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Roy Underhill

Roy likes to tell the story of a time when he was essentially un-employable. So in a desperate moment, he pitched a hand-tool woodworking show to PBS and at the same time applied to be a housewright at the living history museum Colonial Williamsburg. Much to his surprise, he got both jobs, and set a pattern for himself of trying to always be in two places at once. His television show The Woodwright’s Shop has been on PBS for more than 35 years. That means he often hears “I used to watch you when I was a kid...” from people with grey hair.


For many years, he has run his own woodworking school, The Woodwright’s School, in Pittsboro, N.C. In spite of having his own school, he still travels relentlessly, teaching, lecturing and presenting his particular brand of hand-tool woodworking wherever they let him. Whenever I’m around Roy, I pay attention. I never know what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be good.


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