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Lionel Garage

I have been building things ever since I was old enough to pick up a tool

My father was a master craftsman who supervised construction crews that built 300 houses at a time in the 50s and 60s in San Diego

He taught me to make things out of wood, and defended me when my mother said "he's too young to be using power tools"

He also gave me the garage as a workshop. In order to do this, he built a carport outside

It was a typical 20x20 foot garage. On one wall, I constructed a photographic darkroom. The rest of it was workshop

Even though he was not rich, my father bought me tools, and let me use his tools

I started as a hobbyist, making things for fun. One of the things I made was hockey goals for the local street hockey guys

I also rebuilt motorcycles from salvaged parts and modified a Honda minibike with a custom fiberglass tank, a custom springer front fork and a bigger motor

Then, I met a local band (as the school photographer) and started my career in music

I built them speaker cabinets, drum cases, cable boxes and anything else they needed at the time

As they got more popular and started making better money, they decided to buy a professional sound system

They went to Sound West (the best sound company in San Diego) to buy the amplifiers and speaker parts. I told the owner of Sound West that I would be building the speaker cabiners and road cases for the amplifiers

He was skeptical, and tried to convince the band to buy commercial cabinets. I told him.."not only will I do a great job, but you will like them so much, you will hire me to make your cabinets"

The cabinets came out great, and I started my commercial career in the sound business

I worked my way through college building speaker cabinets and a few other projects using a Montgomery Ward radial arm saw, a #77 Skilsaw, a router, a jigsaw, an electric plane, several drills, a belt sander and a vibrating sander

As I made money selling projects, I bought tools of my own. First, I bought an air compressor, next a bandsaw

I even did a few electronic projects like a mixer expansion and 32 band stereo graphic equalizer

My parents had a dog. He pissed on every one of my speaker cabinets. Good thing the customers didn't care

Even though I had a darkroom, and took lots of pictures of the band, no photos of the shop or the projects survive