Tuesday, 18 May 2021 22:29

    Separating spam from the Ham, DIY Wisdom in "Junk" Emails

    Written by
    Rate this item
    (0 votes)

    I don't know about you, but if you're checking this web site out, then you've probably got an email address too. Over time, you sign up to newsletters, buy things online and register customer accounts, you correspond with friends and family, and along the way your inbox gets an ever-increasing deluge of "junk" email which is called "Spam". Interestingly few people actually talk about the "good" emails, which is actually called "Ham". Given the name sake to me, it's nice for this Wayward Ham to be considered "not junk".. at the very least.

    Wisdom can be found anywhere. While seeking reliable sources are all good and well, there is also potential for informational source snobbery that shuns a lot of good advice. A little thought and creativity can learn complex or useful ideas from a paragraph or two... often more so than a dry, long winded thesis of narrow focus, using poor communication techniques.

    I've done a lot DIY projects in the last few years using largely, self taught techniques. I started with a near empty garage back in 2015, and a handful of tools, and been slowly building up a workshop as I do things around the house. Naturally, I've bought stuff wherever it was most appropriate/affordable to do so, and ended up on numerous DIY/wood working mailing lists.

    Once in a while, though, an email has a surprisingly well-thought-out and helpful message that could apply to anyone, and this came in today:


    Do It For Yourself

    DIY is accessible to everyone. Making something from scratch or breathing new life into Grandma’s sitting room cabinet is a deeply satisfying and rewarding experience. Anyone can the pickup the tools and embark on their very own creative journey.

    That’s not to say that the path to DIY success isn’t a rocky one. Knowing where to start and dealing with procrastination throughout the journey can pose major barriers for both new and experienced makers.

    Here are some tips to get you started with your own DIY projects…

    Start small

    Making something from scratch can be hard. If you are a raw beginner, start small and see it to the finish. Your projects will grow along with your skills and abilities.

    Know what you want to make

    This is key to your success. Knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve will help decide things like the space you need to complete the tasks, and kind of tools and materials you will need to source.

    Plan your projects

    It’s important to spend the time planning out your projects. Make sure you have a clearly drawn design. Use cutting lists and plan each step of your project through to completion.

    Hone your skills

    Learn the basics well. Invest time in practicing fundamental skills such as measuring and marking and using the different types of tools. When it comes to your project, you will be more confident and the chance of making errors will be a greatly reduced.

    Expect the unexpected

    You will hit some roadblocks. A clear plan and knowing how to deal with some of the obstacles can be the difference in your success. The important thing is to just keep going and get your project done.

    The secrets to success

    So, you now know some of the secrets to successful DIY. There is one more thing – the tools you use. Tools for successful DIY must be versatile, durable and easy to use.


    Now this particular email comes from a specialist wood working tool shop. Despite the goal of selling tools, there's nothing actually incorrect about their statements. Starting small, avoiding procrastination issues, working through the obstacles to overcome, and planning is sound advice.

    Versatility, durability, and ease of use are important qualities to look for in tools, and they do help with "getting the job done". However, with a little thought, I'll go a little further.

    I will say that there are always exceptions, or perhaps people will put differing levels of priority to each quality. I'd also add some more. How about "feasibility of purchase/use". If a tool requires a ton of power and you don't have a 3 phase circuit, that's obviously a problem. If a tool is too expensive, too heavy, too large to fit, and expensive to maintain, those are also issues. Return on Investment (ROI) is a useful concept. Don't spend a fortune on tools you use rarely, but invest where the upgrade will do the most good. (The tools you use most often)

    Now I don't think any beginner will be buying industrial tools, but size and weight are always important considerations. Also, there's nothing wrong with borrowing tools, or seeking help. Sometimes there are low cost alternatives to buying everything in sight. Improvisation and creativity can lead to success too.

    Fortune cookie wisdom... is still wisdom if applied to great effect. Take what you can get out of any information source.

    Just a little thought for the day.

    Take care!



    Read 138 times Last modified on Monday, 02 August 2021 14:03

    Wayward Ham

    Login to post comments
    © 2022 WaywardHam.net. All Rights Reserved.