Author Topic: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)  (Read 2319 times)

OmahaSteph

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Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« on: September 26, 2016, 11:49:41 AM »
I was inspired by an article that was posted around here somewhere last week discouraging Millennials from being proud of not knowing how to do basic things and patting themselves on the back for "adulting." While I am not technically a Millennial and I've been successfully "adulting" for quite some time, there are gaps in my DIY knowledge.

I don't learn well from watching videos (like on YouTube) - I need hands-on experience and teaching, which leads me to my question:

Where do you learn this stuff?

Home Depot has some free classes.
Some JoAnn stores have (paid) sewing classes.
Some grocery stores have (paid) cooking classes.

Assuming you don't have parents/elders/friends to teach you, where else can you learn these things? What are some valuable resources you've taken advantage of?

Making Cookies

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 12:06:49 PM »
Community colleges and state run technical schools offer classes that might work for you. These are classes designed for folks needing a career change so they are very hands on. Want to learn to weld? Do woodworking? Auto mechanics? There you go.

Seems like there were some websites with free online courses for a variety of topics. HowToForge, LifeHacker, etc.

https://www.google.com/search?q=free%20online%20courses

Hobby clubs can be really good too. I have been involved in a couple and there are always talented people that coach you on techniques. Habitat for Humanity potentially can teach you how to build a home if you volunteer enough.

Library books - some books are very picture intensive and can bridge the distance between your understanding and what you see on the web at places like YouTube.

Chat Forums like MMM where experienced people can explain how to accomplish something.

Retirement villages - sometimes you can find a situation where you can ask an elderly person to show you how to do something important. Ask around.   

I had never hung an exterior door until last week when I hired a handy man and functioned as his helper as we hung a door on my house.

The more you circulate among people - the better your chances of meeting someone that can teach you something you want to learn. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 12:48:55 PM »
For car repair, start by getting yourself a Haynes or Chilton manual, or the manufacturer's repair manual, and just start from there.  They're well-illustrated, and once you dive in, you'll realize that there's very little black magic going on.

andy85

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 12:52:51 PM »
Honestly, I learn by doing. My steps to success:

1) study online/in a book
2) get your hands dirty
3) screw up whatever you are trying to do
4) repeat 1-3 until task is complete
5) repeat 1-4 until you get decent at it
6) congrats, now you have a new skill

mskyle

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 01:20:44 PM »
A lot of cities have maker spaces/maker groups nowadays - they might offer classes or just have open workshop hours. And at least where I am every town or cluster of towns has its own "adult education" organization that teaches anything from cooking to pottery-making to gardening.

I'm mostly with andy85 though - mostly I learn by doing things wrong and/or very slowly, repeatedly. Classes are nice, but in general the Actual Thing I Need To Do is not covered in class, and it's hard to find the class that is at the right level for you (if it even exists)!

There's a store near me that has cocktail making classes... like, they'll have a whole class on how to make a great negroni. I don't get it! What's so difficult about measuring, shaking, and drinking? I prefer to just order something fancy at a nice bar and ask the bartender how s/he made it - much cheaper, and you don't have to book ahead.

GetItRight

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2016, 09:14:09 PM »
I had a don't pay others for what you can do yourself mentality instilled from a young age, but really learned after getting my first car. It cost $500 and was 35 years old. If I wanted freedom I had to keep it running. I quickly learned I couldn't afford to pay a shop to fix every minor thing and the quality of work was less than stellar, also that there was nothing I couldn't take apart, try to fix, and put back together no worse than I started if I couldn't figure it out. After a few years I could rebuild engines, transmissions, do body work, and everything to maintain an old car. These mechanical skills easily transferred to maintaining a home, building walls, hanging and finishing drywall, load calcs for floors, beams, plumbing, electrical, etc. and everything else relevant to building and maintaining a house. Admittedly I could use to be a lot better with sewing, upholstery, and repairing clothes but I think that's in part a different skillset. I learned before youtube was a thing but while the internet was a good resource but not as easy as it is now. I think they key is to start with something, anything (car, bike, room, garage, etc.), and be able to work and expand your limits with minimal consequence.

Plugra

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2016, 04:59:45 PM »
Honestly, I learn by doing. My steps to success:

1) study online/in a book
2) get your hands dirty
3) screw up whatever you are trying to do
4) repeat 1-3 until task is complete
5) repeat 1-4 until you get decent at it
6) congrats, now you have a new skill

This is definitely how I learned.  Start with the easiest DIY projects like replacing a faucet washer or installing a new interior doorknob.  Gain experience and self confidence.  Work your way up to oil changes and replacing wall switches.  Even if a job looks too hard, watch a few youtube videos anyway just so you know what you are passing up.

Then one day you will find yourself replacing the clutch on your washing machine, or installing a new blend door actuator in your car's A/C system, and you'll wonder why on earth other people hire repairmen for such things.

Lulee

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2016, 10:42:58 PM »
Along with the above great suggestions, learn by taking apart and trying to repair items that are "dead".  Anything that doesn't work and would have to be replaced is fair game to learn on.  If you can save it, great.  You saved money and learned at the same time.  If you can't, well, hopefully you got to learn something.  I've saved vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, computer monitors and other things this way.

Just take some basic safety precautions like unplugging things and staying away from capacitors which can hold & discharge current even when the appliance is unplugged (Dad was an electrician who hated people messing with his work bench so he's leave capacitors around to zap the unwary; thankfully, I learned from his stories about doing this and not by actually handling one).  That and lay parts out in such a way that you can tell where they go back.  I used to draw pictures with notes for this before the advent of digital cameras.

sparkytheop

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Re: Where/how do you learn DIY skills (other than YouTube?)
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 10:57:18 PM »
I wanted to learn to quilt, so I asked around if anyone knew of a quilt group in the area.  I was told there was a group that met at the Senior Center every Monday.  Called to see if I'd be "allowed" to go (I'm in my 30s), and they said all are welcome.  They've taught me a ton and are a blast to hang out with.

I have taken a lot of classes with the local Extension office-- canning, pressure canning, fermentation, freezing, etc.  They are $10/class, and I've learned some great skills that I've put into use at home.

We also have non-credit courses at the community college and continuing ed courses for adults. 

I've also joined a photography club and find out about different conventions and classes through them.