George Vondriska

George and Jimmy: Two Guys Talking Shop

George Vondriska
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Duration:   20  mins

George Vondriska and Jimmy Diresta have been working with their hands forever. Today lots of people ask “How do I get my kids excited about working with their hands?” This video will help answer that question.

First tools

What were the first tools that these two guys had their hands on? A scroll saw for George, and a variety of tools in Jimmy’s Dad’s shop for him, including a bandsaw Jimmy still owns. The important thing is letting kids experiment (safely) and enjoy the experience. No helicoptering!

Early influencers

Jimmy and George both had people in their young lives that were instrumental in getting them started. The key to this is thinking about the ripple effect you can have on people who surround you. If you’re excited about working with your hands, you’re going to get other people excited, too.

Fave projects

George and Jimmy both have pivotal projects, more so than favorite projects. Ironically for both guys it was watercraft.


No one does this much work with their hands without making a few mistakes along the way. The important thing is learning from those mistakes.

Driven by curiosity

Both of these guys are strongly driven by curiosity, which has taken them down lots of different roads; woodworking, metal work, black smithing, engine repair…. That’s a huge aspect of what has given them their versatility as makers.

That ripple effect…

If you’re interested in passing what you know along to kids you should watch our hour-long live stream with Chris Lyons. Chris is a Tech Ed teacher and has lots of great info on working with kids.

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2 Responses to “George and Jimmy: Two Guys Talking Shop”

  1. Douglas Mathers

    Really nice. I also sort of parallel your experience's although I'm older. I always watched and learned from more experienced people and when someone asks how I learned how to do something I jokingly say I learned from osmoses. Thanks for the chat. It brought back many memories. Cheers.

  2. Galen Dean Caudle

    George are you Pennsylvania Dutch? Your sign reminds me of my family in Pennsylvania

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