About Handyman Kevin

Some people are just meant to be jacks of all trades (JOATs).  Handyman Kevin has been a woodworker since he was 11.  He spent his teenage years helping his mother restore a series of old houses.  For fun he worked on cars, taught himself to weld, and built steel and leather armor for the SCA.  In his twenties he flunked out of an excellent engineering school in his junior year because he was spending too much time designing and building his own projects and not enough studying for exams.  There followed a short period working in a lumber yard and a somewhat longer period turning wrenches in a bicycle shop.   Then he found his true calling as an itinerant handyman, traveling around the Pacific Northwest in a battered '76 Chevy pick-up doing odd jobs, remodeling, and fixing things in homes and farms.  His big break came when he had the opportunity to apprentice himself to master woodworker Howard Higham (a pillar of the Oregon custom cabinetmaking scene).  Once he turned out as a journeyman cabinetmaker, he worked in the custom motor coach industry, then ran the counter top shop for a company that built manufactured and modular homes.  Years later, he moved to California.  Finding the woodworking opportunities there somewhat limited, he took a job designing commercial fire sprinkler systems.  Although supposedly an engineer, he managed to spend an improbable amount of time on job sites turning wrenches and getting stuff built.  When he economy fell apart in 2009, he returned to his roots as a handyman.  For most of 2010 he was one of the top ranked handymen on Yelp for the 562 area code.  Shortly thereafter, however, he decided to finish his bachelors degree and take an MBA at a top-100 business school.  Upon graduating, however, he realized that he had no interest in being a "suit".  What he really wanted to do was to share all of his hard acquired skills with the next generation of handymen.  Thus, the Handyman Kevin YouTube channel.

In his more bookish persona, Kevin A. Straight, he writes nonfiction books and blogs about history, writing, and the Western Canon.

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