Shop Organization Projects with April Wilkerson

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4026 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4026 Articles

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One of my recent favorite YouTube maker channels is April Wilkerson’s woodworking channel. April is a young Texas woman who, just a few years ago, basically knew nothing about woodworking. But she and her husband had a long list of improvements they wanted to make in their home and not a lot of money to bankroll them. So, April decided to DIY it.

April soon discovered that she had an innate talent for woodworking and began posting how-to articles on her website, WilkerDos.com. To illustrate points in the written how-tos, she started recording the projects and posting them to YouTube, almost as an after-thought. Things have quickly taken off from there and April now has a busy project posting schedule, channel sponsors, and is closing in on 200,000 subscribers.

Recently, as April’s shop has been quickly expanding with new tools, she’s had to stay on top of shop organization. So, she’s been doing a series of videos showing her building various shop storage solutions. Here are a few of those videos.

Building a French Cleat System

For this project, April wanted to create a wall-based storage system for her shop using the popular French cleat system. One of the many things that’s impressive about April is how she so methodically documents and walks you through each of her builds. For each project, on her website, she writes up her thinking going into the project, the steps to building it, thoughts she has after about what she might improve, what she could have done differently, etc., all illustrated with copious photos, diagrams, and for some projects, downloadable plans.

Making Some Clamp Racks

In this video, April builds a clamp rack to organize her bar clamps, pipe clamps, and quick clamps. She makes two different styles of racks using mainly scrap wood.

Multipurpose Garage Storage Solution

Now that April is on an organizing roll, she can’t stop seeing problems in need of storage solutions. While visiting her parents, she discovers the mess in her dad’s garage and sets to work on creating a set of shelves for his paints, screws, and other small hardware. It’s really touching when she does projects with her dad (they also build a workbench in another video). And mom forcing her to put on sunscreen in this video is priceless.

You can see all of the videos of her shop organization projects in this YouTube playlist.

It’s so inspiring to me to encounter makers like April. Watch her channel for a while and her fearlessness and pervasive spirit of “I can do this” really shine through. April has come so far in just a few short years because she’s relentless, highly motivated, and not afraid to dive in, to make mistakes. In almost all of her projects, she talks about what she might have done wrong, what she learned, and what she had to re-do to get it right.

It’s also very heartening to read the comments to her videos and realize how much she must be inspiring other newbies, other women, maker couples, really anyone who’s listening, to just get off their butts and do it. If you really want it, and if you have the courage and the patience to learn (and to fail on occasion), it can really take you to amazing places. It certainly has for April Wilkerson.