Whenever I do a magazine or book or blog interview, one of the most frequently asked questions, besides the standard "how did you get started?" is always along the lines of: what would you recommend to someone who's just beginning to develop their DIY skills?
My answer to both questions is more-or-less the same: find something you need in your life, and try to make it. Whether it's something that doesn't exist, or you can't afford, or needs some personalization, the beginnings of the handmade life always lie in finding the practical, everyday solutions you need in your life, and making them. The joy then comes from the inherent meaning of knowing your creating something with real value, and hopefully, the process itself becomes the goal.
Like many of our readers, I’m a huge audiobook and podcast guy. I actually have to set aside intentional space to just sit alone with my own thoughts and think, because if I’ve got any mundane tasks to do around the house and nobody else is home, I’m rocking some auditory learning…
Owning a piece of mid-century design brings a solid, artfully masculine vibe to any space...but many of the classics are out of your price range when just starting to pull your home together. So, instead of shelling out the bucks for a statement piece by a major designer, invest a little time, and thoughtfulness, and make your own!
You know that old question that some stereotypical student always asks their math teacher? The one that's some variation on "When are we actually gonna use this in real life?" The answer, at least for arithmetic, geometry, and even a bit of trigonometry
Craft beer is growing out here on the West Coast like a wildfire in the wind. While visiting local breweries in the area, I've always been impressed by well made flight sets, so I decided to make my own.
Here at ManMade, we love working with wood. It's versatile, strong, and, done right, it looks fantastic. However, working with wood means making joints, and fitting joinery requires real finesse. That's where having a good jig comes in handy. Kreg Tool woodworking jigs are the best in the business and an absolute must-have for any woodshop. So here it is: Our Ultimate Kreg Jig Giveaway! One lucky winner will get:
- 1 Kreg Shelf Pin Jig
- 1 Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig
- 1 Kreg Cabinet Hardware Jig
- 1 Drawer Slide Jig
- 1 K4 Master System, Kreg's do-it-all jig for making perfect joints
Read on to learn how you can win!
As a kid, I shared a bunk bed with my younger brother and every night we'd argue about who had to turn off the light and make the frightful journey through the dark to the safety of his own covers. Eventually our parents bought us The Clapper which was swiftly taken away from us due to the racket we made every night for fun...
There are some very impressive makers out there. not only can they craft amazing projects for the home and shop, but they even go a step further an make their own power tools. Take a look at five impressive projects from start to finish.
One of the last steps in the shop on any project is sanding. It can be a long, drawn out process to get the final shape and then smooth it all out but this drum makes quick work of it.
I am a total scrap hoarder. Whether it's wood, metal or other trinkets, I can't help but think to myself that one day I will use some of these. From time to time, I search the depths of Pinterest to find some really good uses for all the junk I collect. Because if I don't I might not have a workshop to work in anymore!
David Picciuto is THE FAN of bandsaw boxes -- the man literally wrote the book on them. This bandsaw box design of his is simple enough for a novice to produce with limited materials, but also offers enough opportunities for more experienced woodworkers to take challenging risks. Not to mention the final product has a gorgeous, mid-century modern look...
I'm a huge Legends of the Fall fan, to the point that I was actually embarrassed when I saw it for the first time in my early twenties because I realized I'd spent much of my life emulating a character I hadn't known existed. While I did take the time to study a Native American language, I have yet to make forge my own antler-hilted blade like Brad Pitt's iconic weapon of choice...
A rustic storage box is frankly good for just about anything. Storing tools, carrying picnic supplies, or even piling up in a corner for decoration, you can do just about anything with them. And if you build them with enough quality and intention you can always sell them if they're in your way (honestly, I once saw legitimately janky old crates being sold in Brooklyn for $45 apiece).
There are plenty of shelves in my shop that need doors to keep out the dust, and to keep the look of the shop more streamlined. These cheap doors are made from 2.5" pine boards and affordable 1/4" plywood. They still look great and function well, and they have enough heft to feel strong in your hand.
It's always satisfying to burn your initials or insignia (or whatever you choose as your calling card) on a newly completed woodworking project, but why not take that a step further with some high voltage to create a unique fractal design? Perfect for a coffee table, end table, or even as stand-alone art...
I chat with lots of ManMakers who would love to get started with bigger, more in-depth projects, but lack a dedicated place to work on them and the storage space for all the tools they'd like to acquire. So, here's a perfect project for them: a small-footprint workbench that's sturdy enough to do real work, and includes lots of built-in storage and plenty of accessories.
Cornhole is the perfect backyard game. It's got a leg up on other lawn games like croquette since it's you can play it one-handed with a drink in the other, without ever having to actually leave your conversation. On the other hand, it also lets you to get as competitive as you want with it (unless you're me and your brother-in-law has to limit how excitable you're allowed to get for the onlooker's sake)...
Kitchen stools have that lovely versatile quality of providing extra surface space, seating, and (if they're suitably hip) stylish ambiance to any man's kitchen. And these gorgeous, black walnut and cherry stools do just the trick with their modern yet rustic sensibility. Inspired by the work of French woodworker, Boris Beaulant, Instructables user woodumakeit adapted the design to be more easily created in a typical American's woodshop.