Insider Randy Dykes of Burke, VA, who came to the New Yankee Workshop with his wife Leslie, brought special souvenirs for Russ and Norm. A retired Captain in the U.S. Navy, Randy gave Russ and Norm each a challenge coin from one of the three ships he commanded over the course of his career in the military.
Before enlisting, one of Randy's first jobs was working as a draftsman in a commercial cabinet shop; now that he's retired from the Navy, he's got much more time to work on carpentry projects. (Including Norm's router table, a version of which he got to see in person in the New Yankee Workshop.) Randy also showed off photos of custom millwork he recently completed for a local restaurant—trust us, it was impressive.
"Leslie and I have been watching TOH since the beginning with Bob Vila, and in fact having access to the entire video library is a key reason why I'm an Insider," Randy says. "I tried to never miss an episode, but it was challenging with deployments. My father-in-law used to record episodes on VHS and send them to me on the ship. I always looked forward to those tapes!" Both Randy and Leslie would love to see the gang from This Old House get involved with the USO.
During the Q&A, Leslie asked Norm what happened to all of the projects from the New Yankee Workshop. After all, there were over 200 different projects, and Norm mentioned that each was made at least twice, if not three times. For each project, he built a finished version that could be shown right from the start of each episode, then a second one was made while each episode was shot. Projects that went into The New Yankee Workshop books were created a third time, so they could be photographed step-by-step.
The answer? Both Norm and Russ kept plenty—spotting them in and around the workshop made for a bit of a scavenger hunt—but many of the pieces were given away over the years.