Thursday, August 17, 2017

Woodworking for Wargamers: YouTube is Your BFF! Post #2

My best tool for woodworking doesn't reside in any tool box.  It isn't a crazy expensive power tool.  It's free and easy to use.  It's youtube.  Why?  Woodworking, like any skill based craft, involves a lot of arcane language (tenons, mitre cuts, rabbits, etc) and is something that requires physical skill.  It's always better to see someone do something like that than read it about it.

It's really not that different from miniature wargaming which has an array of scales and play styles plus all of the stuff one needs to stock up a painting work desk (paints, brushes, scenic materials, etc...).  It can all be a bit intimidating at first but once you dive in and get started things start to gradually make sense.

I have developed a set of goto video channels on youtube which you may find helpful.  These are personal favorites who I've chosen because I like the style of the video presenter as well as the technical details they are trying to convey.  You may not care for the particular individuals I've selected so look for others.  There are a zillion of them and a lot seem to be making a good part of their incomes doing these videos.  At least they seem to be getting free tools to demo!

One of my decision criteria for the following list is that I have chosen video channels where I think the presenter is demonstrating good shop safety skills.  You'll hear something about shop safety in every post because its the most important thing I can try to teach you.  Good safety skills means you'll have more time to practice woodworking.  Bad safety skills means you'll likely spend a lot of time outside of the shop in rehab.  There are a lot of videos where the presenters don't demonstrate safety skills and I've seen cringe worthy things like people reaching across a spinning table saw blade, not using push sticks and the worse offense of all - not wearing eye protection.  I realize I may sound like an over protective nanny but it's important.  Yeah that and I do like to lecture.....

Enough moralizing from me

Here are my favorite YouTube channels:

Dave Stanton
Dave is an Aussie who has a very inviting style and a deliberate pace that allows you to follow along in the shop.  I may even wear a blue T-shirt in my workshop (watch the videos you'll understand).  My new goal in life is to get to Australia to buy both Dave on Paul O'G (of the Man Cave blog) a beer together.  Australia's a small island so I'm sure they live close to one another.

Steve Ramsay
Steve makes videos that are aimed at the beginner and he uses a limited set of tools.  He also has a quirky sense of humor that I like.  He has a really good series of posts titled "wood working basics" which I highly recommend.

The Wood Whisperer
Marc Spagnuolo's video channel.  This is a full fledge business with a supporting webpage and some really good books (that I have bought and use constantly).  Marc's has honed his teaching skills so this is a great channel for more complex projects.  Marc also does exceptional tool reviews that cater to both the beginner and power user.

Jay Bates
Jay is a young guy who's an exceptionally talented wood-worker and also a very skilled video editor.  Jay uses CAD (Computer Aided Design) program sketchup to create his projects and I'm using his videos to learn how to use the program.  My son is a CAD expert and laughs at my feeble CAD attempts.   I also really like the design of Jay's shop.

Paul Sellers
Paul is the Mac-Daddy of hand tool users.  He doesn't use power tools and proves that anything can be made with just hand tools.  His skill level is off the chart.  Every time I fire up my table saw, I wince a little because I know somewhere in England Paul Sellers is looking down upon me in a disapproving manner.

That's enough to get you started - there are a lot of others so find one that you connect with and use it to both learn and gain some confidence.

Next Post: Suggested Hand Tools to start with


Steven Williams said...

Thanks for the links - having just moved to a new house, I'm trying to decide between building a custom table or using two banks of kitchen cabinets as a base for the table. Watching some videos will either fire me up with enthusiasm or remind me of my limits :)

jmilesr said...

I've seen a lot of tables that look great and are based on old cabinets