diy projects

You can hang your own cabinets. That is a bit of information cabinet installers would prefer you didn’t know. Don’t get me wrong: Hanging cabinets is not easy. In fact, the first time you do it, you are probably going to get it wrong. You will stand back and give your handy work a long, hard look. You are going to realize it looks a little off. It might not be bad enough to make you tear it down and start all over. But you will know that it was not the work of a professional. That’s okay. You will have other opportunities. 

You might want to think twice about trying to repair things yourself when doing so would void your warranty. If your repair doesn’t work out the way you planned, you are stuck. Whereas if you just use your warranty, the professional repair wouldn’t cost you anything. If you encounter another problem, that would also be covered under warranty. There are plenty of DiY projects you could do well enough to be proud of your work. But at the end of the day, that pride isn’t good enough. Some things require an artisan who knows what they are doing at a deeper level than mere competence. Here are a few such examples.

Building an Instrument

If you are a woodworker, one of the most rewarding things for you to build is a musical instrument. It is not only an example of practical craftsmanship but an example of practical art. It is not just nice to look at or touch. It makes a pleasing sound of music that others can appreciate. 

That said, just because you can make your own guitar doesn’t mean that you should. The best acoustic electric guitar has sound characteristics that are hard to reproduce. There is a reason hand-made instruments by certain artisans are worth their weight in gold. Every instrument is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Yet the work of that artist has a unique sound fingerprint that makes it worth every penny. The guitar you make will also sound just fine. But it won’t be the sound you get from a professional. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try your hand at making your own guitar as a hobby. But when it is time to go on stage, you will want to have the best axe you can afford.

Self-Driving Car

You can build your own car out of parts. You’re that good. And with a few Modules like this solid state LiDAR Scanner, you can build your own self-driving cars. But you shouldn’t. This is not about saving money but saving lives. Those saved lives will surely include your own. Just look at the lives lost to autonomous driving that didn’t exactly work out for the owners of the car. Vehicle makers are only now being required to report all accidents. It is easy to have an illusion of safety when accidents go unreported. 

The regulatory hurdles are immense. You would never get that vehicle licensed or certified in any way. You might be allowed to operate it on your own private road. But it would have no practical value or utility in the real world. On the other hand, an autonomous lawnmower would have a lot of practical utility. Build away.

A Large Screen TV

Building a big screen TV is probably not as big of a job as you might imagine. Sure, there is a bit of electrical work involved. But that is also true for building a computer. You can source the display, power source, and all other components. The problem is not building the TV, but getting content. If you are trying to get around paying for content, you can just put an inexpensive OtA antenna on your roof right now. Also, you can get very large screen TVs from Walmart or Amazon for under $300. Building your own TV is fun, but pointless.

Keep those DIY projects coming. And keep inspiring a new generation of empowered citizens. But leaving things to the experts that require specific artisan training, regulatory approval that you can never get, and economy of scale advantages to the experts. For everything else, your toolbox awaits. 

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