Devin and Leo build a website

by Devin on May 12, 2014

Leo and I when he came to visit. We were goofing off, but there's something called 'pair programming' that, apparently, really looks like this. Most of our programming happened thousands of miles apart after our kids went to bed.

Remember those posts in 2012 where I wrote about something called SparkMade? Well, since then I learned web design and my friend (and legitimate software engineer) Leo and I built it and it’s where the Boiler is now available: sparkmade.com.

When we were kids, we spent long hours in Leo’s basement on AOL chatrooms and a young web to the sounds of midi-grunge and his dial-up modem. We were always working on something – school projects, a band, things involving fire. Then we went off to different colleges, where I studied philosophy and he studied engineering. We stayed good friends – he was a groomsman at my wedding – and we would catch up every six months or so with two-hour-long phone calls. But it’s been a long time since we made something together.

Boilerwerks has always been a solo project. This was partly out of necessity – I put the lathe up on my back porch during law school when most of my friends were, you know, studying law. But it was also partly by design – I wanted to see how many new things I could learn and it was just easier as one.

But most of the other things I’ve done in life have been as part of a team, and I’m really glad to be working that way again. Especially with Leo. I think we both hoped we’d be able to work together again, and now we are. It just took 15 years to get back around to it.


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The Midnight Clock

by Devin on June 17, 2013


Something I designed. Still adventure, but more literary than outdoor. :)


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The blog has been quiet for the past few months because, well, I had a son, and I’ve been spending most of my time ogling over him. One other thing I did was put the fantastic tools at TechShop Pittsburgh to work making him a first present. It’s been hanging in his bedroom for a couple months now and it came out better than I expected. So I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign on Monday to make more of them available.

In a way, it’s a departure from the hiking equipment I’ve been making thus far. But it’s still about adventure, and things that don’t come easy but are worth the reward. I’ll still be making hiking stuff, but now I’ll be making this, too.

If you’re interested, I strongly recommend signing up for the mailing list. As with everything, that’s where I’ll send a note as soon as this is up. And the campaign has some incentives for early backers.

I’ll have more details on Monday. But this is cool, right?


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A mountain of new tools

by Devin on May 6, 2013

Golly I love lasers. This one is 80 watts of pure joy.


Something awesome happened on March 2 – a TechShop came to Pittsburgh. For those who may not know, TechShop is a place where members can use all kinds of awesome tools they could scarcely otherwise afford. It also has a bunch of cool people doing interesting things with those tools, but it also has those tools. Laser cutters, CNC routers, a CNC mill, a waterjet cutter, an injection molder. Effing awesome. Worlds away from a lathe on a porch.

I’ve been in love from day one and am now spending most work moments I’m not fulfilling Boiler orders developing something very different, but also very cool. I should have something to share very soon.


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Shipping from stock

November 30, 2012

As those on the mailing list already know – after 2+ years of batch production and pre-ordering, Backcountry Boilers and FlyGrills are now shipping from stock! I’m still working to streamline the fulfillment process to next-day, but most orders are fulfilled in a few days, and I’m ramping up production of the Hard Anodized Boilers [...]

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Boilerwerks Work Trade

September 13, 2012

The closer I get to receiving the first batch of new Boilers, the more I think I sure could use some help around here. So I’d like to try something out… The Boilerwerks Work Trade Program Duties: Assembling, picking, packing, and shipping Boilerwerks products from our wonderful, new Boilerwerks studio. Qualifications: Desire for a Backcountry [...]

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Boilerwerks is now my job!

September 3, 2012

Five years after I started tinkering, four years after I sketched from scratch, three years after I spun the first prototype, two years after I first offered the Boiler for sale, and one year after I got a huge boost from Kickstarter backers, Boilerwerks is now, basically, my full time job. Today, labor day, is [...]

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The NEW Backcountry Boiler

September 1, 2012

Available on SparkMade! Starts shipping in September.

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Busy busy, no time for a picture!

August 16, 2012

Three big things are going on at the Boilerwerks. 1) I just got a studio and official home for the Boilerwerks! I’ve spent the past two weeks of evenings remodeling and have been posting my progress on Twitter. The big project: finding and rescuing a beautiful oak floor from under layers and layers of carpeting, [...]

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Coming soon… that new product

July 10, 2012

I was planning on releasing the FlyGrill™ on Monday, but I’m still working up the product video and description. I slipped in the change in release date in my last post and Adam called me on it in the comments. Fair enough. :) For those curious, a teaser is above. For those interested, worry not, [...]

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