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I have always had this urge to build something. "What?", someone might ask. "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 added 3 other products and have many others planned. My wife, Megan joined me in the shop and together we produce every kit ourselves. We still make the Desktop Ballista.
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. "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