Mister Jalopy on NPR

Craft & Design
Mister Jalopy on NPR

(NPR photo by Jolie Myers)

MAKE Contributing Editor Mister Jalopy (Los Angeles, CA) was profiled on NPR’s Day to Day.

Mr. Jalopy describes himself as a mediocre welder, a fair mechanic and a clumsy designer — not the type of fellow one would expect to create what he playfully calls the “biggest iPod in the world,” a beautiful retro stereo, re-wired with an iPod so it can transfer songs from old vinyl records to MP3s.

Like many of his fellow makers, Mr. Jalopy is simultaneously an artist, a tinkerer and a craftsman. For him, it’s a lifestyle. His garage is lined with cabinets full of parts, an unimaginable number of widgets, wires and springs. There are broken sculptures, pinball machines and dozens of bicycles and old cars in various states of transformation.

Mr. Jalopy has been consulting with Disney, Apple and other major corporations, preaching the gospel of open source manufacturing. He tells them to use screws instead of glue, and to make schematics readily available so consumers can fix and re-imagine the objects they buy. He also urges technology companies to create forums for consumers to share ideas, and pushes car companies to sell patterns so people can create accessories like seat covers.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn