Woodworker Shares His Dazzling Effort To Create His Wildest Project Yet

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if he had access to incredible woodworking tutorials online? Almost as much as you can! Thanks to the internet, even the least handy among us can learn how to make some something. But some people are better craftsmen than others.

With his trusty tools of humor and finesse, one such talented artisan documented his woodworking process and amassed a fanbase for his off-kilter projects. And when he produced his zaniest project yet, breaking the process down into simple steps, the towering end result made viewers crack an awestruck smile.

Paul Jackman is a self-described full-time maker. He doesn’t restrict himself to one medium, but he has a strong affinity for woodworking. All his carefully crafted masterpieces come from using reclaimed and upcycled materials he salvages in his home city of Washington D.C.

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After years of making projects for satisfied customers, Paul sparked the idea of bringing the joy of creating to the masses. So, in 2014, he revved up the table saw and hit record on the camera, starting his own YouTube Channel called Jackman Works. 

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Documenting every step in the process of making, Paul maintained safety first but still left room for dancing. All his videos included pumped up tunes, slapstick style transitions, and occasionally, if you’re lucky, a glimpse of his orange shop cat.

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Keeping things fun was Paul’s top priority with his online presence. He hoped to introduce people to woodworking, and in doing so, “get the younger generations excited about making again.”

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For Paul, the process began at his local treasure trove, the Non-profit warehouse Community Forklift. He rifled through the piles of salvaged wood and home decor items to select the best pieces to refurbish. Ideally, to make the most handsome final product, he searched for oak, fir studs, and elm in particular.

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Initially, Paul geared up his channel with unconventional woodworking projects like the wooden toilet tank cover and wooden selfie stick. Slowly but surely, he flexed his craftsman prowess by increasing the difficulty and creativity.

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Paul turned the wow factor up several notches integrating flashier pieces into his making videos. His 3-foot-in-diameter baseball chair really knocked it out of the park. Check out the baseball bat arms and legs!

Jackman Works

Instead of ordering a cheap fragile version online, Paul fashioned a beautiful award-worthy version of the leg lamp from A Christmas Story. While wracking his brains for the next, he kept the seasonal inspiration but set out to make something jaw-dropping.

Jackman Works

You’d be hardpressed to find anything more slack-jawed than a nutcracker! Paul challenged himself to create a human-sized version of the popular holiday figurine and set straight to work.

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After he scored a haul of gorgeous reclaimed lumber from Community Forklift, Paul headed to his workshop to get cracking! Given his materials, the massive Nutcracker would be both functional and a treat for the eyes.

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Next, Paul made quick work of cutting the boards down with a thickness planer. Then he slid them through his trusty table saw on an angle, making 1.5-inch blocks, push stick on the ready to avoid any catastrophes.

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Edits and increased speed made Paul’s job look easy. In reality, each one of the rings compiled to build the body of the Nutcracker held 20 small, glued-together pieces. Naturally, your dogs would be screaming for a rest on the table after all that labor.

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The next day, after the glue dried, it was safe to remove the hose clamps binding them together. Paul recommended that step to keep things ordered and tight while the glue does its magic.

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Final result? Enough rings to make Saturn jealous. Paul ended up with 90 in total. So, with 20 blocks per ring, plus some extra because Paul only cut corners in a positive way, the project used over 2,000 individual pieces of wood.

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From there, he sanded off the excess glue to achieve an attractive uniform look. Onward to stacking! Paul glued some smaller rings in stacks, others piled up high, clamping them for extra security. He filled stacks for the torso and legs with wood to attach limbs.

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The trick to making these robotic clunky stacks into a bonafide Nutcracker came down to one special machine — the lathe. Paul spent days fine-tuning the curves, working in manageable sections. 

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Out of all the painstaking steps, Paul felt the biggest challenge was carving out that pesky moveable mouthpiece. It had to actually work, not just look the part. Hand, oscillating, band — name a saw, Paul used it on the jaw.

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Living out his Doctor Frankenstein dreams, it was time for Paul to assemble the body. Piece by piece, he carved out the lever for nut cracking, using screws sturdy enough to support your average deck. He drilled the holes for arms and legs, and finally, his creature took shape.

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Paul passed over painting on the face; he opted to burn it on. The woodworking expert knew scorching added texture, tricking the eye into thinking the eyebrows and mustache were real hair. Four coats of tung oil, some faux hair, and a rugged pair of boots later, he unveiled his masterpiece.

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When completed, Paul could use his lovingly crafted mechanical man to crack open coconuts! Nothing like enjoying the fruits of your labor. Though certainly Paul would imagine up some even more creative uses for the taller-than-he-is Nutcracker.

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Pushing the envelope for what he could tackle made for an artistic challenge, but really, Paul wanted to inspire and educate others. He realized not everyone is fortunate enough to partake in trade programs and education, and he hoped his videos reached that section of curious, young minds.

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No matter your background, ability, or age, everyone can make something that excites them. It’s the perfect way to share joy, bond with those you love, and for one young craftsman, to fill the hours after a school.

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One middle-schooler from Dubuque, Iowa, wouldn’t rest until he turned his dream of building a home into a reality. Luke Thill, 13, said he was inspired to build a home simply because he was bored!

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He spent about a year mowing lawns, running errands for neighbors, and fundraising to save up enough money to buy the necessary materials. Before long, his ambitious project was underway.

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Luke’s parents pitched in a little with the finances and labor, but it was mostly Luke’s effort. The house was going to be small, but cozy. It would be 10 feet long, five feet wide, and a total of 89 square feet. So, what was the finished home of a bored teenager going to look like?

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It took Luke and his father all summer, but the two of them were dedicated to the task. Slowly but surely, Luke’s miniature dream cottage was coming along, and he was thrilled at the work they put in. He would actually have a place to call his own at age 13!

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When Luke was finally finished, he invited all of his friends and family to celebrate with a housewarming party. Everyone was in awe at what he had achieved. Luke had a goal in mind, and he didn’t let anything stop him from attaining it. Get ready for a house tour…

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The first impressive aspect of the cottage was that it was equipped to handle all types of weather. It didn’t matter if there was a thunderstorm or a blizzard; the adorable cottage offered Luke all of the personal privacy and protection he could ever want.

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It really was an amazing transformation from start to finish, but what exactly did it look like inside? Knowing people would be curious, Luke uploaded a video to YouTube where he gave a tour of his home…

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The first thing Luke pointed out in his video was the stoop that was attached to the front of the cottage. Luke built it all by himself using reclaimed materials to save some cash. Smart thinking!

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Next, Luke took viewers around the side of his home where he’d planted a small garden. He didn’t know much about landscaping before this project, but he slowly learned. It might not have been big, but it worked for him and his mini cottage!

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There was actually a good reason for the garden. Luke figured it couldn’t hurt for him to start growing his own food. He even had a tomato plant in the corner of the yard! Not only was it financially smart to be self-sufficient, but it ensured that the food he ate was produced without harmful chemicals.

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Luke also built himself a small fire pit in his front yard. He loved to be able to spend summer nights sitting by a campfire with friends and family, so he immediately knew he wanted one. The best part? The fire pit doubled as a barbecue!

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Of course, all work and no play made Luke a dull boy! He set up a hammock stand on the opposite side of his yard so he’d have a nice place to sit back and relax after all his hard work around the house.

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Every modern home needs a power source. Luke helped a neighbor—who happened to be an electrician—clean out his garage in exchange for an electrical box and power hookup in the cottage.

It was a small price to pay for such a necessary feature!

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Luke’s steel front door was a gift from his uncle’s friend who heard about the project. He was more than happy to donate an unused door. The windows were all reclaimed as well.

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After showing viewers around the outside of his new home, it was time to see the magic on the inside. The first thing he pointed out was the flooring. He used basic plywood and putty, and he topped it with a patterned strip of carpet for the center.

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Luke installed a kitchen counter on one side of the home, which gave him enough space to cook and eat his meals. The counter also lifted up so he could stock items underneath if he ever ran out of room. How ingenious was that?

Directly above the counter was a medicine cabinet where Luke stored lighters, silverware, spices, and anything else he might need during the course of a day. It offered a convenient way to stock the essentials while also saving precious space.

Luke even built a storage room in the ceiling. He knew that with a house so small, he wouldn’t have the floor space to keep a lot of his stuff, so he needed to get creative. The ceiling storage area utilized vertical space while keeping items out of the way.

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Naturally, Luke wouldn’t spend all of his time hanging out in his hammock or cooking indoors. Thanks to the electrical wiring, he was able to include a power strip. This way, he could plug in his TV and listen to music in his ceiling speakers.

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Though Luke’s house was small, it was a great space! Just ask Whitney Leigh Morris, a designer, blogger, and “small space living consultant,” who transformed this garage into a luxurious home for her family.

For Whitney, residing in the picturesque Venice Canal District of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, was a dream come true — but the cost of living there was not.

However, Whitney and her husband Adam were able to create a comfortable home with their young son, West, and their two beagle-mix rescues, Stanlee and Sophee, at a much cheaper price.

By all appearances, Whitney and the rest of her family were living the kind of lifestyle that many folks would associate with wealthy Los Angeles residents. Except they had one tiny secret…

You see, this family didn’t reside in any kind of sprawling mansion like you might find in other parts of the area. In fact, they didn’t even live in an ordinary house!

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Rather, Whitney’s family called a regular ol’ garage their home. Well, it wasn’t regular, exactly. What they did to the interior was something that would almost seem too good to be true if there wasn’t photographic evidence to back it up!

 

Whitney’s home was built in the 1920s as part of a much larger building, but she and her family only needed something small for their living situation. While it was only 362 square feet, it was more than enough.

Despite the fact that it seemed like a crazy idea, Whitney knew that she had a brilliant, cost-effective plan at her fingertips—and once she finally made her ambitious dream a reality, everyone took notice.

As a talented designer, Whitney used her artistic and economical eye to create enough room for not just herself, but her whole family. Complete with a bedroom, kitchen, and living area, this garage really was a dream home.

Whitney’s creation was a fully functional, fully realized, and breathtakingly beautiful home that anybody would be lucky to call their own! How she did it was impressive, too.

The house’s wide entrance and doors were replaced with spacious panels and a glass door that let in natural light, giving the whole space a warm, welcoming—and almost heavenly—atmosphere.

Whitney also situated a small, yet charming and perfectly functional, desk near the door to utilize as her professional workspace. It wasn’t big, but it got the job done—kind of like the entire home!

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The mirror hanging over the desk also helped to make the room seem significantly bigger than it actually was. No matter how large your own home is, this is a helpful trick that’s worth trying! There was more, too…

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A simple tablecloth draped over the coffee table helped to transform an ordinary living room into a pleasant and cozy dining room. Can’t you imagine sitting here for a nice gourmet meal or even just a casual lunch?

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The rear wall, which would ordinarily be used to hang garden tools and other outdoor supplies were it still a garage, now boasted beautiful stainless steel appliances, wooden cabinetry, and artwork.

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Whitney even added a beautiful L-shaped couch to section off the space from the entertaining area without making it seem too closed-off. It looked like it would be able to comfortably fit a few guests. Speaking of, where did this family sleep?

Whitney partitioned off the bedroom for more privacy. Obviously, it was gorgeously designed! Stanlee and Sophee took great care to watch over their teeny infant sibling who was enjoying a snooze in their brand-new digs.

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There was even a lovely little backyard! Whitney and Adam converted the small outdoor space into a modestly sized patio area, as well as added to the comfortable décor with fairy lights and trailing ivy.

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A tiny home like the one that Whitney and her family renovated proved that larger, more conventional living spaces were overrated, quite often unnecessary—and very likely overpriced!

You don’t need a lot of space or “stuff” in order to be happy, and this little family certainly demonstrated that! Whitney’s motto was that most people “don’t need to ‘live large’ to live beautifully,” and her lifestyle was a testament to that.

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