There’s just something about it, something that means more in the end when you accomplish a climb or any goal and one or more of the things that got you there was a piece of gear that you made. It’s like, a little more of you went into getting to where you are. Of course, it’s also cool when others are psyched on something you’ve made. But there’s more to it than just that, when the wheels are spinning and the designs are flowing it’s a better feeling than any climb, or river or just about anything. It gets my heart going and fills me with excitement, especially when I have to learn a new skill to build the thing I’m designing in my head. The more complex, the more intricate, the more different skills I have to have mastered to be able to build it the more exciting it is.
I don’t know, I guess it all started in high school. The school I went to didn’t really offer any electives that you could get a job doing after high school but it did offer classes that could introduce you to stuff. The main focus of my school was of course sending everyone to college and any of the trade classes were all but completely stripped from the school. That said, they offered and I took wood shop, ceramics, graphic arts, lapidary, and drafting. While these classes were kind of a joke it introduced me to skills I didn’t have before so for that I am thankful.
We never hired a plumber, electrician or even a handy man in our house growing up. My dad was very handy and had a job in his early 20s as a building super so he had most of those skills. I didn’t really learn much from him as he usually just got mad that I didn’t already know but I think I inherited the tendencies from him.
I’ve tried to take jobs that would teach me the skills that would help me to be able to build and create more. I mean I had to make a living but I might as well also work in fields that would advance my knowledge. At 20, through my father, I got a job working on movies doing mechanical special effects, I also worked at a place that did flame effects and fireworks for rock concerts and amusement parks. When these jobs dried up I went back to managing fast food, which also taught me skills that I used to run my gym. I did this till I was about 24 and then decided to go back to school to work on an engineering degree.
In school, along with the math I also took welding, machining, and drafting. I got certified as a welder, I got better at machining, I already had experience from the entertainment industry, and I learned Auto Cad. With my bright and shinny welding cert I went out and got myself a job at a shop that specialized in high end architectural metal work (I built them a website last year). This job was great but we regularly worked 50-70 hrs a week and this made it difficult to keep up with school so I eventually dropped.
I worked there for 3 years before moving out Grand Junction Colorado and getting a job at a metal shop that can best be described as a little bit of everything. In the same day I made decorative panels for a multimillion-dollar house then crawled under a livestock trailer to weld on the frame. While working here I started a side business doing Auto Cad work for the shop I worked and a couple of others and I used the equipment to build some of my own gear, of course I did this at every shop I worked at but I did a lot more here. Along with welding and fabricating I also ran the water jet when the regular guy was on vacation.
I eventually bought the local failing climbing gym and turned it around. I started a holds company and did all of the molding for the company, I have since sold the company to a friend of mine but I still do all of the mold making for them. I went back to work for the first welding shop I worked at after college for a couple of years, that’s where I built the camper and a few other things. I’m now on the road and have more time to tinker and tinker I will, budget being the only determining factor at this point.
This is all meant to be for entertainment purposes only. I’m not trying to teach others how to do any of this. I think it’s fun and I want to show off my skills a little, I hope you enjoy!
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You may remember my friend Jeff from episode 5 of the podcast. Back in May, I went over to his house and helped him modify his dog trailer adding an 8’ drawer. Jeff bought an old horse trailer and a slide in pop up camper and modified them to use as his...
In January of 2009 I went on to Rockclimbing.com to look up information on routes in the area. I stayed off the forums at that time for the most part because of all of the banter and bull shit that came along with the ability to anonymously post and in some cases...