Darbin Orvar

Building & Making on Youtube

Darbin Orvar - Girl in a Shop

My adventures in building, diy, construction, testing and finishing.

Getting a Froe & Making a Mallet

I'm not sure exactly where I first saw a froe in use... probably in some video where they made old fashioned shingles by splitting a log like a cake in many pieces, positioning the long blade across the log and banging on it with a large mallet. The froe is an L-shaped tool, with a long metal blade attached to a wooden handle. The wood split quite easily, and the froe seemed like such a clever and simple tool. Unlike an axe or a hatchet, you're not actually swinging the froe, you keep it in place and excerpt force on it with a mallet instead.

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Oregon Maker Meet-Up May 14th

I'm happy to announce that I'm organizing a meet-up here in Corvallis, Oregon on May 14th for makers, fans, YouTubers and artists alike.🎈 I've been wanting to connect with more people in the area - others who also like to make and create things - or fans who watch the videos and who would like to stop by and say hi in person.

Location: The meet-up will take place at Sky High Brewery, located in downtown Corvallis, Oregon @ 160 NW Jackson St. 

Parking: There are lots of available parking all over downtown Corvallis, and it's a very walk-able town. If you don't find a spot right outside the restaurant, try a few streets down. 

If it is very busy in town this map shows where lots of free parking is available just a couple blocks down from the meetup.

Time: The meet-up will start at 2:30. End time? Hard to say - we'll be there for a while :)

Can minors come? Sky High is a brewery, however people under the age of 21 are welcome in all areas of the restaurant except the bar.

Who's the meet-up for? Makers, youtubers, fans and anyone who'd like to stop by and say hi! If you're located in the general area, come by - I'd love to meet you!

About Corvallis!

Corvallis has a very picturesque nice downtown, perfect for walking around and checking out stores and coffee shops.

Every Saturday there's a Farmer's Market on 1st street (right next to the brewery) which ends at 1 pm, and it's always very lively and fun with food and music.

Great lumber stores in the general area:

  • The Hardwood Centre, 29855 on Highway 34 going towards Albany (nice slabs and a great hardware selection)
  • Mikes Bargain Center, 33993 Texas St on Highway 34 going towards Albany (great prices and a nice selection)
  • Spaeth Heritage House, 137 N 13th St, Philomath (architectural salvage)

Building an Articulated LED Task Lamp

This project is all about building a useful task lamp with led strip lights that are really easy to work with. In this build I use baltic birch plywood but any wood will be fine. Below are some links to the products I either used to make this project or tools that were very helpful.

Parts Used in this Build

Are you as special a woodworker as you think? (+ Woodworking Tag)

Woodworking Podcast Tag 

(Feel free to answer these in your podcast or video!)


  1. Oak or walnut?

  2. Polyurethane or lacquer?

  3. Dream shop or dream home?

  4. Pencil or computer?

  5. Blank paper or lined paper? 

  6. Dovetails or box joints?

  7. Craftsman or Chippendale?

  8. Sawstop technology - overrated or underrated?

  9. Hand tool importance - overrated or underrated?

  10. Youtube as a teaching tool - overrated or underrated?

11 Maker & Building Podcasts to Listen To

Recently there has been a big increase in the amount of podcasts created by and for makers. My podcast, appropriately called "the Darbin Orvar Podcast" started a few months ago, and there are so many topics we're excited to talk about - including building but not limited to business, culture, philosophy and everything in between. I like how this format allows for free-flowing thoughts and how you can get ideas across in a more in-depth way, which video doesn't allow in the same way.

Personally , I think podcasts are great to listen to when working in the shop, or when walking the dog for example. Sometimes however, I think these various podcasts are a little hard to find, or keep track of since they don't all exists on the same system, unlike YouTube videos. So to make it a little easier to find these shows, I thought it would be useful to make as complete a list as possible, so here goes. If you have any podcasts you'd like to add, please leave a comment!

Darbin Orvar Podcast (Linn & Matt)

MakerCast (Jon Berard + Guests): 

Making It (Jimmy Diresta, Bob Clagett & David Picciuto): 

Modern Woodworkers Association (Dyami Plotke, Sean Wisniewski, Chris Adkin):

Garden Fork (Eric + Guests): 

Wood Talk (Marc Spagnuolo, Shannon Rogers & Matt Cremona): 

Matt's Basement Workshop (Matt Vanderlist):

Faking It (Andrew Aragon, Andy Birkey, Rod Reyes & David Waelder): 

Woodshop 101 (Drew Short & Jeremy Crawford)

The Dusty Life (Brian McCauley, Kyle Toth & Sean Rubino):

The Woodworking Podcast (Jay Bates, April Wilkerson, Nick Ferry):