It's time to meet a maker! We caught up with Mike Kline, one of our volunteers who is eager to see his business grow with a little help from Working Class. Mike makes costumes and full-size props for the cosplay industry. His work is quite impressive; check it out below!
WC: Please tell us about yourself.
MK: I grew up south of York, where I still live today. I am currently “restarting” college at Penn State York for Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology. I have bounced around several jobs the last few years, in and out of college, from working in a foundry to assembling air conditioners for extreme conditions. Right now I am a full-time student, though I am looking for a part-time job to cover my gas to get to class.
WC: For those who don't know it, please describe your business.
MK: Operation: Effects is a small hobby business that mostly caters to the cosplay market. I run it with my friend Sam. We use new technologies to help keep our prices down and bring new possibilities to our customers. These include 3D printing and a custom, DIY, table-top CNC router. Our main product line and where it all started is custom lightsabers. Today we also make costumes and full-size props from many genres, but our biggest source of inspiration is the game Destiny. Our current workshop is my basement, which is both convenient for location and inconvenient since I am limited in my space.
WC: How will a makerspace help you/your business?
MK: As I mentioned above, I don’t have enough space to really house all of my projects. Suits of armor, full-size prop guns, supplies, the printer, and actual work area vie for space right now. With a studio in Working Class, I can solve this. I also do not have access to the tools that WC has. The drum sander that was just acquired, lathe, milling machine, and welding technology are all beyond my price range, just to name a few.
WC: Outside of your business, what’s your favorite thing to make?
MK: I enjoy working with my hands, especially on mechanical projects. My motorcycles (’83 CB650 and a ’77 Goldwing) are mostly what I work on between class and working on Op:FX projects.
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Thanks for the interview, Mike! We are thrilled to have you as a future member of Working Class.
To learn more about Mike's business, Operation: Effects, visit http://www.facebook.com/OperationEffects.
Are you a maker? Do you want to be featured in our next blog post? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and introduce yourself.