As a DIYer you may want to do woodworking, or get more into it, but how do you actually get started down the path of becoming a better woodworker?
In this episode I walk you a bit through my journey, and layout several things you can do. As well as some resources to checkout for your journey to becoming a better woodworker.
- April Wilkerson (YouTube, Instagram)
- Jay Bates (YouTube, Instagram)
- The WoodWhisperer (YouTube, Instagram)
- Matt Cremona (YouTube, Instagram)
- Steve Ramsey (YouTube, Instagram)
- Stumby Nubs (YouTube, Instagram)
- BudDIY (YouTube, Instagram) 😉
- The Weekend Woodworker
Or if you prefer video
Hello and welcome to the third episode of the BudDIY podcast where we’re going to talk about getting started to becoming a better woodworker. But before that, if you’re watching on YouTube, please feel free to subscribe and hit that notification bell so you know when a new video is released. If you’re on the website or listening to the audio version, be sure to open up your podcast application and subscribe through there. We’re available on most major platforms. If you’re on the website or if you’re not been to the website, feel free to visit the website https://buddiy.net and look for articles there that are not just podcasts, and also look for the latest podcast as well. And feel free to sign up for the email newsletter and be notified when there’s new content up on the website. So with that, let’s jump into our topic today of how to become a better woodworker.
Because last week I screwed up as a new podcaster. I talked about why you should become a better woodworker, but I didn’t talk about how to become a better woodworker. So let’s jump into that today. And the first part of that topic is to watch people do woodworking. Not only can watching people do woodworking be a fun and interesting and entertaining, but it also allows you to learn and get ideas and be inspired. I know my journey has kind of been a little bit interesting in that aspect. I one day got a video, I don’t know, four years ago or three, I don’t know from the YouTube algorithm, it just threw out, Hey, this person is leaving their shop and it’s a good bye video to their shop. And I’m like, why is somebody making a video about leaving their shop and putting it on YouTube? Just totally confusing.
Later I realized it was April Wilkerson who now has over a million subscribers on her YouTube channel and like a couple of hundred thousand followers on Instagram. And so she’s actually kind of a big personality and big person in the DIY community. But I had no idea who it was, I had never really watched DIY anything, so to be presented a video like that, I was like, what? I kind of followed that and went to her YouTube channel, ended up watching a couple of videos there about like some basic woodworking and I remember skipping through them just totally confused as to why somebody would create this kind of content. I’m just going to be honest, since it wasn’t something that was interesting to me at the time, it was confusing. So yeah, that’s where it started then I think YouTube kept that I watched those videos and incorporated that into the algorithm.
Because a couple of years later I ran across a video where somebody was making a cabinet that had a concealed compartment in it, that blended in and you didn’t know it was there. And I was like, whoa, that sounds interesting. How are they making it concealed so that other people don’t see it? I need to watch this. And it turned out to be it’s like a 25 minute video of a person, like time-lapse sped up three or four times. And that’s all it was. There was well music to it and I was just fascinated the entire time watching this person go from scratch to this cabinet with a concealed compartment. And I think that flipped a switch in my head and I was like, wow, that’s just all really interesting and a while I didn’t start watching woodworking videos at that time. It made it more interesting and I actually started paying a little more attention to furniture.
At the time, didn’t realize it that I was doing that, but I was and then a couple of years ago, oh wow, a couple of years ago? I think it’s only been like a year and a half at this point. We were discussing needing some cube boxes in the house for the shelves and you can buy them at Ikea and Target all day long. And I’ve always hated how crappy Ikea furniture is and how crappy like cheap furniture from Target is. And I’m like, “Man, those things are basic. I could figure out how to make those.” And my wife was like, “Okay, why don’t you do that?” Talk about somebody calling your bluff.
So I immediately was like, “Oh crap. Now I should figure out how to do that.” And I started watching a lot of YouTube videos on doing woodworking and it became really interesting and I started trying to figure out what I needed to do, what tools that I needed. I realized that the table saw I had at the time wasn’t going to be good enough. And I’m like, “Oh, I need to get a new table saw and I need to get this, this, that, and the other tools.” I eventually realized I couldn’t get it done and we bought some cheap Target ones and I swear these things are made out of cardboard with a little wood veneer on the outside. They’re so bad.
But anyway, so that kind of started a journey that I’ve gone on and it all came from watching YouTube videos. And so that’s kind of where I want people to start, is watching, be inspired and learn along the way. So with that in mind, here are a few channels that I recommend and there are no particular order, but they’re kind of the in somewhat the order that I found them in.
So with that in mind, we’ll start with April Wilkerson. The person that started the journey and I think planted a seed in my head and the she’s over a million subscribers like I said, and she’s a good generalist DIY and woodworker. She can do more advanced complicated stuff but she found her niche. She can create like the country look, that’s what she kind of goes for, she creates modern pieces without a lot of fine details but all of her pieces look good and she has a good flair to it. I really like many of the pieces that she made and many of the projects she does. She doesn’t stick with just like furniture and things like she has made a coop for chickens. She’s modified her trailer to be able to carry giant logs for the bandsaw that she built, done different welding projects. She does CNC wood machine stuff. Just kind of all types of different projects and it’s just fun watching the diversity of what she does.
The next person is Jay Bates. I really like Jay Bates contents because while he can do like super fine woodworking he’s kind of between the generalist and the super fine detailed woodworking. And more projects that I feel are everyday people can do. They’re definitely a little bit of a stretch for the everyday woodworker that’s trying to get better and I think that’s why he’s appealing to a lot of people is, is it allows people to stretch themselves and so it’s really good content. He’s really good at what he does. I like his teaching style and I like his videos because they’re also, not only are they informative but I like his style and so it’s entertaining to watch as well.
Then there’s the Wood Whisperer, Mark Spagnolo I think is his name, but he’s known as the Wood Whisperer and now he goes for the fine woodworking, but he also has a website, the Wood Whisperer Guild as well and he does a lot of teaching on there as well. And so his videos are really interesting because they kind of get you to stretch and really extend out what you think is possible and what you can do. And he kind of walks you through how to do the work and so for me it’s really good to see that so that I can see where it can be going. I can see the process because to me a lot of the woodworking is less about magic and more about following a process and understanding process of getting things done. And so I have found that after watching his stuff, it makes the more simplistic videos that I watch a little easier to understand and helps to motivate me to do better looking projects than what I’ve done in the past.
Then from there I found Matt Cremona and Matt Cremona and Mark Spagnolo are friends. Actually, I feel like all these guys are friends because they’re all kind of the cream of the crop in the woodworking communities on YouTube. Matt Cremona does a lot of stuff with wood. He developed and built his own bandsaw and he sells plans for that. April Wilkerson actually bought the plans and brought Matt Cremona out and a couple of other people. And over the course of, I think two or three videos, they built an entire bandsaw.
She said this thing has sturdiness and size and everything that if she had bought that one and had somebody else set it up, it would have been like a $70,000 bandsaw. But she only has a few thousand dollars put into it. I want to guess like 10 or $15,000 I’m not sure exactly. So it was a great value for her and Matt Cremona made it and he teaches a lot on wood from milling it and cutting slabs, milling it, breaking it down and then also like wood movement, different types of wood things like that. While that’s not his main focus, you know it’s something he’s passionate about and he talks about. So it’s good education not only for his YouTube channel but also his Instagram as well. So definitely check out Matt Cremona.
The next person I want to talk about is Steven Ramsey now he’s kind of one of the original woodworking YouTube channels. He’s been around for I think 12 or 13 years or something like that. Long time, he’s an OG. He’s hit his niche as the person that has never done woodworking before and wants get started. So literally you would go to his channel if you have never touched a tool before in your life and you want to get started. It’s also good for the more intermediate as well like he’s really good projects that you might want to do, but like he wants to be the person that can help you start from absolutely nothing and get you to an intermediate skill level as a woodworker and his channel like hits the bill perfectly. I’ve watched a ton of his videos. He goes over basic skills of woodworking as well as like how to build more complex projects that are super crazy. And he also shows you how to do it without getting a ton of crazy tools and using just basic tools that everyone might have. So definitely check out Steve Ramsey.
And then finally there is Stumpy Nubs. I’ll be honest, this guy’s channel it took me a while to warm up to, because I’m not the biggest fan of his sense of humor and I don’t know but I really do like his channel. I’ve learned so much from this channel because he has such a breadth of topics that he talks about and he is passionate about woodworking and I think that’s what drives me to his channel is his passion and just the amount of stuff that I’ve learned. I have much respect to Stumpy Nubs and I definitely recommend the channel. He also has a lot of different categories just so that you know. The categories are categorized by color of the thumbnail around the border.
So definitely go check it out and try to figure out the types of categories. And he just has a lot of really good content that’s all I can say. I think it’s so wide I can’t narrow it down to one thing other than he loves to teach and he loves to get people to progress through their craft and go from one state … he wants to help you from whatever stage you’re at to get to that next stage as a woodworker to become better. Definitely check out Stumpy Nubs, it’s fun name too.
So with that I’m kind going through the YouTube channels and I want to jump onto a few websites, some of the biggest to be inspired. So I recommend Instagram. By the way, you can follow me https://instagram.com/buddylindseyjr because there’s just a lot of projects there that people go through and can be very inspiring and a lot of variations, a lot of cool ideas, stuff that I never would have thought about doing with wood I see people do on wood. Another similar website in that vein for just being inspired as SimpleCove. This is run by a guy that loves woodworking. It’s his night and weekend passion, he has a day job. He’s not a full-time woodworker but he loves it so much that he helps run a website to inspire other people and everyone posts their projects up there. So you can see a lot of variation in similar projects and he also runs contests every now and then and it gives away prizes that are pretty cool. So I definitely check out SimpleCove for inspiration.
There’s also the LumberJocks Woodworking Forums that you can check out. Not only interact with other people in the woodworking community, but they have a project section that you can be inspired and kind of get plans for as well on different things. To kind of help take your skill level to that next step or if you have a problem, you can go to a woodworker that has been there and done that and they can help if you describe your problem on the forum to kind of work through the issues. And then finally, several of the people that I mentioned in the YouTube section have websites and they sell plans or give them away. And I definitely recommend going to their website and getting some of those plans for the projects that you like the most because you can kind of break down, get the plans, look at the blueprints breakdown, look kind of cut lists and learn and deconstruct things on your own and in your own way.
So those are a bunch of resources on how to be inspired and really kind of get started. The final thing is to just practice, next time you’re working on something with woodworking or DIY in general try to make it look a little better than your original plan. Try to add, do something with a little bit of an extra skill. I know for me, like I was building a table for what I call my chicken shed and the table I was just going to like start nailing boards together and screwing me together. And I was like, you know what, I’ve never done pocket holes before so I borrowed my father-in-law’s pocket hole jig and I used pocket holes to join the leg to each other to build a frame and then put a plywood top on it. It didn’t need to be anything complicated, but I was able to add that to my skillset.
So that another project that I was working on, pocket holes actually made a lot more sense for the joinery and I could see why it made sense because I had done it once already. And so doing the pocket holes for that, it just made it a lot simpler and I just got it done and it looked good. And so like I added that extra skill. So definitely practice, take some of the stuff that you see people do and just practice or just try to do something a little extra the next time you’re working on a project. So with that, I think that wraps up this episode of the BudDIY podcast. I thank you for spending your time here and definitely reach out if you have any comments, questions, or criticisms. If you’re on YouTube, give us a thumbs up. If you’re on listening to a podcast, visit your podcast website and leave us a review. Good reviews are always helpful. And with that, I thank you for your time and I wish you a good day.