Ask Adam: Maker’s Block

Every week, Adam takes a question from the Tested Premium Member community in the comments section below or on social media (tagged #AskAdamSavage) and answers here. This week, Adam answers a question about the tendency to delay working on projects when feeling like you haven’t honed your skills to meet the challenge.

Comments (12)

12 thoughts on “Ask Adam: Maker’s Block

  1. The Boromir scabbard project makes me so excited for what is to come. I can’t wait for that as well as the martian suit! Keep up the awesome videos.

  2. I had an idea for a new project only yesterday, and immediately started gathering resources for it. Then I started thinking about the next step, beginning the assembly, and just stopped dead as I realised the idea wasn’t going to work. The half-formed concept would not come together the way I imagined without a complete rethink from the ground up. It needs more detail, which will be much more effort, and maybe require resources I don’t currently have access to.

    Or maybe there is an answer to my problem, and I just haven’t seen what that is yet. I will need to cogitate on it a bit more.

  3. One of the ways I recently learned on solving this issue was from an episode of “History of Comedy”. In the episode Larry David says that he carries around with him a note book that he uses to write down ideas during the day when they happen.

    What I’ve learned is that if I have an issue with a project sometimes the solution will just come to me during the day when I’m doing something else. Now all I have to do is go over my notebook at the end of the day and review my notes to see if I had some thoughts on a solution that I may have forgotten.

  4. I have a question about makers becoming
    communicators. There are probably many clever makers who are
    comfortable in their workshops and maker spacers, but perhaps aren’t
    so confident about communicating to the outside world, in order to
    sell the things that they make and gain a comfortable living from
    what they most enjoy doing. Adam, how did you become such an
    excellent communicator? Did you have to teach yourself to be more
    confident? Or was it just through your experience on TV and at live
    events. How did you get better at it and how can other makers become
    more confident about telling the world what they do in their little

  5. Gerry: It is worth knowing that Adam was a child/teen actor, and then went to acting school in NYC. He dropped out, but he pretty much got into special effects and making from the performing side of things, making props for friends’ student films and theatre.

    He has certainly improved a lot since the first days of Mythbusters, but that experience must have given him a baseline comfort and confidence. He says that is why Jamie called him when approached about the show.

  6. Adam,
    When working in the shop with someone else how do you approach everyone’s varied skill sets? I’m sure in some cases the master/apprentice roles are clear but what about when it’s somewhat equal or unclear?

  7. Douglas Adams used to say he loved deadlines. He loved the wooshing noise the made as they flew by.

    In my own case it might be more of a sonic boom, or maybe even a photonic flash.

  8. Dear Adam,

    You have personally worked with the great stuntman Randy Lamb. So… what would be his porn name? 😁


  9. I am a maker and also what I would call a “skill collector”. Right now I am working in film and video and I get to use those skills to make props and sets occasionally but I am finding less value in the rest of my job because it’s not “making” which I am finding I wish I could be doing 24/7. What are some ways you have heard of people getting into the prop industry? Similar to you, I don’t feel like a master of any one thing, but good at many things and don’t feel qualified to go and be a master modeler, or carpenter or mold maker. I’ve considered starting my own business here in New Mexico but also don’t really know how sustaining that will be for my family especially without much experience as a part of a prop team or really being in that industry. Thoughts?


  10. ADAM: We constantly see much going on in a very clean shop. Will you please share with us what you do about dust collection??? 🙂

  11. Just signed up for a premium account, SO EXCITED to plough through the content! That sword is EXQUISITE. I couldn’t afford one of Peter Lyons (More’s the pity) but I do have the United Cutlery version, and I have made my own version of the scabbard ….. the metalwork was a PAIN! Currently making the belt and fittings, hoping to have a complete set one day too!

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