I was an unusual kid. I woke up very early each Saturday morning to watch a funny-looking guy in red suspenders and old-fashioned cap build furniture with old tools on the PBS channel. If you haven’t heard about Roy Underhill, then you may just be from the moon…or not from the U.S.
I was thrilled several years ago to discover that Popular Woodworking Magazine had put every one of those old TV episodes on DVD. Thank you Popular Woodworking! I bought most of the seasons, and have been in heaven. You can buy most of the seasons here on Highland Woodworking or here on Amazon for the best price. Here is a part of the classic Season 1 episode 1:
I decided that it would be very useful for my readers if I shared a Woodwright’s Shop episode guide, with a complete list of topics for all the seasons, to help you decide which seasons to start with (see below).
Currently you can buy seasons 1-31 (1980-2011), but to wet your appetite you can watch over 100 full episodes from recent seasons, for free on the PBS video page here. However, the early seasons (like 1980’s) are my favorite because Roy Underhill introduces many of the fundamentals, like producing your own lumber from a tree and building a log cabin. When Roy discovered that I was born the year that his first episode was filmed, he let out an expletive and slapped his head. Too funny. Don’t think for a minute that you won’t learn much from a 30 minute PBS woodworking program. These DVDs will be an invaluable resource for anyone who want to learn all about traditional woodworking. And to add in huge measure to learning by video, I highly recommend that you try out a class from Roy Underhill down at his Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
THE WOODWRIGHT’S SHOP EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1 – 1980 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 1 on YouTube
- Maul & Glut — Roy makes two traditional tools by first felling a tree then shaping a maul and glut using period iron woodworking tools.
- Shaving Horse — Learn how to make a shaving horse one of the most important hand-tool shop fixtures for working with drawknives and spokeshaves.
- Hay rake — Roy shows you how to build one of his favorite projects: a hickory hay rake that is both strong and lightweight.
- Lathes — Join Roy on a tour of the history and development of human powered machines, including one of his favorites: the lathe.
- Rocking Chair — Learn how to build a classic armless rocking chair using traditional tools and techniques. Then create a woven white oak seat for the rocker. Plus, watch as Roy’s guest Bryant Holsenbeck demonstrates how to weave a traditional basket.
- Log Cabin — Roy demonstrates the steps and hand-hewn joinery used in building traditional log cabins.
- Timber Frame Construction — Roy addresses the details of timber framing, including post-and-beam and mortise-and-tenon construction techniques.
- Dough Bowl & Pitchforks — Watch as Roy makes a pitchfork and a dough bowl, each from a single piece of wood.
- Blacksmithing — Spend some time at the forge with Roy to learn basic blacksmithing techniques and discover how to create a spike dog (a tool used in timber framing).
- Panel Frame & Dovetail — Roy discusses frame-and-panel construction for doors, and the basic steps for cutting a dovetailed joint.
- Colonial Williamsburg — Roy travels to Colonial Williamsburg to take a look at 18th-century craftsmanship including a visit with a wheelwright, a cooper and a blacksmith, as well as a look inside the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop.
Season 2 – 1982 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 2 on YouTube
- Handles — Watch as Roy examines a number of tool handles, then creates an axe handle from a split of hickory and turns a chisel handle.
- Candle Stand — Follow along as Roy walks you through the steps of creating a classic walnut candle stand.
- Handplanes — Learn the history of a wide variety of handplanes as Roy explains their many and specialized uses.
- In Yer Drawers — Join Roy as he makes a hand-hewn, half-blind dovetailed drawer for his workbench, and discusses many of the techniques used in traditional drawer making.
- Findin & Fixin — See what Roy discovers at a scrap yard, antique store and flea market on his way to “The Woodwrights Shop. “
- Saws — Its all about staying sharp, and in this episode Roy examines the dizzying array of saws available, from familiar panel saws to bowsaws and pit saws. Plus, as a special bonus Roy shows you how to sharpen a bowsaw.
- Williamsburg Blacksmiths — Accompany Roy on a visit to Colonial Williamsburg to work with the living history museums blacksmiths as they make a froe, and forge a cant hook.
- Window Sash — Discover whats involved in handcrafting window sash as Roy walks you through the process.
- Boat Building — Join Roy on a visit to the Hampton Mariners Museum, where he discovers more about the history of small boat building.
- A Tale of Two Toys — Take a trip down memory lane as Roy looks at a collection of classic wood toys, then shows you how to create a Crow Chaser.
Season 3 – 1983 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 3 on YouTube
- Inner Woodworking — Roy looks at the mechanics of wood and how a trees growth affects how you work wood once you have it in your shop.
- Workbench — Roy handcrafts a grand, classic workbench using pegged and keyed mortise-and-tenon construction.
- Coopers Bucket — Roy and coopers from Colonial Williamsburg work together to make a coopers bucket.
- Blanket Chest — Roy builds a stunning nailed-together, six-board blanket chest with an interior till.
- Simple Gifts — Roy builds three simple gift projects, including a flapping duck toy, a small pine knock-down bench and a wooden egg beater.
- Whimsy Diddling — Roy walks you through the process of making a Gee Haw Wimmey Diddle, a quintessential mountain folk toy, along and a willow whistle.
- Furniture Carving — Colonial Williamsburgs Wallace Gusler joins Roy to talk about the techniques and tools needed for carved furniture.
- Whetstone Quarry — Roy takes a trip through the geological history of whetstones, then heads out on a hunt for rough materials to make your own whetstone for sharpening.
- The Gunsmith — Gunsmith Gary Brumfield of Colonial Williamsburg and Roy discuss the steps to making a handcrafted 18th-century-style rifle.
- Wood for the Weaver — Discover details about some of the traditional wooden implements used by weavers, including spinning wheels, clock reels and niddy noddys; and watch as Roy makes a swift and a tape loom.
- The Luther — Join Roy in learning the techniques and processes used to create a violin in the 18th century.
- The Basket Makers — Roy Black and Robert Watson show Roy how to make round-bottom and flat-bottom white oak baskets, starting from a log and using only hand tools.
Season 4 – 1984 – 2 DVD Set
- The Dominy Shop — A tour of the Dominy Shop at Winterthur Museum. The shop holds the tools and shop items used by three generations of craftsman from 1750-1850.
- A Spring Pole Lathe — Roy shows how to make a spring pole lathe.
- Ball & Claw Feet — Wallace Gusler form Colonial Williamsburg makes a cabriole leg with a ball and claw foot.
- The Wainscot Chair — Roy and his daughter, Rachel, make a childs chair based on one from a 17th century book by Wallace Nutting.
- Tool Boxes & Chests — After exploring a recently acquired antique tool chest, Roy builds his own version..
- Chip Carving — Mack Headley of Colonial Williamsburg demonstrates chip carving.
- Good Fences — Roy examines early American fences from garden fences to portable fences to fortification fences.
- Raising the Shop — Roy help build the frame and timber structure of Andersons Forge at Colonial Williamsburg.
- Building a Boat — Building a small rowboat using traditional techniques.
- Rittenhouse Hygrometer — Roy addresses the problem of humidity in the shop and builds a simple 18th century hygrometer to measure the humidity in his shop. .
- Corner Cupboard — Classic pine Corner cupboard.
- High Chair — Roy build an 18th century highchair with rush seating for his new nephew..
Season 5 – 1985 – 2 DVD Set
- Rustic Rocker — Roy starts off this “Making Things From Nature” season by giving us some history of rustic furniture and walks through the steps necessary to make a Rustic Rocker.
- Bark Bottoms — To finish up the Rustic Rocker, Roy shows us how to create the woven-bark seat.
- Baby Cradle — Roy takes us through the building steps for a pilgrim-style oak cradle.
- Chris’ Workshop — We visit with a 14-year-old traditional woodworker who sells his wares to make money to buy tools he can’t make for himself.
- Iron Machine, Foot Power — A collector of cast-iron, foot-powered woodworking lathes and fret saws visits with Roy.
- Hutch Table — Roy builds a classic early-American project that serves as a tilt-top table, chair and storage unit.
- Iron Bloomery — Roy visits with blacksmith David Harvey to learn how to turn raw ore found in a stream into a woodworking chisel.
- Berry Buckets, Sussex Trugs & Bark Sheaths — Roy shows how to create three projects directly from trees and bark with very little refinement.
- The Wheelwright — A visit with master wheelwright Dan Stebbins unlocks the mysteries and realities of making wheels for early American vehicles.
- Music Mill — Roy makes a hand-crank-powered, six-note music mill from wine bottles.
- Secrets From the Cabinet shop — Master cabinetmaker Mack Headley shares some of the secrets that were standard fare for 18th century – American woodworking.
- A glass act — Sash joinery, or making windows, is the ultimate test of organizational skills, and Roy takes us through the many steps and details that must align to make a good window.
Season 6 – 1986 – 2 DVD Set
- A Turning of the Screw — Roy looks at the making of wooden screws for use in the shop.
- That Old Spoon Carver — Roy visits with expert spoon carver Roger Sandstrom to talk technique, wood selection and more.
- Don’t Crush That Bookstand — Create a classic wooden pliers whittled from a single piece of wood, and then expand the concept to a folding bookstand using similar joinery.
- A Folding Lathe — Roy shows how to build an 18th Century French lathe designed to fold up and store in the corner.
- Jacobean Stool — In two parts, we learn how to create the traditional joinery for a Jacobean stool, and how to complete the turnings and carvings.
- Things They’d Never Make — We spend some quality time with Roy making small projects from scrap wood, including wooden ties, a pop gun, ado-nothing machine and a flying top.
- Anderson’s Forge — Roy travels to the John Anderson Forge at Colonial Williamsburg to look at how nails, hinges and tools were made in Colonial America.
- The Botetourt Chair — Roy takes a look at 18th Century woodworking details found in furniture from the Colonial Williamsburg cabinet shop.
- Lap Desk — Build one of the classic 18th Century projects with Roy; a Shaker lap desk.
- Rachel’s Wagon — Roy walks through the steps required to build a wooden wagon for his daughters – but manages to have some fun himself.
- Toolmaker’s Art — Roy visits with Peter Ross at the Anderson Forge to look at 18th Century tool making, in particular, a gentlemen’s hatchet.
- House Framing, Doggie Style — Only the best for Roy’s pooch, Grit: a brick and Tudor framed doghouse is this episode’s project.
Season 7 – 1987 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 7 on YouTube
- Noveltails — Roy takes a look at the design and benefits of many traditional dovetails used in woodworking, then goes even further to look at some more unusual dovetails.
- Longer & Stronger — When you need a longer board (or rafter), then a traditional scarf joint may be the answer. Roy discusses the history, value and creation of this important joint.
- Country Comfort — Roy shows us the steps to create the perfect outdoor chair the Adirondack.
- Shaker Boxes — After a look at a number foot-powered woodworking machines, Roy and his guest show how to use a few of the machines to make traditional Shaker oval boxes.
- Bookcase Ecology — This episode is Roys version of waste-not, want not. He shows how to build a coffin-shaped bookcase so that the materials involved arent wasted, but used during life and after.
- Woodwork, Needlework — Blending two traditional crafts, Roy builds an adjustable needlework stand or French design.
- Whirligigs — Whirligig expert Andy Lundy stops by the shop to talk about the history, design and construction details of a variety of whirligigs.
- Felling & Hauling — Traditional woodworking starts with the trees. Roy shares the traditional steps necessary to fell a tree and get the wood into the shop.
- Bramble Work — Roy gives us a look at rustic Bramble Work furniture. He then creates a small table in this style, working with twigs fastened in geometric patterns.
- Farmwood — Roy works through the varied historical uses of lumber. For use in construction, furniture, heating on your own farm, and for sharing with others. No part of the tree is wasted.
- Old South Homestead — On a trip back to the Underhill homestead, Roy takes us on visit of some of the construction details used in building the 1850s house and outbuildings.
- Gameboards — Roy shows us how to make a couple of classic board games: Fox and Geese; and a checkers (or chess) board.
- Woodcut Printing — We travel to the Book Binders Shop at Colonial Williamsburg to learn the history and reality of woodcutting for use in printing.
Season 8 – 1988 – 2 DVD Set
- Folding ladder — Roy shows us how to recreate an 18th-century folding library ladder that collapses into a simple pole shape.
- The Four Harness Loom — In this two-episode project, we learn how to recreate an 18th-century loom for weaving cloth.
- Sled — A wonderful tradition, Roy builds a classic Yankee sled and a toboggan for enjoying the next snowfall.
- Woodworking Benches — Roy looks at the variety of benches used for woodworking, including a joiner’s bench, hacking benches, and a chair maker’s bench.
- Folk Toys — Roy loves his toys, and this episode is dedicated to making three folk toys: a fish hook; chickens pecking toy; and a Jacob’s ladder.
- Appalachian dulcimer — A traditional American stringed instrument, Roy shows us the steps to make a classic dulcimer.
- Danish Folding Stools — Recreated for centuries, Roy shares methods for creating two different classic folding stools.
- English Woodcraft — Roy visits Sussex, England to view classic building construction techniques and joinery.
- African Musical Instruments — Roy looks at a balaphone (or marimba), kalimba (or thumb piano), a banjo and couple of African drums.
- Tavern Table — Build a classic, small pine tavern table.
- Mary Rose Tankard — To go with the tavern table, Lew LeCompte, a Williamsburg cooper shows how to make a tigg, or drinking mug.
Season 9 – 1989 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 9 on YouTube
- Making A Butterfly Table — In the first of a three-part project, join Roy as he builds the frame for this early Colonial two-sided drop-leaf tavern table.
- Making the Drop-leaf Rule Joint — Roy continues the building process for the Butterfly Table by creating the top using a drop-leaf rule joint.
- Dovetailing Drawers — In the final part of Making A Butterfly Table, Roy makes the half-blind dovetailed drawer that fits underneath the top.
- The Dancing Toys — Roy makes three toys: a Limberjack dancing toy; an acrobat toy and a jointed toy.
- Gypsy Willow Chairs — This classic rustic chair is easily made by bending green twigs. Roy shows the steps to make your own.
- Tinsmithing for Fun & Profit — Roy visits with 3rd-generation tinsmith, Peter Blum, who shows how to make a candle holder, a heart-in-hand cookie cutter, a pie plate and a tin whistle.
- Boxes without Topses — Roy makes four boxes: a bamboo birdcage; a carved figure box with hidden valuables compartment; an exploding bank box and a snake box.
- Order in the Court — Roy visits the restoration site of the 18th-Century James City County Courthouse, in particular, the interior casework and millwork.
- Bricks without Straw — Roy visits Colonial Williamsburg to learn about the all-but-forgotten skill of creating bricks by hand.
- Log Cabin Building — In this three-episode project, Roy shows the steps to build a log cabin without using any nails.
- Marquetry: Painting with Wood — Roy welcomes Chris Lang to look at the traditional woodworking technique of marquetry, and how to create a shell medallion.
Season 10 – 1990 – 2 DVD Set
- Make this rocking horse — Roy’s daughter Eleanor helps him build a traditional rocking horse.
- Beat your ash basketry — Jonathan Kline visits the shop to create a traditional Black Ash basket, stripping the material from the log.
- Make a revolving bookcase — Build an early 20th-Century revolving bookcase that holds an amazing number of books.
- Timber building in franconia — Roy visits the Franconian Open-air Museum in Bavaria to look at woodworking, timber framing and craftsmanship.
- Secrets of german woodcraft — Back at the Franconian Open-air Museum to look at early German building and construction techniques.
- Make a garden gate — Roy builds an open-frame garden gate.
- Hooks, crooks & walking sticks — One of Roy’s passions is walking sticks, here he shows how to make a walking stick with its own built-in flute.
- Make a music mill from bali — Build a charming, wind-powered, bamboo music mill.
- Dovetailing in the tool chest — Roy revisits an earlier tool chest project to show the value and importance of dovetailing.
- As the wood turns — Roy gives us an overview on turning and of three lathes: a spring-pole lathe, a folding spring-pole lathe and a foot-treadle flywheel lathe.
- A boat to build with the kids — Rachel Underhill joins her dad in the shop to make a canvass and wood kayak.
- A rake’s progress — Roy repairs one of his 10-year-old rakes, taking the opportunity to highlight the strength of wood when using the grain correctly.
- Making wooden shoes — Bob Siegel visits the shop to share his unique knowledge of making wooden shoes using only four traditional tools.
Season 11 – 1991 – 2 DVD Set
- Make a Rocking Chair (Part 1) — Roy starts a classic post-and-rung rocking chair using traditional greenwood techniques.
- Rollin’ on the Rocker (Part 2) — Work on the rocker continues; shaping the tenons, boring the mortises and creating the splats.
- Splittin’ and Sittin ’ (Part 3) — Work on the rocker is completed with the creation of the rockers and adding a hickory bark seat.
- Hewing A Dough Bowl — Roy creates a traditional dough bowl from tulip poplar.
- Wood-Turning Tricks — Eleanor Underhill joins Dad in the shop to turn a painted candle stand.
- Archer’s Bow — Roy welcomes a bowyer and a fletcher to the shop to make a woodland Indian’s bow and river cane arrows.
- Four Poster Bed — This may not be the four-poster bed you’re thinking of, as Roy builds a rustic version from rough, red cedar logs
- Blacksmith of Williamsburg — Roy visits Colonial Williamsburg to watch the creation of a set of hardware for window shutters.
- Williamsburg Woodcraft — Continuing the Williamsburg theme, Roy visits the woodworker’s shop to watch frame-and-panel shutters made
- Woodworker’s Grab Bag — Daughter Rachel joins Roy in the shop to make a marble track toy and Kick-Me machine.
- Thomas Jefferson, Woodworker — Roy visits Monticello to look at some of the architectural creations and innovations of the former President..
- Dovetailed Bookcases — Roy recreates stacking “book box” shelves built to Thomas Jefferson’s specifications, and still on display at Monticello.
- Japanese Woodcrafter — Toshio Odate visits the shop to discuss and demonstrate Japanese woodworking tools, techniques and joinery.
Season 12 – 1992 – 2 DVD Set
- Bentwood Boxes of the Northwest Coast — Roy visits Gregg Blomberg and explores woodworking traditions of the Pacific Northwest.
- A Civil War Quilting Frame — Roy is joined by his wife, Jane, to build a traditional quilting frame.
- An African Chair from the Ivory Coast — Roy and his friend Robert Watson make a “man’s chair” using tools from the Ivory Coast of Africa.
- Hispanic Furniture Making — Roy learns about northern New Mexico woodworking on the Santa Fe Trail.
- Colonial Tape Loom — Roy begins making a tiny tape loom, used for making decorative fabric.
- Dovetailing a Loom Box — Roy finishes the tape loom by making a beautiful box for it with dovetails and turned columns.
- A Colonial Standing Desk — Roy makes a standing desk using mortise-and-tenon and tongue-and-groove joints.
- Banding Together — Instrument maker Marcus Hanson makes inlay banding with Roy at the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop.
- The Art of Finishing — Roy returns to the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop to learn finishing.
- 15 Tools from a Dead Man’s Chest — Roy restores the tools found in an antique chest.
- A Pilgrim’s Chest of Oak — Roy makes a Spanish pilgrim’s chest from New Mexico.
- Wood Carvers of the Sacred — Returning to New Mexico once again, Roy explores religious carving and woodworking in the mountains north of Santa Fe.
- Moravian Chair — Roy makes a Moravian chair that’s reinforced with dovetailed battens, which make this small piece extraordinarily strong.
Season 13 – 1993 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 13 on YouTube
- English Walnut Music Stand — Build a beautiful music stand that adjusts for height and angle to best suit the musician.
- Fair & Square — Roy works through the steps to turn a round log into a square timber, and then shows how to bore a square hole.
- Hickory Pitchfork — Through shaving, steaming and bending, Roy creates a pitchfork from a green hickory limb.
- Continental Army Canteen — Learn to build a wooden canteen using stave construction.
- Make A Windsor Chair — In this three-episode project Roy builds a variation of a swiveling Windsor chair allegedly used by Thomas Jefferson during the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
- The Geddy Foundry of Willamsburg — Roy visits the foundry at Williamsburg to view the processes of pouring and finishing brass and silver for hardware and household items.
- Crazy Wooden Things for Kids to Make — Roy uses the theme of string-powered toys to show us how to make a spinning top, pump drill and a simplified version of the mechanism for a flying ball clock.
- Spiral Turning and Xylophone Tones — Learn the basics of two simple and fun projects: carving a spiral and building a tongue drum.
- Timber Building in the Land of the Midnight Sun — Roy visits Lillehammer, Norway looking at traditional Norwegian folk architecture and building techniques.
- Norwegian Wood — RStill enjoying his trip to Norway, Roy visits a Viking ship museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum.
Season 14 – 1994 – 2 DVD Set
- Woodworkers of the Red Dragon — Roy visits a recreated Celtic village in Wales, looking at Welsh woodworking including building construction, clog making and traditional carved Welsh love spoons.
- The Carpenter’s Tool Box — Learn to build Roy’s iconic carpenter’s tool tote.
- Ancient Woodcraft of Ireland — Roy looks at Irish woodworking, including houses, harps, caravans and traditional ship-building techniques.
- A Sailor’s Sea Chest — Learn to build a sailor’s sea chest with beveled through dovetails.
- High Stool with a Hickory Bark Seat — Roy builds a stool starting with splitting and riving the green wood and ending with a woven-bark seat.
- Standing Embroidery Hoop — Learn the steps to build a standing embroidery hoop large enough to handle embroidery on a quilt.
The Timer-Frame House — Roy builds a scaled model of a Welsh cruck-frame barn, teaching the woodworking principals of timber framing.
- Wooden Lock and Key — Create a clever wood lock-and-key door set in the shop with Roy.
- Shaker Sewing Stand — Roy builds a traditional single-drawer Shaker sewing stand.
- Panel Frame Construction — Learn the benefits and uses of frame-and-panel construction and the joinery steps to create a frame-and-panel door.
- Tools of the Eighteenth Century — Roy visits Colonial Williamsburg to view their exhibit of 1,500 eighteenth-century woodworking tools.
- The Williamsburg Blacksmiths — Watch a traditional woodworking tool –a drawknife –forged using historically accurate techniques.
- Blacksmiths Forge Ahead — Learn the steps used to smith a Suffolk door latch used during colonial times.
Season 15 – 1995 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 15 on YouTube
- Sharpening Tools — Roy builds a cedar box for an old sharpening stone while simultaneously teaching you the principles of sharpening.
- Jefferson’s Walking Stick-Chair — Roy shows you how to make a “walking stick-chair” – a walking stick that folds out to become a small seat – much like the one used by Thomas Jefferson.
- Chisels, Gouges and Mallets — Roy explores the wide, sometimes strange, world of chisels.
- Trestle Table — Roy makes a “sawbuck” trestle table full of interesting details.
- Wooden Scoop, Shovel and Spoons — Starting with a raw poplar log, Roy splits, chops, cuts and carves a huge wooden shovel.
- The Wooden Boat School — Roy travels to the Wooden Boat School in Brooklyn, Maine. See three distinct approaches to traditional boat building taught by three different instructors at the school.
- Marionette Makers — Roy arrives to find his shop taken over by a gaggle of marionette puppets!
- Folding Workbench, Part 1 — Begin learning to make a simple, sturdy folding workbench.
- Folding Workbench, Part 2 — Finish learning how to put the workbench together.
- Candlestick Maker — Make an adjustable Colonial threaded candle stand.
- Boatbuilders of Mystic — Visit the shores of Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks for a tour of local woodworking styles.
- Williamsburg Trunk Makers — Learn how to make a variety of leather items in the harness shop of Jim Clatter in Colonial Williamsburg
- Climbing a Colonial Steeple — Roy climbs Bruton Parish Steeple in Williamsburg, Virginia, which has been holding a bell since the 1770s.
Season 16 – 1996 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 16 on YouTube
- Arts & Crafts Bookcase — Learn the steps to recreate a knock down bookcase originally built by the Roycrofters of East Aurora, New York.
- The Secret Dovetailed Box — Roy shows how to make a small box using a hidden dovetail joint that looks like a miter joint when complete.
- Wood Inlay — This episode starts by making a scratch stock tool necessary to create the grooves for the simple Holly inlay that follows.
- The Giant Chisels of Gaul — Roy visits local blacksmith shops and museums in the Alsace region of France in search of a giant chisel.
- Roll Top Cabinetry — Using a roll-top joinery process, Roy creates a small box with tambour doors.
- African Drum — Roy shows how to build an “African” drum that originally came from colonial America.
- Woodcraft of Alsace, France — Roy continues his visit to the Alsace region looking at woodworking and timber-building traditions.
- Comb-Back Windsor Chair — In this two-part project, Roy shows the steps to create a classic comb-back Windsor chair.
- Sand-Powered Wooden Toys — Roy builds two simple toys: an interlocking-joint puzzle; and a sand-powered whirligig.
- Cutting the Knuckle-Hinge Joint — Learn to create the useful knuckle-hinge joint and, just for fun, whittle a wooden pair of pliers.
- Making Wooden Screws — Roy shows how to use a tap and screw box to create wooden screws for use in shop and furniture projects.
- The Pencil People — Learn the history of writing instruments and the evolution of the pencil, then look at a variety of pencil sharpeners from the past.
Season 17 – 1997 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 17 on YouTube
- Make Your Shaving Horse — Roy shows you how to make a shaving horse from a single 2×10.
- Whittling Chains & Ball-In-Cage — Learn to whittle the mysterious, impossible-seeming wooden chain and ball-in-cage.
- Windsor Highchair — Roy make a child’s Windsor highchair showing classic Windsor techniques.
- Chinese Bamboo Chair — Make a chair out of grass … Chinese bamboo, that is.
- Shaker Boxes — Make a No. 3 bentwood Shaker box – a deceptively simple design.
- Panel-Framed Bench — Roy’s panel-framed bench has a storage space built beneath the seat.
- Hanging Bookcase — Using thin wood and only tapered, sliding dovetails, Roy makes a sturdy hanging bookshelf.
- Window Sash Restoration — Roy takes a rotted window sash and repairs it with weather resistant resinous wood.
- Wooden Tea Machine — Make a cam-operated tea bag dunking machine that’ll save your arms from the repetitive motion of steeping tea.
- Nuts to You — How do you get to the center of a walnut? Build a turned, decorated nut cracker, as well as a simpler version from one piece of wood.
- Hancock Shaker Village — Roy takes a look at interior Shaker craftsmanship at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass.
- Shaker Side Table — Shaker furniture was made as if to be used for 1,000 years – see how that philosophy is worked into a small table.
- Woodworking in Upper Canada — During the time of Colonial America, many Loyalists headed north for Canada. Roy explores the life and economy they built there between harsh winters.
Season 18 – 1998 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 18 on YouTube
- Dovetailing a Cedar Box — Learn simple box dovetails and create some shop characters that can hang out inside.
- Chip Carving — Dress up a small cedar box with a variety of chip carving designs.
- Chairs for Children — Roy makes a walnut stick chair and a pine slab chair perfectly sized for children.
- Bark & Rustic Work — Learn the details to add a hickory bark seat to a child’s chair.
- Debate of the Carpenter’s Tools — Roy draws on poetry from the 1400s to explain what tools were used by wrights of the day.
- Treadle Lathe — Build an improved version of Roy’s 20-year-old treadle lathe design — and it starts with scrap lumber!
- White Oak Basket — A class on basket weaving? You bet! Weave a white oak basket with Roy.
- Wall Tool Chest — Roy uses a red oak tool chest to illustrate a discussion on hand planes.
- Woodworking Gizmos — Learn to convert a treadle lathe into a treadle jigsaw.
- Traditional Toys — Roy shows how to make a traditional Russian pecking-chicken toy.
- Old Salem — Roy visits Old Salem, North Carolina, founded in the 1760s by the Moravians. Their craft lives on in the recreated town.
- Swinging Cradle from Saxony — Learn to build a scaled-down German swinging cradle built with lapstrake construction.
- Jamestown Woodworkers, 1607 — Learn about the history and the early settlers of the Jamestown, Virginia settlement.
Season 19 – 1999 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 19 on YouTube
- Dovetailing Little Drawers — Roy shares the technique to making small dovetailed drawers for his hanging tool chest.
- The Yoke’s On Me — Yokes (used to carry watering cans, buckets and more) are a great shaping project using hatchets, spokeshaves and adzes.
- Making a Tuckaway Table — Roy Takes us through the steps to make a clever storable table using a gateleg base.
- Chairmaking & Spinning Wheels — Chairmaker Lyle Wheeler visits the shop to show the steps for a project related to a chair: a spinning wheel.
- Master Woodcarver — David Calvo visits the shop and shares the basic steps to get started in wood carving.
- Building the Clipper ‘Amistad’ — Roy is in Mystic, Conn., to visit a shipyard during the rebuilding of the 19th-century clipper ship ‘Amistad.’
- Two Old-Tool Pioneers — Learn about two authors – Henry Chapman Mercer and Eric Sloane – whose books have given us an insight into old tools.
- Master Cabinetmaker — Frank Klausz visits the shop to show how to make his water pond for sharpening and how to cut a through-dovetail.
- Sharpen Your Saw — Learn the differences between handsaws, as well as the basic steps to sharpen and set a saw.
- Wheeled Toys in Wood — Roy shows how to make three duck toys for when the weather is right for ducks!
- Making the Ladder/Chair — Roy builds a classic project – a chair that converts into a short ladder.
- Master Chip Carver — Chip carver Wayne Barton visits the shop to share some of his talent.
- Bucket Making for Beginners — Learn the art of coopering by making a simple bucket.
Season 20 – 2000 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 20 on YouTube
- Lap Desk — Roy builds a reproduction of a simple 19the century walnut lap desk.
- Turned Corner Chair — Roy shows you how to make a circa-1550 three-legged chair from the Flemish town of Rotterdam.
- Banjo Man George Wunderlich — Roy welcomes George Wunderlich, who recreates a mid-1800s banjo.
- Writers Bookcase — Roy builds a small oak bookcase, without glue or fasteners – for easier disassembly.
- Timber Corner — Roy builds the corner of a timber-framed structure.
- Decoy Carvers — Nick Supone and Neal Conolly stop by “The Woodwrights Shop” to demonstrate the hewing and carving techniques used in creating a duck decoy.
- Eastfield Village — Roy travels to Eastfield Village and tours the museums restored historic buildings.
- Marquetry Master Patrick Edwards — Roy visits with marquetry expert Patrick Edwards, and discusses the technique of “painting in wood.”
- In the Blacksmiths Shop — Roy for a visits blacksmiths Peter Ross and Ken Schwarz who demonstrate making bench chisels and more.
- Toys That Make Noise — Roy solders a tin-can bird whistle and makes a boxwood whistling top.
- Carving with the Cabinetmakers — Roy travels to the Hay Cabinet Shop at Williamsburg for a furniture-carving talk with Master Mack Headley.
- Windsor Chair — Roy visits with Mike Dunbar of the Windsor Institute as he demonstrates the process for building a sack-back Windsor chair.
- 20th Anniversary Show — Roy looks back on 20 years of “The Woodwrights Shop,” including highlights of guests, projects and memorable moments.
Season 21 – 2001 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 21 on YouTube
- Saw Horse — The tools we use can be beautiful too! Roy shows you how to build beautiful saw horse.
- Don Weber, Chair Bodger — Roy teams up with the old Welsh Bodger himself and together they demonstrate how to build a classic Welsh Stick Chair.
- Toolbox from the 1940’s — You can learn how to build a timeless relic from past generations of fine woodworkers in this episode, a Joiner’s Tool Box.
- Rounder Plane — An endless “pencil” sharpener to make round tapered handles for rake, boat spars- and more.
- Walnut Krumhorn — Get down, get musical! Produce a wonderful old wind instrument from the Elizabethan era- the Krumhorn!
- Timber Frame at Folklife Festival — Join Roy at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and learn how to build a timber-frame barn.
- Impossible Joints — Make a mysterious puzzle mallet with a devilishly difficult dovetail that’s impossible to break!
- Fools for Tools — Roy shows you how to find and restore traditional tools needed to do old time traditional woodworking.
- Blacksmith’s Hinges — Join Roy at the Anderson Forge in Colonial Williamsburg and see how to make a traditional cross garnet hinge.
- Tiny Furniture — Learn how to make “big” furniture by starting with scaled down versions.
- Window from Williamsburg — Learn how to build a four-light Colonial window sash.
- Flintlock Gunsmith — Roy visits the Gunsmith Shop at Colonial Williamsburg to see how 18th century flintlock rifles were made.
- Colonial Tablemaker — Watch Roy “spin the wheel” at the Cabinet shop in Colonial Williamsburg as they produce 18th century furniture the old fashioned way.
Season 22 – 2002 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 22 on YouTube
- Dovetail A Triangular Box — A three-sided box?! Well that’s different. Let Roy show you how to make a triumphant triangular box for your trifocals.
- Shaker Work Table — Clever, elegant and delicate beauty. Roy shows you how to produce a wonderful little Shaker work table.
- Craftsman Wall Cabinet — Roy’s bringing craftsmanship back into our lives with an Arts & Crafts style cabinet.
- Scandinavian Milking Stool — Have fun building a folk milking stool. Think of the possibilities!
- Spill Plane & Book Stand — What the heck is a spill plane and how do you make a hinged book stand out of one piece of wood?
- Canadian Cradle — Roy shows you how to build a delightful rocking cradle for a newborn baby.>
- Shutter Dogs from the Blacksmith — Roy learns how to make shutter dog that is used to hold open shuttles when not to use.
- Rustic Furniture Maker — Meet Dan Mack, and see how he fabricates fascinating furniture out of naturally occurring materials.
- Williamsburg Wheelwright — Find out what it takes to make a wheel at the Palace Wheelwright Shop in Colonial Williamsburg.
- Limberjacks & Dancing Dolls — Roy shows you how to build wonderful articulated dancing toys called Limberjacks!
- Plymouth Plantation Woodworkers — See how the Pilgrims performed early American woodworking with just a few basic tools.
- Colonial Carpenters — Learn the difference between a carpenter and a joiner. Hint: Think doors, windows & stairs.
- Craftsmen of Old Sturbridge Village — Visit Old Sturbridge Village, and meet the 1930s American—a farmer/craftsman.
Season 23 – 2003 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 23 on YouTube
- The Boy Mechanic — Simple rainy day projects to “tink” around with – especially if you’re young at heart.
- Making the New Workbench Part 1 — Build a solid, sturdy workbench without any screws, nails or glue—that you can break down and take with you!
- Making the New Workbench Part 2— Putting the finishing touches on your new workbench — the vices, the dogs, etc.
- Inlay with Steve Latta— Beautiful “compass inlay” on a Pennsylvania Spice Box done in the Pennsylvania/German tradition.
- Using Planes— Jack planes, combination planes, single iron joiners-Roy introduces you to the world of planes—not to mention snipe spills, skew mouth badgers, iron rabbits…
- Roundabout Chair— Learn how to build an odd corner chair called a Roundabout Chair—found in the offices of Dr. Sigmund Freud.
- Carving with Calvo — Need a sign? Let David Calvo show you how to carve one.
- Woodcraft of the Southern — Take a trip to beautiful downtown Paint Lick, KY and meet the old bodger himself, Don Weber. Learn how it was done in the old country.
- Woodcraft at Conner Prairie — Explore Conner Prairie, a living museum in the heart of Indiana. See how life was in the 1800’s.
- The Turning Triangle Table — How do you turn a round table into a triangle. Let Roy show you how.
- Child’s Rocker & Sliding Dovetail Stool— Let Roy show you how to make something useful out of scrap wood.
- The First American Woodworkers— Roy shows you how the very first Americans worked with wood — the Cherokees of Cherokee Nation.
- Paneled Cedar Chest— Watch Roy make a beautiful red cedar chest out of a tree knocked down by a hurricane.
Season 24 – 2004 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 24 on YouTube
- Shaving Horse — Roy shows you how to make a shaving horse to help you make ax handles, wheelspokes and more.
- Tinsmithing with Anne Pederson — Not all good things are made out of wood. Anne Pederson shows Roy how to make things out of tin.
- Acadian Chair — The Acadians, forbearers of the Cajuns, brought a clever idea for a chair with them to Louisiana. Roy explains…
- Norm Pederson, White Cooperage — If you need a washtub, butter churn or water bucket – go see a “white cooper.”
- The Foot Powered Lathe — Roy shows how to build a “spring pole lathe” – powered by foot.
- Wooden Thread Cutter — Need a big ol’ wooden screw for your cider press? Roy will show you how to make one.
- Woodworking at North House — Take a class in kayak building, or build a long bow or a berry basket – all available at the North Folk School.
- Turned and Hewn Bowls and Spoons — Watch Roy transform a big log into a beautiful bowl. Hint: Just remove everything that’s not a bowl.
- Norwegian Pram and Snow Skis — Let it snow, then go skiing with Mark Hensen.
- One Piece Woodworking — Let Roy show you how to make useful & “useless” things out of one piece of wood – no kidding.
- Turning Chess Pieces — Roy shows you how to make a standard chess set or a not so standard chess set. Check, Matey!
- Chess Board and Box — Now that you have the chess pieces it’s time to make the chess board – and a box to put the pieces in.
- Inlaid Legs with Steve Latta — If you’re a “leg man” you gotta see this. Beautiful inlaid legs by Steve Latta.
Season 25 – 2005 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 25 on YouTube
- Garden Bench — Build a small garden bench made of Cypress, and with a south-east Asian design.
- Wooden Puzzles — Avoid being frustrated by wooden puzzles by making a wooden knot, and three burr puzzles yourself.
- Jeff Headley, Cabinetmaker — Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton visit the shop to show the construction techniques – and secrets – in a Winchester slant-top desk.
- The Melencolia Plane — Build the wooden plane pictured in Albrecht Durer’s Melancolia
- Three Chests of Tools — Join Roy as he inventories woodworking tools he found in three tool chests.
- Woodturning Wisdom — Roy discusses the “perfection along the axis” found in woodturning.
- Niddy Noddy & Weaver’s Swift — Build two accessories valuable to the weaver.
- Cabinet Workbench — In a two-episode project, Roy builds a workbench with storage underneath from a design from Charles Hayward. In the first episode Roy builds the case, and then in the second finishes with the door and drawers.
- Nora Hall, Woodcarver — Nora Hall visits the shop and shows the steps to carve a linenfold design.
- Country Chair Seats — David Russell visits and shows the intricacies of corn-shuck chair seats.
- The Museum of Appalachia — Roy discovers the history of Appalachian people at the museum in Clinton, TN.
- Restoring Jefferson’s & Madison’s Homes — Roy visits Monticello, Poplar Forest and Montpelier to follow the work of the two men who were responsible for most of the construction and woodworking.
Season 26 – 2006 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 26 on YouTube
- A Ship in a Bottle — Ahoy Matey! Ever wonder how they get those ships in that bottle? In this video, Roy shows you how.
- Barley Twist Table — In this two-episode project, Roy builds a project from the time of the English Civil War between Scotland, England & Wales (circa 1650).
- Rustic chairs with Skye Gregson — Visit the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York and see how a lovely young lady makes wonderful rustic chairs out of sticks – no two alike.
- Windsor Highchair with Curtis Buchanan — In another two-episode project, Roy learns how to build an elegant Windsor Highchair. Part one deals with the bottom half and demonstrates Curtis’s wonderful turning techniques, while part two deals with making the top half of the chair. The techniques demonstrated here involve spindle making & steam shaping.
- The Spirit of Woodcraft — Zen Master Roy discusses jedi woodworking. Ohmmmm.
- Japanese Planes with John Reed Fox — Roy & John reveal the key to Japanese woodcraft through the use of planes, saws and chisels.
- An English Garden Wheelbarrow — And yet one more two-part project, where Roy demonstrates that to build a wheelbarrow, first you have to build a wheel. Then you add the carriage part to finish the wheelbarrow.
- Upholstering Your Seat — It’s no good having a good chair without a good seat. Learn how to make your chair comfortable to sit on.
- Old Woodworking Machines — Watch as Roy explores an old timey woodworking shop run by belts and pulleys
- The Dovetail Variations — If you think you know dovetails, you better check this out.
Season 27 – 2007 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 27 on YouTube
- Peter and the Box — Sometimes referred to as “Bible Boxes” these simple but elegant boxes from the 17th century are highly prized.
- Ball & Socket Embroidery Stand — This two-part project is charming! An 18th century ball & socket embroidery stand that any wife would love to have. Learn to build the set-screw, the bentwood hoops and the yoke to complete the stand.
- Screw Box for Wooden Threads — Wooden screws – wonderful, useful, beautiful and intriguing. Learn how to make your own.
- French Work Bench – Part 1 — Ooh la la! Another two-part project, and it’s a beautiful workbench! Only a French bench could be this pretty.
- Violin Maker Joe Thrift — Roy & Joe show you how to make a fiddle – copied from a Stradivarius of course.
- Candle Box with Secret Drawer — In the 1700’s, a box was needed to store your candles. Roy shows how to build one of these unique & interesting boxes.
- Parallelogram Plant Stand — An adjustable stand for various size potted plants. Roy works with both wood and metal.
- German Woodcraft in America — Roy visits an old German workshop in Old Salem, NC.
- Woodworking with Tillers International — Roy visits Tillers International just east of Kalamazoo, MI where they teach all sorts of rural trades – the old fashioned way.
- The Sordid Blacksmith — Roy visits the blacksmith shop in Colonial Williamsburg and explores the “vulgar” art of blacksmithing.
- Henry Ford’s Museum Village — Visit Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village filled with Americana representing people with the courage to make a difference.
Season 28 – 2008 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 28 on YouTube
- The Governor’s Poboy — North Carolina Governor Mike Easley explains how and why he built a “poboy” table.
- Joiner’s Tool Chest — A carpenter’s tool chest is more valuable than a load of gold (according to Robinson Crusoe.) This two-episode project shows how to build a smaller version – a joiner’s chest.
- Jefferson’s Bookstand — A bookstand that supported five open books at one time which Thomas Jefferson could use as a “research center”.
- Classical Carving — Roy & a master carver from Colonial Williamsburg explore 50 years of 18th century carving.
- File Philosophy — A blacksmith’s job is not completely done at the forge. After the hammering stops, the filing commences.
- A Very Boring Program — Boring becomes exciting as demonstrated by Roy.
- Lumberjack Fan Carving — Roy & a master of ancient folk art Lumberjack Fan Carving show you how it’s done.
- Animated Wooden Toys — Wooden toys that inspire the imagination & make the world a better place.
- Hammer Veneer — With a little help from his friends, Roy shows how to do hammer veneer – handy for making drawer fronts.
- Hollywood Spectacular — An incredible tool chest for small tools built with holly wood and decorated with spectacular inlay.
- A Viking Tool Chest — Roy and his friend, Don Weber, discuss the treasures found in a very old Viking tool chest and how to reproduce them.
- Woodworking in Berea — Roy explores the environs of Berea, Kentucky and reveals its rich history and ongoing love affair with woodworking.
Season 29 – 2009 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 29 on YouTube
- Dovetailed Grease Pot — Roy shows how to make a clever little grease pot – a box to keep your grease for maintaining your tool’s surfaces.
- Secrets of the Whirlygig — Make the world a better place by building a woodworking whirlygig!
- Shaker Rocker Frame — The first step to making a rocking chair is making the frame, which Roy does out of a hickory log.
- Shaker Rocker Seat — Now that the frame is done, it’s time to make the seat, the arm rests and the rockers.
- Mary May, Woodcarver — Master woodcarver Mary May shows how to carve a classic “acanthus leaf”.
- Wood and Water — “Green” wood is 50 percent water. Roy demonstrates that it is important to know which tools work best with wood at this stage.
- Steam Powered Sawmill — Full steam ahead! Roy takes you on a journey into the past when he visits a steam-powered sawmill.
- Harvard Side Table — The Shakers of northern Massachusetts may have called this a side table, but it’s plenty large enough for any dining needs.
- A Crutch in Time — Should you ever need a crutch to get around (and let’s hope you don’t), Roy shows you how to build one.
- Hancock Pedestal Table — Roy builds a classic and elegant round pedestal table, first made by the craftsmen at Hancock Shaker Village.
- Brian Boggs, Chairmaker — Master chairmaker, master teacher and master innovator, Brian Boggs, discusses chairmaking.
- Corner Cupboard — In this two-episode project, Roy first shows how to build the glazed-window door at the top of the cupboard, then builds the panel door for the bottom of the cupboard.
Season 30 – 2010 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 30 on YouTube
- Case of the Corner cupboard — Roy discusses how to build the frame for a classic corner cupboard – one of America’s favorite pieces of furniture.
- Making Marvelous Moldings — Adding the final pieces to the corner cupboard puzzle – the moldings.
- Mind over Miter — Miter matters messin’ with your mind? Roy tries to demystify.
- The Till in the Tool Chest — Roy explores a vintage tool chest to see what he can learn from an “old” woodworker.
- Continuous Arm Rocking Chair — This two-episode project pairs us with guest Ella Bizzani, who demonstrates how to make a continuous-arm Windsor rocking chair.
- Who Wrote the Book of SLOYD? — SLOYD is a handicraft-based education approach that began in Sweden. Roy explains how it pertains to modern woodworking.
- The Case for Books — Roy builds a unique modular bookcase that facilitates moving your books quickly and easily.
- Sawing Secrets — Author and editor Christopher Schwarz explains the three classes of sawing as well as other sawing secrets.
- The Tiny Tool Kit — Follow along with Christopher Schwarz and Roy as they discuss the life of a circa 1839 woodworking apprentice.
- Thomas Day, Cabinetmaker — Accompany Roy to the North Carolina Museum of History and explore the life and times of Thomas Day, master cabinetmaker.
- Oak Field Gate — Need a Sussex five-bar field gate for your farm? Roy shows how to build one.
- Field Gate Hinges — With a little help from blacksmith Peter Ross, Roy shows how to make hinges for the Sussex five-bar field gate.
Season 31 – 2011 – 2 DVD Set — Preview Season 31 on YouTube
- The Roubo Bookstand — Build a folding desktop bookstand found in André Roubo’s “L’art du Menuisier.”
- As the Saw Turns — Bill Anderson visits the shop to share the steps to make an elegant and well-designed bow saw.
- Hurray for Hickory — Roy celebrates the quality and versatility of hickory.
- Painless Panel Doors — Learn the intricacies and valuable qualities of frame-and-panel doors as you build one with Roy!
- Handplane Essentials — Christopher Schwarz visits the shop to discuss the care and use of handplanes.
- English Layout Square — Build a classic layout square found in an auction catalog.
- Elizabethan Joint Stool — Peter Follansbee and Megan Fitzpatrick stop by to share the steps to make an English joint stool.
- Carving Swedish Spoons — Learn the basics on a classic carving project with Peter Follansbee.
- Inlaid Lettering — Steve Latta shares his skill at doing letter inlay on furniture pieces.
- Hammer Veneering — Learn the secrets of the 3,000-year-old technique of hammer veneering.
- Iron Work for Timber Work — Roy visits blacksmith Peter Ross to discuss the iron work necessary for doing timber work.
- Offset Turning — Learn how to turn an oval on the lathe (great for tool handles and more!).
- Simple Sash — Roy makes a replacement sash window for an historic building.
You can purchase The Woodwright’s Shop DVDs here:
There appears to be a contents error – the descriptions for the seasons repeat multiple times.
Thanks Gunnar! For some reason I was having technical difficulties with this blog post.
Thank you for this. I am trying to reconnect with these lost skills. This is an enormous help to see which DVDs I want to buy.
Unfortunately Popular Woodworking seems to only sell down loads. I want actual dvds. I stopped buying from Amazon years ago, but this guide is still useful to hunt down dvds in other places. Thank you.
Yeah, I noticed that too Tracy. Not many people buy DVDs anymore.
I only buy hard copies and old school, manually operated, vintage equipment, anymore. I used to have a lot of downloaded movies, books and music through Amazon and many other sources. When I tried to close my Amazon account because of political concerns Amazon went onto my lap top and changed the format of all of my media, including free stuff from Project Gutenberg and other sites, via my Kindle App. It was one of several apps I was using… Read more »