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D_W

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..rather than actually making things.

(this an off-take from a friend of mine who was a life-long extremely high-end maker. When I mentioned the popularity of Roy Underhill, he flatly said "the main audience for Roy is people who want to imagine they could woodwork or who do a little bit here and there and want to imagine they could do what Roy is doing". )

He said this after I said that as a kid, I watched the shows on PBS here (our narrower focus version of BBC there), but each time I watch something on the woodwright's shop, it shows enough to see someone else doing work, but roy jumps around, seems friendly and I leave not really having gathered much.

So, what's the version now?

Peter follansbee makes a great deal of "stuff" even though he works at a museum. I don't follow peter that much, other than to note that he's interested in the making of things and how to make them, and not in turning himself into a personality with amazon revenue sharing links, etc. What's the result? You can watch his youtube channel if you want and actually learn to make things.


generally around 2000 to 5000 views for each of peter's videos. People aren't really even interested in watching someone else make things if it actually includes fully making them vs. putting together some kind of something for nothing sort of gimmick "secret trick" or "buy this!" stuff.

How about highly edited videos from someone who doesn't have any woodworking accomplishments but follows the heavy editing format and, in this case, the something for nothing gimmick.
587k views so far.

Jay bates and april wilkerson also come to mind, or stumpy nubs (ugh..."how can I sell you overpriced amateur tools via affiliate links and product placement"). I haven't ever seen anything on either of their channels that wouldn't have been far better time spent reading an older book that's actually about making things.

Some of these folks seem like nice people, but the comments on their videos are unreality. "Rex can make anything".

Really? I doubt it. I can't. I seriously doubt he can, either. In peter's style, peter can pretty much make anything and will learn to do it and share it. The fact that it's reality really seems to turn people off.
 

adidat

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april wilkerson

she does my head in! oh look at this i made (with the help of my 5 staff) oh look at this fancy new bit of very expensive kit, that i was given or paid very little for.

adidat
 

Woody2Shoes

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..rather than actually making things.

(this an off-take from a friend of mine who was a life-long extremely high-end maker. When I mentioned the popularity of Roy Underhill, he flatly said "the main audience for Roy is people who want to imagine they could woodwork or who do a little bit here and there and want to imagine they could do what Roy is doing". )

He said this after I said that as a kid, I watched the shows on PBS here (our narrower focus version of BBC there), but each time I watch something on the woodwright's shop, it shows enough to see someone else doing work, but roy jumps around, seems friendly and I leave not really having gathered much.

So, what's the version now?

Peter follansbee makes a great deal of "stuff" even though he works at a museum. I don't follow peter that much, other than to note that he's interested in the making of things and how to make them, and not in turning himself into a personality with amazon revenue sharing links, etc. What's the result? You can watch his youtube channel if you want and actually learn to make things.


generally around 2000 to 5000 views for each of peter's videos. People aren't really even interested in watching someone else make things if it actually includes fully making them vs. putting together some kind of something for nothing sort of gimmick "secret trick" or "buy this!" stuff.

How about highly edited videos from someone who doesn't have any woodworking accomplishments but follows the heavy editing format and, in this case, the something for nothing gimmick.
587k views so far.

Jay bates and april wilkerson also come to mind, or stumpy nubs (ugh..."how can I sell you overpriced amateur tools via affiliate links and product placement"). I haven't ever seen anything on either of their channels that wouldn't have been far better time spent reading an older book that's actually about making things.

Some of these folks seem like nice people, but the comments on their videos are unreality. "Rex can make anything".

Really? I doubt it. I can't. I seriously doubt he can, either. In peter's style, peter can pretty much make anything and will learn to do it and share it. The fact that it's reality really seems to turn people off.
I like PF's laidback style and quiet competence, that and the gratuitous bird pictures!
 

D_W

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april wilkerson

she does my head in! oh look at this i made (with the help of my 5 staff) oh look at this fancy new bit of very expensive kit, that i was given or paid very little for.

adidat
There's nothing morally wrong with her channel, but it was offered up to me by youtube early on and I watched a couple of videos. The unintentionally sinister part of it is that viewers suspend disbelief when watching the channel and forget that the point of the channel is to get free stuff and then get ad revenue (the two go together), and the woodworking is there as a third wheel at the very best. It creates the illusion that the presenter has "chosen" the stuff they're working with by discretion when that's never or nearly never the case. The bigger channels can get 5 figures for a couple of arranged videos with new products (on top of ad revenue and link-through revenue for the items).

I never click on any amazon link - ever - if there is a reference token on it.

I have a terrible youtube channel. the point of it is to never make any money on it, and make sure the ad revenue is always clicked off. only the most diligent people who want to do something will watch the videos (e.g., this morning, I got a nice comment from someone looking to make a new wedge for their plane - only someone who actually wants to do that will power through the agonizingly slow, long and poorly produced videos). It took me nearly no effort to share the info, and I figured my goal was that 5 people would use the information to make something they couldn't have figured out easily without them. I think that goal has been met.

It's an irk of mine, I guess, that youtube now will not serve me other peoples' terrible videos - I didn't even know PF was posting videos. But even some are quite good, but not linked to revenue sources and therefor not a harpooning device to stick beginners with targeted ads -Curtis Buchanan's videos about making chairs are a gold mine. they were posted before the algorithm went so skewed toward highly produced ad garbage and got several tends of thousands of views each. you can watch them and pretty much understand how to make a chair. That's a bridge too far for many who want to imagine being resident where woodworking is going on without having to learn to do it well (which is a shame, because the feel of making or doing something that's actual quality is unmatched by making a whole bunch of junk and then wondering how to sell your tools).

The product placement bothers me, though, as it creates an illusion of choice by a presenter unless there is a big sticker on the stuff saying loudly "I'm using this because I'm paid to, do your own due diligence".
 

D_W

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Definitive titles and statements aren't that useful either.


I shared this at a specific point. This is an "all inclusive" video about wooden planes. Look at the iron on the jack plane. It's straight across or nearly straight across. What are the chances that there's a lot of experience behind this, as in working wood, and then with that, working more than test cuts on pine?

Wooden planes are a personal irk of mine because with a little bit of information about set up and use, they're monstrously useful (and cheap). Setting them up like a group of users and adding a "Scrub plane" isn't. The average person will never get from rough wood to accuracy at a mark, but they will have a shelf full of almost valueless planes to deal with.

(I think rex seems like a nice guy - at some point, even if it's an irk of mine, it's what the market wants. The pro wrestling version of woodworking. The guys who make one specific thing very well are either hard to find on youtube, or don't choose to post what they make - those of us wanting to make things or learn enough to see if we want to actually get to making things well lose out).
 

Garden Shed Projects

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I quite like Rex Kruegers channel. He is a bit rough around the edges but uses some interesting techniques that are useful for an amateur woodworker.
Some of these channels provide inspiration for folks like my self woodworking out of a garage with basic tools.
 

BucksDad

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You just have to accept it for what it is - YouTube is a replacement for TV and so lots of people watching are just watching for mindless entertainment. I expect a lot of people who enjoy the likes of Jay Bates never intend or plan to make anything. To be fair to Jay as well, he himself doesn't describe himself as a professional woodworker but as a content creator / YouTuber.

I am just getting started in woodworking and I find this gatekeeping strange. Most of these channels do not proclaim themselves as experts or master craftsmen/women. Most seem pretty self aware with their limitations but if people enjoy watching them, who are we to stop them or berate them.
 

D_W

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I'd liken them to learning the basics of golf from a guy who has been an announcer and plays to a 30 handicap. You can get started on the game, but you could also get started from someone good (often, it seems to difficult - which is a problem with the learner understanding that it's not "one simple trick").

I have seen relatively little of rex (perhaps 10 videos, but that's enough) - I don't have the same distaste for him that I do for the other product placement channels like s. nubs or april wilkerson (and I don't have a personal distaste for those folks, either, but the "i'm your friend" gimmick is sort of the oldest trick in the book. It's a business and they're there to get something out of you, they're not really there to share anything. The 10% or so who want to make things start off on the wrong foot and some don't continue or waste great amounts of money (I did, too, getting information from people who were not actually the business of making things).

It does cause problems (the friend gimmick), though - if you suggest away from someone with a lot of fanboys and toward someone more credible (but maybe less friendly), people will tie you up with "it's more important for someone to be nice and I like this person better". OK, I guess it's a matter of priorities and what goes down easy with coffee in the morning? Who knows.
 

Jameshow

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No one's mentioned Paul Sellars yet!

Anyone like him.

Anyone subscribed to the paid for material?

Most of his stuff is paid for it seems

Cheers James
 

D_W

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Most seem pretty self aware with their limitations but if people enjoy watching them, who are we to stop them or berate them.
berate is a bit strong, but you're right. Youtube started in its growth phase as a platform to get free content from creators to gain market share. It's moving (moved long ago, I guess) to curated information now, so it's more or less a modern TV version.

Interestingly, if you would call someone "just a TV personality and not a real ____", people are fine with that. If it's a youtuber, people feel like there's something more personal. there isn't except for the delivery method, but you're viewing and the person you're viewing isn't interested in what you're doing if you're not. With TV in the early days, older folks had trouble understanding that this was one-way, too (with stories of older ladies getting dressed up to watch liberace on TV because they didn't want him to see them not getting spiced up for him).

It's generally harmless until someone wants to do something in earnest, but most folks who persist will get an older text or bits from older texts and suddenly realize they're the missing link.


(youtube is now rolling RK videos in my background, again, he seems like a nice guy to me. If someone were expecting to use a wooden plane a lot and would make one like this instead of buying an older wooden plane and fitting it properly, they'd be going the wrong direction. Will they know that? Probably not. I didn't. )
 

D_W

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No one's mentioned Paul Sellars yet!

Anyone like him.

Anyone subscribed to the paid for material?

Most of his stuff is paid for it seems

Cheers James
Paul is sort of in the middle. I think he calls himself a lifestyle woodworker, but I get referred to him through blind emails from time to time. He doesn't work entirely by hand and I don't think he ever has productively. I think he went from working in a power tool shop to teaching students. When he does rough dimensioning work other than something you do for site work (he's fine cross cutting with a hand saw, etc), it can be painful to watch. He seems like a nice guy, though, too - just like rex.

The one bit for me that's off with paul is chiding people for spending money on tools and then recommending that they spend near four figures several times to go to his classes or pay to get his content (which is personality delivery, and not any more useful than reading an older text from prior to 1900s in terms of woodworking with hand tools).

Those older texts can lead to shock for people, though, with statements like "one doesn't want to see end grain or exposed dovetails in finished work".
 

scooby

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No one's mentioned Paul Sellars yet!

Anyone like him.

Anyone subscribed to the paid for material?

Most of his stuff is paid for it seems

Cheers James
Not a fan personally, its all the 'I've invented this, I've never seen anyone else do this, etc' that puts me off. I can't remember the specific details but I found one of Paul's 'unique' procedures in 'Woodworking devices and Aids' by Robert Wearing.
Another thing that irked me, was a comment I read here years ago. A member (can't remember the name) went to one of Paul's classes and most of the interaction they had was with Paul's assistants, whilst Paul floated about taking photos. If you pay to have a class with someone, you'd expect them to play a bigger part.

Oh, that was a bit of a rant.

I have to admit, I'm a newcomer to Peter Follansbee's YouTube after discovering it about 8 months ago..I really like that channel. The goldmine for me was the Sampson boat company channel after someone here brought it to my attention (sorry I can't remember who it was but thank you). Thats a great channel!

Sam Angelo and Mike Waldt are the main 2 other you tubers I watch at the moment. Having recently started turning, I've learned quite a bit from them and they both come across as being good people.
 
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D_W

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That's another value of reading old or republished texts. You find quite quickly that what you think is _____'s method is either not really their method, or it's bettered by something else that's less cumbersome once you have some skill.

Wearings techniques give students success. Repetition and focusing on standards generally replace most of them in the long term unless someone is really conscientious and unbothered by having to jig a bunch of operations that don't really need jigging.

Beginners need some success and getting to the latter point, though - most won't stick to get there.

I've had a recent email exchange with someone who wants to use planes to join panels. I told them what I'd do and what the long-term target is (joining them without needing a square or straight edge - the two boards will be joined. laying one on top of the other while the bottom board is in a vise and looking at the joint is all you need to know, and then leave the remainder of the roughing until after the panel glue. if someone doesn't trust their eyes at that point, they can take a straight edge and see if the two panels sit on top of each other without tension in a way that's resulting in planar surfaces, but it's nice to do all of the work without having to constantly stop and check with squares and straight edges.

This kind of thing is not going to be popular with beginners - in my email exchange, the issue of a panel not coming out of the clamps flat is tied to "I checked the edges carefully with a square, it should've been flat".

Yes, it should be. It's hard to see really well across half an inch with a square when the face of the board may no longer be planar, and then expect a 12''
wide panel to be flat. It's judging a half inch thickness to get flatness on a wide surface. It's a whole lot easier to judge the surface and then leave room to correct later.

The method that I describe requires no cauls or any such things either - the boards don't need to be punished into place as the test joint sits in position under its own weight.

There are no stop shavings or anything involved either, and on long or wide joints, the fitting can be cleaned up with a smoother instead of continuing to joint over and over.
 
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BucksDad

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Good points D_W. And yes, berate was a bit strong - sorry.

I've found Instagram to be a bit better for following furniture makers. I think the format of sharing pictures or 1 minute stories works much better for people whose primary focus is the actual making.

Personally I enjoy following Waters & Acland and their students that they frequently highlight on their feed.. lots of ambitious furniture projects done to an excellent standard
 

Cheshirechappie

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Isn't it the same in many walks of life, though?

Take sports - football, cricket, baseball, rugby, snooker, ping-pong, you name it. A few people on the pitch or table working their wotsits off, and thousands stood or sat around just watching and shouting at them.

Never be any different.

To be fair to Roy Underhill, he does a very fair job of making what could be a very boring watch entertaining for the lay person. If you want detailed instruction, there are other sources.

Could also be that the people stood around gawping at sportsmen or woody entertainers are individually damn good at doing something; car repair, for example, or lorry driving, or emptying dustbins, or orthopaedic surgery. There are Youtube channels of people driving lorries and repairing cars, but how many dustbin emptying Youtube channels do you know? Not many, I suspect - but I'll bet you're glad your bins are emptied.

Some people make lengthy and boring videos about how to plane a piece of wood straight. Some people make entertaining videos about planing wood. The entertaining ones get more views. Quelle surprise!
 

D_W

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To be fair to Roy Underhill, he does a very fair job of making what could be a very boring watch entertaining for the lay person. If you want detailed instruction, there are other sources.
Yes, he started as a TV show in the 1980s or something. Interestingly, it was on PBS at least once a week in rural areas where I grew up, but it's not as easy to find here in the city. I LOVED the show.

He brings legitimate folks onto the show (sometimes charismatic beginner teachers, but often someone from williamsburg or another accomplished worker like that). It's the format - PBS needs to make the show and it can't just appeal to woodworkers. I'd imagine his classes are vastly different than the show.

The reason this comes up (the TV show format) is just my comment to someone here about not quite getting enough to take something to the bench and get after it on fine work. He lined me out on the "that's not the point. the point is something other than showing you how to make things" .

Given my history here, being surprised to see roy actually show up in the forum mention because I didn't know if he actually made much, I actually learned he was more accomplished than I expected and not less, but this isn't under a current lens where I can make one of two things well and understand what it means to try to do it well and skillful and efficiently, it's under when I started woodworking. As a non-woodworker, rather than thinking he was a woodworking hero, I thought he was practicing some sort of throwback escapism. But it looked neat with all of the axes and such.
 

D_W

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Good points D_W. And yes, berate was a bit strong - sorry.

I've found Instagram to be a bit better for following furniture makers. I think the format of sharing pictures or 1 minute stories works much better for people whose primary focus is the actual making.

Personally I enjoy following Waters & Acland and their students that they frequently highlight on their feed.. lots of ambitious furniture projects done to an excellent standard
I think it was fair to assume, though. I'm not berating individuals (the danger of saying I would go to different sources if the point is actually making is that it's interpreted often as "you're just dogging that guy"). It's fair to anticipate that because there will be people who are just doing that.

I was trying to shorten the title and used the word "fake". that was a bad choice lensing back on it now, what I wanted to say was "that people are more interested in watching woodworking and imagining they could do it because there's a burden with actually doing it". I, too, like to watch certain people work rather than doing it myself. Even routine stupid things, like how someone in the third world who is a manual laborer will dig with a shovel. It's fantastic. I'm sure it's punishing work to them, but the efficiency and vigor is shocking. Here in the US, my neighbor is an actual trade laborer and he wants to put a fence up, but he will absolutely not do it until he's able to get a free loan of a two man auger or a truck mounted auger. He only has to install about 15 posts. I'd bet on a site with a power auger, though, he's fast, as he works commercial jobs. It's all in how you look at things.

If paul sellers makes a funny looking pine clock with a tiny face on it, it's not "fake" working, it's just not fine work.

I have issues talking with people about woodworking by hand because normally what I run into is "yeah, but I don't want to do that, do you have suggestions for which japanese disposal saws I can buy for ripping and resawing?" No, not unless you're making boxes or something small. Or like the mention of joining panels above. If someone says they want to do one panel by hand, OK, I'm not the guy. If you say you're going to work all or mostly by hand and you hope to join several hundred, then I can tell you what I know about it because I did it "the hard way" first, too. I also tried to rip boards with japanese saws, which people constantly ask about because they feel like if they could be productive with rough work with disposable saws, they could skip learning to sharpen saws.
 

Ollie78

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There was one guy, Tommy Mac who made a crazy bombe secretary in episodes.
I found it interesting enough to watch that all, though I have no intention of making one.
He did actually cover the process in good detail.

I agree that there is a sort of youtube woodworker "format" which I guess is a business model that works, can't really fault them for it.
I find the occasional gem, I like one Japanese guy, ishitani or something, very nice work.

I find myself watching stuff more for inspiration and relaxation than actually to learn techniques.
I love the channels where they restore old machines from rusty and knackered to fully working, it's relaxing to watch.

Ollie
 

jcassidy

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Ha, YouTube!

I was mucking about with the hinges of a corner cabinet door just the other day, was out of true on all 3 planes. My 2 kids were watching me intently, then the 8yo asks - Dad, why do they make it look so easy on YouTube when it's really so hard?

Before I could say anything, my 10yo says (in a mocking tone because obviously 8 year olds don't know anything) "They make it look easy so they get more views and sell more ads!"

Modern kids have it well sussed, better than us.

*Edit* I hasten to add, I wasn't looking at YouTube but they did so they could help me...
 

KingAether

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I think its a bit of a stretch to say people like to watch "fake" woodworking so much as people like to watch what they can understand. I quite enjoy rex's channel for instance and for a while i could learn things, i still do occasionally but i still watch because i enjoy the personality and because he can keep things simple for dummies.
For some reason what came to mind was the difference between Bob Ross and Neil Buchanan. One was an artist with a tv show and one was a tv personality with an art show and you can really see the difference in the shows but many people found inspiration by both shows independently so does it matter which someone watched?
"If you can't do; teach" comes to mind

Smart kid who got it spot on there @jcassidy ! I think that because its "more personal" people think its all about sharing the video but its not 2006 anymore and youtube is a money machine. Take Rex again, ad's aside he has 4500~ patreons at $1/$5/$10 a month so while he might not be able to build a greene & greene style house with only 6 hand tools and a rubber band, he has been able to take something he enjoys doing and market it to make 5 figures a month while getting other people into the hobby in an easy to watch way. Thats respectable in my opinion, not something to look down on as "fake" woodworking.
 
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