We’re passionate about the trades! At The Honest Carpenter, we produce original YouTube videos and online courses about tools, carpentry, woodworking, construction, contracting and more.

The world needs tradespeople now more than ever, and we’re here to help bridge the knowledge gap for newcomers and pros alike.



Hey, I’m Ethan! I grew up building and remodelling houses with my father (Ross James) in Raleigh, NC, during the late 1990s and early 2000s. If my bio were 100% honest, I’d probably call myself The Reluctant Carpenter, because I never believed that I would carry on the building tradition past my younger years!

However, after graduating college and spending some time working in the bookstore industry (I love books about as much as anything), I began dabbling once again in my adolescent trade.I quickly found that, not only was carpentry far more enjoyable than I remembered, my skills were also in extremely high demand!

I went into business for myself as a pro carpenter in 2011, and worked for hundreds of clients throughout North Carolina. I enjoyed every second of it! But when a knee injury began to sideline me in my late thirties, I realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to continue building things at a pro level for much longer.

So, in 2018, I started The Honest Carpenter brand and began teaching carpentry through YouTube.By late 2019, my videos had gained a global audience, and I had found my new calling as a trade educator.

I now spend much of my time creating content about carpentry, woodworking, and residential construction. I also advocate for tradespeople, and speak often about the decline of the trades in modern America—a trend I hope to help reverse.

Carpentry changed my life for the better, and empowered me in a tremendous number of ways. I truly believe that learning a trade can teach you things about yourself that you would never learn otherwise.The trades make us tougher, smarter, more resilient and more creative!

So, whether you’re a total carpentry newcomer, or a long-time tradesperson, I hope I can help you continue your carpentry education. There has never been a better time than now to learn this wonderful trade!

Thank you,

Ethan James