The Maker's Quest

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The Over-simplification of Needing 10,000hrs to Master A Skill – EP3

The Over-simplification of Needing 10,000hrs to Master A Skill – EP3

In today’s podcast, we talk about the oversimplification of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that you need 10,000 hours to master a skill. It is more complex of a theory than you think.

 

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Highlights From The Show

 

  • Skils Are Transferable
  • Be Obsessed, You Will Learn Faster & Remember More
  • You, Will, learn 80% really fast, the last 20% will come from experience
  • Learn How To Learn
  • Teaching Will Accelerate Your 10,000 Hrs

 

Show Transcript

 

00:00:00:07 – 00:00:03:04

Brian Benham

You’re listening to the Maker’s Quest podcast. I’m Brian Benham.

 

00:00:03:18 – 00:00:31:18

Greg Porter

And I’m Greg Porter. And tonight’s topic, we’re going to talk about the oversimplification of 10000 hours. For those who are familiar, it’s or aren’t familiar, it’s Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, where he talks about how long it takes to become an expert at Fill In the Blank. And sort of the result of that was he found in about 10000 hours. You become you have a level of expertize that makes you an expert.

 

00:00:32:02 – 00:00:57:17

Greg Porter

And we want to talk about the fallacy of that maybe from a couple of different angles. One would be how some things you don’t need a full 10000 hours to be to have that expertize and sometimes you need more than 10000 hours maybe to become what really is an expert in a particular subject matter. So Brian, have you got any examples on the top of your head of of where that oversimplification happens?

 

00:00:57:17 – 00:01:21:21

Brian Benham

Yeah, I think a lot of that oversimplification comes from people that think that they just have to go and do 10000 hours of a thing. And what Malcolm Gladwell is really trying to get at is that it needs to be purposeful practice, that you have to really go out there and be like, okay, if I want to learn woodworking today, I’m going to be deliberately learning how to do dovetails.

 

00:01:21:21 – 00:01:40:12

Brian Benham

And tomorrow I’m going to deliberately learn how to do more to stand tenants and be deliberate with your practice and not just go out there and just cram it all in to whatever you’re trying to do. So if you think you’re going to be a master woodworker and the only thing you ever do is put stuff through a drum sander, you’re not really going to be a master woodworker.

 

00:01:40:12 – 00:01:44:01

Brian Benham

You’re going to be a master drum sander feeder like that.

 

00:01:44:10 – 00:02:09:15

Greg Porter

I like that example. I definitely I think we’ve all encountered folks throughout our lives that are really, really good at one skill. And the the practical example that I would tell you is a friend of mine painted mirrors in a factory for automobiles. So he painted left and right mirrors for cars and became really, really good at painting mirrors.

 

00:02:09:15 – 00:02:43:11

Greg Porter

And, you know, when when he started painting entire cars, he found out that painting entire cars is much, much different than painting mirrors. And there are there were some things, obviously, that translated back and forth. How how do you actually spray the thing if you have this bizarre round weird object? Can you make paint stick to it? Because that is a difficult thing with I guess there’s little little little parts of the pieces and parts of what you’re spraying that will that will have been tree effects and other things that will repel paint as you’re trying to make it stick to them.

 

00:02:43:11 – 00:03:10:24

Greg Porter

But there were things that translated but then things like big flat panels are much different. And how you walk that panel is you’re painting a car and so on that that didn’t translate. And while I don’t know how long he spent in the Mirror Factory, it was quite a few years, definitely. Probably built up 10000 hours of painting, but it didn’t prepare him for doing entire automobiles, which is kind of a bizarre example, but it’s absolutely the drum sander feeder level of expertize.

 

00:03:11:09 – 00:03:36:16

Greg Porter

I can tell you that he is an expert car painter as well. He does custom work on cars and graphics and all these crazy things. It’s all translated. But I think that’s another good point that sometimes the skill, the drum sander skill may translate into another skill that helps lower that bar in terms of how long it takes, you know, that that cost of entry into a different skill.

 

00:03:36:16 – 00:04:01:07

Brian Benham

Yeah, I think that’s totally on point there. Back when I was a kid, we’ve talked before about how I worked in a fabrication shop for construction company, and that was really my first taste of working in the trades. And so I started out working in a metal shop. But then when I started getting into woodworking, a lot of those same skills transferred from the metal shop into the woodworking world.

 

00:04:01:07 – 00:04:21:02

Brian Benham

So things like learning how to layout my workstation in and how to set up stops on the side to get repeatable settings and perfect parts that come out exactly the same and be able to do that very fast once you set your stop, you could cut a whole bunch of parts exactly the same. And that same thing works out in the woodworking world.

 

00:04:21:11 – 00:04:28:04

Brian Benham

Another example, I don’t know if you have watched the PBS show The Craftsman’s Legacy.

 

00:04:28:19 – 00:04:29:22

Greg Porter

I don’t think I’ve seen that one.

 

00:04:29:22 – 00:04:56:05

Brian Benham

So I think they’re on a hiatus now because of COVID. But Eric, gorgeous the guy that hosts the show, he goes around and he interviews craftsmen all over the United States and talks about what their legacy is that they’re leaving behind And before he did the show, he was a motorcycle builder. So he built custom motorcycles. He was on one of those discovery channels or something where they did biker build off, I think it was called.

 

00:04:56:09 – 00:05:17:12

Brian Benham

Yeah, before he did the cross legacy. And so he still to this day, runs a custom motorcycle shop and he’s starting to get into woodworking. And so we kind of hooked up and we’ve been hanging out a little bit via online Skype. And so when we’re talking about different things that I’m interested in learning from him metalworking and he’s interested in learning for me, woodworking.

 

00:05:17:12 – 00:05:36:21

Brian Benham

So we’re kind of trading back and forth. But he talks in 2007 inch where I talk in 60 47 inch. But once we got a common language down that like once you get below a 64th of an inch, if something is a little lost by that much, to me it’s just a couple swipes with a hand playing to where hey he’s looking at it, oh that’s like three throw off or whatever.

 

00:05:37:09 – 00:05:58:17

Brian Benham

So once we got our common language down, we were able to really like Talk Back and forth about how we transfer our are different things like, oh, I do the same thing in woodworking. I just do it this little bit different way. So it was really easy to compare notes and explain and teach him woodworking and vice versa for him to teach me more metalworking.

 

00:05:58:17 – 00:06:39:04

Greg Porter

Yeah. It’s interesting how, how the, the idea of rough versus finish translates through almost every type of trade there is, whether that’s being an electrician or a plumber, a carpenter a metal worker, a machinist, a fill in the blank. There’s always that concept of how can I rough this in? And then how do I finish it off and to what level of finish and that that starts to create that tolerance that you’re talking about if if you’re, you know, roofing in all your side pieces for a piece of furniture for a case, so to speak, and you start fitting them and yeah, it’s off by just a little bit, hand playing it, sand it, root it

 

00:06:39:04 – 00:06:58:01

Greg Porter

however you’re going to do that where you know, maybe in on the milling side of things, I’m going to use a rough mill for getting the basic shape and taking material off in a hurry. But then I’m going to change to my brand new sharp and mill to do the finish and give it a really nice surface when it’s done.

 

00:06:58:07 – 00:07:23:08

Greg Porter

Now, in, in milling, that’s a couple thousandths. Maybe, you know, a half a thousand spring pass is a pretty general thing for people to do where you literally just run the tool around a second time because the tool bends is cutting because of the pressure. So if you run it a second time, it’s going to take that last half thousand and everything’s going to, you know, just smooth up and slip together however you need it to slip together.

 

00:07:23:14 – 00:07:49:01

Brian Benham

That that so now you’re just transferred. I can transfer that to woodworking sometimes if I’m running my C and C machine at two high above feed rate, then if I need it to be a high tolerance for those parts to really fit together really tight, I’m pretty sure the reason why sometimes it does an especially on thicker materials because that router bit is being pushed out away from the material and there is a setting on clean up past.

 

00:07:49:02 – 00:07:58:04

Brian Benham

I’ve never really played with it that that would be kind of what you’re talking about, right? Like if I ran that last cleanup pass, it might, it might clean that tolerances up.

 

00:07:58:13 – 00:08:19:02

Greg Porter

Absolutely. And that’s a I don’t want to get too, too far into the weeds of of how we work on a daily basis. But I think all of that information is good information. That’s something that I always do. I leave a thousand or 2000 on on my wood router, C and C, I always leave that because of the depths and everything else.

 

00:08:19:02 – 00:08:41:13

Greg Porter

I like to clean them up one last time. And so I’ll run a separate last pass exactly like I would on the big C and C mill to may not be as much of a spring pass in wood because woods just kind of different, but wood shrinks and grows as you cut it. You know, as you cut it, some fibers can come out There are things that happen to wood that that don’t happen.

 

00:08:41:13 – 00:09:11:02

Greg Porter

The metal metal is pretty static when you cut it. It’s done moving. Yeah. I say that you can put heat into a part and it can, you know, in aluminum we have parts all the time that we call them the banana on you. All of a sudden the heat gets in there and then they start to bend up and might only be a thousand or 2000, but it’s enough to throw your tolerance off that it becomes a chunk part and just kind of one of those things that you hate when it happens, but it happens to everybody.

 

00:09:11:02 – 00:09:35:18

Greg Porter

So yeah, but yeah, the notion of, of, of the rough pass and the finish pass and it gets down. It’s also interesting to me the taller it’s a 64th of an inch is what 15,000. So I think if my math is right, 15 or 16 so it’s not very far off, you know, in the machining world and in the woodworking world it’s a lot closer than I think most people realize.

 

00:09:36:00 – 00:09:52:24

Brian Benham

Yeah, it’s just, you know, people that rub their finger across, they’re, oh that’s about as about 5000 or 10,000. I’m like, I have no idea. Once you’re below a 64th of an inch to me that number doesn’t exist as a woodworker. That’s just card scrapers and hand planes to, to bring it flush.

 

00:09:53:00 – 00:10:12:12

Greg Porter

Yeah, yeah. So I would ask, I mean obviously from a woodworking perspective, you’ve put in your 10000 hours. I’ve seen you work, I’ve seen the level of craftsmanship. Have there been other things in your life that you’ve put that amount of time into that you would consider yourself an expert on?

 

00:10:13:21 – 00:10:34:16

Brian Benham

No, not, not really. Well, well, maybe music likes like playing the saxophone. When I was a kid. I doubt that thing. If you knew me in middle school and high school, that thing went with me everywhere. I packed my saxophone everywhere I went and I played with whoever would play with me. And no matter, it didn’t matter who they were.

 

00:10:34:16 – 00:10:57:22

Brian Benham

I if they were like, Hey, you want to jam absolutely I do. And I got pretty good at just woodworking. The trades paid a lot better bills than than being a musician. So I kind of gave it up. But recently, my daughter’s learning the saxophone and they have a parent died at the school to come play with the band so my daughter wants me to come play.

 

00:10:57:22 – 00:11:14:00

Brian Benham

And I was like, well, I haven’t played in 20 years. I got to get that thing out and see if I even remember. And it’s amazing how from when I was a kid, how a lot of that stuff really came back really quickly. Like, I don’t have the smooth chops yet, but I remember all the fingering. I still remember how to read all the music.

 

00:11:14:06 – 00:11:21:12

Brian Benham

So now she’s just putting the practice back here to get my dexterity back to play again. But it came back right away.

 

00:11:21:15 – 00:11:48:02

Greg Porter

I, I was going to share very similarly. I was a percussionist growing up. I think I started playing in sixth grade and I stopped really dedicated and intentional instruction at the end of high school. So when I went off to college, I stopped doing private lessons and playing so much, but I kind of went through in my head and I had from, from basically sixth grade to 12th grade.

 

00:11:48:02 – 00:12:13:23

Greg Porter

So call it seven years. I think if you, you know, do the fence post there seven years. And I played two to 3 hours a night, six nights a week, almost seven days a week. So sometimes it was seven days, but I usually gave my parents a day off. If you can imagine having a drummer in the family. And and my junior year I used to go to to they call them competitions, but that’s not really what it was about.

 

00:12:13:23 – 00:12:37:23

Greg Porter

It was it was really having professional critics listen to you play and they would score you. And there were different categories and so forth. And my, my last year of doing that, I was ranked a virtuoso. So I was a virtuoso on both snare drum solo and drum set solo. And I would tell you the music was very difficult.

 

00:12:37:23 – 00:12:56:13

Greg Porter

And at that point, you know, it’s like, yeah, I’m a I’m a pretty darn good drummer. But if you add all those hours up, it might be 6000 hours. So it’s not, not 10000 hours by any stretch, but it’s probably a little bit. To your analogy of someone on the drum sander, I wasn’t a marimba player, I wasn’t a timpani player.

 

00:12:57:06 – 00:13:17:09

Greg Porter

I didn’t play a lot of percussion instruments that you would, you know, if you were a well-rounded percussionist, you might know how to play. I knew drum set and snare drum and I knew how to solo on them and I played with bands and all that kind of stuff back then as well. But, but I was I was thinking back to and I can remember it like it was yesterday.

 

00:13:17:15 – 00:13:37:22

Greg Porter

There was a point in time where I would I would tell you I recognized the virtuosity. And it’s bizarre to say that it always sounds like you’re pat yourself on the back. But no, it was just a bunch of hard work and anybody can do it. Right. But I was I was playing and all of a sudden, instead of playing, I was listening to myself as a third party.

 

00:13:37:22 – 00:13:54:10

Greg Porter

And it was the most bizarre thing in the world. You know, athletes will refer to it as being in the flow and things like that. But there were these incredibly technical things I was doing. There weren’t even processing in my brain. They were just coming out my hands. And to that I would say that’s when you become an expert.

 

00:13:54:10 – 00:14:12:23

Greg Porter

And whether that’s in woodworking, you know, when you’re in the shop, in your you know, your dimensions, but you’re not thinking of anything, it’s your minds off, maybe not in an in an unsafe way being off in another world, but it’s like you’re watching yourself do the woodworking. It’s not like those are your hands anymore. It’s it’s a bizarre thing.

 

00:14:12:23 – 00:14:22:24

Greg Porter

I know you’ve probably gone through it, but but it’s but to me, that was where the shift came from. Being someone learning to someone who knows what they’re really doing.

 

00:14:22:24 – 00:14:44:02

Brian Benham

Yeah. And also kind of going back to what we were talking about, deliberate practice. I had a similar experience. We had state competitions and it wasn’t really about the competition is about having a professional listen to you and give you feedback. And then of course, you got a score and they placed you somewhere on there on your place and the first year I did okay.

 

00:14:44:13 – 00:15:04:07

Brian Benham

And then I started taking lessons with a professional musician and, and it was kind of like the Karate Kid thing. He was all about the scales, like you need to learn your scales. And one of the biggest things I had trouble with was my timing. I would either rush to be or I’d lag behind the beat. I was always like, never really right on the beat.

 

00:15:04:07 – 00:15:29:24

Brian Benham

And so he’s just like, no, just practice your scales. And so he would set me up with all these exercises of practicing scales. It would be very deliberate about how I practice them and with the metronome. And like when you’re playing 16th notes, every beat, you aim for the beat. So that way you know that you’re you’re hitting that beat every time and the rest of the notes will fall in your your mind will tell your fingers to play them evenly together.

 

00:15:30:12 – 00:15:47:22

Brian Benham

And so that way they’re not rushing anymore. And so then just pretty soon after doing that, for months and months and months and all of a sudden the I just you could just start to really, like, feel the beat. And then all of a sudden then I didn’t have that problem anymore just because that deliberate practice.

 

00:15:47:23 – 00:16:12:04

Greg Porter

Yeah, absolutely. And I would tell you in stark contrast, I’ve been playing guitar since I was a kid. I can’t remember what grade I picked up the guitar, but it was prior to the drums, if that tells you anything, he’s a fourth grade, third grade, self-taught. I had a poster. My brother took like three lessons and then quit, and I assumed his guitar and started putting the pieces together.

 

00:16:12:04 – 00:16:36:02

Greg Porter

My my mom was a musician and she, she sort of helped me understand music, but I’ve been playing the guitar I play an hour a night every night. Like, I mean, that’s my thing. That’s how I chill out at the end of the night, and I’m nowhere near as good on guitar as I was on drums. And I’m 47 years old now, and it’s like, Man, I know I’ve put in well over 10000 hours on the guitar.

 

00:16:36:02 – 00:16:58:19

Greg Porter

I can play well, but when I go out and see the guys on stage and listen to what they’re doing there, they’re just light years ahead of me. And it’s, it’s amazing. You think, you know again, this is approaching that 10000 hours from the other side, I think, you know, 20, 30000 hours is the right number. If you want to be somebody who’s an expert on guitar yeah.

 

00:16:58:19 – 00:17:01:08

Greg Porter

It’s, it’s insane how much time that takes.

 

00:17:02:02 – 00:17:17:09

Brian Benham

So do you think like if you’re super passionate about something and being really obsessed about learning every little thing about it, that helps you move your your 10000 hours to help shorten it because you’re maybe possibly remembering more more because you’re really into that thing.

 

00:17:17:12 – 00:17:52:04

Greg Porter

There’s a notion and I wish I could remember where I picked this up, but, but somebody told me one time when you’re, when you’re getting into something new there, there’s a concept called the saturation of the idea. And it’s that whatever you’re learning becomes completely consuming to you. And for me, this happens if, for instance, right now I’m getting ready to build my first acoustic guitar, I’ve built, you know, handfuls of electric guitars I wouldn’t say they’re they’re easy, but I don’t have to think about them much anymore.

 

00:17:52:04 – 00:18:22:16

Greg Porter

And I’ve always avoided acoustics because there’s they’re exponentially more difficult than an electric guitar. And I’ve now read I don’t know, I’d put it in about 2000 pages of of books that are, you know, written about how to build acoustic guitars. I’ve watched countless hours on YouTube, just sort of a binge watching entire series that might be 50 parts long of somebody putting together acoustic guitars in it.

 

00:18:22:17 – 00:18:45:06

Greg Porter

And the whole thing is that saturation of the idea I have yet to pick up the first tool to start building it. I’ve built all my fixtures and jigs that I’m, I’m going to use, but I haven’t started cutting the actual pieces for the guitar. But I think, you know, when you’re saying can you, can you sort of all say saturate yourself and really consume yourself with it?

 

00:18:45:06 – 00:19:15:11

Greg Porter

I think you can shorten that window and really put out some nice work. Obviously, woodworking is not new to me. Technical you know, highly measured work is not new to me. So all those skills are sort of transferring into this new venture. There’s a lot of things that go back and forth between electric and acoustic guitars. But I think absolutely you have to you have to just stack that stuff around you so that by osmosis, you’re getting it from every direction.

 

00:19:15:11 – 00:19:25:21

Greg Porter

When you’re learning something that’s incredibly different from what you’ve been doing, I’m guessing you have similar experience, whether that’s a furniture style or whether it’s something completely different.

 

00:19:26:01 – 00:19:55:06

Brian Benham

Yeah, it’s completely different. I want to I’ve always had this interest in like beekeeping. Like whenever I see some dude in the beekeeping suit or there’s this lady on TikTok, she’s her. Her thing is just another great day saving the bees. And she is she goes out and she doesn’t wear a suit or anything. And if a swarm of of honey bees or something is swarmed in someone’s backyard or something, she just goes up there and just scoops them and puts them in a in a box with her bare hands.

 

00:19:55:06 – 00:20:12:05

Brian Benham

And I was like, Oh, my God, that’s so crazy. But so I just decided, okay, I’m going to I’m going to do this. I need a new hobby. My wife worries that I get to go nuts just being a worker because I work all day long, all week long, seven days a week. She’s like, you need to find something else to do that’s not woodworking.

 

00:20:12:11 – 00:20:35:05

Brian Benham

So I told her, Okay, I’m going to do this beekeeping thing. And then I told her, I’m going to build my own hives because, you know, I have all the woodworking tools to do it. And she’s like, Tease me. But so I started immersing myself into beekeeping. I got some beekeeping books. I started watching all these people on beekeeping videos our YouTube beekeepers.

 

00:20:35:05 – 00:20:55:08

Brian Benham

And I joined you to I’ve joined Facebook beekeeping groups. And even though I have yet to set my hive up because it’s the middle of winter right now in here in Colorado, I got eight inches of snow today in my front yard and it’s mid-March. But, you know, that’s Colorado mountains for you. But I feel like I’m ready to be ready to go.

 

00:20:55:08 – 00:21:14:18

Brian Benham

And I see people that are posting things from other parts of the country about their beehive. They’re like, I don’t know what’s wrong with my beehive, just the amount of study that I did because it was something that interests me. And I immersed myself in it. I can answer their question, and they already have had their hive for a year or so.

 

00:21:14:18 – 00:21:21:05

Brian Benham

Yeah. I think being really passionate and immersive is definitely a good way to learn stuff. Sorry.

 

00:21:21:07 – 00:21:41:06

Greg Porter

Well, I would I would follow that up by I think there’s also a fallacy, too, and I’ve fallen victim to it. When when you do immerse yourself that much and you’ve read and you’ve watched and you’ve done all the things, but you haven’t actually put I’ll say pencil the paper, but that’s not the right way to say it when you haven’t actually gone through that motion in real life.

 

00:21:41:07 – 00:22:10:02

Greg Porter

I think things like YouTube and obviously all the stuff that’s out on the Internet makes people believe they’re an expert sometimes before they’ve actually taken the first step to actually do the thing. It doesn’t mean you don’t know a lot about it, but you’re not an expert yet. And you as somebody who makes YouTube videos and probably lots of them, there are tons of people in the comments to a video who they’ll make comments coming from a level of expertize in the in the way they say their comment.

 

00:22:10:02 – 00:22:18:13

Greg Porter

But there’s some little detail that they they either omit or put in that you can immediately tell this person’s never actually done that.

 

00:22:18:19 – 00:22:41:24

Brian Benham

Yeah, 100% there’s always a tell in the comment and you know, like this person is, is tearing you down, telling you what an idiot you are for doing that way and the way they tear you down you realize very quickly like, oh my gosh, this person’s never actually held a router because they don’t know what to do. Pay attention to the feedback of the router is they’re just repeating what they heard someone else say.

 

00:22:42:08 – 00:23:10:13

Greg Porter

Yeah, and and it’s amazing. I, you know, my concern is 20 years ago that didn’t exist. Right? Like you could go to the library and you could get books and kind of surround yourself, but you were sort of forced into trying something a lot earlier in the, in the learning process. I think, you know, the way books are and I still see this like the acoustic guitar book that I’m I’m reading right now.

 

00:23:10:24 – 00:23:33:18

Greg Porter

One was about design, one was about the actual construction, same author, two different volumes, massive books. And there’s a process in there and as I’m reading it, I’m like, he’s pretty thorough on his explanation, but there’s no way to understand how to do this until you do this. Like, I know I’m going to do it and I’m going to want to call this guy on the phone and ask, Okay, he didn’t have this level of detail in the book.

 

00:23:33:24 – 00:24:05:16

Greg Porter

Can I can I ask you a couple questions? I may actually do it. I know someone who knows the author so I may have that connection. But but it is interesting that, you know, again, back to the 10000 hours again, watching 10000 hours of YouTube video absolutely does not make you an expert, but I think it may accelerate you past a lot of the sticking points or hamstring areas that the beginners have because you can watch someone who will help you completely.

 

00:24:05:19 – 00:24:14:14

Greg Porter

It’s like having a cheat code in Mario fill in the blank Mario video game. I sound like an old guy says this.

 

00:24:14:23 – 00:24:17:04

Brian Benham

That’s the only one I know how to play it.

 

00:24:17:08 – 00:24:35:16

Greg Porter

I’m not a video game guy. But it’s like having a cheat code where you can skip the first three levels or you just have to jump a couple of times in the near through them. Right? Right. Or having invincibility or something. But but it is interesting that that in the world we live in now, you can skip over some of those things.

 

00:24:35:22 – 00:25:03:20

Greg Porter

And like I said earlier, I think sometimes 10000 hours is a great round number for people to look at. I think it’s really Expertize is built on consistency, is built on intentionality. So if you’re constantly making yourself better at what you’re trying to do and you’re actively seeking out how can I improve looking for criticism, I think is another one in architecture school that was one of the most difficult things.

 

00:25:03:20 – 00:25:28:22

Greg Porter

First year was to understand that the professors there, the professors in the school were there to criticize you. That was their job. And it hurts sometimes. Like they just never they didn’t let up. I’ll put it that way. There was never an easy critique. You could have had the best project on the wall, and there’s no way in your third year of architecture school you’re going to have a professional looking project it doesn’t exist.

 

00:25:28:22 – 00:25:43:03

Greg Porter

You can’t you can’t get there in three years. And so there’s always going to be something to pick on. And, you know, it’s, it’s opening yourself up to that. But that’s the only way you can grow and that’s the way that you get that cheat code, is you have somebody pick on the things that you’re not doing.

 

00:25:43:03 – 00:26:23:07

Brian Benham

Well. Yeah. So I do want to add a caveat to that, learning from YouTube thing as as a professional woodworker that has been doing this for quite a while. And I can I can recognize the towns where a beginner would not recognize the tells. I think it’s important if you’re a beginner coming into a a new subject that you really ask yourself, especially on YouTube, is this person a content creator, first, sharing the content that they created about a subject that they’re interested in, but not necessarily a professional at first versus a professional sharing their expertize with you on YouTube.

 

00:26:23:16 – 00:26:51:07

Brian Benham

Because when I watch woodworking YouTube channels, there are some that have huge audiences. They have never built a thing. They just stand up there with a great amount of conviction and tell you exactly how to do it and what to do it in a lot of the times I’m just like, Oh my gosh, that is such terrible information and I feel really bad for the 100,000 followers they have that are watching this person because they’re getting terrible information.

 

00:26:51:07 – 00:27:12:13

Brian Benham

They don’t know to ask themselves because they’re a beginner. So they don’t know that that’s bad information or incomplete information. Because they’re just repeating what they heard Mark Spagnuolo say or something like that. Yes, I think anybody that wants to learn a new thing, they need to really ask themselves, is this person a professional? Teach Mairs this person a content creator trying to make a video every week.

 

00:27:12:23 – 00:27:20:13

Greg Porter

And I think we should make a clarification. Mark Spagnuolo is a professional making education content. Yes, we put him in that category.

 

00:27:20:17 – 00:27:43:11

Brian Benham

That’s why I compared him to like people just to repeat them. They go watch Mark’s dog. No, because he’s very successful and he is a professional woodworker and he does phenomenal work and took all the time in the world to learn. He puts he has probably put in his 10000 hours of woodworking and so people watch him and I’m sure that people look at him and then they go, Okay, I can do that.

 

00:27:43:11 – 00:27:54:20

Brian Benham

And then they go hit record and then they forget three things that are very important that Mark talked about. But they forgot about it because they only watch the video once. They never actually did it to know that that’s an important thing.

 

00:27:55:00 – 00:28:15:11

Greg Porter

And I know I’ve used it. I’m not. This isn’t to disparage or pick on anyone. I have used the term prop furniture before as what some some woodworking channels are just making props that are not making real furniture. They’re not making things that hold up in the real world. They’re making an entertaining video that shows how they made something or conceived of something and brought it to life.

 

00:28:15:12 – 00:28:23:08

Greg Porter

And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it can’t be mistaken for Expertize. I think that’s very important.

 

00:28:23:12 – 00:28:43:22

Brian Benham

Right? The the true testament is oh, well, if you’re making prop prop furniture, for lack of a better word, you can face the best face to the camera and Photoshop out all you want. But the true test is if you take it to a client and they walk around the entire piece and they say, yeah, that’s worth the thousands of dollars you charge me for, here’s your paycheck.

 

00:28:44:15 – 00:29:05:22

Brian Benham

That’s I think that’s the, the, the true testament that’s kind of like beekeeping. I’ve been watching all these beekeeping videos, and there are guys that are obviously professional beekeepers, and they know a ton about beekeeping. And then there’s guys that they’re fun to watch, but it’s their first time beekeeping, but they come across like they’re the professional. But then all of a sudden they’re out there with their next video.

 

00:29:05:22 – 00:29:24:18

Brian Benham

Click bait video. My hive died. What what what do you think caused it? Because they weren’t professionals. They didn’t know it. So in beekeeping, there’s a little bit of leveling playing field there that if all your bees die, you got to start over. Where? And you’d swear in woodworking. You too. You don’t have anything that dies yeah.

 

00:29:24:18 – 00:29:28:18

Greg Porter

Well, the scrap bend would be where your your dead pieces go.

 

00:29:28:18 – 00:29:30:23

Brian Benham

Yeah, but you don’t know. And seize the scrap bin.

 

00:29:31:05 – 00:29:54:14

Greg Porter

I know. It’s definitely not. Not part of our our normal thing that we might show in a video. I do want to kind of take a different angle here as well. So the the other side of 10000 hours. I mentioned guitar. I think you could become an expert guitar player in 10000 hours if you were really focused and intentional. And did all the right things.

 

00:29:54:14 – 00:30:17:20

Greg Porter

Absolutely. But my profession, architecture is, is one contrast that I think anybody in the profession would tell you the first few years that you do it, you think you’re an expert. And the more you learn about what you don’t know, the more you realize you’re not an expert. And I’m 47 years old. I don’t know all of it.

 

00:30:17:20 – 00:30:38:22

Greg Porter

I’ve been doing architecture professionally since I was 22, I believe so 25 years, 2000 hours a year. How many hours do I have it? It’s a lot, but. But there there’s a point at which you you look at your body of work and you look at the things that other people do, and you go, I don’t, I don’t think I could do that.

 

00:30:38:22 – 00:31:05:12

Greg Porter

I don’t have that level of expertize as an architect and I’ve had some really interesting conversations with guys, you know, the week they’re retiring. And, you know what? What can you tell me? It’s like I have so much more to learn every one of them will say the same thing. I have so much more to learn. And it’s interesting that you can put in all the hours that you want, but there will always be something hanging out there that you don’t know how to do or that somebody knows how to do better.

 

00:31:05:20 – 00:31:27:12

Greg Porter

But that doesn’t make me, I guess, any less of an expert. I have a license, I can practice. I get paid to do what I do. So so there is a level of expertize. I’m not saying I’m not an expert, but it’s amazing the once you become an expert, in some some categories there, how many more layers to the onion there are.

 

00:31:27:12 – 00:31:57:07

Greg Porter

And I would assume that’s very similar in the world of aerospace. It’s probably similar in automotive design, other other types of designs. And I would even say, you know, within within woodworking and metal work, there’s so much to do. There’s so many different directions you can take everything. And maybe that Expertize is or that expert label is is sort of the core and then the the hub and spoke kind of takes over and you can apply all of those skills to wherever you want to direct them.

 

00:31:57:07 – 00:31:57:16

Greg Porter

Yeah.

 

00:31:57:16 – 00:32:19:07

Brian Benham

So like people some in the woodworking where else some people want to know what what you have to do to be able to call yourself a bastard craft their master woodworker. And and I’ve seen this on several Facebook woodworking forums where people debate that topic and some people are like well someone that doesn’t make any more mistakes you know they’re so good that they don’t make mistakes.

 

00:32:19:07 – 00:32:40:14

Brian Benham

And as like, well if you’re so good that you don’t make mistakes, you’re so good at that one thing that’s back to fitting the drum sander. But if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything. You’re not pushing yourself to the next level. You’ve gotten stagnant. So, like, the guy that invented the telegraph is like, oh, my gosh, I am a master communicator with this technology now, there’s nothing ever going to be better.

 

00:32:40:14 – 00:32:57:20

Brian Benham

And he’s over there. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Check me out. I’m awesome. I don’t know if he’s was that pompous or not, but, you know, so then someone comes along and they’re like, hey, we got this new thing called the telephone. Yeah. And they they built on that on that telegraph technology to telephone.

 

00:32:57:20 – 00:33:18:09

Brian Benham

And the telephone became the fax machine a fax machine became text messages and emails. And now you have a whole computer on your phone in your pocket. And it was all because someone didn’t consider themself a master at anything they just kept or how can I make it better? How can I get better? My own skill? How can I understand this world better?

 

00:33:18:09 – 00:33:32:11

Greg Porter

So now trying to trying to bring this back around to our 10000 hours, that begs the question, at what point? And you said it. How how can you consider yourself an expert? Any thoughts there? I mean, yeah.

 

00:33:32:11 – 00:33:38:16

Brian Benham

What’s the guy’s name that discovered the Higgs boson? Was that Tyson something?

 

00:33:38:20 – 00:33:40:13

Greg Porter

Was it Neil Tyson?

 

00:33:40:18 – 00:33:42:08

Brian Benham

Neil deGrasse Tyson? I don’t know.

 

00:33:42:10 – 00:33:43:16

Greg Porter

I would say about backwards.

 

00:33:43:16 – 00:34:02:15

Brian Benham

Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if you actually discovered it or if he was just talking about it on an interview. But one of the things you said on the interview, like people ask, well, why is that so significant? Why is that important? You don’t you don’t know what to do with it. You just discover this thing. But you you don’t know what it does really or what what it could do for the world.

 

00:34:02:15 – 00:34:23:20

Brian Benham

And he’s in his says, well, not knowing is the whole point where if you take we discover this thing now. Now, if we go out and study it and we understand it, then we will know what it can do and what we can do with it. Yeah. Or something to that effect. Some somebody some astrophysicist listening to me give that explanation, you just rolled their eyes because they got it totally wrong.

 

00:34:24:04 – 00:34:38:23

Brian Benham

But that’s the general sentiment that that the reason why we go out and study these things that we have no idea what they do or what they are and find them is. So then once we do understand, then that could be the next way to power the world you know?

 

00:34:38:24 – 00:35:02:21

Greg Porter

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’ve always thought, you know, when you look at experts in whatever field you’re you’re looking at, there’s a certain amount of it probably goes back to the old adage, freshmen don’t know and they know. They don’t know. Right. Sophomores don’t know, but they think they know. Juniors know, but they don’t know. They know. Seniors know and they know.

 

00:35:02:21 – 00:35:25:17

Greg Porter

They know. Right. That that senior sort of is is the expert. But at some point, you have the confidence to know that I am an expert. Like, yes, okay. I have that confidence. And when you look at something, you may not say I can do that or I can make that happen, but I have the tools that I can figure it out and that I can learn it and that I can make it happen.

 

00:35:26:00 – 00:35:55:06

Greg Porter

And I think I asked you a question a couple of episodes ago about what was the point in your life when you figured out you could build anything? And it’s not that you have the skills to do it, but you have the confidence to know, yeah, I can see that thing or I can conceive of that thing, and I know how to formulate the steps that it’s going to take, and I know how to formulate the practice or the prototypes or the mock ups or whatever it’s going to take to get to that final product that I know it’s going to come out.

 

00:35:55:06 – 00:36:04:11

Greg Porter

I don’t know all the steps yet. But I know that I can get there, and I find that to be kind of an interesting maybe take on what an expert is.

 

00:36:04:19 – 00:36:23:03

Brian Benham

Yeah. So on a, on a side example, I I’m teaching a sketch, a class, and before I started to teach this class, I didn’t know how to draw a threaded net very well. In SketchUp. It has a plug in that you can use. You just click on the threaded knot and tell it how big you want it and what you want.

 

00:36:23:03 – 00:36:41:16

Brian Benham

It goes in. It just makes sure it’s great, but for this classes for woodworkers that maybe beginning of their sketch of journey and they’re not buying the SketchUp Pro. So we’re using the, the free web based version. And I wanted to teach how to do it, but I didn’t really know how, but I knew enough steps to figure it out.

 

00:36:41:19 – 00:37:08:08

Brian Benham

Right? So then once I, once I learned how to do it, then I was talking to my friend who’s really into 3D printing. So because you could 3D print that and then you be able to thread it on a nut. So I was like, awesome. So I did that and it did thread on the nut. And then I saw I tried to print it not and tried it on there and it didn’t thread on the 3D printed bolt, didn’t thread on the 3D printed, not even though I used the same math to create the two.

 

00:37:08:18 – 00:37:30:11

Brian Benham

And so now it’s like, okay, so tolerances. So, so going through this whole teaching process made me understand it better of how to draw it and sketch it because someone challenged my, my thing. You’re like, oh, that’s cool, cool. But does it work as well? I don’t know. Let’s go find out. So and then it didn’t work. And so now like I got to call my friend up now and be like, Dude, I figured it out.

 

00:37:30:11 – 00:37:52:03

Brian Benham

It works now, but, but for him to challenge me made me make me go back and really learn how to do and really learn what was going on here. And it’s still not perfect. This this 3D printed ball has way too much slop in it. And I think that’s because my lack of understanding of how the thread pitch works, I don’t I don’t have the understanding yet.

 

00:37:52:03 – 00:38:21:11

Brian Benham

So that would be my next thing to go. And I’m sure once this class launches, somebody is going to be able to explain it to me. There are maybe a machinist that has a deep understanding of how thread pitch works. Or maybe you have that understanding that can explain it to me. But so yeah, teaching 10,000 hour teaching, I think will help get you to your 10000 hours faster because people are going to challenge your your students are going to challenge your your expertize and ask you questions that you didn’t think about before.

 

00:38:21:17 – 00:38:24:20

Brian Benham

Like it never occurred to me to 3D print it to see if it actually worked.

 

00:38:24:23 – 00:38:49:09

Greg Porter

Yeah, well, I’m over here grinning like the Cheshire Cat because that is a very hot topic among machinists when it comes to threading. How, how, how tight do you want the threads? What is that tolerance? And actually in machining taps and dyes there are H1, H2, H, three, four and five. I don’t think it goes any higher than that.

 

00:38:49:09 – 00:39:12:20

Greg Porter

It might somebody could probably correct me, but that talks about how tight those threads fit together. So when you get to a really tight tolerance, if you have to materials like, well, two pieces like stainless steel if you tighten a stainless steel nut onto a stainless steel bolt and it’s tight, they will have a tendency to fall against one another and get stuck even though the tolerance leaves enough room.

 

00:39:13:03 – 00:39:39:23

Greg Porter

So you have to have different tolerance for different materials. But there’s there’s absolutely as you get more threads in contact between the nut and bolt, that that tolerance begins to to pull together. If if you’re nuts were just one thread, you would want the tolerance really tight. But if you have a long nut that goes on something, you want that tolerance to be slightly looser because otherwise it’ll tighten as you go in even though all the threads are spaced correctly.

 

00:39:39:23 – 00:39:42:22

Greg Porter

It just that that friction starts to add up.

 

00:39:43:03 – 00:39:54:05

Brian Benham

So this is pretty tight where I have an actual ball and I’m spinning the nut on the ball and it’s way tighter even though I use the same threads. But is that because it’s possibly different material, you’re saying?

 

00:39:54:05 – 00:40:03:03

Greg Porter

Yeah, it possibly different material, but the stuff you find in hardware stores is generally a very loose tolerance type tap or thread.

 

00:40:03:06 – 00:40:22:18

Brian Benham

Yeah, because the actual nut on the actual ball, when I shake it, it jiggles it. You can hear that that jiggle to where this is way tighter so now you’re saying that if since this is a pretty tight tolerance now if I make this nut longer so there’s like six times as many threads on there, I won’t be able to thread this on there because it’ll probably bind up because of friction or.

 

00:40:23:05 – 00:40:36:07

Greg Porter

Yeah, quite, quite possibly. So, yeah. So the amount of friction that’s in that nut. Now, if you made it twice as big would be twice as much obviously because you have twice as much contact. So it’s a oh man, it’s a rabbit hole though.

 

00:40:36:17 – 00:40:55:08

Brian Benham

As the May record, this free record, this ball Bolton not less and or at least be able to maybe add some of that explanation in there like depending on what your what you’re doing to decide what your tolerances is. Because I did show how I came up with my tolerances when it didn’t work. I snuck up on it.

 

00:40:55:08 – 00:41:04:02

Brian Benham

I printed like eight knots with different spacing as I as I went to increase the tolerances until I got one that would actually thread on there.

 

00:41:04:03 – 00:41:31:19

Greg Porter

Yeah. And if you I mean, the the reality is right, the thread is always in the same place. It’s a matter of how deep that be is so that the peak in the channel and those aren’t the right words I’m trying to come up with the right ones, but if you ever watch machining channels where they, they’re making threaded parts, they’ll go over them and they’ll take a nut and they’ll put it on and then they’ll take it off and then they’ll go over it again until it just fits.

 

00:41:31:19 – 00:41:37:07

Greg Porter

Sweet how they want it. But it’s, it’s absolutely a tolerance thing that you can control.

 

00:41:37:13 – 00:41:59:00

Brian Benham

So it’s a thing to sneak up on to versus the, the bolt that I got at the big box store where they’re mass produced in this thing and that’s why it fits sloppy because they want to guarantee it’s going to fit every time but if you’re working at mass and you want to make sure that doesn’t vibrate off as it’s exiting the atmosphere, it’s you want that guy to really dial that tolerance and.

 

00:41:59:02 – 00:42:04:22

Greg Porter

Absolutely and and will have specifications for what that thread fit.

 

00:42:05:06 – 00:42:06:18

Brian Benham

Is tolerances is.

 

00:42:06:24 – 00:42:07:18

Greg Porter

Interesting.

 

00:42:07:24 – 00:42:10:22

Brian Benham

So how do they. Well maybe that’s a different story I wish we had.

 

00:42:10:22 – 00:42:11:04

Greg Porter

Talking.

 

00:42:11:15 – 00:42:30:08

Brian Benham

About that on line. We’ve got to get back to our 10000 hours. So I can’t remember where he where we were going with that one spot there. But it reminded me of a story from my my friend Dave. He was a potter and he was he was I would consider him to be a master potter because he made amazing stuff.

 

00:42:30:08 – 00:42:52:10

Brian Benham

But he had this weird obsession that he wanted to find out how tall he could make a face and how thin he can make the clay before it would lose its integrity and fall apart. And so he kept practicing to see if he could find the limits of the clay, to see how far he could push the clay before it fall apart.

 

00:42:52:21 – 00:43:11:03

Brian Benham

But then he realized that each time he did it, he would be refining his technique. So at the end of the day, he decided that he could never decide whether or not it was his technique that needed more perfection or the clay, or if he had actually found the end of the the clay or not that what what the tolerances of the clay was.

 

00:43:11:14 – 00:43:29:00

Brian Benham

So that was going back to whether you’re making mistakes and continue to learn to call yourself a master craftsman, it’s really 10000 hours, or if it’s an infinite number of hours because you keep learning and keep learning and keep learning and perfecting and knowing more and more and more. Yeah, well.

 

00:43:29:04 – 00:43:53:00

Greg Porter

And I’ll, I’ll share a similar story. One of my one of my good friends is a watercolor artist. And he he started in the world of architectural illustration. So back before computers spit out all the fancy renderings, everybody hired a painter to come and paint their things. And he’s now in his seventies and he still paints and he still paints almost every day.

 

00:43:53:00 – 00:44:15:11

Greg Porter

And his talent level is so far and above everybody else because of all of that practice and all of those years stacked upon years, stacked by ten years. And he will tell you that he is still changing the way that he paints and he’s getting better. And it’s it’s just amazing to see someone because most painters, I would say most people who paint for a living, well, not for a living.

 

00:44:15:16 – 00:44:36:19

Greg Porter

Most people who paint paint as a hobby, they might paint, you know, an hour or two a day or something like that. But but my friend’s name is Dick. Dick painted eight to 12 to 16 hours a day professionally because he had to put out so much work because of the demand on on his services. There are very few people with those technical skills to paint technical watercolors.

 

00:44:37:04 – 00:44:57:04

Greg Porter

And so, so the amount of practice that he had over the last probably 40 years plus is his has all come together to make this incredible amount of skill that’s in his in the ends of his fingers and anyway kind of an interesting parallel there.

 

00:44:57:05 – 00:45:18:22

Brian Benham

Yeah. That’s kind of like just building on the stories like this you’re part of the journey is is figuring it out and just constantly learning I remember back one of my first commissions when I first started my business, I built a table for a guy and I, I wedged the tenants so they were through Morrison tenants and wedge them and then sanded them flush.

 

00:45:19:07 – 00:45:43:19

Brian Benham

And then he, the guy started following me on Facebook and then I got another commission based off of his thing. But then I decided to change it in or improve on that joint to make it more decorative so that I instead of standing a flush, I left it proud and chamfered around the edge. And then I was worried that when I got to post that on Facebook, since the first customer is going to see this improved version, and then it’d be like, why didn’t you do that on me with what am I going to tell?

 

00:45:43:19 – 00:46:01:23

Brian Benham

I’m like a sorry man. I didn’t know how to do that then. Like, I barely knew how to do it through tin and on yours. You’re lucky you got what you got. That was by first through Tenant, you know? But then I just realized that like, if that ever would have happened and you’re like, someone asked me, that is like, like I just be honest and tell them, yeah, I’m constantly learning and you’re a part of my journey now.

 

00:46:01:23 – 00:46:15:14

Brian Benham

You’re a part of my story, and hopefully they would be cool enough to accept that. And I think they would because no one’s ever come back and said, Hey, why did you make it better next time? I think everybody kind of subconsciously knows that we’re always improving and working on it.

 

00:46:15:14 – 00:46:37:13

Greg Porter

Getting better. Yeah. I think every piece that we do, I know, you know, in the world of architecture, every building is the last 50 buildings that you’ve done plus one, and everything you’ve learned up until that point goes into that next building. And it might not look exactly the same, but all of those lessons that you’ve learned about what to do and what not to do all stack up.

 

00:46:37:13 – 00:46:50:05

Greg Porter

And, you know, hopefully you can share enough of that with the young people around you that they don’t make some of the same mistakes you made. But, you know, if they do, you know how to deal with them because you’ve probably probably been there.

 

00:46:50:12 – 00:47:11:17

Brian Benham

Yeah. So yeah, that that kind of reminds me of, of when I was wasting their time on Facebook earlier today. There’s a guy called Dude Dad and he does a bunch of parodies and things. And so he did this parody about the football player. I can’t remember the guy’s name. Now he’s coming back out of retirement after he retired.

 

00:47:11:17 – 00:47:12:05

Brian Benham

Was there.

 

00:47:12:11 – 00:47:13:03

Greg Porter

Tom Brady?

 

00:47:13:03 – 00:47:35:08

Brian Benham

Tom Brady. Yeah. He’s doing a parody on Tom Brady. Shows you how much I watch football. But yeah, so he’s doing this parody on Tom Brady and his he does this little skit where he pretends he’s Tom Brady’s wife in the and she goes goes you have seven bowl rings and a wedding ring. Which one’s your favorite? And he’s like the next one for like the next bowl ring.

 

00:47:35:08 – 00:47:38:15

Brian Benham

Like that’s the favorite. I want to keep going. I want to keep moving.

 

00:47:38:16 – 00:47:59:24

Greg Porter

Yes. The end plus one that we’re all chasing. How many guitars do you need? And plus one, right? Sure. Well, I think we’ve been on here for it feels like looks like close to an hour, so we probably should wrap up. Yeah, well, I’ll start. I’m Greg Porter. If you want to check out my YouTube channel, it’s Greg’s Garage.

 

00:48:00:00 – 00:48:04:17

Greg Porter

Is one of them. And then on the guitar side of things, it’s skyscraper guitars.

 

00:48:05:09 – 00:48:11:06

Brian Benham

And I’m Brian Benham. And if you just look for Brian Benham, you will find my YouTube channel right. Thanks for listening.

 

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