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MAKE: PROJECTS Eccentric Cubicle Author's Note: Meet Your Maker It is quite possible that I have the coolest job in the world. I make my living fabricating what have come to be known as "antiques from a parallel universe." (You can get a better grasp of what I do from my website: www.eccentricgenius.ca.) I sell these things to discerning clients worldwide, some of whom consider them to be "art." This still kinda wigs me out a bit. typical workday involves (among other things) woodworking, metalworking, chemistry, drafting, mechanical engineering, and cheese tossing. I have no formal training in any of these subjects. I cannot remember a time when I didn't build stuff. Lincoln Logs? Mechano? Technik? I cut my teeth on 'em. With "the Maker way" ingrained from an early age, I've built an unholy amount of stuff over the years, usually due to poverty, often because it was the only way to get just the right thing. I grew my skill set from trial and error, libraries, the Net, and from relentlessly picking the brains of anyone with useful knowledge to share. I do not hesitate to RTFM. A My philosophy of life in three lines: Learn when you can, teach what you can. Pay attention. Practice, practice, practice. I'm Kaden. I am not used to being referred to as an artist. Or even a craftsman. Any artistic or craftsmanlike characteristics of the stuff I build are purely coincidental. Well, mostly. I'll never admit to it in a court of law though. Actually, when you look my pieces, there's not a whole lot of ornamentation present (aside from the occasional hot- rod flame). They're just basic, well-fabricated mechanisms, performing unexpected functions, wrapped up in odd industrial design. Industrial design (ID) 1 is not an arcane ritual best left to the Porsche Group: it's an essential skill for Makers, which encompasses material selection, ergonomics, visual aesthetics, and ease of construction. Finessing form and function into a graceful, efficient mechanism on a shoestring budget is not rocket science, but you have to keep an open mind. Extending your repertoire of fabrication techniques beyond duct tape and Krazy Glue helps too, as does imaginative material sourcing. I have bodged together some atrocious things in my time. My seven-minute mechanical log-rolling machine 2 build still 1 And not to be confused with "inside diameter." You'll see "ID" and "OD" all over these projects, but mostly these acronymes refer to the interior and exterior measurements of tubes and pipes. 2 FWIW, I'm still convinced that lumberjack bars could be the next big thing, even though replacing the dartboard with an axe-tossing arena may cause insurers a bit of concern. The thought of slick hipsters dropping thick coin on custom chainsaws to impress the chicks with never fails to brighten my day. vi