Paul Jackman: A Creator of Serious and Satirical Builds Aimed to Inspire Others


Above: Giant Articulated Hands (carved from wood) - Featuring Thixo Epoxy Adhesive (fast cure), and Halcyon Marine Varnish


Meet Paul Jackman, a multi-talented artist, woodworker, and video creator from the picturesque city of Massachusetts. Under the moniker "Jackman Works," he has become a household name in the woodworking and maker community, and we’re so excited to share with you a little more about him and his journey to where he is now!

Paul holds an unwavering passion for craftsmanship, which found its roots in his early years at the Upper Cape Cod Vocational High School. Armed with a woodworking and carpentry education, he founded Jackman Works upon his graduation in 2009. But Paul's ambitions didn't stop there; he went on to pursue an engineering degree from Syracuse University right before starting his YouTube channel.

Paul's portfolio is diverse, but he has carved a niche for himself with high-end reclaimed projects (like this Pallet Wood Butcher Block that Pivots), oversized recreations of everyday objects, and a unique brand of satirical build videos. His fast-paced content is designed to inspire everyone, with a particular emphasis on motivating the younger generation to unleash their creativity through hands-on craftsmanship. He strives to share his knowledge in easily digestible videos that entertain, educate, and often prompt laughter at his own expense.

Above: Giant Slide Puzzle (from a river table pallet) - Featuring High Performance Epoxy, TotalTint, Wood Sealer Varnish Primer, and Halcyon Marine Varnish.

Above: Giant Epoxy Resin Handle Screwdriver - Featuring High Performance Epoxy, Elixir Enamel Topside Paint, Paul's favorite TB hat.


Beyond the success of his YouTube channel, Paul has also made waves as "The Engineer" on his Netflix show "Making Fun," cementing his status as a woodworking luminary who continues to shape the modern DIY landscape (more details about this show in one of his comments below). With a passion for paying forward the hands-on learning experiences that shaped him, Paul Jackman embodies the spirit of a true ambassador for the maker community.

Paul recently took the time to answer some of our questions! Read on to discover more about Jackman Works from Paul himself!



Could you please introduce yourself and provide a brief overview of your background as a maker/woodworker?

I'm Paul Jackman, maker, woodworker, content creator, Netflix celebrity, instagram model, and all around just very humble and very average guy. I've been keeping this scam up for 7 1/2 yrs full time so far, and we'll see how long I can keep it going. I say "scam" because I get to build whatever cool stuff I want AND get paid for it, surely someone must be losing out here, right?! I've been making things since I was a kid, starting with skateboard ramps that I built more than I used, but it did make me popular in the neighborhood, so that's cool I guess. This eventually evolved into some shotty boxes and other wooden items until I got to high school age, where I had the opportunity to go to a vocational high school where I ended up studying carpentry (2 years of woodworking and 2 years of house building/remodeling) and after 4 years I was hooked. I ended up going on to study civil engineering at Syracuse University and after a few years at an office job that I was largely indifferent to, my wife decided to join the Coast Guard, which meant we had to move; I had to quit my job, and become a military wife. The business has gradually grown from that point to now where my wife was recently able to transition to being part-time in the Coast Guard reserves to be able to be my assistant when needed.

What initially inspired you to start creating and making things?

Well, 112 years ago my Great-Grandpappy met my Great-Grandmomma and long story short, 80 years later I was born. Throughout my childhood, I developed an irrational hatred towards trees, which extends to my life today where I send chunks of trees through sharp blades in every way I can possibly find.

How would you describe your creative process? Do you have any rituals or routines that you follow?

My creative process goes like this: about halfway into falling asleep at night, I jerk awake with an idea, I think to myself "That's stupid, I'm going to build it", and then I do.

Above: Making a Giant Wooden Hammer - Featuring Traditional Epoxy Resin, TableTop Epoxy Resin, Wood Sealer Varnish PrimerElixir Enamel Paint, and Halcyon Water Based Varnish.


Can you share a specific project or creation that you're particularly proud of? Please provide details about the concept, materials used, and the story behind it.

The teardrop camper that I built! Even though I didn't design it, it was a kit build from CLC Boats that I built for Arbortech Tools and added a bit of my personal flair to. I just happened to be eating dinner with the Arbortech crew and they mentioned in passing that they were thinking about getting a teardrop camper built for them to use for road shows as a place to demonstrate and display their tools. I had always wanted to build a teardrop and I told them this, "Why don't you build it for us then?" is roughly how that conversation concluded, and, spoiler alert, I did exactly that. I truly believe the best ideas often come about by accident, it's just a matter of putting yourself at the right place at the right time. Anyway, we connected with CLC because they had this super cool camper design that was a perfect fit for Arbortech. The design is essentially an upside-down boat, built with the exact same stitch and glue technique, fiberglass, epoxy, sanding, more epoxy, more sanding, and all that fun stuff. It was my first real foray into boat building, one of the reasons for taking on the project is because it was outside my comfort zone and a huge learning opportunity, and now I can't wait to make my next boat, except this time it will float. Plus, every time you build a boat, you become 50% more attractive, those are just facts.

Check out our blog 'Upside Down...Boat?' detailing this build!

Do you have a favorite tool or technique that you frequently use in your projects? Why do you enjoy working with it?

A woodworking technique that always stands out to me is power carving, specifically free-hand carving with an angle grinder and carving attachment to add some flare to a project. Curves, who doesn’t love some curves? Seriously though, the human eye is naturally attracted to objects with pleasant curves to their shape. Plus, it has always struck me as curious, why we take this natural organic shape of a tree, mill it down into straight boards, and then make cabinet/tables/etc. almost entirely with straight lines. And even more, what’s funnier than taking a naturally organic shape, manufacturing it into a straight/square piece, and then turning that back into a natural organic shape again? I’ll answer my own rhetorical question, nothing, nothing is funnier than that, so that absurdity of that is naturally going to attract my attention.

Can you describe a challenging project or obstacle you've encountered during your journey as a maker/woodworker? How did you overcome it?

An obstacle as a maker/woodworker was finding time to complete this questionnaire during a year where I said "yes" to too many things because I have an impressive inability to say "no". I overcame this obstacle by becoming a passenger princess during a long drive so that I finally had time to respond. 😁 (Thanks Paul!)

Have you ever collaborated with other makers or artists? If so, can you share a memorable collaboration experience and the outcome?

I sure have! Ever heard of this little show called "Making Fun" on Netflix? Probably not, but don't worry, I'll tell you all about it. There's not much more memorable experience in my life besides making that show, and even just the whole way that it seemed to fall into place. It all started with me hitting 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and deciding to make a video to celebrate that milestone. I ended up filming at the YouTube studio in NYC for a day with my friends Pat Lap and John Graziano, and I also invited Jimmy Diresta to join us to be a character in the video since he was nearby. He joined and brought his friend Derek with him, so we wrote him into the script too, it was a perfect fit. During the shoot we built a giant adirondack chair and at the end of the day as kind of an afterthought we all hopped in the chair together and took a photo. Flash forward a few years, a casting producer finds one of my posts on Reddit (showing off my giant life-sized nutcracker build) and says that I'm weird and she'd like to have a call with me to chat about potential TV show ideas. We did that, and then a few hours after our call she emails me the photo of me and the boys in the giant adirondack chair, asking "who are these guys? They look interesting, I want to chat with them too". At that point, I explain to her the whole concept of the maker community, and she eventually connects with all of them, and after about a year of back and forth we end up shooting a presentation (a short pilot) for Discovery channel. Discovery ended up passing on the project, but after a while Netflix showed interest in our little rag-tag crew. We threw some concepts around and eventually on a dinner date with just me and Graz, we fell into the idea of "Shark Tank for kids" or just kind of a board-room concept where kids would come in and pitch us their ideas and then we'd have to build them. Long story long, after some additional cast were added, some were cut, a couple of show-runners cycled through and we eventually ended up with the same original cast and the final show-runner pitched us on his idea "What do you think about building kids weird toy ideas, kind of like Shark Tank". And we said "We love it" and the rest is history, Netflix ended up picking up that idea for an 8 episode season.

The cast: Jimmy Diresta @jimmydiresta Pat Lap @PatLap John Graziano @GrazMakes Derek @DerekFromMalden


How do you balance your creative pursuits with other aspects of your life? Do you have any tips for maintaining a productive and fulfilling creative practice?

Balance?! If you can figure that out, please share.

How do you stay inspired and motivated as a maker? Are there any sources of inspiration that you regularly turn to?

What motivates me is my inevitable and seemingly accelerating path towards death. Too many things to build and I'm relatively certain I'm going to run out of time!

Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're excited about and would like to share?

A boat! I've always wanted to build a boat out of pallet wood and it should finally happen this winter. For whatever reason, I always pictured this being a strip built pallet wood canoe, but I'm actually going to do a kayak instead. It's going to be another project in partnership with CLC, using their really cool hybrid kayak design that is stitch and glue for the bottom and strips on the top, that way the bottom will go together quickly and then the top, the part you actually see, will be a really sexy rainbow of pallet wood. Look for that to be on display at the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT in the spring!

Can you share some advice or words of wisdom for aspiring makers/woodworkers who are just starting their creative journeys?

The best time to start is yesterday. Find a log you don't care about and carve something out of it. Reclaim some boards that you don't care about and turn it into a box. Figure out a piece of furniture that you need for your space and build it, expect to not like it, and build it again with your newfound knowledge. At a certain point you will find your brain following directions or plans step by step, not understanding why you're doing what you're doing and then after enough repetition, over a long enough period of time, you'll experience this switch flip where all of a sudden you can look at anything made from wood and instantly know how it was built and how you would replicate it. It's kind of magical honestly.

Paul Jackman recently built an adjustable work bench for the Katz-Moses Woodworkers with Disabilities Fund (KMWDF). @kmwwdf 

The Katz-Moses Woodworkers with Disabilities Fund (KMWDF) is a non-profit that proudly supports woodworkers who have physical and mental disabilities by providing the resources they need to grow their hobby, craft or business.

To watch a video documentary on Paul, check out Shop Tours and Woodworking Projects with Paul Jackman by Call Me Mabie

Read: Paul Jackman Builds a Hidden Bar Inside of a Road Case


1 comment

Paul, Don’t ever grow up! I am a retired, seventy six year old, wood worker, husband, wood carver, boat builder, father, artist, sculptor, grandfather, mosaic artist, teacher, inventor and Vietnam Veteran. Even though retired, I fill each day with creativity, splinters, building, glueing, hammering and trying to decide what project I might work on today. I follow and old Army slogan(and I think, you do too), “Be All You Can Be”! Maybe, one of these days, we’ll meet up.

Richard Honan

Leave a comment