Miniviews series - No. 13 with Brad Rodriguez
You’ve landed on the thirteenth installment of the Maker Miniviews series called “I’m a Maker Because…” The structure of this maker series is that Scott Mathson, Makerviews asks different makers two questions. That’s it, two questions. These text, maker interviews are quick and to-the-point, all while providing insight from a wide variety of truly talented individuals!
As makers, we all need to support each other in getting out there and making things. With that, brevity is key. That’s why I’ve taken a two-question approach in this series. Check out this interview with Brad Rodriguez of Fix This Build That.
I'm a Maker Because...
Brad Rodriguez interview
What inspires you to keep making things?
"At this point the inspiration for me is from the audience. Everything I build is done for the benefit of those amazing folks who take the time to read my website, follow me on Instagram, watch my YouTube videos or engage with my content in some other way. The goal of my brand is to Educate, Inspire and Entertain. So I tend to look for projects that fill a need for me, but will also be beneficial to my audience. And don't get me wrong, my honey-do list is just as long as the next woodworker's, so that's always a source of new projects. But the real inspiration comes not just from the projects themselves, but from the reward on the back end.
After I post a new YouTube video or a plan for a build I'll often get tagged in a post on Instagram or Facebook by someone who just built the project. I just love seeing the pride and happiness from that guy or gal, especially from new woodworkers. It reminds me of when I got into woodworking and how much I devoured content trying to learn new things. Back then it was magazines for me and I read about every one of them. Every time a new edition would arrive I'd sit down and just pour through it looking at the shop tips and how they made the feature projects.
Putting out my content is like delivering a little article into my audiences mailbox and getting their feedback on how much they enjoy it is a real inspiration for me personally. So being able to give back in my own way and help others into the craft is really my main motivator these days."
What one piece of advice would you give to other, budding woodworkers?
"My best piece of advice for any new or budding woodworkers is to just build. It might sound simple, but there's a lot buried in there. When I was first starting out I got tied up in wanting to build the perfect shop before I started building. I felt like I needed to have Norm Abrams shop to really "be a woodworker". So I spent my first couple years building mainly shop projects and trying to collect the tools I thought I needed. What I should have been doing is working with what I had and learning to do things in different ways based on my constraints.
I think when you wait till everything is right to go after a project or to take the next step you lose some valuable learning along the way. So I say just build. Work with what you have and figure out new ways to do things. And as a bonus tip...keep your eyes peeled on your local Craigslist. I've bought so many large tools off Craigslist at 50% or less of retail. It helped me build my shop out on a budget and get to where I thought I needed to be faster. But you don't need to have all that stuff to start. Just build."
Brad is a woodworker who produces thorough videos, tutorials and project plans, podcasts, and more. He has been publishing woodworking tutorials and DIY content under name Fix This Build That since early 2015 and since mid-2017 has been doing so full-time.
"...just build. Work with what you have and figure out new ways to do things." — Brad Rodriguez
Thank you all for reading this article, now get out there and make things!