I’m not the target audience for PBS’ “Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac” (locally at noon Fridays on WHUT). In seventh grade, I broke the saw blade so often in wood shop, I was forever banned from saw usage.
Then I heard that “Rough Cut” is beloved by awesome actor and real-life woodworker Nick Offerman, who plays wood-lover Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” Curious, I tuned in. I can’t say the show gave me the confidence to craft a table inspired by barrel staves, but floppy-haired host Tommy Mac, above, taught me how to look and talk like a woodworker.
Stance when eyeballing wood: Place second and third fingers in front pockets of jeans.
Woodspeak: “I gotta say this grain is really nice and straight.”
You see a fire inside a barrel-in-the-making: Wrong response: “Oh, my God, it’s going to burn up!” Right response: “Ah, you use a slow fire to caramelize the sugars in the wood.”
Go-to words: mortice, tenon.
And if you do manage to make a cool wood thing, and a friend asks how, say: “Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time with your material and let it speak to you.”