Woodworking is a highly visual craft. There’s just something photogenic about lumber getting cut to size, dry-fit, glued or tacked together, and finally sanded down and finished into a beautiful piece of furniture. Even if you’re not a woodworker yourself, watching high-quality woodworking videos is a great way to learn about how stuff gets made, and who knows, you might even realize you want to make something yourself.
Over a year ago, I wrote up a round-up of three woodworking resources which included talented YouTube woodworkers Matthias Wandel, Steve Ramsey, and Marc Spagnuolo, AKA The Wood Whisperer. All three still produce wonderful work — and today I’d like to introduce you to five other YouTube woodworking channels worth following.
Frank’s work is visually arresting. This is not necessarily a channel you’re going to learn from, if you’re a novice woodworker or just getting into the field. The main reason to subscribe to Frank’s channel is how gorgeous his work is. The pieces he makes are always artfully conceived, even if it’s just a simple bookcase or a bench. Add to that his killer stop-motion and filmmaking skills, and you get a YouTube channel you can share with anyone, even if they think they’re not remotely interested in the craft.
Based in Canada, John’s style is much more down to earth than Frank’s, but some of his work is just as awe-inspiring:
Not all of John’s videos are so crazy. In fact, what makes his channel worth subscribing to is that many are approachable and useful even for woodworking novices, such as this handy no-measure method for attaching drawer slides:
John also makes some more informal videos, and isn’t afraid to appear silly in front of the camera. Just about every video he makes is interesting, but I particularly recommend those videos in which he makes his own tools, like this entire playlist about making a vise.
The first word that comes to mind for describing Jay’s work: Accessible. Even if you are brand-new to woodworking and don’t have many tools, you can follow many of Jay’s projects. It’s not just the choice of tools and techniques, but also his straightforward and friendly presentation style. Here is a video that’ll be handy for anyone just shopping for a new kitchen:
When you first start with woodworking, the biggest barrier often isn’t in the shop: It’s in planning your work, figuring out how to make what you want to make, which materials you’ll need, and how much to get. That’s why planning your projects is so important, and Jay has an entire series of superb SketchUp tutorials for woodworking:
If you’d like to read some more about SketchUp, check out Ryan’s article on how to plan a home DIY project with SketchUp. And if the idea of 3D design in general captivates your imagination, you should read our interview with world-class 3D artist Rafael Grassetti.
Not many YouTube woodworking channels are run by guys who also happen to have PhD’s in medicinal chemistry, but this one is. Brian Grella’s channel offers a mix between more atmospheric videos that aren’t heavy on explanations (as the one shown above), and ones that are firmly in how-to territory, like this one for making a beautiful wooden bowl using nothing but a router and a drill press (no lathe required):
This last YouTube channel is a commercial. For me, it just goes to show that not all YouTube commercials have to be annoying. Instead of forcing you to watch a typical TV ad ported over to the Web, tool company Ryobi went ahead and made a channel… and the videos are not about its tools:
The videos are clearly professionally produced and try to imitate the “authentic” YouTube woodworker look — but the projects are accessible and clearly explained. The cohesive style that ties the channel together makes it worth watching, and the fact you only need simple tools to create the projects shown doesn’t hurt, either.
Who Did I Miss?
YouTube is a big place, and there are countless other talented woodworkers showing off their trade there. Which ones did I miss, and why are they worth mentioning? Chime in below with links to woodworking videos you love.