Adam Beasley is maybe better known as Lazy Guy DIY to his fourteen thousand plus followers on Instagram, and also just happens to be a dad, blogger of lazyguydiy.com, and full time job holder. We chatted with Adam to get a behind-the-scenes look at his life, what encouraged him to get started in DIY, and how he helped to co-found the IG Builder’s Challenge.
We brought Adam along with us to help host Build for Better in Chicago, an event to help build 12 desks for a non-profit, and to celebrate our sponsorship of the IG Builder’s Challenge, which is a social challenge that has grown over the years to challenge the DIY community to build a collective item.
The IG Builder’s Challenge (IGBC), which kicks off its 6th season on October 6th, welcomes builders around the country to build a planned item and submit their creations through Instagram throughout the month of October. While the IGBC started out as a friendly competition amongst fellow woodworkers, it has snowballed into a national contest with a growing digital presence. To champion that innovative spirit and all the DIYers involved, we want to amplify the challenge and give back at the same time.
The IG Builder’s Challenge involves one wood based product build plan and 3 weeks to build it. Each season they invite a builder to create a plan for participants to use and modify into their own creation. For more information, to register for the IGBC, or download the plans to participate in the IGBC, register here.
Who are you, what do you do?
Hey it’s Adam from Lazy Guy DIY, the forever procrastinating, often times sarcastic and sometimes reliable source for DIY tips, Woodworking builds and a whole lot of Tool Reviews!
How did you start or how are you connected with the IGBC?
When I first kicked off my website back in 2016 (eons ago in the blogger world) and joined Instagram, I started seeing posts about some build challenge: The OG IG Builders Challenge. I was new to Instagram and didn’t know that Instagram and Woodworking were even a thing, but thought I’d give it a try. So I took Ana White’s console table design that had maybe two cabinet doors and decided to make a twelve drawer Apothecary style media table. I’d never even made a drawer at that point in my building life.
Fast forward to the IGBC season 4 and a friend asked if I wanted to join a new build team that was building alongside the IG Builder’s Challenge to help contestants. Three seasons later I’m still here, and they haven’t kicked me out yet!
When did you discover your love for wood working? How long have you been doing it?
I’ve always been around tools and carpentry as a kid. I spent a lot of time helping my dad flip houses and learned my way around power tools early on. It wasn’t until college when I was taking an Industrial Design class as an elective that I built my first piece of furniture. Did I mention it was an original piece that I had designed from scratch? Standing six foot tall by six feet wide on wheels, I designed an expandable wardrobe with shelves and hanger space that would fold up and shrink down to half the width. It kept the clothes nicely on the hangers and still folded on the shelves.
Fifteen (ugh) years later and I still get a rush and a sense of satisfaction designing original pieces and then building them with the new techniques I continue to learn along the way.
What is the best part about being a part of the DIY community online and in real life?
I have played a lot of sports. I’m used to a likeminded community where you can bond over similar interests, but at the end of the day everyone is essentially competitive with each other. The DIY Community is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed. If you have questions or want to know inside secrets, people are willing to share. It’s one of the most positive and embracing communities I’ve ever been a part of.
What does your typical day look like?
With a 4 year old and a new born, plus a full time job, my shop days have evolved drastically. Limited time means I have to be extremely efficient with new builds. So naturally, I go into my shop, throw on some music and then stare at the inspiration piece of material for a good 20 minutes (maybe clean or rearrange my shop) until I know what I’m doing. Then I go back inside and start designing plans on my computer. I’m completely inefficient. Ha! When it’s time to get down to business I crank up my music loud enough that I can hear it over my ear protection and machines running… and also loud enough that my neighbors can’t hear me singing along with Tom Petty.
What’s your favorite thing about doing different projects?
I have the same attention span as my toddler… hey look over there, something shiny! So I’ll never be a person who will mass produce the same project. I try to incorporate a new element or a new technique into each build to keep challenging myself to get better and to keep my mind fresh. I can then turn around and share what I’ve learned or where I’ve failed with my audience so they can grow with me. It’s almost like taking a couple thousand friends on my own personal journey. When I hear about their accomplishments and enthusiasm for trying something new, it’s a huge motivator to get to that next project so I can share that with them too.
Go-to tip for anyone renovating on a budget or just starting out in building or DIY?
Saying you can’t start a project because you need to have a big and expensive tool first simply isn’t true. The great part about woodworking is most projects can be completed with very basic tools on a minimum budget. If you’re selling your work, it’s one of the few skills that let you basically level up after each sale by putting that money towards a tool that will make you more efficient for the next project. You learn to walk before you run. You should learn the craft before you start dropping large amounts of money on a tool you just might not need in the first place.
Do you have a favorite pair of Cat boots?
Living in Central Virginia it’s hot and humid a good portion of the year. So wearing an insulated pair of work boots when the temperatures in your shop hit triple digits isn’t ideal. For that reason I’ve been putting a lot of miles on the Cat Woodward Steel Toe Work Shoe. It has the look of a casual sneaker but the safety of a work boot. The one time I recently have been in my shop without my Woodwards, a tool fell off the wall and broke my toe. No joke. Keep your feet covered out there!