Table

  • Season Premiere

    1998-01-03T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Viewers find Norm celebrating the tenth anniversary season of The New Yankee Workshop on the quaint New England island of Nantucket in an antique shop that specializes in Irish country furniture. There, he spies what he calls "the perfect occasional table," an antique Celtic pine table with a thirty-six-inch round atop four graceful, tapered legs. Back in The New Yankee Workshop, Norm fashions his own version using recycled pine, and in the process demonstrates mortise-and-tenon joinery techniques and shows how to make a tapering jig.

10x02 Linen Press

  • 1998-01-10T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm asks, "Have you ever noticed that most armoires and linen presses are too big to fit in today's rooms and look just right?" However, in a private collection in Savannah, Georgia, he finds a beautiful antique linen press whose three-foot by six-foot size make it versatile enough to fit in almost any room. Featuring streamlined, raised-panel double doors with detail beading, its simple design seems almost modern. Back in The New Yankee Workshop, Norm recreates this piece out of recycled pine to give it a vintage look.

10x03 Walnut Table

  • 1998-03-17T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm travels to Savannah, Georgia, to meet Greg Guenther, a respected local craftsman known for his skills at making period furniture and for his restoration work of Historic Savannah mansions. In Guenther's private collection of period pieces, Norm spies a stunning nineteenth-century, black walnut, drop-leaf dining table with graceful turned legs. Before heading back to The New Yankee Workshop to recreate this heirloom piece, Norm joins Guenther in his workshop for a lesson on how to master a high-gloss finishing technique that enhances the natural beauty of wood.

10x04 Library Ladder

  • 1998-01-24T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Though a gardener friend uses his handsome antique library ladder to display a collection of vintage watering cans, Norm vows that it can also be used for more utilitarian purposes. He builds this intermediate woodworking project out of recycled, long leaf Southern yellow pine and in the process, demonstrates how to craft its defining feature - splayed legs joined by a hinged crossbar.

10x05 Old Pine Bar

  • 1998-01-31T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm builds his version of an antique Irish bar out of recycled pine and gives it a high gloss finish so indestructible that he dares any woodworker who builds it to "leave a frosty mug on it."

10x06 Morris Chair

  • 1998-02-07T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

In Arizona, Norm goes on a search for Arts and Crafts-style furniture in Tucson's Historic Arts District. Responding to the many viewer requests he receives each season to build more of the ever-popular Arts and Crafts-style projects, Norm ventures into the F.L. Wright Furniture Gallery where he finds a virtuoso example of the era-a classic, reclining Morris chair. Norm recreates this vintage design out of quarter sawn white oak and in the process, shares his secrets for mastering the techniques required to build the chair's reclining back.

10x07 Cupola

  • 1998-02-14T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

In a surprise twist, Norm opens this New Yankee Workshop from This Old House's recent job site in Milton, Massachusetts. While building a new "dream workshop" on the footprint of the old barn's demolished shell, Norm decides to replicate a version of the antique cupola that once adorned its roof back in The New Yankee Workshop. With help from coppersmith Larry Stearn, Norm recreates a copper-roofed version of the original design. Calling it a "true carpentry project which entails every mitre box application," Norm expertly crafts the cupola's louvers and hip roof.

10x08 Mesquite Bookcase

  • 1998-02-21T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm's expedition to Arizona in search of Arts and Crafts-style furniture projects to build in The New Yankee Workshop leads him to Arroyo Design, a small custom furniture company in Tucson, where he spies a beautiful, glass-front bookcase inspired by the famous Greene Brothers. Featuring divided pane windows and the Greene Brothers' trademark square-peg detailing, its true artisan qualities make it one of the most sophisticated pieces in this season's collection. To ensure its heirloom value, Norm crafts this project out of mesquite and in the process educates viewers on how to work with this native Sonoran desert hardwood.

10x09 Chop Saw Station

  • 1998-02-28T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

For any woodworker who aspires to have a home version of The New Yankee Workshop, Norm builds a portable chop saw station, an accessory that he promises will "make your power mitre box much more versatile." This station can be used in the workshop or can be carted out to a job site to trim a house or to the backyard to build a deck.

10x10 Whirligig

  • 1998-03-07T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

On a recent sojourn to Nantucket, Norm is invited to view a local antique dealer's private collection of children's toys and whimsical whirligigs. Inspired by their endearing humor, Norm decides to build his own mechanized version of The New Yankee Workshop's logo, featuring Norm, himself, working at the table saw.

10x11 Chaise Lounge

  • 1998-03-14T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm takes viewers on an adventure to Utah to witness the dismantling of a twelve-mile long railway trestle which was built at the turn of the century. Eventually progress and better engineering in the 1950s replaced this causeway, and the massive trestlewood pilings which once provided the means by which Southern Pacific was able to cross the Great Salt Lake were all but abandoned. Over years of disuse, the trestlewood, which is comprised of Douglas fir and redwood, eventually became so pickled by lake brine that its grain began to develop an unusual array of colors. Norm acquires some of this trestlewood to build his own outdoor chaise lounge design and in the process, learns quite a bit about current initiatives to harvest this unusual building material.

10x12 Roll Top Desk (1)

  • 1998-03-21T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm visits the Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington, Massachusetts. Built in 1860, the mill was purchased in 1864 by German immigrant woodworkers, Charles and Frederick Schwamb. The brothers did a brisk business crafting the oval picture frames which, at the time, were in demand to display photographs of Civil War soldiers. In the Schwamb Brother's old office, Norm spies a handsome, quarter sawn oak roll top desk, which inspires him to build his version of this American classic.

10x13 Roll Top Desk (2)

  • 1998-03-28T13:00:00-05:00 — 30 mins

Norm visits the Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington, Massachusetts. Built in 1860, the mill was purchased in 1864 by German immigrant woodworkers, Charles and Frederick Schwamb. The brothers did a brisk business crafting the oval picture frames which, at the time, were in demand to display photographs of Civil War soldiers. In the Schwamb Brother's old office, Norm spies a handsome, quarter sawn oak roll top desk, which inspires him to build his version of this American classic.

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