How did you learn about the cave?
I found out about the DIYCave via word of mouth. My girlfriend and I moved to Bend from Crested Butte, Colorado a little over a year ago in search of something new and different. We were having dinner with a friend who told us about this place called the “DIYCave.” She told us that her brother spends a lot of time there and that I needed to go check out. It turns out that her brother is another steward at the cave and she was right, I needed to check it out!
Why did you become a steward?
I became a steward because as soon as I walked into the Cave, I knew that I had to be a part of what was going on there. I remember walking in and talking to Dave, who gave me a tour of the shop. Immediately, I asked if they were hiring. Dave explained that the stewardship program is volunteer based, and then asked if I was interested. Of course, I was interested. I wanted in!
What is your favorite part about being a steward?
My favorite part about being a shop steward is meeting creative people. There are a lot of very interesting folks that come through the Cave. All of them are unique and skillful in their own way. It always impresses me to see so many different people working on different projects all coming together under the same roof. It’s so cool to see all these people using the shop to make their projects come to fruition. It’s hard to explain, but there is a certain dynamic which takes place at the Cave. So many different skill sets and so much knowledge being used and shared within the Cave community. I spend a lot of time at the Cave because I enjoy being there and I like being around the types people who do work there.
What has been your favorite project you’ve been able to witness?
That’s a tough question because I’ve seen so many amazing things done there. If I had to choose one, It would be the teardrop trailer. Last summer, one of our members built an amazing tow behind teardrop trailer. It was probably about a 10-foot trailer built on a custom welded steel frame. Sheet metal exterior with beautiful wooden interior. The attention to detail was great, and it looked like a professionally built trailer. On the inside, there were shelves and cabinets for storage, sliding windows with screens, it even had lights throughout. It was impressive to see it come together.
Favorite skill learned?
That’s another question that I have a hard time answering. All that I’ve done at the Cave is learn new skills (or get better at ones that I already have). Again, if I had to choose one, it would be helping people think out, design, and build their projects. It’s difficult to see a project through someone else’s eyes and understand the vision that they have. I found that I’ve gotten a lot better at this since I’ve been a steward at the shop. Some people come to the Cave with a clear idea of what they want to make and how to build it. Other people aren’t quite sure how design or physically put together their project. I find it rewarding to help those people bring their projects to life. It’s really neat to see people come to the Cave with a vision and leave with an amazing project which they can be proud of.
Inspired by Damien’s story? Volunteer to be a steward at DIYcave.