Ben VanHouweling

Born with a fascination for the way things are made and work long before he could read, Ben started taking apart and putting back together household items. When he learned to read it was primarily so he could read about how things worked. As part of a highly academic family he, despite marked learning differences, pursued an education in fields related to his interests in life. Electrical engineering to further his understanding of audio reproduction and later secondary education so that he could understand the different ways people learn. After burning out in the world of academia he finally realized that he would rather apply his intellect to making things.

Throughout his life Ben has held jobs in many hands on fields. His first job before high school was as a bicycle mechanic and since he has worked as a; carpenter, tile layer, car audio store manager, audio video consultant, electrical engineering lab assistant (which involved a good bit of machine shop time) and coming full circle his last Job before joining the Maker Works team was managing a bicycle repair shop. He is very knowledgeable in all of the fields related to these jobs and has training in welding and machine shop operation. He loves to teach and has knack for creative problem solving, so do not hesitate to pick his brain. Out side of his job at Maker Works Ben loves to ride bikes year round (especially mountain biking in the snow) and is in the process of starting his own custom bicycle frame building company.

Ben is checked out on: MakerBot 3-D Printer, Metal Lathes, Amaya 16-thread CNC Embroidery Machine, ShopBot CNC Router, Drill Press/Bandsaw, CNC Plasma Cutter, Printed Circuit Board Engraver, Tormach CNC Mill/Bridgeport Mill, MIG/TIG Welding, Scotchman 45 ton Ironworker

Ben can teach: Metal Lathes


1. Teaching.
    A. Patience especially in a teaching type situation.
    B. A long term fascination with and study of the different ways people learn.
    C. Several semesters of formal education on how to teach at WCC and EMU.
2. Metal
    A. 2 semesters of machine shop classes.
        i. Manufacture of parts for large freestanding antenna’s in the machine shop at UCSC.
    B. 2 semesters of welding classes at WCC.
        i. Focus on tig, oxy acetylene, and brazing.
3. Electronics
    A. Several years study of electrical engineering at WCC and UCSC.
    B. 2+ years working in an EE lab at UCSC.
        i. Antenna design
        ii. Coastal radar system maintenance
        iii. Extreme weather proofing of electronics.
    C. Experience in modification of audio equipment for improved sound quality.
4. Management
    A. Service manager for wheels in motion.
        i. Training of new mechanics.
        ii. Management of all backroom inventory, Hundreds of items from multiple suppliers.
5. Bikes
    A. Master class mechanic with 6+ years of shop experience.
    B. DT swiss certified wheel builder with a strong understanding of wheel design.
    C. Trained brazed steel frame builder, currently starting my custom frame shop.
    D. Avid mountain and road rider who rides year around including mountain biking in the snow.
    E. Encyclopedic knowledge of all things bike related.
    F. Trained suspension rebuild expert.
6. Audio
    A. Home Audio
        i. Worked for a stereo shop for several years.
        ii. Encyclopedic knowledge of most things audio.
        iii. Experienced in speaker design including both enclosure and crossover design.
        vi. Experienced in modification of audio electronics for optimized sound.
    B. Car Audio
        i. Worked at a car audio shop for several years including time as a manager.
        ii. Experienced in system design and installation.
        iii. Experienced in custom enclosure design.
7. Automotive
    A. Car nut since I was very young.
    B. Experienced in suspension design modification and set up.
    C. Experience in basic track preparation of cars.
    D. Have tracked my car several times on world class race courses as part of high performance driving events.