So, within the past year and half, I’d say, I’ve gotten into the hobby of woodworking. When I use the term woodworking, that can be very broad and cover a lot of different areas of working with wood.
I grew up around power tools and occasionally helped my Dad when he was into building things from wood. I didn’t really have a desire to help him build furniture. I’m probably not that much different from most kids that grew up around tools.
I also remember my Grandpa having a wide array of tools in his garage that I would look at and admire whenever I’d go to visit him.
One memory that will stick with me for a long time is the fact that my Dad would always search for ways to fix things when they were broken. I can’t count how many broken fans that he found that just needed a new power cord or something small to get them working. My Dad literally knew how to do everything related to working with his hands. He was always, and still is to this day, learning how to do new things. If there was something he needed to know, he’d read magazines and books on how to do it.
So, I definitely credit my Dad for teaching me and instilling in me the desire to fix things and work with my hands.
Of course, there are many things that led me to start the hobby of working with wood. But, I really wouldn’t call myself a woodworker. I really haven’t built any pieces of fine furniture. I’m more of a DIY’er who aspires to be a woodworker. I just happen to own several tools that woodworkers use. I also consume a lot of woodworking media through YouTube. If you aren’t aware of it, there is a huge woodworking community on YouTube as well as other forums and blogs. From the weekend woodworker to the person who makes woodworking videos and makes a living doing it making money from adsense. But most YouTube woodworkers who are able to make a living doing it, also have their own websites to share their content with the masses.
The desire to make woodworking videos to share with others online is to teach others the craft or hobby.
Not too long ago, if you wanted to see woodworking videos, you had rely on shows like Hometime, This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop. My favorite was always Hometime with Dean Johnson. And, of course TOH is still on PBS and I have it set to my DVR. But, woodworking in the media has changed and evolved to Home and Garden and DIY on Cable Network channels by the same name. Those shows almost try and make the work seem so easy even a caveman can do it. Others actually show homeowners taking on projects only to have to call in professionals to fix their screwups.
I’m not trying to bash some or even most of those shows. People just need to be honest with themselves and know their limitations.
But, something that seems foreign to me, and I don’t want to offend anyone, is grown men not knowing their way around tools or how to fix the very basic things. Or, even not having the desire to learn how to fix something themselves. I suppose it’s the way God made them as well as how they were raised. As far as DIY projects are concerned, so much money can be saved by just learning the very basic things when dealing with home maintenance. Things like fixing a leaky toilet or installing a new faucet are both relatively easy to learn how to do.
I often wonder what happens when a homeowner experiences a leaky toilet and they don’t know how to shut the water off to it with the shut off valve. It can be costly and cause a lot of damage if they don’t know how to turn off the water.
These were some of the things that I learned growing up and a big reason there are so many on YouTube who are making informative yet entertaining videos showing and explaining some of these things and more.
I’ve found it very helpful whenever I’ve needed to learn how to fix something and it turns out that someone has already had the same problem and uploaded a video to YouTube showing the solution.
Take, for instance, car repairs. If you want to find out how to replace a part, you can drive down to the nearest auto parts store, assuming they’re open, buy a manual for your car, bring it home then spend a little while searching through it to find the location of the part on your particular vehicle. Or you can simply do a Google search for the part on your make and model of you car, and within a minute you can be viewing the part, all without leaving your home.
Now, most people don’t realize how much work it is to shoot a good quality video, provide detailed narration and explanation all while keeping the viewers’ attention. Not to mention, making a video documenting something generally adds 3-4 times the amount of time it takes to accomplish the task.
But there is a wealth of knowledge to be found online. It really only takes a person’s desire and the confidence to learn how to do some of these things. As well as having the right tools for the job.
I certainly don’t want to come across as pompous or somehow more privileged because I have some tools and knowledge. I know I could wake up tomorrow and it could all be gone or taken away.
I realize that I have this window of opportunity given to me during this season of my life to have this hobby. I would like to make it count and learn and apply as much as I can. I also know that knowledge can puff you up and make you feel superior to others.
Unfortunately, I’m not very good at interacting with individuals who aren’t familiar with basic tools without coming across as a know it all.
It’s amazing how good we can be at hiding what we’re truly thinking.
Of course, being able to teach others is also a somewhat basic social skill that others have that I don’t have. That’s where I have to step back and think about all the gifts and talents that person does have. Not to compare myself to them, but to keep myself humble.
For me, YouTube, and this blog, seems like a good opportunity to pass on some of that knowledge in such a way as to not come across as a know it all.
I’m certainly not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we all have life experiences to pass on to others. Some may embrace the knowledge while others will be able to take little nuggets and apply them.
I may not be a walking gold mine of woodworking and diy knowledge, but I hope that I have some little things I’ve learned that others can benefit from.