YouTube is a great place to learn the basics of woodworking, and you can even find step-by-step videos that’ll help you build a project in a weekend. But if your skills are growing, you might not want teaching-focused videos anymore. Sometimes, it’s enjoyable to see the process of building something, even if you’ll never build that something. Here are four YouTube channels that shut up and get to work.
Update, 10/24/21: Verified all channels and videos are still good.
It’s rare to find a YouTube video devoid of any narration, so you’ll usually still hear someone speak in the channels we’ll discuss. But unlike Sean Walker or April Wilkerson, the goal here isn’t to teach you woodworking or all the steps of building a mallet. Instead, the focus is to show you the YouTuber’s latest creation and a general overview of how they did it.
Here, you’ll find channels creating beautiful or exciting things in unique ways, generally with good music and minimal narration. These are the videos you watch for relaxation and inspiration.
The worst thing you can do on YouTube is to pick boring or annoying background music. And that’s why Jackman Works caught my eye—or rather my ear. Every Jackman Works post could be a music video in a woodworking theme.
Go ahead and click the video above and listen for a moment. No, seriously, I’ll wait.
Now that you’re back, I bet you the music tempted to watch the whole video, right? That’s par for the course with a Jackman Works video. But it’s not just the music. He does interesting things with reclaimed pallet wood, whether it’s a workbench, shot glasses, or pencils. The videos will leave you wanting to go break apart some pallets and do your own reclaimed project.
If you spend much time looking around at the world of woodworking, you’ll begin to notice that it changes with cultures. Japanese and American woodworking are sometimes as far apart as the East is from the West.
You can see that with handtools like planes and saws. Whereas western tools work by pushing the blade (whether it be a plane or a saw), Japanese tools work on the pull stroke. Adrian Preda works equally in both styles of woodworking, often switching between Japanese and western planes and chisels. By marrying the two techniques, he makes beautiful Shoji Screens, toolboxes, Kumiko Strips, and ring boxes.
Each requires specialized jigs and a low bench setup that you may never feel the need to replicate (though Adrian does offer plans). But watching how he works and how it comes together is immensely satisfying.
Another in the Japanese woodworking field, Ishitani Furniture is different from other channels because you’ll hear almost no music or dialog. Instead, he leaves the sound of woodworking in the video.
As the channel’s name suggests, Ishitani Furniture focuses on furniture building through advanced joinery techniques. While the power tools here are western, whether that be table saw, planers or routers, the handtools are Japanese in style, from chisels to hand planes.
The fascinating piece to each video is the methods he employs to attach everything together and build strength. You’ll rarely, if ever, see screws and nails go into any of the furniture in these videos. Whether it’s a Kigumi Table, floating table, traditional braiding (Kumihimo) machines, or a desk, everything is held together by joinery and glue.
Although newer than other channels on this list, the Black Timber Company YouTube channel shows a lot of promise for the future to come. Here you’ll find a combination of custom furniture commissions and DIY projects. It’s also nice to see how one idea can build into another.
That’s evident in videos that first show how to make a sliding dovetail joint, then how to use that joint to build a sliding dovetail fly box. You’ll see techniques outside of woodworking as well, like simple metalworking.
That is newer is still evident, as earlier videos had more narration and less music, but now the direction is pretty consistent. You can expect a small introduction of the project, followed by a beautifully shot hyper-lapse of the build process set to interesting music. You may see occasional pauses to explain an unclear set of steps, but those are rare.
But the sheer variety of projects should keep interesting. There’s everything from floating epoxy river tables (a staple of YouTube), to wood and metal coasters. And one nice benefit to the youth of Black Timber Company is you won’t sit through sponsored content. At least not yet.
As always, there are dozens of more channels like these on YouTube, and we couldn’t possibly cover them all. But these are a good starting point. I recommend you don’t go into these types of videos as a beginner or someone looking for instruction. Instead, think of this as woodworking relaxation. Sit back and enjoy the sheer process of making things, and let that process inspire you. You might never build a floating epoxy river table, but seeing one built might inspire you to create something unique of your own.