I first met Nick Offerman, of the NBC sitcom Parks & Recreation, when he and I were guests on The Martha Stewart Show. As a recognizable sitcom star, he was the big draw and earned two full segments teaching folks how to make a canoe paddle with simple hand tools. I, on the other hand, was quite thankful for the few words I got to say about woodworking, from my seated position in the audience. And so I was surprise when a show staffer came up to me during the break and said that Nick had to run, but could he please meet me backstage before he headed out? Um, yeah, no problem!

Offerman (R) and co-star Amy Poehler appear in Parks & Recreation. click to enlarge

In Nick’s dressing room I met a full-on Fine Woodworking groupie and a real-deal professional woodworker, who is happier alone in his shop  than on camera. We agreed to stay in touch and find a topic for him to cover in the pages of his favorite magazine. The awesome router jig in FWW #222 is the result. I shot the photos in Nick’s LA shop, jumping at the chance to hang out with a professional comedian. While there, we also shot this video shop tour. If it captures just a hint of the fun I had hanging out with Nick, then I think you’ll like it.

Woodworking is a funny thing: It attracts inquisitive, down-to-earth people, and keeps them that way--no matter how many red carpets they walk.