Meet the Makers: Rick

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Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Rick spent ten years as a programmer, designer, and project manager at an indie game studio, working with a small team of artists and programmers on an engine built from scratch using nothing but C++, DirectX, and passion. His other passions include traditional woodworking, electronics, leather working, and chocolate making.

Rick, what’s your role at Yukonstruct?

I’m the new program coordinator, so my role will be to expand programming throughout the space, whether that means designing workshops for members, orientations for some of our more complicated tools, or bringing school kids in to give them access to this amazing resource.

How did you get involved with Yukonstruct?

When my partner and I moved to Whitehorse, she needed some office space and discovered (co)space. Through that, we found Yukonstruct. This was when Yukonstruct was still on Industrial Rd, and when I heard they were moving, I thought volunteering sounded like a great way to learn about the space and get to know everyone, and I wasn’t disappointed! I found an instant community of creative, talented people here, and it was very easy to get attached to them! I just kept finding more and more ways to get involved, and now I’m delighted to officially be part of the team!

What do you like most about NorthLight Innovation being up and running?

The community is amazing. They exactly my kind of people. When I lived down south, I ran an indie video game company for a while, and then helped a friend start a home renovation company, and when I told people what my background was, they were baffled. “Those things sound as far apart as you can possibly get”, they’d say. But I didn’t see it that way. I just like making things. All things, no matter whether it’s on the computer, in the shop, or in the kitchen. And when I met everyone at Yukonstruct, they didn’t give me that baffled response. They simply replied “You’ll fit in perfectly here.”

What do you like to make?

Everything. I like woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, sewing, programming, bookbinding, leather working, mould making, baking, chocolate making, glass blowing, there’s no end to it. And this place ticks so many of those boxes, it’s pretty mind blowing how perfect it feels.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while making something?

Well, my friends often tease me for my obsession with “bootstrapping”. Several years ago I got interested in traditional woodworking, and what are the most important tools for woodworking? A saw and a workbench. So, of course, made a saw and a workbench, and I started rebuilding whatever antique tools found their way into my hands. Then I wanted to build a tool chest, but the various work holding techniques I cobbled together weren’t sufficient for that. I needed a vise. But I didn’t want to just go out and buy one, I wanted to build one! So I needed tap and die… or I could build a traditional screw box and carpenter’s tap! But to build those, I’d need proper tool blades, so, of course, I started studying how to make those! And then, and then, and then…

As you might have guessed, I haven’t gotten around to making the tool chest yet.