Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Laird is our new Makerspace Technician. Entrepreneur, he launched two small businesses in the Yukon focused on tiny house building and renewable energy systems installation and maintenance. His hobbies also include fine wood working, pottery, welding, and on-off projects such as the installation of a vegetable oil system in his truck.
Laird, what do you like most about YuKonstruct/cospace being up and running?
I like the grassroots, community based feel. There’s a great spirit of volunteerism at Yukonstruct and the space has brought together some really interesting folks. I am a huge fan of tinker culture, and Yukonstruct has an atmosphere that is ripe for creative enterprise.
Why should people become YuKonstruct members?
There are definitely a range of very sweet tools and that’s a huge draw, but a huge part of the value is also the community. There are so many interesting, creative and unique folks that are a part of Yukonstruct.
What has been your favourite project so far?
It was a long-time dream of mine to build a birch bark canoe, and I just about finished it this winter. The thing I liked best was that building a birch bark canoe forces you out on the land in order to gather the materials, and it doesn’t take any significant tools to build. I spend days sitting in moss collecting spruce root, and you have to pay close attention to the birch trees.
What do you want to build at YuKonstruct?
I’m excited to make solid wood cabinetry. I have done quite a bit of house building, but I haven’t ever had access to fancy industrial shop tools, so it’ll be great to have a covered space where I can work with better equipment. I’d also like to try my hand at building some bike frames, and I’m very keen to see if there is support for a gas forge and some blade making.
What inspires you to make things?
I really like the satisfaction that comes from producing your own hand-build products, which are often much more durable and creative. One of the silliest projects I did was a wooden deodorant holder, which was essentially a piece of log hollowed out with an internal bit that pushed the deodorant up, and a clasped lid. It took me days to complete, but it’s the kind of thing that will last a long time, came form the firewood pile, and I’m just a bit to embarrassed to ever use in public.