Roy Underhill
Roy Underhill

Roy Underhill is the one and only Woodwright, a term he coined to help sell his show idea to public television in the late 1970s. Now in its 28th season of filming, the original how-to show, "The Woodwright's Shop," is still going strong. In fact, Underhill is one of the longest-running program hosts in the history of American television.

He is also the author of the Woodwright's series of books and a highly sought-after lecturer and communications consultant. He has a gift of captivating audiences with a whirlwind of education, entertainment, and philosophy.

Exploring the methods and tools of pre-industrial revolution craftsmen, Underhill invites people to do the same with his infectious enthusiasm, seasoned with healthy doses of historical education and a bit of wry social commentary thrown in for good fun. This means working exclusively with hand tools and human-powered machinery–something Underhill is beyond passionate about. He is even referred to as "St. Roy" in some woodworking circles for his adherence to the old hand ways and publicly preserving their nearly lost arts.

Underhill's hand-tool evangelism is no doubt responsible for thousands of woodworkers taking their first tentative swipes with a hand plane and discovering the joy of applying one's hands to traditional tools and methods in today's shop. Between filming his show and working on the sixth book in the Woodwright's series, he is founding a woodworking school in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., where he'll teach hands-on classes.

–Michael Springer