Member Spotlight: Matt

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Meet Matt Spangler, a designer by day and maker by night! Learn why he joined the DIYcave and what he’s learned since joining.

When you’re not making things at DIYcave, what can you be found doing?
Working. I can’t retire yet, so I spend my days in the digital world of web and print design for small companies. I’m responsible for branding and marketing efforts, which is rewarding being able to give small nonprofits and businesses agency quality marketing tools at an affordable price. It’s also good to see the impact my work has in the nonprofit world helping children around the world.

Why did you become a member?
I first visited the Cave when we moved to Bend almost three years ago. I waited for a project to come along that I knew would justify joining. As it turns out, I’m becoming a regular here over the last few months and still working on the same project. I recently launched an online audio business that for now sells t-shirts, trucker caps, and stickers. But I intend to design and produce bespoke wood-based products for HiFi (audio) systems that include speaker stands, audio racks, vinyl record storage systems, and custom parts for vintage turntables … which is what I’m working on for myself with my turntable project.
What skills have you learned since joining DIYcave?
What’s cool about the Cave is being surrounded by generous and friendly people I can learn from, and who offer to help when needed. For instance, my turntable project has a thick 2.25” slab of wood that was too big for me to figure out how I was going to cut out my final piece. Dave was instrumental in helping me with this and frankly, had he not carved out time to help me, I would have compromised my project by just using thinner dimensional lumber. During this process, I learned the value of hand planing and when it should be used. Dave taught me a few other important bits we all need to know. Never assume a blade on any tool is square. Measure three times, cut once. If you are going to sand the final piece, don’t cut to your final size, but leave a little material so when you are done sanding, your dimensions will be dead on.

Part of my project required using a router. I have one that I have barely used. This project required I get a circle jig and different bits, to create recessed circular areas for the turntable platter to fit in, and the arm board that the tonearm will mount in. What a learning curve. Pun intended. I learned what can go wrong, using your template (out of the wrong material), and why using a quality jig will save time and give you a better quality cut.

Since I have experience with many woodworking tools, but forgotten some of it, or didn’t know as much as I thought I did … being at the Cave has given me a platform to gain experience in a safe environment, around people, who know more and are helpful, and friendly.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on at DIYcave?
So far, just the audio turntable plinth (chassis/base the turntable platter, tonearm, and mechanism sit on top, and inside of). But I have other projects planned for my audio business that will keep me coming.
What advice would you give someone who wants to join DIYcave and start a project?
Just find something you want to make and use that as your motivation to start. It’s easy to put off things, even when you have a real interest. Don’t wait until you think you have everything figured out BEFORE getting started!

Interested in becoming a member? Read on and stop in for a tour.

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