When posting to the rack and pinion thread I recalled some really bad “how to” videos and assume that every problem that the public might want to deal with has videos available. How many are worth watching and how many can get the DIYer into deeper trouble. One in particular involved a Snapper mower clutch. The mechanic(?) was dealing with an old mower with a slipping clutch and his solution was to drill a hole in the frame to allow the linkage to travel far enough to allow the friction wheel to make solid contact with the hub. I was amazed that someone would ignore the obvious solution of adjusting the hub on the crankshaft and instead butcher the frame. Have any regulars here run across some really stupid ‘how to’ videos?
Scotty Kilmer did one of a late model car with an inoperative A/C compressor. His fix was to use a 10 dollar thermostat and wire the compressor direct; bypassing the controls and pressure switches.
In the meantime, blowing ain’t gonna help no matter what…
I have made so stupid mistakes that I’m glad no one recorded and made public but that mechanic(?) puts all my faux pas in the not worth mentioning class. Wasn’t he on fire when he exited the shop?
There’s a longer version of that video that shows more at the beginning. He has a remote starter switch setup and is trying to start the engine. You can hear the fuel pump running, and then big sparks come from the switch when he cranks it. That was apparently not enough of a clue for him, because he cranks it again, for a long time, and it finally sparks the fire.
Really brilliant guy.
I’ve made a few mistakes that I’m thankful are not on video also.
You’re right Rod Knox.The guy was burning when he ran outside. He’s lucky the entire building did not burn down.
I found Many of scotty videos informative
Oh boy, water down the carb. I’ve got three extinguishers in the garage. I was welding on my door once and caught that plastic thing on fire once and was happy to have an extinguisher handy. I just replaced them all this year. Handy things to have.
At any rate, I think you have to use a little common sense with DIY videos. I had to put a new belt on my planer today and I’m glad I had watched a video on it. It wasn’t easy but at least I knew what to watch out for. Same thing with a video on the automatic welding helmet. The guy was right in the video but my workmanship left something to be desired so just bought a new one. On to water heaters tomorrow maybe, but I trust This Old House a little better.
I find myself watching numerous DIY videos for something I’m not familiar with doing. You have to sort through a few of them usually to find the gem. People that like to hear themselves talk, questionable methods and just plain stupid stuff and I just stop and move to the next one.
Online reviews are another thing you have to take with a grain of salt. People with an axe to grind or just plain ignorant and b!tching about how the product is a piece of junk. Funny, I bought one and it turned out to be fine.
Overall it’s pretty amazing to have all this information at your fingertips. Having grown up at a time when you had to go to the library or buy a book to get information…
The toughest thing with DIY videos is when you’re doing something new. I can usually spot a bad car-related how-to even if I don’t know the specific procedure just by dint of having wrenched for a long time. But now that I’m taking up woodworking for fun, I find myself watching videos and just… Hoping they’re not wrong.
It’s like back when I was in martial arts. Probably 75% of karate schools are BS from a self-defense standpoint - they teach tournament fighting which won’t do you any good in a real fight. But how is someone who doesn’t know anything about fighting to judge who is teaching fighting well? And of course, they all say they focus on self defense, so how do you figure out who’s real and who’s a dink?
Just in case you have not found them, I suggest The New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abrams . You tube seems to have a lot of them
I have, and they’re great!
I enjoyed watching Norm in his shop. Only gripe I have is he seems to have a specific tool (read: expensive unless the tool maker is donating them in exchange for airtime) for everything. Just insert the log into my chair making machine
Just went to a woodworking store yesterday for first time in forever to get a replacement drawer slide. Had the wife and kid in tow. They put a crimp in my obsessing over tools and exotic woods…
Yeah, I am definitely noticing that you can spend almost as much on woodworking equipment as you can on cars. Actually some of my car tools are cheaper - I’ve never had to spend $100 for a single socket, but router bits? Wow.
Depending on what type of woodworking you are doing, for cabinet construction, Mark Sommerfield of Somerfield tooks has some good videos. However, I modify what he says. You’ll like Rockler but expensive, but yeah don’t cheap out on WW tools. Used to be more shows too in the area but seem to have declined.
Really I have been amazed at all the videos out there. If you’re trying to remember how to get that cabin air filter out, or pop the headlight housing out to replace a bulb, etc. I have noticed though recently that youtube is getting more and more political making it hard to view the the videos of interest.
Youtube is going down the tubes. Their boneheaded DRM policies are pulling legitimate videos (they’ve been known to take down music videos on copyright claims, even though the uploader was the guy who composed the song and produced the video). And then they’re screwing with ad revenue which means good contributors aren’t getting paid anymore – Eric the Car Guy has made a ton of really excellent videos on there, but now he’s scaled way back because of the money issue.
It’s gotten to where a lot of the good channels have turned to Patreon which lets people send small donations to keep the channels afloat, since ad revenue is no longer at all reliable.
I’ve found the u-tube vdos pretty useful most of the time. Sometimes they skip a part, or rig it so it is easy to do quickly when that part really isn’t so easy of course. But that’s show business. And some of the vdo’s show unsafe work practices. I linked to one here not long ago for something where the diy’er was working under his car with what appeared to be only a jack supporting.
My neighbor does that all the time. Drives me nuts. I said something once, even offered to lend him a spare set of jack stands I have lying around, but he just laughed and called me a “wussy,” which is a term I hadn’t heard since middle school. He doesn’t have kids yet, so perhaps Darwin will sneak up on him one day.
I’m amazed at just how often I see similar situations in driveways @shadowfax. And like you I have been insulted for sticking my nose in people’s business often enough that I no longer pay any attention and hope that if Darwin awards them he’ll make it as quick and painless as possible.
I saw my neighbor with the front end up in the air with a jack and him under it. I brought my jack stands over but said it was for me getting the heebee jeebees watching him. He used them anyway. I imagine not much worse than trying to pull a bloody body out from under a car.
It was in our local paper many years ago. A man was killed by his engine falling on him. He had used a chain fall to pull the engine but had secured the chain fall with a coat hanger.