Even a few years ago, the idea of people flocking to videos of someone cutting soap, cleaning their home, or playing with slime to help them relax would have seemed odd. But today, ASMR-inducing videos are some of the most popular on YouTube.
One unexpected example of this phenomenon is Switzerland-based YouTuber My Mechanics, who’s been racking up views for their videos restoring antique, often discarded, items.
My Mechanics’ videos don’t just appeal to people interested in antique restoration, which they surely do, but many viewers watch because they find the process relaxing. There is no quick motion editing or music, features that are common in similar tutorial YouTube videos. The result is a sort of hypnotic quality—the sounds of clinking metal, the grinding of sandpaper and the whirring of a lathe populate each video. And watching something, like a rusty old coffee grinder, come back to life, shiny and looking brand-new, is uniquely satisfying.
Clearly, this is connecting with people—one video titled “Antique Soldering Iron (Blowtorch) – Hot Restoration” has more than two million views. My Mechanics’ most popular video, a restoration of a rusty vice grip that is at least 27 years old, has racked up more than 14 million views.
“I suffer from anxiety and have recently started watching your videos to relax. Its calming. Thank you ,” One commenter on a My Mechanics video wrote. Another commenter said, “These videos are some kind of a therapy for me… They make me feel good 😀 ”
My Mechanics has restored everything from a tire inflator from the 1950s to an aircraft rivet hammer from 1918, working with all kinds of materials. They find the objects on online marketplaces, or in recycling stations, and sometimes they’re even sent antiques by viewers, which they note in each video’s description. When they’re done, the objects easily look like they could have been manufactured today. My Mechanics also posts videos on their original DIY creations as well.
The YouTuber has been uploading videos channel for nine months, and has accrued close to 600,000 subscribers. According to their Patreon page, they’ve been a mechanic since they were 16. Nearly 300 people contribute to My Mechanics on Patreon, where they post more detailed explanations of their projects.
If you have trouble sleeping, need help relaxing, or have any interest in restoring antiques, My Mechanics’ channel might be a good place on the internet for you.
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