In this short article, I will be explaining how and why I am offering these woodworking courses for free and how you can support what I do.
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When designing this online course, I wanted to make it as close as possible to my own experience while learning furniture making at Rycotewood Furniture Centre in Oxford. Of course, being an online course it is not possible to exactly replicate the physicality of being in those workshops. The one to one tutorials with the tutor, the peers surrounding you, and the dodgy food offered at the canteen during lunch are all things that came with the school and were unique to that experience. But I'm confident this course will help take your woodworking to the next level.
On the main page, you will find a series of lessons surrounding furniture making. These come in 3 categories:
These lessons will demonstrate a practical task such as sharpening, using a tool, cutting a joint etc. Working your way through these lessons in chronological order is essential to being able to get the most from the course as every section will build on skills learnt previously.
Of course there is a bit of theory involved. Creating wooden furniture without a basic knowledge of the material you're working with is like cooking a cheesecake without knowing what mascarpone is. You may complete the recipe, but that Stilton you used as a substitute didn't taste so good.
In these sections, we will complete a project ranging from a simple dovetailed box to a curved front side table with angled dovetail drawers. These tutorials are broken down into small manageable chunks which makes it easy for you to learn and revise from later. Without needing to sit through hours of unnecessary video just to re-fresh your memory on how to complete a certain process.
If you're ever followed an online tutorial before, you know how frustrating it is when you make a mistake and the presenter doesn't provide a solution on how to fix it. This is the hardest thing about creating online tutorials as there are so many ways to screw up a project that as a presenter, it becomes hard to foresee these before they happen.
To make the course as authentic and relatable as possible, my friend Rob will be completing it alongside you. He is a complete beginner and will be watching the exact same videos as you, however the difference is that he will have access to me. While he is carrying out these practical tasks or building projects, we will be documenting every mistake he makes, every piece he has to throw away, and every piece he has to re-do in order to help you avoid these mistakes when you get around to making the project. Furthermore, I will be able to show him how to fix these mistakes in order for you to learn from that process too. These will be viewable within the relevant sections and are a great way to scope out the road ahead.
This is the closest form of one to one tuition you can get from an online course. Better yet, its Free!
To be honest, I just want to make woodworking as accessible as possible. It would be easy for me to sell this course because at the end of the day £10 for an online course membership is nothing compared to the cost of tools and equipment you will need for woodworking. But making the course accessible to everyone just seemed like the right thing to do. I know that I can generate an income from other methods, albeit slower methods, but I'm in it for the long run.
I would also just like to add that I'm not trying to undercut anyone here either. There are many paid online courses by people such as Marc Spagnuolo, Rob Cosman and Paul Sellars, all of which will be packed with a ton of information and will be worth the investment. I can now tell you from first hand experience that these online schools are not built overnight, they take a lot of time, effort and money to get off the ground and shouldn't be undervalued simply because I'm offering mine for free. That being said, you may be asking how I am able to provide this for free…
Naturally you may be wondering how I have time to build this course and what my financial gain from it is. I've always been transparent with this kind of thing and I'm happy to share this with you:
Throughout this course, you will see many tool and resource recommendations to help you complete the projects. In fact, at the bottom of this page, you will see a recommendation for my favourite woodworking book. The links for the majority of these tools and resources are Affiliate Links. This means that if you click on the link and then purchase the item, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It's a great way to say thank you for the recommendation and support the channel while simultaneously getting your hands on some shiny new stuff! If you want to know more about how this works, view my affiliate disclaimer.
The plans for the projects come at a small cost however they are not a necessity to complete the course. If you would like to follow the exact drawings and dimensions I am using in the videos, you will find the plans useful. Although if you would prefer to make the project to your own specification, you have the option of drawing your own plans and follow the videos for guidance.
As the videos for this course are hosted on YouTube, I get a small advertising fee every time someone watches my video. This is a very small amount of income, however there is the opportunity for exponential growth if you share the videos with others who may find it useful. Again, this is at no cost to you and will help support what I do as well as others who are in the need of tuition and guidance.
If you would like to show your support and want to donate towards future content, you can pledge a monthly donation via Patreon. This amount is completely up to you from $1 upwards and can be cancelled at anytime at no cost. Alternatively, you can place a one off donation via PayPal. I thank you in advance for your donations, your support means the world to me!
In summary, there are other ways for me to make money other than charging an upfront fee. Making people pay for a course is the quickest way of reaching ‘X' amount of income, whatever I decide that total amount to be. But by making the course accessible to everyone and playing the long game when it comes to the above revenue streams, I will eventually meet ‘X' amount of income at some point in the future. Without having to compromise on making the course accessible to only a select few.
I do hope you enjoy this course I have provided. With enough diligence and practice in the practical tasks at the beginning of the course, you will absolutely nail the execution when it comes to the projects. Keep persevering and I look forward to seeing what you get out of it!
The Collins Complete Woodworkers Manual helped me tremendously when beginning woodworking and I've been recommending it to my viewers and students for years. I'm yet to hear a bad review from them.
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