Darbin Orvar

Building & Making on Youtube

Darbin Orvar - Girl in a Shop

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


Why is your channel called Darbin Orvar?

Darbin Orvar is a play on my dog's name Darwin. I wanted a unique name for my channel, and I thought it sounded interesting and unique.

Where do you live?

I live in the country, outside of Richmond, VA, USA.

You have a weird accent. Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Sweden.

Do you do this full time?

Yes, I do.

Have you taken woodworking classes?

No, not as an adult anyway.

Do you ever use plans?

Not so far. In my view they sometimes get in the way. Or it's just that I have a hard time following them.

What is your favorite tool?

I really love many of them, but I think the chisel is the most interesting tool for everyday use in the shop since you use it on so many tasks.

Do you have a favorite project?

Well I suppose my shop is probably the biggest and most important thing I have built. On a smaller scale probably a mallet or marking gauge...I love small projects.

What's your favorite finish?

I love finishing and thinking about the perfect finish for each project. However in general, I don't think you can beat using a wax and oil polish for many things. I love it because it's so fast and doesn't require any drying time, yet it produces the softest, nicest finish, for raw wood but also on top of painted surfaces and clear top coats.

How big is your shop?

My indoor shop is about 200 square feet. My outdoor shop which is really my carport is less than 200 square feet. I have my table saw, miter saw, planer and sanding equipment in the outdoor shop. I try to keep my indoor shop as dust free as possible, and often work with hand tools in there, however I also have incorporated a band saw as well as a drill press indoors.

What's a future project you'd like to do?

I would love to increase and somewhat enclose my outdoor shop so I can include more tools and equipment such as a disc sander, spindle sander, jointer, metal working tools etc.

Where do you get most of your ideas from?

Well, I love watching out YouTube videos of people doing cool projects. Another thing I love to do is reading old woodworking magazines, I have a big collection. Otherwise, I think you get the most ideas when you're trying to solve a problem and you have certain limitations to work from (size, cost, function etc...)

Do you have a tool wish list?

Eventually I would like to expand my collection and include a jointer, a spindle sander, a tool sharpening system, a plunge router as well as more carving and lathe tools. Of course I'm also always on the lookout for nice planes, chisels and other hand tools.

Is it true that you keep a bottle of bourbon in your shop?

Yes, I often keep a bottle of something special in the shop. Of course you should never use any tools and drink, but at the end of a long day there's not much better than a nice drink.

How do you take your whiskey?

Neat, of course :)

Favorite YouTube personality?

There are too many out there that I watch and enjoy, and I wouldn't want to exclude anyone.

What do you think about women in woodworking?

I think more women would love woodworking if only they got introduced to it.

What do you think of people starting out in woodworking?

I think it's a good idea to start small and with a project in mind. Then of course your project depends on your intention with woodworking – if it's to make functional and simple furniture then pick up a Kreg Kit and a circular saw. If you're looking to learn how to woodwork and get into the craftsman side of it, then start with a saw and a set of chisels.

What do you think is best about woodworking?

That it enables me to do so many things. Woodworking is amazing because wood is such an accessible and affordable material that you can manipulate in so many ways, and actually make practical things with. In many ways, it's the foundation of all other projects which is why I love it so much.

Why would I support you?

Because I'm trying to make really awesome content and inspire people to get involved in this wonderful creative world of craftsmanship and DIY. I want to expand the world of woodworking to the greater maker community, by constantly pushing the envelope and producing interesting content. To do this is challenging, so your support goes a long way towards making this work.

Filming & Editing

Do you film everything yourself?

No, my husband helps me do the filming. Trying to get multiple camera angles and doing great videos is difficult to do by yourself.

What kind of camera do you use?

I used two DSLRs, a Canon 7d and a Canon 60d.

Do you use the kit lenses?

No, I use a variety of lenses. Primarily I use a Tamron 17-50mm, a Canon 50mm 1.4, and a Canon 10-18mm.

What camera set-up do you recommend for anyone wanting to make YouTube videos?

An inexpensive way to get great results is to go with a lower-end DSLR body from Canon or Nikon, and use an old lens such as something from Pentax or a SuperTakumar f2. 35 mm. You can find these old lenses for a reasonable price and they're great for video.

What mic do you use?

I use a basic lapel mic.

What lighting do you use?

I use a lighting kit. Here's an affiliate link to the kit that I use: Softbox Lighting Kit

What editing software do you use?

I use Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12.