Jeremy Fielding is one of our favorite YouTube makers. He builds wonderful mechanical devices. He restores old tools, and builds new ones from scratch. And he creates great videos explaining the elements of engineering, breaking down challenging concepts and making them easy to follow and incorporate into any maker’s workflow.
We reached out to Jeremy to learn more about him.
Name: Jeremy Fielding
Location: North Alabama
Day job: Contraption Engineer — basically I design (and often build) all sorts of machines and widgets to meet the needs of the client/business. It ranges from machines that perform science experiments, to the US military.
What kinds of stuff do you make? I have a particular fascination with things that move. If it folds, spins, drives, cuts, etc, I enjoy working on it. I have made mechanical clocks from wood, CNC machines, and a super human bat swinging machine as a few examples.
How did you get started making stuff? It started with a desire to build a clubhouse for my kids. I had no power tools (unless you count a drill I used to hang pictures), no training, and no experience. I just wanted to make it. I started watching Youtube videos about building stuff and later consuming books on mechanical design. I also downloaded my first CAD program at that time. That turned into a love for working with wood and engineering in general.
What is something that you’ve made that you’re really proud of? I get excited about the small victories along the way, when something finally starts “moving” as it should. But, I tend to select projects that push all my limits and often involve a new skill as well: Programming, for example, on my CNC table saw. By the time I finish the “thing,”, I am never really proud as much as relieved it finally works! I usually walk away humbled by how much I failed along the way, and more aware of how much there is to learn.
What did you learn from your collaboration with Smarter Every Day? Destin and I made a strong connection as dads first. So, I tend to think of him in that respect (as opposed to “famous YouTuber”). We talk quite a bit (at least weekly) and work on stuff off camera a lot. So the public collaboration on video is just a small snippet of the experiences I have hanging out with my friend. I am not even sure how many videos we have done together. I worked on all the baseball stuff with him, but I was also briefly seen in the “snatch block” video on his channel. It is highly likely we will have many projects together in the future as we talk about new ideas constantly.
What is next on your project list? I am currently building a 6-axis robot arm. It won’t be a 3d printed robot :).
What is something you’d like to work with but you haven’t yet? Silicon is an interesting material to me. I would like to explore applications outside the usual stuff you see with it.
Anything else you want to say? My ultimate goal is to inspire more people to take an interest in engineering. Even if it’s just applying the concepts to tinkering in the backyard. I feel fortunate to have found this career later in life. Perhaps I can help a few others find it sooner.