Roy Underhill Biography: Spouse, Age, Children, Net Worth, Height, Family

April 5, 2024 0 Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Roy Underhill is a renowned American woodworker, television personality, and living history expert.

With over four decades of experience, Underhill has become a leading authority, inspiring countless individuals to embrace the art of woodworking and appreciate its historical significance.


  • Full Name: Roy Underhill
  • Nickname: The Woodwright
  • Date of Birth: December 22, 1950
  • Age: 74 years old
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., United States
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Woodworker, Television Personality, Author, Living History Expert
  • Height: Approximately 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 meters)
  • Parents: William Underhill (father), Helen Underhill (mother)
  • Siblings: N/A
  • Spouse: Nancy Underhill (married in 1976)
  • Children: Sam Underhill and Tom Underhill
  • Relationship Status: Married
  • Net Worth: $12 million

Early Life and Education

Roy Underhill was born on December 22, 1950, in Washington, D.C., and is 74 years old.

Growing up in the nation’s capital, Underhill’s interest in woodworking was sparked by his father, William Underhill, a skilled woodworker. His mother was Helen Underhill.

Underhill pursued his passion for woodworking by enrolling at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied furniture making and traditional woodworking techniques after completing his education.

Personal Life

Roy Underhill met his wife, Nancy Underhill, while they were both North Bennet Street School students.

The couple tied the knot in 1976 and have been happily married. They have two sons together, Sam and Tom Underhill.

Underhill and his family reside in a historic farmhouse in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where he has established his workshop and a center for traditional woodworking education.


Roy Underhill’s career in woodworking spans over four decades, during which he has made significant contributions to the field.

In 1979, he founded The Woodwright’s Shop, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional woodworking skills.

Underhill offers workshops, demonstrations, and educational programs to teach the art of woodworking to students of all levels through this organization.

Underhill gained widespread recognition through his popular television series, “The Woodwright’s Shop,” which aired on PBS for over 30 seasons.

The show showcased his expertise in traditional woodworking techniques and gave viewers an immersive experience of the history and craft of woodworking.

In addition to his television work, Underhill is a prolific author and has published several books on woodworking, including “The Woodwright’s Guide to Traditional Woodworking,” “The Woodwright’s Guide to Joinery,” and “The Woodwright’s Guide to Hand Tools.”

These books serve as valuable resources for woodworkers of all skill levels, offering detailed instructions and insights into traditional woodworking practices.

Underhill’s expertise has also led him to serve as a consultant on numerous historical restoration projects, including Colonial Williamsburg and the White House restoration.

He has also appeared as a guest speaker at woodworking conferences and events, sharing his knowledge and passion for the craft with fellow enthusiasts.


Roy Underhill’s contributions to woodworking have been widely recognized and honored. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including:

  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from North Bennet Street School (2004).
  • Distinguished Service Award from the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (2006).
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Woodturners (2010).
  • National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (2011).
  • James Krenov Memorial Lecture Award from the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (2019).

Net Worth

Roy Underhill’s net worth is estimated to be around $12 million.

His wealth has primarily been accumulated through his successful career as a woodworker, author, and television personality.


Roy Underhill has generally maintained a positive reputation throughout his career. However, he has been involved in a few controversies about his views on certain aspects of woodworking.

One notable controversy arose when Underhill opposed using power tools in traditional woodworking.

He believes that using power tools compromises the authenticity and integrity of traditional woodworking techniques.

This stance has sparked debates within the woodworking community, with some supporting Underhill’s perspective and others arguing that power tools can be used responsibly and effectively.

Underhill has also been criticized for portraying traditional woodworking as a solely masculine pursuit.

Some critics argue that his focus on male woodworkers and his limited representation of women in the field perpetuate gender stereotypes.

Underhill has since acknowledged the importance of inclusivity and has tried to feature more female woodworkers.

Social Media

  • Twitter: N/A
  • Instagram: @royunderhill


  • The Woodwright’s Shop
  • The Victory Garden
  • Colonial House
  • The New Yankee Workshop
  • The American Woodworker
  • Rough Cut
  • Building a Dream
  • Restore America
  • The Craftsman


  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Traditional Woodworking (1993)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Joinery (1994)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Hand Tools (1997)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Finishing (2000)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Outdoor Projects (2002)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Building a House (2004)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Furniture Making (2006)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Boatbuilding (2008)
  • The Woodwright’s Guide to Rustic Furniture (2010)

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