Norm's Hall of Fame Tools

These are the tools that have survived Norm's hold-up-to-hard-work standard and have proven their worth enough to Norm to have stayed around for at least 50 appearances. That's no small feat, since, with more than 320 tools used in 260 episodes, only these 32 (or 33, depending on how you count the Biesemeyer auxiliary fences) have made that grade, and only five others have made as many as 40 appearances (two of which are retired and are not likely to reappear). No other additions to the Hall of Fame are contemplated, assuming Season 20 was the last for original programming of The New Yankee Workshop (and not taking into account candidates discovered as the database is refined).

Because of the politics of product placement and sponsorship, some are no longer with the show, such as the Makitas and Bostiches, but that doesn't diminish their achievement. All of these are tools that are worthy of anyone's shop. Note that twelve of the tools are not products of the sponsors (and one is shop-built).

Listed in approximate order of number of appearances. Asterisk after tool name indicates tool is retired.

(mouseover tool name for # of appearances)

Hall of Fame Tool

Welcome to the Jack Rabbit Drill Driver, the Quick-Grip Clamp, and the Porter-Cable 733x Random Orbit Sander—the newest members of my Norm's Tools Hall of Fame. The Biesemeyer Auxiliary Fences have recently been added, as well.

Interesting observations—on this list are:

The Delta and P-Cs are no surprise, as they are sponsors of the program, but neither of the brad nailers are, nor are the Besseys, the Jorgies, and one of the routers.

The Biesemeyer auxiliary fences (long and short) each have enough appearances to qualify on their own, but are lumped together for this list as their construction, application, and functions are similar.

Major floor tools, such as table saw, radial arm saw, and bandsaw are no surprise, however, there are not one, but two drill presses!!! I've always said a drill press was the most used tool in my shop, and this data closely mirrors that sentiment. If one were to combine the appearances of the 17-900 and the 17-925, they would be #3 on the list.

In doing some updating of the database I've run across several items that have been seen more than 50 times, however I'm not going to put them on the HoF list. Items such as table saw inserts are not really tools in the sense I'm trying to memorialize here; they're more like consumables or just parts of the main tool, although the Osborne miter gauge seems worthy, as would the Angle Wright, were it to get enough appearances. The fences are also noteworthy, well, because it's my HoF, I guess.

I don't think I'll add the roller glue bottle, either, even though it's near the magic number. After all, it's as generic as a shop item can be. It's like adding a pencil to the list. I guess I just don't want to clutter up the HoF with miscellany when I believe its focus should be more substantial tools or, in some cases, accessories.

Last updated: 6 March 2009