From simply wanting to learn some more skills to successfully launching a side business with his new hobby, maker Will Zeigler is one of our members who is unleashing his creativity here at the makerspace.
“Riding and working on mountain bikes is one of my favorite activities,” the 25-year-old explains.”I started thinking about what it would take to build my own bike frames and, naturally, a good first step is to learn to weld.”
With that, the Georgia native joined Make Nashville in August 2020 and he was off to the races. With his metal on his mind, Zeigler began honing in on fundamental welding skills and it wasn’t long before he noticed his practice was paying off. “Every project I’ve been working on at Make [Nashville] has incrementally improved my skills in working toward being able to produce custom bike frames.”
But while it may take a little more time before Zeigler makes it big in the bike business, he is already on the road to success considering his sold-out inventory of steel roses.
Zeigler explains, “At first I was looking for projects to practice welding and metalworking. Steel roses caught my eye as something that would provide me with good practice while also being fun to make. After making a few I realized there was demand for them and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, it was perfect timing.” Selling a total of 83 steel roses, each composed of 6 layers of plasma-cut sheet metal, this welder has since decided to move on to his next welding project.
And what might that be? “I’m currently making a few rocket stoves,” Zeigler offers. “They are wood burning stoves made from steel tubes; there is an air in-take, wood feed and exhaust. The stove creates a hot, clean burning fire from a small amount of fuel, which is ideal for camping or other off-grid cooking.”
However, looking at the bigger picture, while massively impressive to onlookers, this project is merely another project for Zeigler in order to master the skills needed for those aforementioned bike frames. With the recent purchase of a TIG welding machine, Zeigler has plans to begin welding on bicycle tubing in the near future.
As for the makerspace itself, in addition to the location, tools available and the “shared community of fellow creators,” Zeigler concludes, “My day job requires that I spend a lot of time in front of a computer and I most appreciate that Make Nashville provides an opportunity to do something tangible without a large investment. I’m building the skills I need to build high-quality bikes and Make Nashville is helping me realize a vision I’ve been thinking about for several years. There’s a lot of satisfaction in learning new skills and I appreciate having a facility like this as support.”