YouTube makers David Waelder (whom you may know from Jimmy DiResta’s channel) and Italian maker Giaco Whatever have been challenging each other to create 30 videos in 30 days. I absolutely love this sort of creative challenge. All of those 24/48/72 hour, 30-day writing, blogging, hacking, making, whatever challenges really are an amazing way to put your creative feet to the fire and up your game, whatever that game is.
Want to become a much better writer? Sign on for a 30-day blogging challenge, and by the end of it, I can almost guarantee that you will be much better at your craft. Want to be a much better online maker who can improvise, who can overcome all sorts of unforeseen challenges, who can edit better video on the fly? Doing a maker video challenge like this will accomplish all of that. Disciplining yourself to stay with such a challenge is really hard (ask anyone who’s done it). Coming up with daily content that’s compelling, dreaming up and completing projects, editing the project videos and posting them, all withing 24 hours, takes every resource you have. You’re likely already familiar with this if you’ve ever worked on a project where you’re massively sleep deprived. Yes that deprivation can be hellish, but it frequently taps you into some deeper reservoir of creativity where interesting things can happen.
Here are a few of David and Giaco’s videos. The videos to date (they are 18 days in) run the gamut from the practical and sober to the whimsical and inspired to the strange and questionable. I warn you, some of them are raw and there’s much crude and salty language in Waelder’s videos (Giaco’s are silent). These guys are not editing themselves and they’re not concerned with doing so.
DIY Scrapers from Simple ToolsIn this video, Dave shows how you can make your own scrapping tools for restoration work and such simply by introducing an edge to a cheap putty knife, old reciprocating saw blade, or similar. To edge it, all you need to do is scrape it/sharpen it with a piece of steel that’s harder than it is.
Oversized Compass BuildDave found some pieces of ipe wood in Giaco’s scrap bin and turned them into a beautiful large compass.
Wrench HackNesting one cheap Chinese adjustable wrench inside of another? Sure, why not? It’s a 30-day hackathon, Dave can do whatever he wants.
Coat Hangers Room DecorIt’s Day 15 into the challenge and Giaco is feeling it (“This 30-day challenge is killing me!”), but he presses on and has some fun with some abstract-shaped coat/hat hangers. To create, he simply cut some pine stock at random, pleasing angles, painted them wall-matching white, and added mounting hardware. Easy. Fun. And they look pretty cool. And he vows at this halfway mark to “hang in there” (groan).
Table Saw Knee Kill SwitchGiaco decided he wanted to add a quick n’ dirty knee-powered kill switch to his table saw. So he did.
Giaco Makes His First KnifeUsing an a saw blade and a piece of scrap ebony, Giaco fashions his first knife. Like a lot of makers, he found it addictive and now wants to make more.
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 man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.View more articles by Gareth Branwyn