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I have always had this urge to build things. As a kid, people would ask "What?". "I don't know, but something" I would have to respond. At one point, I stumbled on a copy of "The Robot Builder's Bonanza" by Gordon McComb. I read it cover to cover and it provided that push I needed to turn an urge into action.
I have been building stuff passionately since then. I started with cardboard and duct tape creations, and along the way picked up other skills, and higher standards. I build for fun, to satisfy that creative urge. Several years after reading McComb, I made a project in wood as part of research for an historical novel (another project), and some friends suggested that I make them and sell them. So my hobby became a side gig business. I've been doing that since 2012, when I launched my first project on kickstarter.com (click here to see my project page on kickstarter). That project sold over 600 units of the Desktop Ballista. Since then, I've made other products and have more planned. My wife, Megan joined me in the shop and together we produce every kit ourselves. We stopped making the Desktop Ballista after I lost a supplier, but we have other products still going.
Today, I still love to build stuff. "What?" someone might ask. But now, instead of "I don't know", my response is a flood gate. "I desk sized model of a human powered crane from 1750 France", "An automaton that reminds me of catching fish by hand while on a trip to Vietnam, or a desk that raises from sitting height to standing height using recycled milk jugs filled with water as counterweights, or a..." I have more projects planned and interests than I have time to create them.
With the maker movement today, it is easier to build "something", but it still takes a spark to turn urge into action. I like to think that one of the kits I sell might help someone else that has the urge, but not the inspiration that leads to action.
- Kerwin (hence the name, KerKits) Lumpkins