The existential endtime pleasures of watching silent restoration videos

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I find these videos deeply, deeply, relaxing. I can feel my blood pressure dropping and the endorphins flowing.

My wife says they are my version of ASMR and she could be right.

Other channels I follow include tysytube and mymechanics.

Real good stuff here, all around. I appreciate the post!


I’ve heard good things about using molasses as a rust remover.

Art restoration, too:


Been watching these for over a year now and you get the full gamut from hacks that just spray-paint with rattlecans over rust to people that manufacture new replacement parts on metal lathes. One of my absolute favorites is RetroHax - this guy lovingly restores a number of old tin toys such as tonka trucks and early kids baking ovens and cash registers. Like several others he is a master at disassembly, rust removal, media blasting, filling, and best of all - powder-coating to try and get as original a finish as possible. My wife and I were joking around about watching the glasswork-fronted ovens that the powered-coated parts go into - and I said “I cannot believe we are sitting around eagerly watching paint dry”. But we do, because the results are fantastic. And somehow, RetroHax manages to select exactly the right music for his final reveals - evokes long-ago memories of beloved things past. Just do a youtube search on “Restoration” for a great list with which to start.

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I agree these starting popping up in my youtube feed and they are super great to watch. you can learn something for sure, from finishing techniques, and rust removal, as well as how somethings work in the first place. They really are relaxing. always good after youtube recommends something like a double parachute failure or a snowy downhill mountain bike race.

In about a hundred years they’ll be doing this with corpses.

I was going to reply with that exact channel. Watching paintings come back to life is so satisfying.

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Huge fan of Marty’s Matchbox Makeovers!

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There are a couple of guys who do radio and electronic restoration too They aren’t silent, but can be intensely interesting. A guy named Ron has a YouTube called “glasslinger”. He does a goodly amount of old American 5 and American 6 tube radios. He’ll not only do the electronics but also the cases. Some of his stuff is really magnificent. He actually MAKES new vacuum tubes and Nixie tubes. The other electronics restorer is Mr. Carlson’s Lab. He has a very soothing voice, and talks you through the most complex restorations you can think of. He does not only radios but also equipment used in restorations.

I also like TysyTube, although I don’t bother with the toys.

Oh yea I love these things. Fits right along with the Primitive Technology guy, who just does stuff without talking and occasionally some captions.

I would love to see these for other hobbies. I’m working on an MG Midget right now, and would gladly watch “just doing it” videos for some common car repairs and maintenance steps.

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Yaaaasssss I love Hand Tool Rescue and Odd Tinkering. I’ll be sure to add Savage Workshop to my rotation

These restoration videos check off all the boxes for me:

  1. Enjoyment from watching an unfamiliar process and clever techniques
  2. Enjoyment from watching a process not involving politics
  3. Enjoyment from watching a productive expression of creativity
  4. Always a happy ending.
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The first one I subscribed to was Gear Show and Primitive Technology. Recently added My mechanics.

Gear Show is really nice basic work that I think I could duplicate with the right tools. My Mechanics is utterly fascinating and beautiful, but I could never hope to reach that kind of skill in finishing and machining.

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The Canadian Chainsaw one is my favorite. You rarely see a gas engine in such terrible shape brought back to life.

For some kinds of hand tools, for example hand planes, to get something of real quality you either need to pay a fortune or find one from years ago and restore it. Unfortunately, quality hand tools have become collectibles and so many tools that could be out doing good work are sitting as showpieces in collectors’ workshops.

My Mechanics sets the standard I think.

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Clearly we’ve been watching similar things, because I’ve seen many of these videos pop up in my recommended list.
I tend to watch a lot of car restoration videos, although they tend ot have more talking in (which doesn’t prevent them from being incredible, like Binky), but recently my brother sent me a link to this restoration or a Range Rover (ie removing the 50% that has turned to rust), which is almost all silent, and uses some lovely stop-motion photgraphy:

Hard agree. Every post is a masterpiece.

Edited to add: this is my very favorite, probably because fire:

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