Jimmy Diresta needs no introduction. His videos break the mold on what DIY/maker videos are all about. From building badass swords to restoring anvils, Diresta has done it all.
I caught up with Jimmy at his hotel in Burbank, just after he had finished filming season two of Making It on NBC. He was gracious enough to be my first podcast guest and spent more than an hour sharing his story of becoming a maker, his passions such as printmaking, and what his future may hold.
He also broke the news about the Maker Camp that he is hosting at the Blackthorne Resort in East Durham, NY, on Oct 11-13.
Please download the episode on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks!
He’s the original interview we did with Jimmy a couple of years ago.
Who introduced you to making and building things?
My dad was the very first person to introduce me to making things. He began putting tools in front of me when I was a young boy and around the age of seven, he let me use power tools. I begin to use the radial arm saw, then the bandsaw over the next couple years.
What feature of your workshop do you love the most?
I like that it’s in Manhattan because Manhattan is such an inspiration, and has such amazing garbage. Nowhere in the world can you get the variety of things you find on the street here in New York City. In an instant, somebody’s entire apartment will be on the sidewalk for everybody to sift through, and an amazing dumpster is filled with amazing old-growth wood and old textured building materials, tons of steel, just about anything you can imagine.
In a fire, what tool would you save above all others?
I pray to God I’ll never have to make this decision but I suppose I would save my bandsaw, the one tool that I enjoy using the most. And all my chisels and my hand planes. And The SawStop.
What task do you enjoy the most in your workshop?
When I Tinker and play around with materials in freestyle and come up with ideas is the most rewarding and fruitful time I spend in my shop. Typically late at night and the very last part of the day. I’ll spend a few hours playing around with a couple of ideas and they always lead to other ideas and amazing breakthroughs.
What tool do you covet that you currently do not have?
I just had a big project utilizing my South Bend lathe, but I had to use wood on it. I would really like a nice modern variable speed giant wood lathe and I will get one soon!
You can follow all of Diresta’s builds on his YouTube channel, and he’s also active on Twitter and Instagram. You can support his work by visiting his Shop or donating to his Patreon page.
The following is a full transcript of our hour-long conversation. Thanks for reading and listening.
Jim is in New Yorker through and through, but I happen to catch him here in LA as he was wrapping Season Two of making it on NBC. We talked about his time on the show, his love for printing presses, and no one’s cut off his pinky finger.
Starting out with the podcast in your own podcast that come about before obviously, after your YouTube videos and you
Yeah, well, it’s funny, the podcasts between me Bob and Dave, Bob claggett and Dave peduto and myself, making it which is the name of the podcast is a couple of funny backstories. With that, well, the main way it came about is there’s a fan and he saw was commenting onto the same Facebook video, which is something we never do anymore. Nobody ever goes on Facebook anymore. But me and Bob and Dave will commenting and this fan said underneath there he says, Why don’t you three guys do a podcast together and there was like a there was like a free for all of other comment. That would be great. Oh my God, why don’t you guys do that? And we never even really talked, we talked through comments section, we never actually spoke to each other. And so behind the scenes, we emailed each other and said, Do you want to try this? Maybe this is a good idea. And so we I was driving through Knoxville on on Interstate 40 when I took the phone call.
And we agreed. Alright, let’s just let’s sit down and let’s do one if it comes out bad, nobody needs to know about it. Alright,
so you guys went person when you first did it
No, no, we did it through the internet separate. We didn’t meet until like two years later. Okay.
The beauty of online internet Yeah, yeah, amazing. Yeah. And, you know, I was gonna say what I kind of said earlier my, my first exposure to you and what you’re doing is without proper mechanics, we’re looking at some fresh new video content, a lot of stuff out there is just, I think maybe ported from they see the success of DIY network HGTV Yeah, and sometimes they think that I need to take that same formula and apply it to YouTube and it ends up just not working and not you guys the
one that had a hack it on was a you guys that did videos on hacking. I’m not sure. I wasn’t too madder than before you maybe
Yeah, yeah. Cuz I wasn’t my focus more on the website. So okay, some of the video stuff was not part of but but so and we So in that respect to we didn’t have a lot of our own original stuff. I think they are doing it now. But you know, there’s process of finding the right visually the right style,
did you and I talked about me doing videos for you. I remember the idea came up maybe it was a mike dub? No. Do you know Mike dub? No. Yeah, yeah. Mike suggested. Okay. So I might have contacted you. I it’s a vague memory. There’s Yeah,
I think again, like, there’s some things like starts and stops
lots of them and then there’s so much going on. I can’t even remember when they stopped. Right, right.
Like, what did that happen? It was like two years ago. Um, but yeah, with with, with our videos, it wasn’t just, you know, I think engaging with you was something that was just like, would be natural. Yeah. But, you know, I don’t I can’t remember why it didn’t move forward.
Yeah, no, it’s no offense taken. I mean, it’s funny cuz my big. My big theory is more output more input. You know, this, I’m here in LA right now, this is the fourth podcast I’m doing. I might do another one tomorrow. This will so this will be one of four podcasts and I’m going to be doing while I’m here. And it’s just it’s nice to be able to share my story and to you know, get more people involved in the maker movement, whoever might listen and you know, a lot of people want to know, intimate details about me, and I’m grateful for that. So
no doubt, I’m honored to be one of you here. So thank you. Thank you again. Um, you know, I think, you know, your story. You know, it’s something I don’t know about. I mean, I maybe it’s out there but, you know, I, I’m curious. It’s like, what sparked you into making what was it something family member was
my dad growing up, I just always had a workshop in the basement of our house. My dad was in New York City fireman, and also handyman and Popular Mechanics. We’d always have those projects in the back from like popping mechanics, going back to the 60s, they would have those little graphs, it would have a graph of like a duck, right? So it was always on a graph so you can blow it up. Now that’s like completely ancient, because that’s like, that’s like the caveman way of blowing something up, right? You take it’s a little tiny squares, you blow up a grid that’s like, you know, six by six inch squares and then you draw whatever’s in each one of those grids big. So Popular Mechanics and popular woodworking together always had those type of drawings in them. And my dad would always copy them not to mention he just built his own furniture and you know that for him That was him getting creative copying those pages out of the back of those magazines, but he would see something in a book or magazine and tear it out and copy it. So we had a lot of like early shaker looking type furniture, but he didn’t do traditional joinery or anything he did, like a little bit of rabbit, a little bit of dadoes but he never did like you know, like 10 and mortise and tenon he never really got into any of that stuff. It was really more simple construction. So I didn’t grow up learning any of those more complicated joinery, okay processes until I was a little bit older. But growing up with him, I just had the availability to a radial arm saw which is still with the house where I grew up. Nine Inch radial arm sore and bandsaw I still have the same I still use the same bandsaw that I had when I was a little kid. It’s one of like seven that I have now but in a drill press Walker Turner drill press that I’ve used in almost every video I’ve had since I’m a little kid, and early on in some of my early videos, I use a lathe a blunt object. plunked below below and Bill Oh, you empty late. Okay. And that’s the same way that I had since I was
since I can remember. Do you find it? Is it tough to maintain these are because they were built with such great quality? No,
no, they’re just old ancient tools that don’t go back. That’s it. You know, the the last Yeah, the might the bandsaw was on a stand that kind of got janky so I put it on another stand, which I don’t like so I’m gonna make a whole new Stanford. I’ll do I already did one bandsaw restoration video so i’m not i’m a little skeptical on whether I might do another one. I might just do a video on just remaking the base for that one. Right? So it might not be like a full on restoration, but it’ll be just like a welding video. I mean, making a cool steel base. And yeah, that’s so that video I mean, that bandsaw rather is it’s the Vance was in good shape. It’s just the the connection between the motor, the base and the wheels to move it around.
I mean, to me, that’s, again, another piece that’s attractive to your videos is using tools that people can find a yard sale. Yeah, they can make I mean there’s there shouldn’t be thrown away. They have plenty of no Life after and some of them. Some of the tools obviously, that you use are very old and takes some skill to get them back, bring them back to life. But
it’s funny in my life, there was two big purchases that basically became the tools of my life. And that was that first purchase my dad made to an older gentleman, I was a kid. I mean, I was like, four or five years old when my dad bought that bandsaw that radial arm so that that jig saw and that leaf from a gentleman that passed away. So those tools were all came to my life and I use them my whole life, I still have all of them. And my dad always just kept buying stuff. So he didn’t like when I became my own person and started developing my own workshop. He said just take them you know, whatever they use. And then when about 95 I answered an ad in a classified ad in the local newspaper on Long Island. I bought the table saw the one I ended up cutting my pinky off with, which I had for about 20 years. So the table saw a button like 93 I bought the table saw a new a bandsaw a bunch of clamps and a bunch of shop tools which I still have so between that purchase my dad made and the one that I later made all those tools were basically like the tools that set me up for life your core workshop yes intact and you use these for so long you’re very comfortable with and also paint like tons of hand tools that I bought at garage sales and inherited from this person or that person and that that table so Oh, by the way I gave to Tim sway which I think he still has okay.
Yeah, I think some people look at making stuff and they see that barrier of tools. Yeah. And feel like the cost as well as as well as learning how to use it but the cost of like the initial investment especially in some of the shop tools, yeah, something that will go to Home Depot and it just kind of out of reach but we’re like you said these are things that people are some people are just looking to unload them.
Yeah, this I say all the time. They scratched the surface with friends, family, girlfriends, parents and cousins and relatives and say is there any tools in the shop because you’re going to find out that somebody passed away and left the whole bunch still sitting in the shop and People are too emotionally distraught to deal with it. So now it’s 20 years later, like, you know what? Take it all. I need the space back in the basement. Yeah, there’s a lot of that. There’s a lot and I hate I get calls all the time. Well, it’s cool. Now with the fits all podcast that I’m doing with Andrew and Eric, a lot of times people will send us links for Craigslist ads. Guy bought a new building and what’s new to him, but the buildings from the turn of the century, and it’s got a whole woodshop in it that hasn’t been used since 1965. And tools that will old the 1965 the tools that were made at the turn of the century. So you know, there’s all kinds of deals out there, you just got
to look for them. You get a kick out of this. At one point. This was maybe eight years ago, there was a guy in Chicago who was a welder, and his dad had a workshop, and this workshop was Southside Chicago, but they helped rebuild, they helped build the first Comiskey Park and he could not then all the steel industry went away. And it was just been sitting for basically 40 years, kind of just, I think they own the building. So that Was English doesn’t stay there, but he had no idea what to do with it. So I’m kind of sad to think of what would happen what happened that stuff.
But yeah, it is so so many sad stories like that, right? Well, it’s funny now that I’m into printing presses, so many people send me links to printing presses and you know, I consider all them, save them. But you know, sometimes it’s like, a lot of times, maybe maybe at least 10 times I’ve gotten pictures from fans that said, you know, this has been sitting in my farm or this has been at my friend’s house or this has been in my neighborhood sitting in the grass. I never understood what it was. And now I realize what it’s for. It’s a printing press. Is this good? can I save it? You know, when I encourage everybody to try and save those printing presses. If you break all those joints free from rust that most likely if all the parts of their use need a set of rollers and you’re back in business, and they recognize it as a printing press because they watched your video of Brightside. Prior to that there’s like what the hell they thought it was some sort of grain hashing thing or something.
Who knows what it could have been. I mean, it’s some of the videos to you. There’s one A while back now, but You’re kind of going through your yard. And you’re talking about bringing this back to life doing this. This is a next project this isn’t it definitely looked like stuff that was just been sitting there for years and overgrown and how much rust on it but yes, you just like you knew the steps of what to do. Yeah,
yeah, I have a couple things. I have two pallets full of an old Camelback drill press that’s gonna get put together the summer help.
It’s gonna start cleaning the ports. It’s you know, when you mentioned that you have like it was at 10 band saws. I have about seven or eight pins every now what do you Why do you need so many is it you have connection with them? Is it too much? My brother calls it
the sickness. Okay.
I do pass on. I pass on a lot of things now because there’s like a very stringent criteria. Like if it has to be a certain age, it has to be of a certain style and you know, in the past I would just take anything, give it to me it’s a tool I’ll do something with it. But now obviously space is obviously an issue and I’m getting older I really got to focus on you know what’s what’s gonna serve me best.
Right and as a guy who knows tools inside and out, is it something where you know a certain vintage? Somebody shows you something? You’re like, Oh yeah, this year’s like this year’s great I need to
do on this one. Well, it’s funny I searched high and low for a bandsaw that was had the classic Art Deco base Delta 14 inch bandsaw. And I found here in the valley, I bought it about four or five months ago and I had it my nephew, who’s about three miles from here, he brought it to the shop, he shows up my brother and the bandsaw is there so now I finally got a trip to California to see the bandsaw in person. It’s a beautiful bandsaw it’s got a high low gear so you could cut metal with it. And I’m really looking forward to getting it back in shape and restoring it and getting it you know it’s usable now. I really only need to put a new blade on it and just probably grease it up. It’s here so tomorrow I have part of part of the day off tomorrow from the TV show. I’m gonna put it on a pallet get it ratchet strap down stretch wrapped and get it ready for shipment to back to my
store. Have you seen it
yet? I did. Yeah. So for the first time this week, okay, it’s at my brother’s place. So That I was looking for specifically and I honestly believe Unless Unless I get a deal with a bandsaw company, this will probably be the last one that I need
to add to it now. Yeah. Is there a unicorn out there or something that you really come
out to see for me that was that bad? Okay. Yeah, it was that it’s in good shape. It’s got a riser block on it. But you know, there’s always a guess for me. The next unicorn as far as the bandsaw is concerned is a 36 inch wheeled bandsaw with s spokes. And
what does that how does that’s like
pre 1900, maybe 1890s. Like the printing presses all have spokes on the big flywheel, and I would like a bandsaw with spokes on the tooth two, we’ll just make
it more difficult or more they
work with Okay, there is a bandsaw in an antique shop in Hudson, New York near where I live, and it’s there. They didn’t it’s not for sale. It’s to them. It’s such a relic. It’s not for sale, it’s just there for display, okay. And honestly, I wouldn’t want that one because it’s stripped down. It’s missing like the bearings and the guides and stuff, but it is a big C shape. Cast with the big s spoke top and bottom wheel it’s just a beautiful piece it’s got a lot of texture and paint and rust on it and it looks like a real barn fine but I would want one of those with the original intact accessories on it
now if a piece is missing or broken I mean obviously you can fabricate quite a bit yeah wait were you is your point where it’s like to God I mean obviously these things are Oh
yeah, you know it’s if they turn around tomorrow and said You can have it for 200 bucks I would
definitely buy it.
But it’s it’s not urgent. And I guess I’m also as I’m getting older I have I just acquired my 1928 bands bandsaw is in the video where I’ve made a stand for it the rolling around. I got I acquired that from a gentleman in Connecticut and I have the same sized bandsaw in storage on Long Island. And I was talking to a friend of mine it was up at the shop who’s from Long Island and Chris step but if you watch Chris up make everything shop just the other day before I came to California and Chris was like yeah, I need to get one of those. I was like you know what I got one is perfectly good. shape. The one that’s in storage in Long Island is in good shape. But Mike, why don’t you take that and bring it to Long Island shop. So you know, I’m sharing the love and I’d like
to expand in local.
Hey, I’d like to see it get used, right? And Chris is he’s, he’s young and energetic, he’ll go grab it and throw it in his truck. by himself. He’s not been exciting for him. And
he doesn’t have to pay for it. Because I want to see him use it. I just want to see it. And I said, It’s yours forever. For one day. There’s a need, I need it back. We’ll make a deal.
That’s very generous of you.
But yeah, so like I said, I just got that big ban. So so I don’t know as far as bandsaw is go, but as far as the printing presses, I just recently acquired, although it’s still in Tennessee, I acquired a vendor hook job press, which is about anywhere between 10 to $15,000 printing press. I just got that for real cheap and you know, relatively speaking for $3,000 What’s the vintage year, probably like 6065 like that era, and it’s apparently in good shape. I bought it through a friend of a friend. And she’s more than happy to sell you like Yeah, I saw pictures of it. So this summer at one point I’m going to drive to Tennessee and pick it up. And when you say pick it up is what’s that process? Exactly like you’re gonna hurt your face back. Yeah, no, no, I’ll bring some up bring stuff with me to prepare to get it somehow on the truck or I’ll go and prepare it and then have somebody right it’s it’s, it’s we’re looking at a console than the in the hotel room. It’s about as big as that. It’s like it’s kind of like a doctor’s table. Like a relationship like it’s kind of low to the ground like 30 inches high, long and shallow like a cast iron block. It’s it’s a little bit more like made a little like the older ones would be like just a big chunk of cast iron parts all connected together. This has got like sheet metal doors and stuff. It’s a little bit more like going from old to new but I still finished on it. Yeah, it’s got like flat panels and like press steel, but it’s still heavy as hell, right? That’s it’s an ambitious Yeah. So that, again, I’m in the process of acquiring a piece of property in upstate New York that has a building on it, that building is going to be just dedicated to printing press. Ok. I want to amp that business up in the next year. So printing presses like a real part of okay. It’s becoming a big thing. It’s just fun.
It’s fun to do. And you know, when I don’t know if was one of your first videos when you actually were printed using it to print some flyers that you made, just like
oh, yeah, well, that’s, that’s funny how that so I’ll talk a little bit about that Genesis. My, my buddy says to me, one day he goes, you know what I’m thinking about getting into letterpress, this is like, 2011. And I was like, Oh, yeah, what is like I heard about that. What does that mean? I never paid any attention to how things were printed. And he said, all these big thing opens and shuts and you have the you know, the wooden individual letters, they put them in a frame and I’m like, it’s becoming clear to them like yeah, I guess I have seen that but I never really never keyed on it. never pay close attention how printing was done. And because growing up one of my dad’s friend was a printer, but he was an offset printed with no newspaper and he would always give my dad because it wants the news is over. It’s old news, all these aluminum sheets. We just need to get recycled or thrown away. And on the aluminum sheets was the offset prints for the day. Oh, interesting. And he would give those sheets to my dad. So you know, there was 10s of thousands of them, but he would give my dad five or 10 of them and we’d cut them up and make things out of aluminum with them. So as a kid that was my impression of printing was these aluminum sheets with the offset printing press images on them? Right? And I never really thought back further than that, until my friend brought my attention to it. And he goes, do you ever see any printing presses in your daily travels like going to antique shops because it’s been a lifelong journey. And as like you know what, this one printing press on Main Street ups near my house, my upstate house so next time I pass by I’ll take a look at it. I looked at it and sure enough, it was a Chandler in price printing press from like 18 1880s and I called the it was in front of it. It was in front of a antique shop that was out of business but it did have a buy an appointment only because the family still owned the building. The father had died. And I made a deal with the son and through the mail. I paid him and he just said okay, the check cleared you can take it So me and my girl, and that’s one of my videos, we went and picked it up, put it on my truck. And then I got it freed up. It took me a long time because it was really I almost gave up on it. But through two or three videos, I got it freed up and spinning and restored a couple of pieces it needed. And then a couple years ago, I actually started to print on it. It was the first video I ever printed ever was actually on camera. Yeah. And I did a little bit of research looked at all the people doing printing, and I started developing my printing skills, right, like, right, that was the very first time ever and then since then I’ve like I really I look at that. I’m like, Oh my god, there’s so many things wrong. But you live and learn. You’ve refined it now. Yes.
I mean, even then, though, I mean, you were turning them out. And
yes, that was the print quality was absolutely horrible.
I mean, how old is it? How old was that machine again, it was 18 1880s 1890s
I still have it. It’s still sitting in the same spot on the porch. Because I use that machine. It was too heavy to move and I had nowhere to move it to since I acquired that machine. I acquired all the spaces. And so that machine is still sitting on my porch but then I ended up Getting my hands on to other printing presses. I went to look at one off Craigslist and I looked at like, Oh my god, right next It was another gorgeous machine. And the guy goes, You know what, I’ll charge you one delivery fee for both of them. And this one, if you buy this one, I give you this one for that much. So I think for somewhere in the area about $3,000 I bought both of those machines delivered to my house, and I set them up to print. And then my dad says to me one day Hey, you know, there’s a there’s a printing press at this garage sale right near my house. It looks just like when he goes I’m like, Oh, interesting. So I went up to visit him for dinner and he goes, let’s go over to that house. You look at the printing press. I think the you know, the house is getting sold. The woman’s like, it’s right here and I went and it was from 1860 It’s a Gordon printing press. Amazing foot levered power. She’s like, this has been in this basement since I was a little girl and I’m 75 and my dad’s been dead for 25 years. And if you want to take it, she goes because the house is sold and I have to get rid of everything in the house. Nobody bought it at the garage sale. So right there and then my dad and I dismantled it at 11 o’clock. 10 o’clock at night, put it in my truck. wrote all the pieces upstate, and I was like one of these days, I’ll put it back together. And then that week, I was so anxious because I didn’t want it to sit in pieces. I put it right back together and, and it got to work and I use it all time now.
It’s like the heart and soul and these tools. Yeah, it’s pretty deep. Yeah. Something that, I mean, comes to maybe a little bit on the videos, but I mean, you can tell you this guy’s really crazy because he’s going through this process. But same time, though. It’s, it’s amazing. It’s not again, the focus isn’t so much on the finished product. It’s about the process.
Yeah. inspiring people to do the same thing. Right, right. Yeah.
Yeah. You kind of glossed over cutting your pinky off. Oh,
yeah, this is story. People are probably sick of hearing this by now. But I I was working on. It was March, march 31 2010. And I was meeting a student at six o’clock and I had a couple of things to do. So I look at the clock and it’s like 10 minutes I got before the student gets here. I taught for years and I would always have meetings with my students just to help them with their portfolio was like, Oh, I have 10 minutes I could do a couple of rips on this piece of wood that I need to do for project that happens. That happened to come in that weekend. I was in the process of ripping in the wood kick through the saw and my hand lost across the top of the uncovered blade because I didn’t have a guard on it. I didn’t have a soft stop. And then I cut my pinky just about nearly off. I mean the doctors classified as an amputation, although it did. Did stay together by like a little like about a half a centimeter of skin. I mean, I see it’s intact there but slightly askew, but you still have it. Yeah, you can see the scar like right where if I was in the mafia, right where my pinkie ring would be is exactly what my scars are cut off. And how long ago was this? This was March 31, two, nine years ago. Oh,
yeah. 10 2010 Wow. Now do you only use SOS stops now is it
a few months like maybe maybe probably, probably about two years later, I finally got my hands on it because I did my youtube channel right after that. And like 20 1120 1220 like about 2013 is when I got my soul stop. Because of the popularity of the game, the growing popularity of my youtube channel fans, I did a tip video on bandsaw sauce on table saws and different saws and a lot of tip videos. And the one specifically about the table saw a couple of fans that I shared my story about how I got hurt and the reasons what I did wrong and I said don’t shoot don’t do these things wrong and I mean the biggest thing I did wrong was I was in a rush. So there was a couple of key steps that I overlooked because I had 10 minutes to finish before the student came and then boom I was in the hospital for three days. They just wanted to keep me in the hospital for infection because it was a pretty deep cut was cut nearly all the way through and they just said you know what, let’s just keep you here just make sure you hand in your arm doesn’t get affected. And anyway I they push or stop for me they contacted so stop and said you should give me the rest of the saw. And it was like one of my first big although they didn’t pay me anything they gave me a free saw and then they gave my data free so then they gave my brother a free saw and then they gave me a second free so so you know people think that I have like a weekly paycheck. From sawstop
I mean, that worked. You paid for it with your finger. And I did. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Have you had a close call with the software? It’s kind of
No, no, actually, no, you know, I never had another close call ever again. I mean, I’m from that moment, it really, up to that point. I’ve been using that software for at least 15 to 17 years or something like that. I got it. I guess I got it in like 93 or 94. And now here it is. I don’t know what’s the math 16 years, 17 years later, and that’s when I got injured. And I just was so comfortable on that. But then I realized I never had a guard on it. It never came with a guard. I just had an open roll blade with no riving knife.
And that’s something you were at that point used to using Yeah,
and now I will no, I will never like it. I will very, very, very rarely use it. So that doesn’t have a riving iPhone, because I realized the importance of a riving knife and how it saves. It saves from kickback you know so when I see people like we just worked on the show making it and it was a second season and people kept popping there. riving knife in and out it was a sawstop we use on set the contract diversion, and people kept taking the guard off or taking the thing off to do a dado because we didn’t have a dado private enough we only had just a guard riding the one that sticks up above the blade so we had to keep taking it off. And then there would be too lazy to put it back on. I always walked over slipped off the saw open the thing, put it back on and put it because people don’t understand the power of a table. So if you haven’t, if you haven’t been bitten by a kickback or hit in the gut or seen a kickback with your own eyes or felt that you just think oh it won’t happen to me. But when it does, you will absolutely understand what you did wrong in their lives.
And with the writing if it doesn’t seem like it’s something I’ve never said why people want to take it up anyway. And it’s
oh well because like like I said the one that we were using on set was arriving knife with a guard attachment on top. He said why don’t you take the guard off anyway, so it was they wanted to be able to pass that so they might have been just doing a halfway cut like a dado or a rabbit cut where the blade needs to be only partway through the woods. Okay, so without the riving knife that is exactly the right height of the blade. It goes up and down with it. If you buy like a proper cabinet saw from sawstop, you get a riving knife that holds the guard. Now they have a guard. They have the guard that comes up from above with the vacuum attached to it. But it also comes with the riving knife that’s just like a little shark fin that just hugs the back of a plate. So we didn’t have that. So you had to have it on completely take it off. And so I it was funny one of my Nick and I did a q&a thing to camera Nick Offerman and I and he said what is the one thing that you see people do most often wrong in the shop. And I said the one thing everybody does wrong if you don’t have enough experience so you haven’t been bitten by a kickback. People always pass a piece of wood through the table saw that is wider between the blade and the fence than it is longer from your waist to behind the saw. Okay, you know, I mean so like Like for instance, if you’ve ever seen anybody cut a two by four on a table so against the Gar, you know, against the guide in between that is absolutely, unequivocally stupid and wrong. And yet, occasionally I see it on TV all the time, people Cutting it two by four as if the the passing it through the blade they’re holding each side of the two buffer on either side of the blade and the piece that’s between the fence and the blade will spin and kick back and if it’s a short piece you’re handling it they’ll go flying and onset those I try to explain that to somebody and I thought he was listening to me and he goes Oh, totally understand and then about within 15 minutes he was cutting a piece of acrylic that was about three inches wide by about 12 inches long Okay, and he’s passing through the table so holding just like a two by four and all of a sudden things spawning correcting broken. He didn’t get hurt but he got sick he got scared.
It’s not only yourself that you’re putting in danger if you’re in that close quarters it knows
you know, and any damage the piece of material that we needed because we had very few pieces of it. And he’s a he’s a great dude. disparage him and I’m sure in the vein of this but he right there he understood. Oh now instantly talking about this. See we had limited experience but he realized like that is the biggest one thing that people do and because it was a piece of acrylic that was thin and flimsy, but anyway, you should never cut anything wider left to right, than it is deeper front to back. Okay, but that is a
cardinal rule using a table saw. Yeah, um, any other, I guess safety pieces like that, that you feel is something again for somebody who’s just getting into it to know I mean, obviously beyond the personal protection stuff,
personal protection, the glasses again on the set of the show so many times I’ve watched people just immediately start doing something, no glasses, and I just woke up and handle a pair of glasses and I have this reputation for being like a renegade cowboy like dangerous workshop guy. I guess in my early videos, maybe that’s the case in a lot of times. I don’t wear respirators, but I really don’t wear respirators most of the time on YouTube. Just because it’s like a continuity thing. Sometimes it’s on sometimes it’s often and I don’t really care about continuity net regard, but I’m usually more just like thinking it’s sculpting in the moment. But if I’m honest If I’m alone in my shop no cameras CNC MDF all day long I’ll wear a respirator on the vacuum on so I do wear a respirator a lot more often than people see. I guess I should set a good example and wear one more often but people think I never wear they think I don’t even know anyone which is obviously not the case. with glasses I always thought man I don’t need glasses and then when they nail a nail hit me directly in the eyeball and cut the white of my I ran to the mirror looked in the mirror and there was blood coming out of the white of my eye right next to my So you saw a slice it was a slice in my eyeball. I didn’t it didn’t see that it wasn’t open like the way a razor blade and your skin would be it was just it looked like a movie makeup thing there was a red line like on the side of my pupil like in the white of my eye right. And blood was trickling out of it. So I cut some of the capillaries like on the surface of my eyeball
and it was this close to your cornea retina
it was right yeah, like like you know the like by have brown eyes you have brown on that right next to that brown circle in the little triangle of white. There was a slice probably about three millimeters. Were you grinding a nail or breaking these hardened nails out of a brick wall, okay, nails that were hammered in in the 1800s. I was like hitting them and they were snapping. And the last one I hit this. They’re all like, you know, steel cuts, the ones that hammer into mortar. And the one broken spun hitting me directly and I was I was swinging the hammer down and breaking them against the floor and they will falling to the floor and the last one I hit somehow, someway magically spun backwards directly into my eye. The last one.
Yeah, there’s two and it’s always this sometimes that you think it’s you know, striking is maybe not you’re not using a power tool or something like that. But obviously when you’re striking anytime you’re stuck. Yeah, you should.
Yeah, they say that all time don’t hit two hammerheads together, because the hardened steel will shatter. But yeah, so that was the moment in time I began to wear glasses pretty much all the time, right. So I went to the doctor who was in the neighborhood renamed I was in the doctor within minutes, because I went into his storefront he’s a storefront doctor, my neighborhood in the Lower East Side. And he had some training with I experienced he was a gentleman But he knew a lot about eyes and he gave me this appointment he patched my up he said right now we got to worry about infection, the infection and that cut, then you’re you’re really screwed. So he put this ointment patch my eye for the night. And he says, you know, the next day it looked fine but he said you know, it could be a lot worse you could be right now you know contemplating whether to keep or take your eyeball out if that really did a bad cut. It’s not a
Yeah, you don’t want to be faced with that. Yeah, decision and obviously that’s a again hard hard lesson learned but no
and well that so that happened about 15 years ago, when I was about six or seven years old. I tell the story all the time to my students so that they also are where you know how you see. Oh, somewhere have juncos razor blade, it’s up there. You know like a little utility knife we just sweeping it through a piece of material and then he cuts to the end then I think like it like it makes your arm jerk past your waist. Yeah. When I was a little kid my brother was was cutting something and I walked up behind them just as he was cutting through a piece of cord a piece of canvas, and I walked up just behind them and just as a cut one through The canvas and all of his mic became released. He poked me in the eye behind him with the tip of the right and were you
because you were younger? You know,
I was he was bent over and I was little and he cut me the lid of my my my right eye that sliced open. How old were you? I was about six or seven.
Do you remember that?
I remember very vividly. I remember walking up to him go What are you doing? And then it felt like I got punched right in the face. And what that was was the end of the razor blade poked me in the eye and the burning sensation and and he looked at me and like my eyelid was kind of splayed open right him pointing it like right away like you tear duct is like my tear duct up to my eyebrow like in the curve of like the corner of my eye by my nose. I got sliced five stitches,
getting stitches in that spot to just not Yeah, yeah,
it’s dramatic at that age. And I immediately had covered my mother panicked brought me to the hospital. The hospital sent me to an eye specialist. You know, this was like, so I got stitched up like three hours later. And the whole time I was just holding something against me. I remember every adult looking. Okay, we gotta get in. Like I said, Can you can you move your eyeball around just because just want to make sure I didn’t cut any muscles on the side of my eye? And thank God I didn’t I mean right now my I could be pointing to the floor.
Yeah, yeah. So yeah, I protect
and that’s something like that too. That’s a somewhat common random sort of thing that
we weren’t even a shot we were outside like he was cutting something in the driveway, my mother’s house I’m just walked up timings
And that leads me to another really safety issue. Whereas like, I always tell my students if you’re going to shove on a screwdriver if you’re going to push on a screw gun, if you’re going to force a pair of scissors, if you’re going to twist if you’re going to lean if you’re going to put your body into it. What’s going to happen when it slips, stop for a second and ask yourself if this slips, is it going to go into my arm? It’s going to go into my other finger. Am I going to stab myself? In the floor in my wrist? Am I gonna Am I gonna fall? If I push really hard on this thing? Is it going to make me slip and fall past the machine that I’m trying to get a hard screw out of or trying to? If I’m pulling on a wrench really, really hard? What about The wrench slips and you fall backwards and he head on something in the room. So it’s all those things where we don’t realize where we’re putting all this force into something, either with a whole body or just our elbow or just a shoulder or our whole entire waist. What happens when it
gives thinking the worst case scenario and how that we act?
Yeah, and that’s really important. So that’s a lot of times I’ll say when I see somebody shoving, shoving, shoving, I say just push with your elbow. Don’t push your whole body whole body is gonna throw you over the tool once it gives right just push with your elbow if that’s all you really need, I see them like leaning into it like they’re trying to push a safe door open and something. I’m like, slow chill, because if you give if it gives, you’re going to go like tumbling down or stab yourself or whatever. When you
were on when you’re on set. Do you feel like obviously you said you’re seeing some of these things and people
because uh, yeah, there’s like a timeline. So people there’s a time limit so people are running I’m like, don’t run don’t run
is there OSHA purser so is there any person who’s kind of
there is there is a medic on on site, you know, who just keeps an eye on everybody? Nobody. Really
nobody who knows like the tools Stuff that will say no, it’s
really just me.
Another role that you’re taking on,
am I the best person for that? I don’t know. But I tell I keep reminding people don’t run. And then I’ll say for everybody stop and just pick up your area because the throne combination squares and then throwing rulers and they got a couple of hundred foot sets to 100 foot long air hoses that tangled around everything. And then for some strange reason, I was like the I was the air hose Nazi the whole time because we’d have it be like 10 loops, and each loop is like five feet in diameter. And they pick all the loops up and drop them on the floor. And like just pull off what loops you need. Because every loop is probably eight or nine feet of material. If you only go into the bench, pull off one loop and use it there but no one listened to me. They just pull all the loops off, drop them on the ground, and then try and yank it and then it would turn into a complete mess right behind the table saw and everybody running and everybody walking over and ignoring it and I’d be like, like everyone stop I’m going to wrap this extension quote, I’m gonna wrap this extension quote or this air hose back up.
Now is that making for better TV though, when people are running and throwing stuff? And it all depends on the Edit. Okay, right,
right. You know, there was definitely, you know, with music and tension and all that stuff, they could definitely amp that right that they don’t have. They don’t, it’s not necessary. They don’t necessarily need somebody running. And I don’t think they want to encourage that. You know, there are producers and stuff saying, you know, safety first raising the run from day to day, you’re not going to save that much time. And so they’ll run to the saw cut it and then run back and like,
chill, no need, there’s no need for are you into doing more of the TV side? Are you feel like it’s interrupting the other projects that you have going on?
Well, you know, it’s funny. I’ve been doing YouTube for so long and had this conversation with Laura, maybe even on camera, I can’t remember but like, what’s next what’s after YouTube? And I know Laura’s dabbled in some TV projects. just coincidentally, I bring her name up for the same thing. But doing YouTube videos is I’ve been doing it now for going on eight years. And I think the role I want to Taking YouTube now is to do more bigger epic projects because when I look back at my last couple of years the videos that I’ve done the most views I’ve gotten the most response to the ones that are longer more epic
to episodic is like multiple video No, no,
I mean like epic in the way of like, wow, that’s okay. Okay newville okay new build or, or, like obviously made a padlock, which for me was like totally something new, you know, to do kind of metal work with the mechanism and everything. So like bigger swings,
and that slows down your production, how many can push out per week, obviously, but you feel like you’re gonna get a bigger impact. Okay,
and then so that also gives me time to do something like this, like come out to California for four weeks is I’ve always if you hear a lot of interviews with me, I always kind of poopoo TV because they chew you up and spit you out. And the thankfully I have my YouTube channel to always fall back on so a lot of people only count on TV and TV will chew them up and spit them out. And they have nowhere to go except wait. For another TV show, you know, the people like there are some friends of mine on HGTV, who have only HGTV. And when they’re done with that series, they are basically a regular citizen again, and that’s that’s a tough life to adjust to. And they’re
constantly auditioning and kind of starting all over again. Yeah,
I mean, yeah, you know, and, and having a TV show that was on the air and going to get another one. Everyone’s like, oh, you’re in the game. You’re in the game. You know, this game. It’s, it’s harder, right? Because they want fresh faces. They’re like, Oh, you did this and you did these? Like, why aren’t those shows stolen? there? And all of a sudden, you’re like, you have to justify yourself ESA. Oh, no, that was because this executive quit. That’s fine. You know, not because my show stunk. Not because I don’t have fans not the you know, so you gotta it’s it’s a delicate walk. It’s a delicate dance and and, and I can’t imagine doing that
without my YouTube channel, right. I mean, I love that. It’s come full circle. Yeah. And now, in a way they need you. They came to me. Yeah. Like I would never like
I never ever there was a time where I sought out TV and those when I was doing my own video pitches. That was the
that was the only Avenue in a sense.
Yeah you go to TV and so I did a trash to cash with my brother we came up with the idea made the pitch. Thankfully we sold it. We did a show. This is a funny story and how many people know this or even pay attention me and my brother came up with a video which is a pitch we did it in like 2004 or five called Making it which is the show I’m working on now and it’s also the name of my podcast. So we sold that show to HGTV but they changed the name to hammered so the 20 episodes of hammered again a show we came up with and sold it. The show that became dirty money my discovery channel shows a show we came up with, did our own pitch on video and then sold it. And now here I am on making it. The show that Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler doing, and they asked me if I wanted to be involved. So it came to me. So it wasn’t like something that I needed. It wasn’t something I sought out. But I’m really happy that it did. Season One was a bit of a wash for me. I didn’t end up on camera too much. And it did. It was the first time I had to confront that like okay, I’m stepping away from my YouTube channel for the first time in like seven years. How is this going to affect me? And you know, it honestly negatively affected my youtube channel a little bit because everyone’s like, Oh, that’s it, you’re gonna go to TV now I don’t need to watch anymore. No, not really. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just taking a break to go do this and then I’ll be back right on schedule. And I was in I built back up same thing is gonna happen now my my ratings are down a little bit but when I go back to New York in a couple days, I’ll build it back up. And if the show comes back around again, I’ll come out here and do the same thing.
I think you’re introducing yourself to so many more new people who don’t even watch on YouTube and
yeah, so I’m gonna be last season I wasn’t in the Edit hardly at all because I didn’t really factor into the story. So I wasn’t I knew when I walked away from the last shoot or season one that I didn’t factor into many of the storylines and and honestly, as an editor and somebody who creates video, I know I wouldn’t have put me in it because there was so many Other rich storylines to follow. And I just didn’t have it. I just it was an opportunity. And so I would have edited myself out of season one, there really wasn’t much excitement. This time around. I there was a lot of moments in time where I had good interaction with the contestants, there was a lot of learning moments and a lot of like, personal development moments that I was involved in. And, again, I’m not the main focus of the show, so I don’t expect every one of those moments I experienced to get in. But there’s a couple of good ones. I think we’ll probably make it. It’s amazing. And yeah, are you coming back? Or is it done now? After show’s done now? We just finished the finale episode last night. And will there be a season three? We gotta wait to find out the show probably err on the fall, the fall of 19 and by then we’ll find out.
You speak a bit about I know you’ve been working with the diesel house. Oh, yeah. Crew I was at this one house for five years. I really not with a master’s in New York, on the on the website. So the website magazine or New York show guys. I’ve known Kevin since we started Nokia actually was there when It was Steve. Okay, um, and that transition and Kevin was this really green guy who did not ask and that’s great. He came in so just seeing where he’s at now it’s great seventh grade and Kevin’s amazing
Kevin sees the handwriting on the wall and he if you notice in the last copy has got totally involved in social media. Yeah. And he talks to the fans, which is great. The fans like right to me like oh my god, Kevin answered my message. My dm he wrote back to me, and Kevin is great like that. He’s a regular guy. Yeah. And you know, he, he always talks about how fortunate he is to get the gig that he got in the circumstances he ran. But Kevin and I work together on HGTV show called blog cabin, okay, yeah, blog in that one. Yeah. So I was on one of those seasons while we when we promoted hammered me my brother went on to one of the seasons with a mod Hassan who was the host. And then we maybe the next year later, I went on to promote a small dumb show that I did that never even aired. It was horrible show. They they enlisted me to do the show called against the grain. And it was really, I just wasn’t, I didn’t do much that I was proud of them. I like a name. And the only thing I liked about it is that I was super skinny and muscular. I just finished exercising for like a year and a half. I was all like, caught up in putting it doesn’t matter the show’s done. So on that they they put me on another season of black having to promote that show, although I was on black habit, and the show still hadn’t aired. And they aired it much later. But anyway, so I was on with Amy Matthews. Okay, and so I was working and working working on the house. And then the owner of the house invited me to stay to work on something privately with him of the cabin. Yeah, he owned the whole expensive property and the house was on his gated community. And so I ended up working with the owner of the property. And then the next episode started with Kevin and Amy and I was in I was there, okay. And so they invited me to do a couple little segments on the show just because it happened to be there. And that’s when I first met Kevin. And he was very nice and he’s like we got to work to go to work together. And then time went on I faded away I ended up doing dirty money and then I came back through YouTube and then Kevin sada paid attention to me again through the socials and, and I don’t know where he’s like, he’s like, Hey, we got to get you on. He’s like, I was like great. And then I sent them like three YouTube videos to say this is the kind of thing that I would be interested in doing just some household stuff. And he said, Great, let me put you in the pipeline and see where it leads to. Sure enough, I ended up you know, it was about within a year they put me on that season for this one. And I did the I did a sign and we did that little slice table this season I did was the previous to this and then they called me back and it was funny because they did my season last and they also had been you ate on good so it was me and Ben and I just assumed I don’t get to watch too much TV because I don’t have a TV and I don’t have cable so whatever kind of comes up in the YouTube feed if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll go look and you know, see what’s right. So I just assumed that they had me in bed and like three other YouTubers. On that either I didn’t know I just didn’t wasn’t exposed to. And so then when this season came around then they had me on for two episodes. Next week, we ended up building like a metal Adirondack chair, and then the episode that aired so I made the tables with table legs calm and, and they I said I so who else is gonna be on the season besides me in bed, I just assume they’re gonna bend back on us tissue. I’m like, just me. I’m the only one. You know, I felt fortunate that I got selected to be the only other person as like a YouTube guest is? He said, Yeah, no, I said this, you know, this is? So that’s it. And I don’t think they didn’t like Ben. It’s just, they just kept me for just a couple of new fresh ideas. And so I’m fortunate for that. I think I mean,
Kevin must have really kind of championed you in that sense, because I know that they’re pretty conservative over there. And they have their formula and they have kind of the way that they’ve done it for X amount of years. Yeah, worked to introduce somebody that’s new and with new different ideas is something they need to do.
Yeah, Kevin, Kevin alluded to as much said things move slowly. Oh, right.
Right. That’s good. Congratulations.
I feel very honored. I mean, honestly, there’s like, as you know, the cast has not changed through
now. And the same it was the same camera and it’s out there and grip and, and Sarah and Heath and right. The producers don’t
they stick around? Yep.
That was great. And so nice and sweet. Yeah, definitely. And the very it was really, I’m so happy because I love Kyle from our buildings. You know, Kyle who built my building my backyard? Yeah. Yeah, Kyle. stump unhorsed and so Kyle and his buddy Greg, his assistant Greg, were at my house the very first time we shot with this old house and I hadn’t really got to see Kevin again. We met obviously, we talked through social but this is the first time he was coming up and we’re gonna do the very first episode that I ended up being in this house. And Kyle was there so that night and in Kevin stayed at my house. They the crew stayed at the hotel but Kevin stayed at my house and he threw a big barbecue that night and him and Kyle and me and Greg we stayed up. It’s also like three in the morning just talking at the back table. On a beautiful summer night it was it was a really great, like bonding experience for all of us. Right. And Kevin and Kyle now a broseph. since that night, that’s awesome. And I was really happy to facilitate that. Just the timing worked out that Kyle was in town to do the foundation for my building.
Right? And perfect. It’s nice when things align, and people could people meet each other. And yeah,
yeah, that’s great. I see them now all the time at the shows and stuff together. So that’s great. So you mentioned what is the
kind of next next for you? I mean, you spoke a bit about what you’re getting back into YouTube, some of these larger projects yet, you know, is there a set thing that’s kind of in the works, it’s, there’s no, there’s no such thing as just making stuff.
doing what you’re doing, you know, making
entertaining and inspiring really, that’s like that’s like my mantra, entertain and entertain and inspire. You know, some some of the things that really keep me going is just the stories that I hear from young people, old people, people that have changed their careers because of what mean Bob and Dave and other people on YouTube doing for them, you know, inspiring them to find take the plunge and say, You know what, I’ve lived in a dead end job long enough. I got my first kid, you know, 35 4050 years old I want to go and do my own thing now it’s enough already. And seeing all the people like me and Bob and Dave and Bobby Duke and you know so many guys like Bobby Dukes a great example. You know, Bobby, I’m not so shabby do Bobby do guards? He’s, he’s his channels going insane. Okay, he’s gonna approach 3 million soon. But Bobby is a great story because Bobby was a truck driver. And he says, I always was really an artist. He was but I drove a truck here. He’s got kids, he’s got a wife and you know, we get in that rut of, but he’s always an artist. And so he’s just kind of dabbled played around with YouTube and they found an audience now it’s his career. And you know, it’s taken off. So it’s really nice to see people really finding themselves, even if it’s a small scale, like, you know, I have a couple of friends that they’re only on the second third or fourth YouTube movie that’s not doing well, but they don’t care. The fact that they did it was the goal. It’s like when Rocky, he just wanted to go the rounds. He just wanted to go 15 he didn’t care if he won or not. And that was the goal. So a lot of guys, the goal is to at least get a channel started and like expressing their art on camera, getting some feedback from friends and fans. That’s, you know, the goal for at least many people and to see them do that, you know, it’s enough to make me cry.
So I mean, I think you’ve mission accomplished with, like you said, your mantra, that’s perfect, because again, it’s something that the outlets previously, you know, maybe weren’t there. Yeah. And so people didn’t know what to grasp to, or there were things that maybe seemed unattainable because they were TV or something. Well,
you know what it is? It’s It’s great. I mean, Barry Katz talked about this with one of his guests a few months ago, I forgot to name it was a woman. But the idea is that there are no gatekeepers anymore. There is nobody you know, like, imagine like in the 80s or the 90s thinking like, Oh, I’m going to get an article published in a newspaper that’s insane, right? Like that’s like that’s like unattainable like you had to go to college to become a writer to get anything published. Now you just start a blog or blog or and if it becomes popular, then all of a sudden you have a career, you know, you obviously have to promote it. And you know, you gotta have good content. Same thing with like, like Bobby would never been able to get on a TV show, he would have been a guest as a specialty person on the show one, two times at the most, they wouldn’t have built the series around wacky crazy artists that does incredible carving, but he puts up a YouTube channel and he gets millions and millions and millions of views. And he’s got a career that is like the best career you could possibly want. It’s just you and a camera and your fans and that’s it and there’s nothing else. So it’s an incredible time to be alive and like and it’s fair game for anybody. If you have a great idea you know, you carve whatever it is you carve you make, you know, soda can art. You can get viral videos of doing like weird stuff because people want to see weird stuff get created. So like one of the contestants on the show draws with food. And I sit there go you don’t have a YouTube channel and she’s like, no, she’s like it. Young but you know so so learning the process is you need a channel, that chick who’s gonna want to watch me draw things out of food. I’m like, you have no idea. It sounds
bizarre, but I did you
will go berserk. She does incredibly well too. It’s not just like, Oh, is that somebody made a salary you like, Oh my God, that’s a blanket. And then you look up close. And it’s like a blinking made out of drinking
It’s incredible. So I encourage you to study to channel I will probably stay in touch. The contestants are great on this episode on the season last season, too. I’m in touch with a few of them. So I’m inspired.
It’s been great. Great. Great. Thank you so much. What time is it how much time it was? I mean, it’s 51 minutes so this is like way over what I thought I wasn’t. I know that you that you have maybe I didn’t know if you’re short on time, or what your thing was. So you have any other Yeah, I’m you want to wrap it up? That’s hard. No, I’m not. I’m ready to keep going because I think again, I’m trying to think to like myself. You know, because I just dabble in lots of different things. I don’t. I don’t really document it’s not something it’s just again for myself.
Most Oh, you’re so passionate about this
stuff has been right I’ve been writing and you know, you do tool Craver
yeah Yeah, yeah and firstly you were on there like two years ago I asked you to kind of send me like your favorite tools and that and again and I appreciate that and that was before I was even really aware of podcasts I mean, I guess very long time but not really in my radar and now it naturally has been a part only becoming a thing that kind of goes in Yeah, and and I’m enjoying them as much as I think a lot of other people are discovering them and it’s now I really don’t listen to music that much. I’ll tune into you know, podcasting and connect that way so, so yeah, you were I appreciate kind of what you’ve done there and when you know when it’s not poppin mechanics it’s been Yeah, it’s been great so yeah, I I think for me too, and seeing this your some of your projects like some of the metalworking
Yes, metalworking I really I really, really boring is about metalworking. And honestly I owe a lot of that to Lincoln welding be When Lincoln walling approached me, and it’s funny how it happened, the way it happened was, I got a phone call early one morning going into Thanksgiving, just the phone rang as a strange number said, Hello. Oh, yeah. Hi, I’m Craig from Lincoln welding. I’m like, Oh, hey, what’s up? Because I hope you don’t mind me calling you. It was like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I hope you don’t mind me calling you. Nick Offerman gave me a number. He said it would be okay. I was like, Oh, yeah, sure what’s going on? Because we just interviewed Nick for our magazine we’re doing and he said, If you really want to talk to somebody that makes his living with his hands talk to Jimmy because so because I did a little research on you and I’m calling you. And you know, shortly thereafter, he put telling my girlfriend in the magazine Park magazine. And then shortly after that, he and I made a deal and I’ve been working with him ever since it’s going on at least three years now. And he put all these new welders in my hand. He just trusted my creativity and I had been welding but now I understand welding like before I just like if I hold us here long enough, this will make a connection. And even now I’m not the best welder. But his goal Craig’s goal is to promote welding to makers. You want to make a leg of a table, it’s not going to get stressed tested, it’s not going to get, you know, it’s not going to hold up a girder, it’s not going to hold up a bridge. It’s just a table egg of a stool. You want to fix something on your farm. It’s not going to get stress tested, it’s just going to be welded piece. And so he’s really marketing to a lot of the home workshop hobbyists guys, you know, professional, semi professional, professional, like you. You want to buy this little welder to do small jobs, you don’t need this big giant welder. Anyway, that’s his goal. And I’m hoping hopefully helping him achieve that. And in the process of learning, an unbelievable amount of welding. I took something about a plasma this that within a couple of months, he gave me a plasma table was insane. And I use that quite a bit when I first got it. But now now that I’m setting up that new barn that Kyle built, I’m going to have that installed in there and the electric moves I haven’t had a chance to use it because the circumstances the physical circumstances of logistics, I have to get it out of my container where it wasn’t put in the shop.
I think about the welding to add another piece to your arsenal Yeah, so you don’t just think of wood or whatever it’s like okay, I can add it and it adds another
designer it’s for me it’s so seamless now it’s you know, I made a I made a bench for the waltz video I made this bench and I kind of made this like tube frame, elongated tube frame and then it makes it 90 degrees straight down kind of like a like a waterfall bench. And I could have finger jointed it but because there was a pocket of empty hollow spot inside of it. I just welded up a couple of brackets and stuck them hidden inside screwed it together and people like oh my god that thing is never gonna break in a million years. But you don’t see any metal in the finished project. It’s just in there as a structure used another Yeah, another simple little element and people like oh my God had it like I need to get a welder just changed the way you’re thinking about these projects. Yeah, and therefore Yeah, so so many people see me just like playing around with well and it’s funny even Jory Brigham Brigham Jory Brigham, I think Just saw his Instagram here today he’s got his woodworking shop and on the cross a little gap in his farmland wherever he is out here somewhere. He’s got his welding class going on. So and I have a welding class coming up this summer so it’s awesome. Someone a welder?
I think welding to head there’s a bit of intimidation factor for a lot of people and they just see sparks and fire and then there’s like a little bit of chemistry involved like what gas
do I gotta get what kind of wired I got to you? You know? Like I say what? Anything and I even have to remind myself of this a lot. It’s only scary just because you don’t know the technicality. Oh, yeah. Once you learn the technicality, if you’ve read the instructions, or you get proper instruction from someone that knows more than you at this point, you demystify it. And that’s really the only reason something is hard is because you don’t know about it yet. Like I’m looking at that. That recorder we’re recording on. I’m like, it’s complicated. But I want to buy one right now. It’s only complicated. I’m looking at seven sacks, which is what do we do with them when I figure it out?
So it’s not it’s
Excuse me? It’s not that tough.
Yeah. So that’s That’s really the intimidation factor for everything. I remember when I first learned CNC, I’m like, I don’t know I gotta learn a whole new language. I gotta learn a whole new approach. Yeah, it’s scary. But you know what, just don’t you know man up and learn how to do it just start. It’s the same thing with welding like, when anybody gets a weld if what do I do? I said, just turn all the knobs in one direction and weld, turn them all down in the other direction and weld, find someplace in the middle that gets you what you’re looking for on that specifically, welding. Is it somebody? Would you recommend somebody go into like a line feed like auto feed welder or something like that or work? Oh, you mean like, yeah, yeah, like a wire fed? Yes. Yeah, wire fed welder. Definitely is like the easiest thing for maker touch. Yeah, just like a MIG welder, wire fed welder and I also say if you’re intimidated by the chemical, know how you know the gas know how just get a flux core welder where the wire that comes out has flux down the middle of it. You don’t need any gas. All you need is electric wire and a ground and so Metal, it’s smoky, and it’s the splattery and it’s smoky, but you could definitely so that’s how I welded for a long time. Until I really confronted getting the right gas and learning what the gas that I needed. And then of course we have YouTube we have Chucky 2009. We have Jody and we have, you know all these guys on Instagram, Jody from welding tips and tricks, you know, there’s so many resources, you could just look up and find out what’s the right thing self taught with. And Jodi’s Jody’s like so accessible. If you Instagram him a DM I’m sure he would answer you immediately. Such a good guy. And they also have the welding tips and tricks podcasts. Okay, which if you listen to this, him and crummy and john Wright, Chrome Ryan and john, john lewis and, and, and Jody Collier that they talk all about welding. So that’s a good resource for the whole world. And yeah, so just it’s just intimidating cuz you don’t know it yet.
Is there a maker discipline right now that’s maybe intimidating to you right now that you think
Yeah, to tackle this,
you Yeah, translating, and it’s still it’s been ongoing and I went to two classes and I actually experienced it, but it’s still not sticking and I hope to get better. I just tackled 3d printing, okay, I can’t say I fully understand it. But now I’m not intimidated to make a part and confusion and then export it. No. gov so that I’ve been doing that. And it’s great. It’s really where I thought it would never be part of my making process. I love it. I really do. And I’ve been experimenting with different sizes and shapes and weird things and but going from a fusion file to a tormach cut. That’s been that’s been a little intimidating. And my fans know that I’m like, a little shaky on that whole process to figure it out with them. And it’s like I I think Bob I am kind of in awe of kind of what he’s doing with 3d printing all that. Oh, yeah. He’s he all the time. And he’s got like 10 printers going all the time. And it’s amazing. So it’s printing these big like, cosplay costumes and it’s like printing like a million little parts and they all get glued together to make a big thing. It’s crazy. I you I was
so sorry. On the shows you said. You’ve got make make coming. No, we
have made making it, making it making it which is the name of my podcast. And when the TV show came up just to sort out the confusion, the TV show came up, it was called the handmade project. And I got involved in the very first season kind of developing a little bit of what the workshop would look like the tools they would need. And then they hired me to be the shop manager guy. And just before the show went into production, they called me and said, Hey, we keep coming up with the same name with that everyone really loves it’s making it. I’m like, Oh, yeah, that’s a great name. It’s the name my podcast, like, yeah, we know. So
I’m like, oh,
oh, yeah. And so that, we went back and forth for them to buy the name from me, Bob and Dave, and at the end of the day, we would have had to get whether we sold it for $1 or a million dollars, we would have had to give that name up. And to me, Bob and David, we said, You know what, let’s not do the money grab. They said they can use it legally without us. You know, so if things went bad and they wanted to strong on us, which they didn’t want to because I was involved, right? They want good blood. They said, you know, we can technically take the name because you don’t have a trailer. marked in the category of TV. And I said after some discussion with Bobby, they like, you know what, let him use it. They can use it. They can’t force us not to use it. That was the main thing if you guys could keep it going. Yeah. So we said, You know what? You guys use it, and we’ll use it. There won’t be any money exchanged. It’ll just be goodwill. And that’s it.
And so and that that was it. It seems like it worked out. I mean, I seems like I hear so many times going the other way. Yeah, there’s a grid with a corporate grab. Yeah. protection and fear.
Yeah, yeah. Well, like we right away like, Oh, this is a good opportunity, we can make a lot of money. What is the what is the price? What is the what is the cutoff number and, and we gave them the cutoff number and they were nowhere near it. It was it you know, what, then how about no money. And that was it. That’s how it ended and everybody walked away happy and we don’t regret it at all. Because we would have had to go back and explain to our fans with changing name because this corporate company and then everybody and the other consequence would have been like, if we did make a monetary deal, everybody just would have assumed it was Billions of dollars. And it’s not the case, you know, it’s you know, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a healthy paycheck, but it’s not enough to retire on ever anymore. And not like the 90s or the 80s, where like, you’d get a TV deal and they’d be like, a half a million dollars involved.
It’s not like that anymore. How many episodes were you in? At that point, when the show was a podcast
episodes, we were up to like 100 and 180 really established? Yeah,
we will establish this was just about a year ago, year and a half ago. And, and then Season Two for making it the TV show came out. And I didn’t think I was gonna be involved because I wasn’t really very involved in the first season. But they called me a few months ago and said, No, no, you’re on you got to be in you know, they just they just dragged their feet because there’s so many other things that have nothing to do with me making the TV show where’s it going to be lighting crew props, you know, they packed the whole barn away in storage and they had to rebuild it. So the fact that they didn’t call me till the end, you know, it’s nothing personal. I honestly realize it’s just so many The logistics involved in making a crazy TV show. I did tell them if you want me because I did speak to them about one little thing I said, if you didn’t need me, let me know sooner than later because I have maker central coming up. I have classes at my house and you know, there’s things that I can’t move. And so it the timing worked out great, where there was this window of four weeks where I’m going back to my house in a couple days. And then the next weekend, a few days after that the knife making class the first class at a house starts and we get right into that.
You just don’t stopping.
Yeah, you know, it’s funny people. It’s I just I was listening to Kevin Hart on Joe Rogan. Okay, and he and Joe Rogan’s just an hour ago and Kevin, Joe Rogan says to Kevin Hart, you never stop moving. He was a CEO constantly because well, you know what, you just seen what I’m showing you I’m active. There are times when I’m home and that’s downtime. And like this afternoon, I went did my laundry. I met my brother and I was a bit sleepy when you shut up because I just sat here to watch this. Richard Nixon documentary. And, you know, so there is downtime. There was an tubal Cain You know, Mr. Pete, on YouTube, he and I chat back and forth and he wrote me a note. He’s so sweet. He’s like my grandfather. He wrote me a note and he said, he goes, he goes, Jimmy, you got to slow down. Slow down a little bit, boy worry about you. And I wrote back I said, Thank you, Lyle. I said, it’s honestly I said, I got more sleep in the last few weeks here in California than I got at home in the last five months at home. So yeah, it’s it’s even though there’s a lot going on with this ship. We work 12 hours a day. Yeah. When I’m not at work, I’m sleeping, probably editing a little bit. I thought I would do more vlogs while I was here, but it’s just, I just can’t get the head around it. And also, I don’t have like enough content. Why I like to put a blog, I want to have enough good little news clips, whatever, you know, I call them news stories or stories when I have enough like, even though they’re only three minutes long, the longest. I like to have like three good things to put together for a vlog. Right. And I haven’t really been able to put three good interviews together for the next one. So
and that’s something that it sounds like you’re taking it very seriously in that sense to your Just throwing up the day or feel like you have to Yeah, grab content, whatever.
Yeah, you know, if I meet somebody interesting, I’ll talk to them and then also to a couple of my fans wrote to me because I did mention the vlogs that kind of getting low ratings. They’re like, you know what, it’s funny. We love the vlogs. But you also given it away in the in the Instagram story, so we see what you’re up to day to day, and then we see the vlog and there’s a couple overlapping stories. So it’s
different people and some people don’t follow the vlogs are like, yeah,
yeah, like the the vlogs are getting, you know, anywhere between 60 to 100,000 views or 200,000 views and the Instagram Stories get about 20,000 views. So yeah, it’s this
content everywhere, both healthy and it’s all you get all these numbers like it you can kind of get wrapped up in as well. And we knew at the end of the day, we don’t have that much control of with
the ladies. I gotta remember, I’m just out there. I’m just trying to entertain and educate. I’m not trying to win the horse race.
You seem like you’re doing a pretty good job. I think. Um, my last question was, are the people out there that you are inspired by the people that you know I should I should talk to that I should look up there are people out there who you know maybe not getting this the same for whatever reason they’re not connecting and if they should you’re surprised they don’t have a larger audience.
Well, I mean, if you if you should look at look at look at Bobby doesn’t need any help but look at Bobby too. Okay, interesting character and I know him personally he’s such a sweet humble guy. He’s like, he’s like an innocent in a way like he’s like had all this all this attention is coming to him and he’s so innocent. It’s like It’s like he deserves it because he’s like, he’s not devious or underhanded Anyway, you know, sometimes you see guys like, grabbing, grabbing grabbing. Anyway, so Bobby Duke is a good person that’s been inspiring me personally lately. Another person who doesn’t need any help is Colin Furze. I look at his epic videos and how like he really knocks it out of the park every week. So he’s inspiring me to kind of think more like that. People who are you know, you know, you might find, you might find it interesting to interview some of the smaller channels to the ones that just started and why they started and what they The goals are and you know
couple like I mean I’m just thinking off the top my head my friend Chris is make everything okay a small channel you know my assistant Brett, Brett. Brett at scone spades, okay, he’s my assistant, he and he takes a completely different approach to YouTube where he he has also a podcast called fools with tools. And his approach to doing a YouTube video is he has a sort of backstory, okay, and he has a really loyal fan base and you know, they all have like, catchphrase, so he’s almost like it’s not it’s not extremely outlandish as like the Mighty Boosh. You know the Mighty Boosh seem to
have some of those
Yeah, so you know, the Mighty Boosh is is crazy fantasy. So yeah, so Brett Brett has like, you know, like 1% of the 2% of that, like, what his story isn’t just like me, I just go right to the tool I’m using there’s no backstory. It’s just me making whatever it is that you and I, yeah, he has like sort of a little bit of a scripted thing, each one and the purpose. He’s making it as for some reason, that’s kind of a funny thing. Anyway, so you know, there’s different approaches to YouTube. This guy’s had a big channels and guys that have little channels and I know what’s I can think of a couple more than welcome. Yeah.
I I wish I had a lot
more to grab. Because I know I’m this is a really special time here so um, yeah, yeah. Anything else that I maybe didn’t touch on that you want to put out there that
and no you know it’s funny just this summer we’re doing the classes and we
we put out
How can I find information about the classes?
Oh just go to Jimmy dresses calm and hit workshops all day okay it’s all there. We tell them my girlfriend is the producer of these events. She’s the one who organizes the guests, the fans that sign up or the people that sign up to the classmates and organizes their payments and takes like, I never see any of the money. She takes it on. And she organized everything. Like everyone so I’m like, Can I take $1,000 to do something and she’ll be like, okay if you need it for that, but no, she organizes the money. She organizes the lodging. She organises, like who’s coming when I just have to show up. So kudos to her for really doing that. And she likes a lot event. Yeah, putting together events. If it wasn’t for Taylor, I would not do this because she’s the one who actually does all the work. I’m the one that just talks about doing it. And I never actually do it. But yeah, you know, I just I would just fester alone in my room if it wasn’t for tailgating in my life. Oh, so we got the classes at the house a couple of weeks due to low enrollment. And it’s funny because we were talking about this yesterday, we had a class called the workplace photography with our friends. seven or more I teach what plate photography it’s like a like the like kind of the Civil War style photography where it’s on a plate. And that class is getting cancelled because we only have one person signed up for unfortunately, but welding sold out blacksmithing sold out acts making sold out, this one sold out that one sold out. And the reason they sold out is because telecommunicators and they basically so that’s something I could take and use in my life. Photography is not something that I use as much in my everyday life. Like even though I’m like, it’s not my job to be a knife maker that relates more to what I’m interested in doing on the regular. And we had leather making class which is also getting cancelled due to low enrollment. But it’s you know, this is the first time we basically said these are the 10 classes come and take them. In the previous summers, we basically announced one class and it filled right up because everyone knows I’m like, type of personal just do one class and then 10 months later, I’ll do another one. So now we announced 10 and people have the misconception of like, every weekend I have a class and like every weekend I’m there like I’m gonna come up to is in two weeks, you know, you’re gonna look at the schedule. So they kind of take it for granted that it’s like oh, every week I can go just pop in whenever I want. Now,
do you announce them on Instagram like if somebody type it out before they get sold out?
Yeah, another on Instagram but the tailor has upgraded the website to say sold out on a couple of them that have been obviously sold out. But and then in the fall, this is this would be like the first time announcing it if anybody’s listening the the weekend of October 12, tentatively speaking, I’m doing a thing in the neighborhood where my new shop is in upstate New York in eastern New York. It’s going to be called maker camp. And it’s going to be open to anybody that wants to buy a room for the weekend at the blackphone Resort. And Austin family owns the blackphone Resort. Austin’s my new friend, and we’re trying to organize and produces event called the maker camp, and there’s going to be classes and Hangouts and demonstrations and flea markets. And yeah, so he did
it over a long weekend.
Yeah, long way. So we get a Columbus Day weekend. That’s ambitious. And
yeah, exciting. Yeah. I mean, yeah, sounds like you’ve got the venue nailed down. Yeah, it’s just a matter of
your idea. The family’s idea Austin’s a young maker, who also whose family owns this venue and they host weekends all often they host like a motorcycle weekend. They’ll host a steampunk weekend. They have themed weekends, have a rat rod weekend, and they’ve been doing it for years. So this is just a new themed weekend. But we’re just right now in the early stages just trying to figure out exactly who’s gonna be there and who’s gonna be in the lineup, at least for entertainment teachers, right. And I’m certainly going to be there. It’s right in my neighborhood.
So some Emily’s will be in the fall.
Yeah, October 12. Okay, that’s what that’s what we’re thinking about right now. But we haven’t even officially announced any first announcement. I’m
get your groove let’s congrats on the podcast. I’m happy to be first. You know, it’s funny, a lot of fans. they’ll write to me and they’re like, I just put up my YouTube channel and just put up a YouTube video my first year and they go in and I look and have no subscribers. So I always become the first subscriber to like 10 or 15 friends online and they love it and it’s like nature
and their way you have to be
that way. Your first guest Thank you. Thank you. Okay, Jamie.
Thanks for listening to to crave. If you like the show, please rate and review us on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening fall along with For guest updates on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at tool crib, and feel free to email us at podcast at tool crib comm for guest suggestion, or just to say hi. Thanks again and see you soon
Transcribed by https://otter.ai