Today we're going to take the first steps toward being more handy. Choose a manual skill you always wanted to learn and do something to become more familiar with it. What skill do you want to learn and how are you going to go about learning it?
I'm a big city office drone, so my exposure to more practical manual skills is somewhat limited. However, there are some things I can do, and the following is a great resource that I plan to use for developing the manual skill of knot tying.
To be honest here this one is going to be a bit harder for me than other tasks. I have never been a very skilled individual who works with my hands, besides in gardening and landscaping. This being said, I am always willing to try something new.
I think for me, I would like to learn more about working on my car, or at least knowing what is happening more with my car and how I can mitigate some of these issues with home maintenance.
So for today, I think I will work to try and find some online and library based resources on this topic and see where it leads.
I am happy to say that I can do at least half of the recommended skill list. I am going to learn to tile, my Dad is coming down to visit and help tile our half-bathroom. I may have him show me how to change the brakes on my car too. As for building things with wood (a tree house, a deck) they are easier than you would think. You just need to perform the right steps in order, but the steps are easy to do (tip for swinging a hammer: use your whole forearm, bending at the elbow...not at the wrist, and keep your thumb off the handle-hold it like a baseball bat)
One of the main reasons that prompted me to look deeper into my own manhood was this very fact. I Often dealt with problems in my own home by ignoring them or waiting until I had the money to hire someone to fix them. Then I got to thinking about my father and grandfather and how prolific they were with seemingly being able to fix all things around the home and in the garage. This is when I began my quest to being more self-sufficient and handy around the house.
I have been enjoying it so far. I do the basic maintenance on the cars, been working at improving some aesthetic items around the house and just recently took up working more with my hands in an old-fashioned manner. I.E. hand woodworking. In fact, this past weekend I did a full lawn mower maintenance, hand sharpening my lawn mower blade and changing its oil. Simple tasks, mind you, but it felt good at the end of the day. Also, my more mechanically inclined neighbors stopped by to marvel at this as they "never thought of doing this with their own mowers..." :D
This triggered some fond childhood memories. Building three houses with my friends. My brother teaching me to solder. My father teaching me to lay tiles, chop wood and fell threes (with an axe. (that's pretty manual, though chainsaws are kinda manly)
Now I can't figure out what skill to learn, I don't have a car (for much interest) nor is there anything to fix around here...any (more) suggestions?
I felt pretty good about already knowing how to do the following:
How to tune your bike
How to fell a tree
How to make a bookshelf
How to install a ceiling fan
How to build a tree house
How to replace your car’s brakes
How to split wood
How to build a campfire
How to clean a gun
Now to think of something I don't know, and would like to continually use...
I originally thought about the "How to change your car’s oil", but I don't see myself doing that every 3000 miles, I'd rather learn something that I can do whenever I need to (and that could save me some $, instead of costing me more in time & parts).
I am going to take a step into learning how to sculpt. I've always had an interest in sculptures, small designer toys and action figures. I've purchased tools and clays, but never anything more than that. I am going to start by finding some tutorials online, then maybe try to enroll into a class.
I consider myself decently handy, I'm by no means a stranger to wood and metal working (though they are hardly my specialty) and my dad has passed on quite a bit about cars to me (when I'm home, I get to change all of the oil and check for irregularities), so I'm using this as justification for my current skill building: stringed instruments.
I built a banjo with my dad (who is a carpenter) a couple weekends ago, and I've been going between it and my ukulele, which I've had for a year but never actually picked up, learning how to play. I've never considered myself musically inclined, so this has been a fun activity thats really engrossed me to the point of falling off some of my tasks here. So, I'm counting my distraction to help catch me up a bit...
This was a good one, as I like working with my hands, and think it gives you that independent feeling that you can't really get anywhere else. I'm going to work on my knot-tying, and some small electronics repair(stereo equipment etc.).
Have done quite a few of the things on the list. I like to be "hands on" with my house and vehicle repairs because you can save SO MUCH money doing those things yourself, even to the point of changing the injectors on my car or the igniter in my oven. Helps that I spent some time on my dad's farm, learned welding in shop class, and like to have an excuse to buy some new tool.
As with this site, the internet is a HUGE help. There are instructions with photos to do any task imaginable, and folks on user forums who are always willing to help.