Buying a house is a serious commitment, and to make matters worse, it’s super stressful. It’s such a hassle that it may leave you feeling like you’ll never find the perfect home. Hidden fees, outdated appliances, wrong neighborhood — it’s no wonder so many people wish they could just build their own perfect home. 

Well, if those home-shopping woes sound familiar, you might want to hire John Plant. The Queensland, Australia native has gone viral for the special houses that he builds. When you see what makes John’s work different, you’ll want to grab your tools and head out to the forest! 

John Plant from Queensland, Australia has gained enormous fame over the years for documenting his impressive crafting skills thanks to YouTube. Just call him the “original” DIY guy (just don’t tell Bob Villa we said so!)

Primitive Technology / YouTube

Plant’s whole YouTube channel is dedicated to primitive technology. Does this mean he’s a caveman? No, it just means that when he builds, he sticks to natural materials and does not use modern tools.

While many tend to hire a contractor or buy fancy tools, if John needs to use an ax to cut something, he literally makes his own! If he needs fire, he creates it with the friction between two sticks — he’s definitely someone you’d want to be stuck with on a desert island!

John does not live in the wild, but he uses this hobby to challenge himself, much like the prehistoric man. “By limiting the resources to only what is available in the wild, you become more inventive,” said John.

His methods may be simple, but they have drawn a serious fan base. Which begs the question, why are so many people watching this guy just… work in the woods? To understand that, you need to see what he can do for yourself.

For one special project, John started to work by cutting down wood. This wasn’t child’s play. After all, he used a stone ax and stone chisel of his own design, made strictly from found materials in the forest. 

Once he had all of the lumber that he needed for the next step of this project, he began to stick the pieces of wood into the ground and bound them together with layer cane strips. Nails might be easier, but that wasn’t an option.

Primitive Technology / YouTube

What came next? Why, John built a small kiln from mud so that he could collect clay from the creek banks. Once he collected the right amount, he used this kiln to make his very own tiles! But how would he use them?

Primitive Technology / YouTube

As John began to place and secure the tiles to the top of the wooden frame, it became clear he was building a small hut! It took 26 firings, 450 flat tiles, and 15 curved tiles for John to make the roof alone. But hey, who’s counting?

Primitive Technology / YouTube

But this wasn’t going to be some primitive woodland hut. He knew if it were to be someplace where people actually wanted to stay, then he would need a heating system for the cold nights, so he created a trench beneath the floor with a firebox and chimney at both ends, heating the tile, guaranteed to keep toes warm! 

The last element he needed to complete was the walls. Always nice to have walls, right? He used a combination of mud and stone that he packed down to create the walls that would transform this frame and roof into a livable hut. 

Primitive Technology / YouTube

 It took John 102 days to build due to the unseasonal rain that occurred during the project, but that’s still significantly less time than it takes most contractors out there to get the job done! 

While John was pleased with the finished result of this thoroughly modern forest hut, he also wanted to prove that you don’t need hundreds of days to build a living shelter using primitive materials.

It took him just one day to construct the curved frame from lawyer cane strips and vines! But acquiring everything that he needed to build it took a bit more time… 

Primitive Technology / YouTube

Picking the Guinea grass that covered the hut took John five whole days because he needed to climb up the mountain where it was less dry. This was by far the most tedious task.


The easy part of the project was actually the weaving! But the most difficult part was finding enough grass — and he didn’t even have any cats getting in the way, trying to distract him. 

The finished product was wind resistant, rain resistant, and could house a small fire. That’s not too shabby! Needless to say, John’s kind of out-there hobby has sparked others to hone their own primitive skills…

One man decided to implement his primitive techniques, but to get creative while doing so. The result? A fan-based, functional hobbit house. It’s not the Shire, but it’ll do! 

Others have decided to take this challenge to see if they can play hard while working hard. One man took the opportunity to build a personal pool complete with a mini slide!

Primitive Technology Ideas / YoutTube

Whatever people are choosing to build, John is just happy that his hobby has “increased [the] desire for people to build things themselves” and “increased the likelihood people will want to engage in the activity.”


John’s YouTube channel: Primitive Technology is evergrowing and we’re excited to see what he builds next!

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