Being an Engineer

Jared Geddes | Sell Your Woodworking CAD/Drawings Designs Online

April 15, 2022 Jared Geddes Season 3 Episode 15
Being an Engineer
Jared Geddes | Sell Your Woodworking CAD/Drawings Designs Online
Show Notes Transcript

Jared Geddes is a Boeing engineer by day and a YouTube woodworker by night. He has been a manufacturing engineer and a mechanical engineer and loves a good design. He uses his engineering background to design and build wooden furniture, structures, and toys which he shares on his YouTube channel (The Evening Woodworker).

In this episode, we’ll discuss his woodworking creations, and how he monetizes his woodworking hobby through his YouTube channel. He shares with us how he managed to sell his woodworking CAD models and drawings through his website, and even how he automated the process so that all he has to do is collect payments (pretty clever). We also discuss humanitarian engineering, how to get started into woodworking. 

The Evening Woodworker

Jared Geddes

Rafael Testai, Cohost

ABOUT BEING AN ENGINEER

The Being an Engineer podcast is a repository for industry knowledge and a tool through which engineers learn about and connect with relevant companies, technologies, people resources, and opportunities. We feature successful mechanical engineers and interview engineers who are passionate about their work and who made a great impact on the engineering community.

The Being An Engineer podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find us on the web at www.teampipeline.us

Presenter:

Hi everyone, we've set up this being an engineer podcast as an industry knowledge repository, if you will, we hope it'll be a tool where engineers can learn about and connect with other companies, technologies, people, resources and opportunities. So make some connections and enjoy the show.

Jared Geddes:

And with each project, you develop a new skill instead of being like, Okay, let me practice cutting the whole bunch of straight lines. That's not quite as rewarding and it's, it's honestly I think it's harder to learn that way because you don't really get the application.

Rafael Testai:

Everyone welcome to another episode of The being an engineer podcast. We are co host Rafael Testai. Today we have another very special guest, Jared Geddes. Jared is a Boeing engineer by day and a YouTube woodworker by night. He has been a manufacturing engineer and an mechanical engineer and loves a good design. He uses his engineering background to design and build wooden furniture, structures and toys, which he shares on his YouTube channel, the evening woodworker. Jerry, welcome to the show.

Jared Geddes:

Hi, Rafael. Thanks for having me.

Rafael Testai:

Of course. So I came across your channel on YouTube, you have almost 40,000 followers, if I'm not mistaken, is that correct?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, I think it just crossed the 40,000 threshold.

Rafael Testai:

So congratulations. And I am actually interested in getting into woodworking. And I What advice would you give to a mechanical engineer who has gone to school for mechanical engineering, it's either almost finishing up or already finished. So he or she knows all this theoretical knowledge, the physics, the calculus, but it also knows CAD SolidWorks. But they don't have a ton of experience when it comes to woodworking. And they want to get into it. What advice other than obviously, just sharing with people to get started, just start, what specific advice would you have for people in that circumstance that could optimize their learning curve when it comes to woodworking?

Jared Geddes:

Well, I would say, you know, one of the best things you can do as an engineer, especially once you get the theoretical MCAD knowledge is to get your hands dirty. You know, get out there in the shop and go get a drill, and, you know, maybe a circular saw. And and just start building stuff. I mean, start with stuff that's simple. And and then you just build an each project adds a new skill and add something new. But I look around my house and I try to figure out, what do I need to what would solve a problem that I have. So you know, you may need a stool in a certain area, because you've got a high cupboard, you gotta reach out to or you have a certain spot, you'd like to have a table or, you know, different things around the house shelves and things like that, and start with something simple. And, and there's plenty of advice on YouTube, plenty of people that have videos and stuff, showing how to do just basic projects. And then each project just adds and builds on top of that. And you buy more tools with each project. And it's really fun.

Rafael Testai:

That's good advice, get get your hands dirty, get started. One of the things that I've found about online classes, like I'm a big fan of maybe my masterclass.com. And I found that the content to learn a skill can be found online, but the class is charged because they curate the content for us. They put it in a sequence that a beginner can pick up and gradually go from easy to harder. And that will be my challenge. If I'm looking on YouTube, like you said, I wouldn't know what sequence to follow how to go about get started into from the easier projects to the harder projects. What would you recommend for someone like me?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, I mean, you could start by doing a course. Honestly, like for me, I'm kind of a I'm like a go figure things out kind of a person. And I think a lot of us in engineering, like one of the keys of an engineering education, I think is learning how to problem solve, and how to approach a problem. So when you're building something physically, especially with wood, if you look at it from the big picture of here's my finished project, here's what I want, here's my vision, and then break it down into the individual steps and be like, okay, these two boards need to be attached together. How am I going to do that? And then you can also look online and just look for examples of other people that have done something similar to try to get the ball rolling and get ideas but I would look at it from a project by project standpoint. With each project, you develop a new skill instead of being like, Okay, let me practice cutting a whole bunch of straight lines. That's not quite as rewarding. And it's, it's honestly, I think it's harder to learn that way, because you don't really get the application.

Rafael Testai:

That's excellent. I think that may just be the core for the podcast, doing it on a project by project basis. And that's, that's excellent advice. When did you get started in woodworking? How old were you?

Jared Geddes:

Well, when I started, I was, well, officially, my first woodworking class was seventh grade woodshop. And before that, it was more of my dad had a drill. And it was a corded drill, you know, so there's no break. So it just kind of drills a hole and then coasts down. And you, if you try to put a screw in with that, it'll just strip out the screw every time. But I did as I was growing up, we made Christmas presents for each other, my brothers and sisters growing up. So that was one of the rules of our family growing up was for Christmas, you had to make the present for somebody else in your, for the other brothers and sisters, you couldn't just go buy something. And that was a fun thing that my parents did that really forced us to be creative. And to try to make things and kind of force us to be makers before maker was the thing. And so that was where it all started. And I remember making like, a shelf for my sister one year and a nightstand for the other sister. And then with that, I became interested in building things with wood, then I took seventh grade woodshop and figured out how to actually cut a straight line and what a table saw was, and I was like, I can make straight lines and cut stuff in woodshop. But I can't get a straight line at home. It was because our method growing up was to draw a line on a board. And then just try to eyeball your circular saw, and just try to hit the line. And when you're trying to just do it like that, it makes it very difficult to get a good straight line. So I learned some of the skills in seventh and eighth grade woodshop. And then throughout high school, I took some workshop classes, and ended up doing a senior project of building a display cabinet that I designed and built. So that's where it all started.

Rafael Testai:

What a beautiful Christmas tradition. Christmas is my favorite day of the year. And what a beautiful thing that your parents has started what was it their idea or it was passed on from one of their parents,

Jared Geddes:

I think it was their idea. They just really wanted to encourage us to be creative. And so it was a fun way to do it. And it may have been also a cost thing. They didn't want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff. You know, it was more of like, Here, let's make some stuff out of felt. You know, some, my mom was a very good seamstress. And so any sewing projects, we would she would help with that. So and then later on when I was in high school, they continued kind of the same approach. And they said, I remember one time I wanted a desk in my room in high school, I wanted an L shaped desk in the corner. And they said, We're not going to go buy one, but we'll buy the materials if you want to build it. So I was like, oh, okay, well, let me let me try this out.

Rafael Testai:

That is so cool. And by any chance have you have your own family now or no?

Jared Geddes:

I do I actually have four boys. And another something another baby on the way? Yeah, why did this?

Rafael Testai:

Congratulations. So is this something that you you you've started your own Christmases were you planning on?

Jared Geddes:

Yes, yes, we were doing this with our kids as well. It was a great way to get me introduced to creativity at a young age. So yeah, we're trying to do it. It does take more effort from the parents at the younger ages. But then once the kids kind of catch the vision, then they start to pick it up themselves.

Rafael Testai:

What a coincidence, you know, I just got married this week. And I've been thinking about what traditions I want to start in my family because it's an opportunity. And now that you mentioned this on this podcast, it may just change the rest of my life, and we may act

Jared Geddes:

upon those. It's wonder adulation.

Rafael Testai:

Thank you so much. Yeah, we actually just posted all the pictures on social yesterday. I'm getting all the messages. I have family in Argentina. So this wonderful. So give me some advice if I'll actually I'm serious about starting this in my family. Of course. What will we be like the the age that the kids can get started participating in this?

Jared Geddes:

I would say. So, when your kids start doing art and drawing stuff, that's usually actually one of the things that they start at a very young age they start developing kind of the skills of being able to draw a picture and they The more they can connect a circle correctly, or the more they can draw something that actually looks like a person, you know, stick figures and things like that. That's when their their brain is developing. So if once they start doing those creative things, if they just learn to give gifts of drawing a picture for somebody that starts it. And so you can start very early, I mean, in preschool, if you want, it's just really the parents have to be like, you have to be on top of and be like, Okay, what do you want to make for this person? What do you want to make for your mom? And and that's just, you know, it just becomes a tradition. That's amazing. Earlier, the better.

Rafael Testai:

Is this something that only the kids partake in, or their spouses can give each other things that they make?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, for sure. I usually will try to make something for my wife. She has a lot of stuff that I've made, and some years have been more successful than others, because sometimes I'm just trying to guess on something she would like. But it's something that I've continued doing that I just, I like, and so I'm gonna it's a fun tradition. And it's, it's kind of up to the couple if you decide to do for each other. But you can, it doesn't also have to be something out of wood. You know, it could be if you have another creative medium that you'd like to use. That can be another thing, a way that you can gift to each other. But it just to me, it makes the gifts much more meaningful and heartfelt.

Rafael Testai:

Can you be like a digital gift that you made?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, yeah, I've done that. Some years. One year, I made well, for an anniversary, I did a it was kind of a map of where we had met, and kind of showed some I did a stylized map of kind of, here's the location with a little pin. Like, here's the location exactly where we met. However, many years ago it was. And so you can do stuff like this.

Rafael Testai:

How many years ago? I'm gonna put you on the spot.

Unknown:

So we have been married, married in 2008. So 13 years are coming up on. Let's see, it's 2022. Yeah, coming up on 14 years.

Rafael Testai:

Right on. Congrats. Yeah, thank you. Let me ask you about this. Now. I'm sure if I'm so interested in this. I'm sure. There's got to be at least a couple of listeners following along and still interested in this concept. And this tradition. I want to know, the surprise factor is part of Christmas. The other party, the receiving party is surprised when they receive the gift. Is it different week race on the for them? Do you actually have a conversation with them? Like, hey, what would you like for me to make you? Or is it a complete surprise?

Jared Geddes:

Sometimes it'll be there'll be a need. But one of the fun things, I think is to the surprise, like for me, when I was in high school, again, it was more, I had much more fun giving the gifts that I had made to my siblings and I did receiving any of the other ones. It because it was so much effort that I had put into it and so much love and care. And so it was just kind of this moment of seeing their reaction was just made it all worth it. And the week before Christmas that our house growing up and now as well as my house now, the week before Christmas was always just like mean sands workshop, it was everybody was we had, I remember growing up, we had little like cardboard walls, we would put up and we'd watch a Christmas movie together. But everyone would be behind their cardboard wall that was low. And then you'd be working on something and they don't look over here on the other side and keep the wall up. So it was fun.

Rafael Testai:

Very cool. So switching gears, I see that you do design for manufacturing. Can you talk to us a little bit more about that?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, so this is this kind of goes to the back to from the beginning of you know, any engineering project or any design project, you have to really make sure that you understand the whole process of what's going to happen from the concept and the requirements at the beginning. Through the design phase and the manufacturing phase. One of the things that a lot of designers forget a lot of engineers forget is you know, everything looks great on the model. Everything was great in CAD and then you send it out to get manufactured and they say, you know, we can't physically do that. No, there's we had a friend that had done a design on something that had a pin It was captive. So there was no physically physical way to get the pin in and out it had, he designed it in place and completely forgot about the access. And so once we realized that was an issue on his design, and we fixed it, then he took that drawing of the old one, and he put it up on his wall, at his desk to remind him to design for manufacturing. And it was just a great example of you really have to think about the whole process.

Rafael Testai:

Now, talk to us a little bit more, how do you design for manufacturing? Is there like a checklist that you go through at the very end of your design? Or you're thinking about it as you're designing? Yeah, I

Jared Geddes:

think it's definitely a mindset and, and a lot of it comes from being familiar with, well, getting your hands dirty, again, it's, you have to be familiar with how a mill works, how lathe works, how, you know, somebody is going to be assembling it. So as you're building it, you're thinking, Okay, could I fit an end mill in this area to machine out in this corner? Is this super, super deep corner that I would need, like a two foot long end mill to cut out? Is this going to be very difficult or expensive. So it's through the whole process, you have to just be familiar enough with the shop floor and with the manufacturing processes, that when you do your design, that's just part of how you're thinking about the whole thing.

Rafael Testai:

Makes perfect sense, as I expected. All right. So now I'm going to take a quick break. To mention that team pipeline that us is we can learn more about how we can help medical device and other product engineering or manufacturing teams develop turnkey equipment, custom fixtures in automated machines to correct arise, inspect, assemble, manufacture and perform verification testing on your devices. Also want to give, let our listeners know that we need your help getting to 100 podcast reviews, we're sitting at 30. Right now we have a long way to go. And we want to award you a $50 amazon gift card for you in a raffle once you leave us a review and send a screenshot of your five star review to podcast at Team pipeline.us. You will be put in a raffle that we will conduct at the end of the first quarter in 2022. So back to the podcast Speaking here with Jared, why don't you talk to us a little bit about Boeing and what what do you do over there?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, so Boeing, I work on one of the defense programs. I'm a design engineering lead on the PA program, which is an airplane that's a 737 platform that has been militarized and turned into a submarine Hunter. So imagine your typical 737 Southwest Airlines size. We took that and put a torpedo Bay on the bottom and, you know put weapons on the wings and, and hunt for submarines can do a lot of naval surveillance. So my responsibility there is I'm the design lead of the interiors, payloads team. So any of the stuff that the crew interacts with inside the tube of the airplane. That's what my team is responsible for.

Rafael Testai:

Beautiful. So I guess you do that nine to five, and then you do the woodworking in the evenings, right?

Jared Geddes:

Yep, that's, that's my routine, say engineer by day woodworker by night.

Rafael Testai:

Okay, what do you do your weekends,

Jared Geddes:

weekends as usually soccer games and baseball. And then I usually try to squeeze in maybe an hour or two of woodworking if I can. So that's, that's more family time on the weekends.

Rafael Testai:

Who helps you with the video editing?

Jared Geddes:

I do that also myself. Okay.

Rafael Testai:

How did you think about starting a YouTube channel? A lot of people just keep to themselves? And how did that cross your mind?

Jared Geddes:

So one of the things that I did in high school and I kind of discovered was video editing, we had to do a project in chemistry class about some chemical reaction. And I thought, Well, what about combustion? That sounds like something fun, you know, blowing things up. So I got a bunch of video clips from movies about things blowing up, put it all on the, you know, my my final project. And I was like, this is super fun. And I just kind of got hooked at that point. And the creative juices were flowing. So I always knew that I enjoyed making videos and doing video editing. And then eventually when I got my own house and my own shop and my family. Then I was doing woodworking and building stuff and I thought You know, I've always liked doing video as well. And I saw some videos on various woodworking channels that were not particularly difficult. Or people just talking, you know, and not really. It just didn't look like it was that that hard to do. And so I was like, well, maybe I should start a YouTube channel. And then I can do video editing and woodworking. And someday, maybe I can make some money off it. And so that was where it all started. And then I've just enjoyed doing it ever since I like the story aspect of the editing, telling the story of whatever it is you're building, and then also the building of it. It's also the charitable part as well.

Rafael Testai:

Talk to us a little bit more about the money making aspect Are you able to monetize on this woodworking hobby and how?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, it's been really fun, because not very many hobbies are self sustaining. And I have been able to get YouTube revenue from the ads and things like that. But I've also realized that a lot of people are very interested in the plans. And so I started making plans of projects that I had made. And I have my website where I sell those plans. And for me, half of the fun of

Rafael Testai:

what we're planning plans is like drawings. Oh, yeah.

Jared Geddes:

Yeah. So the plans are, like, I'll do a 2d drawing of different views and dimensions and everything, just like an engineering drawing. I usually have a 3d model that I have as part of that. And then the build sequence.

Rafael Testai:

Oh, so what you do is, you basically set sell the, and also like an exploded view, I imagine, right?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, there's Yeah, it's whatever views because I mean, with an engineering background, I know how to do drawings, I know how to, I know how to communicate technical information. So it's a way to do that, that hopefully is understandable to the people that are wanting to build things.

Rafael Testai:

I see. So you're telling me you're selling those? The drawings? Basically, the PDFs, right? Yeah. Right. And it how much can one expect to buy those PDFs? Obviously, depending on the project, but what what would it be the ranges?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, so I have for the individual plans, it's anywhere from $5 is the cheapest up to I think 15 this point. And then I have like a package that has a bunch of them together for 30 or 29. And it's something that, like I was saying, I for me, half of the front of woodworking is designing this stuff, too. So I like to do the design and the actual woodworking of making it. And so I never very seldom do I use plans. But there's a lot of people out there that don't have an engineering background that don't necessarily can't think in terms of, you know, all the details of the designs. And so I realized, wow, there's people would want to pay money for this, because then they can build their own. So that's when I started reverse engineering my own designs, and turning them into official plans. And it's been really good.

Rafael Testai:

This is very cool. So I can find access to these PDFs on your website. Evening. woodworker.com. Is that right? Yeah.

Unknown:

Yeah, actually go there. Plans. Yep.

Rafael Testai:

I see that. Yeah, this is very affordable. $10 for plan fifteens. And yeah, is this the pricing as you mentioned, the the a pulley crank, beefy bunk bed for anyone with kids. This one's for you. Okay, I'm actually this is really interesting, the way that you thought about this, the way to monetize it. So what can the user expect as I clicked on the beefy bunk bed, quantity, one $10. I pay with PayPal and what happens after that. So after

Jared Geddes:

that, you'll get an email. Once everything goes through, you'll get an email that is a digital download. And it's a zip file that contains the 2d drawings. It contains the 3d model with SketchUp as the software that I use for that. And then the third thing is the build sequence, which is kind of the step by step through this first to this first. And so I've kind of combined my design side and my manufacturing engineering side. And I have both of those there. There's the manufacturing plan. There's the drawing and the model. So both of those come and with most of my plans at this point, the ones that I haven't released are they kind of assume a base knowledge of how to use the tools like how to cut something with a table saw. So at some point in the future, I may I try to focus more on like a beginner level plans. But that is one thing that, you know, if somebody has never used any tools before, then there's some assumption of a base knowledge in the plans that I have.

Rafael Testai:

Let's see, if I may ask, how do you get your website? Because mechanical engineers listening? Sometimes we don't have all the all the knowledge and everything. We know mechanical engineering, and that's our thing sometimes. But how did you get the website to automate this send of the PDF? I imagine you don't do that manually do you?

Jared Geddes:

Know and that was that's part of it like with, because this woodworking stuff is my side gig, I I want to try to the end of the goal was to kind of set up passive income. And so YouTube, obviously, you have to make videos regularly. It's not something that is. But it's not something that I have to be actively on the platform for people to be able to watch it. So that's a way I can make passive income. The plans are another way to make passive income. And that was part of it. Because I didn't want to have to manually send something, get an email that says you have an order now send this. So it's all incorporated through I think I use Wix for my website hosting. And there's other ones Squarespace and all those most of them have something built in, they have many apps within the website developer that is a commerce app, or something where it connects through PayPal. So there's those, there's like, various apps to do various parts of the website. And I've been, I've been pretty happy with mine. It's it's very small scale. You know, it's not a huge, massive website, but but it does what I need. And it's great, because when it's working, you know, when it's up and live and everything. I just get notifications on my phone that says somebody about your plans.

Rafael Testai:

How does that feel when you get that little notification? Oh, it's awesome, especially when I'm on vacation, right? We're making money on the beach right now. Right? We just made 10 bucks. It pays for a drink or something that's cool as right. So I'm looking at SketchUp. And I've never heard of it like I use SolidWorks. I heard fusion 360 Rhino. So SketchUp is like a 3d design. CAD system. Yes.

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, so SketchUp is one that was originally created by Google. And it has, there's a lot of woodworkers that have started using SketchUp. And one of the things that's nice about it is it has a very low bar for entry in terms of if you've never used the 3d modeling software before, it's very intuitive. in SolidWorks, and like in my work, we use Catia. But in in those ones, there's you have to understand a lot more about how 3d modeling works, and how you extrude things and how to, you know, add thickness to staff and create planes and surfaces. in SketchUp, it's more of like, draw a box, stretch the box to this shape, you know, push up this side. And so it's it's a very powerful program. But it's set up in a way that is just intuitive so that I let jumped on to that one, because initially it was it was a free one. And I think they still have a free version online that actually can do a fair amount. But it's it's one that's in my niche in the woodworking community. It is something that is so very common.

Rafael Testai:

I see. Well, I'm coming here to an end, I want to ask you about Humanitarian Engineering. Could you talk to us a little bit about that?

Jared Geddes:

Yeah, yeah. So one of the things that I did when I was in college was we had the opportunity to do to work with a group called Engineers Without Borders, and did some projects where we were doing engineering in countries, other countries and areas, developing nations and developing communities to try to help them improve their standard of living. And one of the things that we discovered there was the importance of, of making sure you really understand the customer and the end user of the projects. We had some projects I did one in in Tonga, where we were making biodiesel out of coconut oil. And so we had a class at school We were we would, we would figure out what the issue was, and then try to develop engineering solutions. And then at the end of the semester, we would go out to the location, to Tonga, and, and then go try to implement what we had come up with. And so we had context throughout the semester we'd be working with. But one of the things that was really important in that was to understand what the real needs were, you know, if you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't actually exist, that you missed the boat, and whatever you whatever you develop, doesn't ever really get used. And so we had examples of projects that were failures, because we didn't really understand what the needs were the people, it was more work coming in and saying, This is what you need, you'll love it. It's great. But they actually didn't need that. And then we had other ones where we went in, and we did find what the actual need was. And then you know, it was successful, and they continue using it after we left.

Rafael Testai:

Well, that's, that's great insights. I'm actually on the website right now engineer with Without Borders USA. And there's one how to be a student to volunteer.

Jared Geddes:

No, they have, they have student chapters, and I think they have they have professional chapters as well. I haven't been able to do it as much as I've been out in, in the working world now. But it's definitely something that is, it's a great way to apply the things that you've learned that people that definitely need it. But it's something where you need to have a need to really understand the communities where you're working, so that you can provide them the things that they need.

Rafael Testai:

That's beautiful. Well, is there anything that I haven't asked you that I should have asked you in this podcast?

Jared Geddes:

Let's see. Well, I will say if you are an engineer, and you want to get into woodworking, it is an awesome hobby, to get your hands dirty to get yourself working on things that are physical, because there's a lot of especially with structural engineering, any sort of structural knowledge or intuition that you may have. It's very translatable to woodworking, you know, because you have the weight of a piece of furniture, you have a load path where you have to transfer the load from the top of a bench down through the legs or through a cabinet or something. There's a lot of a lot of application in engineering to woodworking. So it's definitely one worth doing so that you can get involved.

Rafael Testai:

Wonderful, and how can people find you?

Jared Geddes:

They can Well, I read every comment on my YouTube channel. So if you want to comment on one of their videos, that's one way to do it. I have my email is up on my website and go to my website, evening woodworker.com. And you can send stuff through there. That's probably the best way.

Rafael Testai:

Well, Jared, I really appreciate you being on the podcast. And thank you so much.

Jared Geddes:

Thank you.

Aaron Moncur:

I'm Aaron Moncur, founder of pipeline design and engineering. If you liked what you heard today, please share the episode. To learn how your team can leverage our team's expertise developing turnkey equipment, custom fixtures and automated machines and with product design, visit us at Team pipeline.us Thanks for listening