My Favorite YouTube Channels - 2020 Edition_

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July 06, 2020 @14:15

It has been a while since I wrote one of these. Honestly for a long time I didn't really have anything to add to my previous post. I still routinely watch the channels previously listed and still highly recommend them. The following are channels I have found since that I would add to the list, in no particular order.


Essential Craftsman

I mentioned the Essential Craftsman in my 2019 Podcasts list but I found the YouTube channel first. The content they are producing is top quality, and a bit hard to explain. From blacksmithing to building a house, collecting tools, tips and tricks from a skilled carpenter to life lessons there is more than their fair share of information packed into this channel and it is presented by one of the most genuine, hard working, and humble people I have seen on YouTube. The Essential Craftsman is the complete antithesis of the usual YouTube channel and a really solid example of what you can do on the platform if you try.


If I remember correctly I first ran across Mustie1 looking for some lawn mower maintenance stuff. That was about two years ago and I am pretty sure I have worked through his entire back catalog. A knowledgeable tinkerer, like so many of the channels I watch you get invited to look over Mustie1's shoulder as he tinkers on whatever project he has before him. Mostly long format videos, always a mixture of fun, funny and informational. Come for Crusty, the 1959 VW Single Cab, stay for the myriad of small engine and bike projects.

Crafting / Modeling

I fell into some of the YouTube crafting channels while looking for some ideas for some holiday decorations that I was planning on building. Often with a bend either towards table top RPG, war-gaming or model railroading there is a shocking amount of this stuff on YouTube. The stand out channels I have found are as follows.

Black Magic Craft

Firmly ensconced in the crafting D&D dungeon master territory Black Magic Craft is filled with classic fantasy builds that will teach you a wide array of techniques that will help you build all kinds of terrain that would look just as good on display as in a game.

Real Terrain Hobbies

Similar themes to Black Magic Craft but with the detail and scale turned up to 11. You could play a wicked game of D&D with this stuff on the table but it would be like drinking Mt. Dew out of the Holy Grail. Lots of technical detail and information wrapped up with high quality production and stunningly detailed pieces.

Luke Towan

For want of a concise description I'd say Luke is a model railroad themed Real Terrain Hobbies. Ultra realistic, high production value, tons of tricks and information all wrapped up in HO scale. Less wizards and more train cars the Aussie is not at all exaggerating when he uses 'ultra realistic' in the title of his videos.

Electronics / Computers

It is no secret that I'm a nerd with a long history in computers and digital electronics. As such I have very high standards when it comes to YouTube channels on these topics. Lots of the typical YouTube channels that cover technology I just cannot stand and find they range from click-bait advertising platforms to completely information and fact free. These channels are not that at all.

Ben Eater

You can tell Ben is one of those people deeply invested in the art of teaching. Most of his series stuff builds from first principals and ends up with something really cool. From building a CPU from TTL components, to a simple video card, to a 6502 based computer like my generation grew up with you can rest assured that you will not only learn but be entertained at the same time. Oh, and you can follow along at home. The sheer amount of work that must have gone into putting all of this together is staggering. I posted a thought or two about one of his recent videos because they always seem to make me think even after they are over.

If you have not been watching any of Ben Eater's videos on computers you are missing out. In his latest he answers the question, binary to decimal -- how hard can that be?


I'm not sure I need to say much more than what I said in this Thought.

I love this kind of stuff: Recovering the Lost Apollo 10 LM Software. If you didn't see the Apollo Guidance Computer restoration series, you should watch it.

Seriously, he worked with a team of folks to get an honest to goodness Apollo Guidance Computer functioning. If that isn't enough to entice you then I don't know what else to say.

Adrian's Digital Basement

So many 'retro tech' channels are either self-indulgent nostalgia or hysterical click-bait so it was nice to come across a channel focused on repair and restoration. Beware, you may end up on eBay looking for some retro junk to fix up if you watch too much.

That's all folks

If you take the channels I mention above along with the ones in my 2017 list you end up with about 20 channels to check out which I whole-heartedly encourage you to do. If you have any suggestions for me feel free to use the link at the bottom of the page to drop me a line.

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