Hi. My name is Steve. Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about me and my show.
You are part of a woodworking revolution.
Woodworking for Mere Mortals is dedicated to one simple idea: You can make fantastic projects on a limited budget, with limited or no experience.
What is not limited here is the definition of woodworking and who can participate.
For a long time there was a notion that woodworking was the exclusive realm of people who could afford expensive tools, and were privileged enough to have large spaces for their toys. To take part in this craft required years of tedious, laborious training, and with all that you needed the time to devote long hours in order to build something meaningful.
Woodworking for Mere Mortals
In 2008 I made a chess board that changed my life. I thought it would be fun to document the process and post it on YouTube. My son, who was nine at the time, did most of the video work, shooting with a little Sony Cybershot camera.
I wanted to show every procedure of that project, causing the entire video to be a drawn-out seven part series. Thankfully, I’ve become a little more savvy about viewer retention since then. I had no expectations that anyone would watch any of those videos, let alone sit through the entire series. I can still recall getting my first few comments and how amazing it was that people had actually seen my chess board. I followed this video by posting a bunch of roller coaster POV videos and silly family videos. My channel was a jumble back then and it took me a while before I figured out that people were subscribing for the woodworking videos.
When are new WWMM episodes posted?
I post new videos on Fridays. Usually about 11:00 AM Pacific Time
Will you ever post longer, multi-part series?
Probably not. Multi-part video series do not suit the Mere Mortals format. I try to include a variety of projects on the show so you have something new to look forward to each week.
What video equipment and editing software do you use?
I shoot current episodes on a Canon T3i DSLR camera with an on-camera Rode mic. I edit on a Windows computer using Sony Movie Studio.
What software do you use to create your plans?
I design the 3D plans in Sketchup. I export individual 2D pictures as TIFF files. I drop these into Adobe InDesign to create multi-page PDFs. I draw my full-sized cutting templates in Adobe Illustrator. And of course, I use Photoshop to enhance every photo I take and to design video thumbnails.
What kind of lighting is in your shop?
I have four banks overhead lights, each containing four daylight balanced T4 fluorescent bulbs. For detail shots and still photos I also use portable lighting units. Of course, I also have a window, a door and a garage door than let in natural lighting. It’s a bright shop! It’s great for shooting video, and woodworking.
How big is your shop?
My shop is a 19’ x 19’ two-car garage. But don’t call it a garage, it’s a workshop.
Where do you come up with ideas for your projects?
I find project inspiration all around. Whenever I see something interesting, I imagine ways it can be made out of wood. Sometimes I build things we need around the house. Often I get ideas from viewer suggestions.
Do you ever worry that you will ever run out of ideas?
I try not to worry too much. I figure my job only requires me to come up with one clever idea per week. That’s nothing compared to all the ideas most people have to come up with on a daily basis for their jobs!
Are you ever going to make the chess pieces?
Someday. Then I can finally remove this question from the FAQ.
How long have you been a woodworker?
I started woodworking as a kid. My dad and grandfather always had a lot of tools and built things around the house. When I was about 12, my dad bought a Shopsmith and I think my first real woodworking project was a lamp that I turned on the lathe.
What did you do before WWMM became your full time job?
I was a graphic designer.
I’ve seen you wearing both 49ers shirts and Raiders shirts. What gives?
I support both Bay Area teams! (But mostly San Francisco.)
What is Mere Minutes?
Mere Minutes is my (mostly) weekly vlog. It is also the name of my second channel on YouTube. I try to post Mere Minute videos on Saturdays or Sundays. In this show I discuss projects, talk about current events in woodworking, and try to keep the world of Me-Mos connected. I have no strict format and sometimes talk about non-woodworking topics. I like to think of Mere Minutes a fun opportunity chat with the WWMM community.
What is Ask Me-Mo?
Ask Me-Mo is my most fast-paced show where I answer your questions. about absolutely anything. Well, sort of. You can submit questions on twitter using #AskMeMo. I have a ton of fun with this show and I think you will too. I post these periodically on my Mere Minutes channel.
What are Mere Minis?
Mere Minis are short, single-topic woodworking videos. They might be simple project or a quick overview of a tool or technique. I post these periodically on my my main channel, and try to keep them under three minutes long.
What is a “Me-Mo”?
I once mentioned on Mere Minutes that “Woodworking for Mere Mortals” is a long name and saying the letters, W-W-M-M, is even clunkier. Soon after, a viewer suggested the term, “Wo-Wo-Me-Mo”. Fans of the show shortened this and began referring to themselves as “Me-Mos”.
Can I commission you to make something?
Sorry, no. Producing these shows doesn’t allow me any time to take on commissioned work
Do you sell any of the projects you make for the show?
Projects I make on the show that I don’t personally need (my house is already filled with woodworking projects!) I auction off on eBay. I donate 100% of the winning bid to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Can I sell projects I make using WWMM plans?
Yes! Please do. Making money at woodworking is hard. I sincerely hope my plans can help you. If you feel any guilt, feel free to leave me a tip!
Where can I find WWMM on social media?
How can I mail you stuff?
448 Ignacio Blvd. #237
Novato CA 94949