For the novice carpenter, grabbing supplies from a helpful home improvement store is one thing. Attempting to build a functional piece of furniture, from scratch, using just spare parts and the most basic tools, is another story altogether. There is no manual for this, no instruction sheet, no alphabetized parts list. The how-to articles I was able to find on the Internet helped about as much as one of those cooking shows on TV where the chef uses ingredients I’ve never even heard of.
My recent experience tackling one such tutorial, while successful, might have looked like I was performing a slapstick parody of This Old House to an impartial observer. I learned a few tricks along the way, including some techniques that really should be considered by tutorial makers everywhere.