This week on Bucket Talk, we meet HVAC technician and hobby woodworker Nate Adams, who you can find on Instagram as @builtby_n8. He’s been in the HVAC trade for 20 years, working on the sales side for the last 15 after starting his career with an apprenticeship. Since he’s no longer out and about working with his hands, he decided to get a woodworking shop going. To Nate, woodworking is not only a fun way to get his hands dirty, but it is a form of therapy and a time to relax. Listen in as Nate chats with our hosts about making his way from apprentice to sales, finding solace in the workshop and helping others learn their craft.
As of now, Nate has been in the HVAC trade for 20 years. He got his start like many others in the trades, with an apprenticeship. Initially inspired by seeing his father build a house from scratch with his buddies in the days before YouTube, he knew that getting into the trades was what he wanted to do.
“My dad was always tinkering and fixing stuff. [He] built the house he currently lives in…[If] he was under the car, I was under the car with him. If he was under the tractor, I was under the tractor with him. So that's kind of where I think my love of tools and working with my hands came from.”
After an unfortunate setback, Nate found himself off of the hands-on side and on the side of the manufacturers — initially working in shipping and receiving, and eventually working his way up into a role in sales. When most folks would have thrown their hands up and quit, Nate pushed forward.
“The way I look at it is you can never give up, like whatever situation you've dealt with, whether it's pushed on you or you put yourself in it, you got to keep just plugging away and figure it out and do the best you can”
Since he’s no longer spending his days actually working hands-on with HVAC stuff, finding time to work with his hands is a void he has to fill; working with his hands is what he loves to do. This is where he found his passion for woodworking. Once he had his space built out, he started posting his work on social media and his Instagram took off from there. He wasn't woodworking just to be popular on social media — he was looking to find some zen in the craziness of life.
“I just enjoy what I do. It's my outlet, my stress relief, if you will. So my goal with the shop was to set it up so that I didn't have to spend an hour setting the shop up and then try to do a few minutes of work because that's all the time I had left. I got two kids and a job and a lot of other things that pull me in different directions. I wanted my shop to be set up so I could walk out, spend 30 minutes, set it down, walk away from it, and then come back, you know, without having to do a ton of setup.”
Now that he’s got social media worked out, he’s finding new ways to use his platform to help other makers, whether it is a video on tips and tricks or unboxing a new tool someone might be looking for. He’s got a pretty good setup in the HVAC space and wants to continue doing what he’s doing, both there and with his woodworking. From the sound of it, he has a handful of paths in front of him, all which lead to success.