An Interview with Thom Rider: Woodworking Expert

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How did you get the idea to create your helpful YouTube videos?

I got the idea to make YouTube videos after searching for a video of someone building the New Fangled Workbench by John White. I had trouble finding a complete build from start to finish, so that is when I decided to make a video of the complete build myself. It’s been one of my most popular videos.

You have so many tools? How long have you adding to your collection?

The short answer is over 30 years.

I started woodworking after 7th grade wood shop, back in 1984. I started with an 8 inch table saw I bought from Kmart and some tools passed down from my grandfather, but I got really serious about the craft in 1991 when I bought my Shopsmith 510. I used it for 22 years as my primary woodworking tool in a small garage or outside, wherever I had space. Then in April 2012, I built my wood shop in my back yard. That is when things started taking off for me. So, I have been adding tools little at a time, but since my shop was built, I really stepped it up.

I see that you always find great deals on tools, what’s the secret? 

The secret is some luck and keeping your eyes open at yard sales and Craigslist and just knowing what tools are worth. Using coupons and watching clearance areas at home stores you can save a lot.

How did you decide on a NewAir Heater for your workshop? Did you look at any other garage heaters?

I based my decision on what space the heater would cover and I wanted 240volts, electric was my only choice for safety.  I did look at the Dayton heater, but the cost was double the NewAir and I didn’t see a difference in quality. So I read reviews from all over the internet on the different heaters as well as cost. After a lot of thought I decided on the NewAir G73 and I have been very pleased.

What advice do you have for someone looking for a garage heater?

First they need to decide on gas or electric. Then look at shop size that a heater will cover. Then check reviews on the different models and ask questions.

What’s your garage size?

My shop is a stand-alone building: 16 feet by 24 feet, for a total of 384 square feet.

Do you make stuff to sell or is this something you do for fun?

I do sell at craft shows some times or I build custom furniture.  I also repair wood furniture. I have been doing this as a fun hobby, but I would love to make this my full time career.

Why do you trust NewAir?

In my experience, NewAir makes a quality product. Installation was simple and straight forward. Warranty was excellent. My heater is safe and reliable. That is why I would trust NewAir Products.

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2 thoughts on “An Interview with Thom Rider: Woodworking Expert

  1. I saw the 4th video of building a bookcase in a door. Can you tell me where I can access 1-3.?
    Or where I can send some questions?

    1. Dear Lynn,

      If you would like to ask Thom some questions, the best way is to leave a comment on his site or on YouTube.

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