Messages Archive

Subject:
You Tube Woodworker Observations.....

Alan Young
A few days ago a fellow Wood Centrailian and I began an offline discussion on YouTube woodworkers. The discussion began with a question about whether or not I knew one of these guys because of his location. As I have searched and viewed more and more of these You Tube woodworking channels I am making a variety of observations..in no particular order.

1. The interest and desire to make things is thriving -perhaps never as before--

2. The way younger folks ( I am approaching 61 in a few months) are getting their exposure and influence is not through print ie woodworking magazines- or even webpages but through on line videos-especially YouTube.

3. This is good and this is "Possibly" bad. Good because... well... having people learn and grow this craft is a great thing. "Possibly" bad because the immediacy of of the "content producers" as they are called, can spread bad techniques and designs like a virus with no antidote. I watched one of these guys build a rustic farmhouse table using a festool domino for breadboard ends...He totally missed the technique required to float the top between the breadboard ends. I tried to "gently" let him know that he used a wrong technique.. My comment was briefly replied to in a sort of "Oops yea I was working too fast on this" manner. Later he made a new video saying he had received a "lot of flack" on his technique.

4. This whole new dynamic-ie You-Tube is creating an interesting market. These content producers don't really have to be great craftsman(women) They mostly have to have good video production and editing skills. As soon as their views start to mount up- Tool companies start sponsoring them. I've seen several today alone who talk about quitting their day jobs because they are now fully sponsored You-Tube woodworkers. I am dually happy for them and admittedly quasi bitter. From what I've observed, many of these folk are under 40 and have shops and equipment valued in the 10's of thousands of dollars. I have a hard time believing the idea that they were able to acquire these facilities and tools by ingenious designs and fine craftsmanship.
My path began in the mid 1990's by watching Norm on The New Yankee Workshop- Admittedly as that show progressed the NYW tool arsenal improved. But That show was always solid in design and fabrication techniques. I then discovered this great site 6 months after it hit the cyber space in 1998- I met many learned woodworkers in those early days here that always shared their knowledge and kept me from making many mistakes....

So I just hope these new "Woodworking Stars" ( I saw one video alone that had 2.5 million views) realize they have a duty to provide accurate technical information beyond showing off a Festool Domino joint.
Finally- I have also found a number of You Tube woodworkers that DO share quality designs and techniques--so viewer beware---But all's fair in Love, Marketing and Woodworking-

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