Made in Makespace
Micheal joined Makespace as a founding member, giving £150 to set up the organisation, merely because he saw how necessary a space like this was. He originally didn’t have a particular project he wanted to follow or create but saw that Cambridge needed a community workshop.
‘No one is doing exactly what I’m doing but there’s enough expertise I can learn from. If it was just all the toys and none of the people I wouldn’t have progressed as far as I have.’
He had played the guitar during university and picked it up again when he had some more time to begin playing. However, he noticed that his guitar wasn’t making the sounds he wanted. Finally he had a project to take to Makespace. With little experience he decided to use the wood shop to add store bought pieces to his guitar and then did small amounts of wood work to tweak and finish off this product. This time however, it was mainly finishing work but when his brother asked for a custom guitar. Micheal was encouraged to learn about the pieces of equipment in the wood shop by others to now achieve his new goal, a custom made from scratch guitar for his brother. Through trial and error, which is common to the Makespace community, Micheal was able to build his brother a guitar which is now being used all over the country in performances. This sparked others from musical backgrounds to request custom guitars.
Micheal said that he ‘enjoyed the challenge of building and learning’ needed when creating these guitars. He doesn’t only use the wood shop to build- he uses the laser cutter to create templates for the body to then be cut with the hand router. The laser cutter is not a traditional method but allows for more accuracy when measuring and marking the frets. ‘The majority of what I’ve learned has come from others in the workshop’ Micheal said when asked about how the skills he’s learning building at Makespace. He has learned both traditional and creative methods for building guitars as well as how to turn problems into advantages. Although not completely smooth running all the time, talking about ideas, trying things and giving it a go means he’s furthered his desire to correct his guitar sound in to a customer made guitar business. Micheal has used Makespace for a place to work and learn new skills, resulting in starting a business. He then in return has kept up the wood workshop for other members.
‘the majority of what I’ve learned has come from others in the workshop’