WHAT IS THE FREE ONLINE WOODWORKING SCHOOL?
When designing the online course, Matt wanted to make it as close as possible to his own experience learning at Rycotewood Furniture Centre in Oxford. Primarily, by providing a structured course that anyone can follow, without having to find their own way through an arbitrary list of videos on YouTube.
How does it work?
On the main page, you will find a series of lessons surrounding woodworking. These come in 3 categories: Practical, Theory and Projects.
These lessons will demonstrate a practical task such as sharpening, using a tool, cutting a joint etc. Working your way through these lessons in chronological order is essential to being able to get the most from the course as every section will build on skills learnt previously.
Creating wooden furniture without a basic knowledge of the material you’re working with is like cooking a cheesecake without knowing what mascarpone is. You may complete the recipe, but that Stilton you used as a substitute won’t taste too good.
In these sections, we will complete a project ranging from a simple dovetailed box to a curved front side table with angled dovetail drawers. These tutorials are broken down into small manageable chunks that makes it easy for you to learn and revise from later, without needing to sit through hours of unnecessary video just to refresh your memory on how to complete a certain process.
If you’re ever followed an online tutorial before, you know how frustrating it is when you make a mistake and the presenter doesn’t provide a solution on how to fix it. This is the hardest thing about creating online tutorials as there are so many ways to screw up a project that as a presenter, it becomes hard to foresee before they happen.
To make the course as authentic and relatable as possible, our resident student Rob will be completing it alongside you. He is a complete beginner and will be watching the exact same videos as you, however the difference is that he will have access to the tutors guidance. While he is carrying out these practical tasks or building projects, we will be documenting every mistake he makes, every piece he has to throw away, and every piece he has to re-do in order to help you avoid these mistakes. Furthermore, the tutor will be able to show him how to fix these mistakes in order for you to learn from that guidance too. These will be viewable within the project sections and are a great way to scope out the road ahead.
Why is it free?
It would be easy to sell this course for a fee. Because at the end of the day £10 for an online course membership is nothing compared to the cost of tools and equipment you will need for woodworking, not to mention when compared to formal tuition. But making the course accessible to everyone just seemed like the right thing to do. In the meantime, we can generate income from other methods, albeit slower methods, but will eventually help this pay for itself in the long run.
We would also like to add that we are not trying to undercut anyone here either. There are many paid online courses by people such as Marc Spagnuolo, Rob Cosman and Paul Sellers, all of which will be packed with a ton of information and will be worth the investment. We can tell you from first hand experience that these online schools are not built overnight. They take a lot of time, effort and money to get off the ground and shouldn’t be undervalued simply because we are offering ours for free. That being said, you may be asking how we are able to provide this for free…
How do we generate income?
Throughout this course, you will see many tool and resource recommendations to help you complete the projects. The links for the majority of these tools and resources are Affiliate Links. This means that if you click on the link and then purchase the item, we will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s a great way to say thank you for the recommendation and support the school, while simultaneously getting your hands on some shiny new stuff!
The plans for the projects come at a small cost, however they are not a necessity to complete the course. If you would like to follow the exact drawings and dimensions we use in the videos, you will find the plans useful. Although if you would prefer to make the project to your own specification, you have the option of drawing your own plans and follow the videos for guidance.
As the videos for this course are hosted on YouTube, we get a small advertising fee every time someone watches our videos. This is a very small amount of income, however there is the opportunity for exponential growth if you share the videos with others who may find it useful. Again, this is at no cost to you and will help support what we do, as well as help others who are in the need of tuition and guidance.
If you would like to show your support and want to donate towards future content, you can pledge a monthly donation via Patreon. This amount is completely up to you from $1 upwards and can be cancelled at anytime at no cost. Alternatively, you can place a one off donation via PayPal.
These donations via PayPal or Patreon go directly to the owner, Matt Estlea, who then reinvests the income to get more equipment and tutors to help provide a better experience for you.
In summary, there are methods for us to generate income other than charging an upfront fee. Making people pay for a course is the quickest way of reaching ‘X’ amount of income, whatever we decide that total amount to be. But by making the course accessible to everyone and playing the long game when it comes to the above revenue streams, we will eventually meet ‘X’ amount of income at some point in the future. Without having to compromise on making the course accessible to only a select few.
We hope you enjoy the course. With enough diligence and practice in the practical tasks at the beginning of the course, you will absolutely nail the execution when it comes to the projects. Keep persevering and we look forward to seeing what you get out of it!