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Fine Woodworking on the David Letterman Show

comments (24) September 29th, 2011 in blogs

Ed_Pirnik Ed Pirnik, Senior Web Producer
thumbs up 114 users recommend

Fine Woodworking makes an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Fine Woodworking makes an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Fine Woodworking makes an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Photo: CBS

It's not too often that a late night television host would have reason to mention--even momentarily--the art and craft of woodworking. The chances of a sawdust-related conversation between David Letterman and a comedian who I consider to be one of the funniest on television these days are even more miniscule.

Enter Nick Offerman, or as many of you may know him from the NBC sitcom Parks & Recreation: Ron Swanson.

Nick is not only a gifted comedian able to use a seemingly deadpan stoicism to get you laughing, he's a hell of an accomplished woodworker who specializes in slab tables. What's more, he's also the author of our current cover story on how to Level Big Slabs in No Time Flat (FWW #222).

Nick was a guest on the David Letterman Show last night and brazenly attempted to sell Dave a rather expensive cedar strip canoe. OK, I'm kidding about the strong-arm sales tactics but the two did gab about all-things-wood, and Dave even broke out a copy of the current issue of Fine Woodworking magazine. Below is the full segment courtesy of CBS. Enjoy!

View Nick Offerman's Article

Level Big Slabs in No Time Flat 

posted in: blogs, nick offerman, parks and recreation, david letterman

Comments (24)

aceboy aceboy writes: Another thing that is kind of funny, is the way that someone at Finewoodworking screws up my delivery. I'm sure they find that very funny also.
Posted: 8:30 pm on October 8th

AndyTirado AndyTirado writes: Excellent and entertaining interview. Love the deadpan humor and found it interesting that Mr. Offerman has done a lot of the same things I have, woodworking-wise. Props, set construction, and even (my first foray into the world of woodworking) a couple of canoes from the very same canoe making book, Canoecraft. Hmm... maybe I should move to LA and take up acting.
Posted: 12:56 pm on October 5th

aqn aqn writes: As soon as he said "...I grew up using tools..." I started checking out his hands to see if all fingertips are still intact. :)
Posted: 9:18 am on October 5th

AsaC AsaC writes: I was lucky enough to shoot this article in LA with Nick. I met him at The Martha Stewart Show, where he was demonstrating how to build a canoe paddle by hand, and I knew right away he was the real deal. While I was out there at his shop's "undisclosed location," I also shot a shop tour. Check it out at
There's a longer version for members, too:
I'll see if one of the web folks can add these videos to this blog.
Now I've got to get back to brainstorming Nick's next article. Think enough FWW readers would want to see his process for making beautiful handmade canoe paddles? Or should we a full how-to article on these side tables he makes?

Posted: 9:39 am on October 4th

KAM111 KAM111 writes: Great Clipe, Never seen the show, do all fine wood workers clean up so well?
Posted: 8:02 pm on October 3rd

KParrilla KParrilla writes: Go FWW! First Martha Stewart, now David Letterman..who will it be next?
Posted: 2:23 pm on October 3rd

Trocket Trocket writes: I immediately took this to my wife as the only way she'd listen to someone talk about woodworking for more than 30 seconds.

With a smug voice, she might start asking me though if I am using dowel joints...

Very enjoyable
Posted: 2:00 pm on October 3rd

Sean A Sean A writes: Agreed, great clip. P&R is worth tuning in. BTW, John Stewart of The Daily Show is a woodworker! He talked about it during his interview with Jennifer Aniston.
Posted: 11:26 am on October 3rd

Rich67 Rich67 writes: Cool interview, very witty man and talented. Love the tables too, great press too for 'Finewoodworking' . I liked his original title for his sled !!! lol.
Posted: 6:04 am on October 3rd

Northerner26 Northerner26 writes: that was very cool, thanks for posting and also cool to know an actor/comedian is also a skilled woodworker and an author for one of the best wood mags available.

i wonder how many other actors or famous people are into woodworking? i know Harrison Ford started out as a carpenter before hitting it big in American Graffiti.
i think that would make a great story for FWW to do.
Posted: 11:46 am on October 2nd

mgberry mgberry writes: What a great video. Thanks for sharing with us!
Posted: 6:45 pm on October 1st

mdwatkins mdwatkins writes: Very very cool...just forwarded it to everyone I know.
Posted: 11:38 am on October 1st

TomZ TomZ writes: Great show. The Ron Swanson character is terrific. If you agree you may consider improving your life as set forth in the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Check it out -->

Notice woodworking near the top.

Thomas Zayatz
Posted: 11:23 am on October 1st

Lesadams Lesadams writes: Nick also stars in a great DVD from Bear Mountain Boat shops, in which he builds that nice cedar strip canoe. It's an excellent instructional piece for someone interested in this method of construction. I highly recommend it and I'm NOT associated with Bear Mountain or Nick!
Posted: 10:23 am on October 1st

mdhills mdhills writes: "The Possum" episode (season 2, episode 18) was the classic one to introduce Offerman's woodworking. City inspector comes in to check for code compliance as he applies for a shop expansion. 28 code violations (including oily rags drying above a wood-burning stove)


Posted: 9:26 am on October 1st

bill919 bill919 writes: I agree with Morrison. This may put an end, once and for all, to the rumor that all woodworkers are a bunch of pencil-necked geeks. Well, some woodworkers maybe. OK, a few. Way to go, Offerman!
Posted: 9:17 am on October 1st

pipes0000 pipes0000 writes: That's the best Letterman episode I have seen in a while,Nick is hilarious,LOL and one lucky sob.I need to start watching parks and rec.
Posted: 9:13 am on October 1st

Grantman Grantman writes: Ironically, I just got my copy in the mail yesterday and was intrigued by the jig. Then this clip. I guess I have to look for and start watching Parks & Rec. I never even heard of the show. I'm glad Dave took the time to talk about the wood and not the show. It makes this guy bigger in relationship to all the other Hollywood denizens.

William H. Macy is also a woodworker and I think one time gave Letterman a bowl he had turned.

Who else in Hollywood makes sawdust? (And no, Harrison Ford probably hasn't had a saw in his hand since Star Wars days. But he did do a lot when he was younger. More carpenter than woodworker).
Posted: 8:07 am on October 1st

CIAman CIAman writes: Looks like a great book to learn from!
Posted: 7:09 am on October 1st

pshivers pshivers writes: I agree. His title would definitely have sold some copies
Posted: 7:08 am on October 1st

cer cer writes: That was funny. I don't think much work would get done hanging around with a guy with a sense of humor like Nick. Great!
Posted: 6:59 am on October 1st

Ripsaw51 Ripsaw51 writes: A great appearance for an actor and woodworker. You can't ask for better public relations for Fine Woodworking. Well done Nick Offerman!
Posted: 9:02 pm on September 30th

RC_Morrison RC_Morrison writes: Actor, woodworker and holds his own with Letterman. Let's see Pitt do that.
Posted: 8:40 pm on September 30th

JusticeBeaver JusticeBeaver writes: Should have gone with his title
Posted: 8:12 am on September 30th

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