The Maker's Quest

A Podcast exploring the journey of making things and living a creative life

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Andy Birkey Preserving History as an Architectural Restore EP8

Andy Birkey Preserving History as an Architectural Restore EP8

In this episode, we talk with Andy Birkey, who works as an Architectural Restoration Specialist, restoring old churches and gothic-style buildings in central Illinois. He has a wealth of knowledge, skill, and a loving spirit for all things.

Andy Birkey’s Instagram https://www.instagram.com/andy_birkey/

His YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/AndyBirkey

 

Audio Version

Video Version

 

Maker’s Quest Hosts

Greg Porter https://skyscraperguitars.com/

Greg On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gregsgaragekc/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/SkyscraperGuitars

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GregsGarage

 

Brian Benham https://www.brianbenham.com/

Brian On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/benham_design/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXO8f1IIliMKKlu5PgSpodQ

 

Transcript

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:02:22

Brian Benham

You are listening to the Makers Quest podcast? I am Brian Benham.

 

00:00:02:22 – 00:00:19:22

Greg Porter

And I’m Greg Porter, and we are joined today by the one and only Andy Berkey. And before I forget, I want to give you a link to his Instagram. It’s at Inde underscore berkey be i r k e y if you want to check out some of Andy’s work, so welcome Andy.

 

00:00:20:07 – 00:00:26:10

Andy Birkey

Hey. Well, hi, guys. How are you today? Flustered. I’m all amped up.

 

00:00:26:14 – 00:00:40:13

Greg Porter

Well, that’s. That’s awesome. I already see kind of the first thing I want to ask you about sitting right over, I think it’s your right shoulder. Assuming your camera is not mirrored at around. You are weird and I like you. Where did that come from?

 

00:00:40:20 – 00:01:06:24

Andy Birkey

You know, it just came to me one day during a walk. A morning walk. Just sometimes I twist stuff up in my head, and I. It’s just an effort to. To say, you know, the humanity of we’re weird. And I am drawn to weird people. People that are outside of the normal headspace of, you know, 9 to 5 and TV dinners and TV shows.

 

00:01:07:01 – 00:01:13:09

Andy Birkey

So if you’re a creative spirit, I am instantly gravitating toward you.

 

00:01:13:17 – 00:01:38:15

Greg Porter

Well, I. I know the first time I saw it, I thought, you know, this is this is something you might hear in, like second grade, first day of second grade. Well, what are your what are your lifelong friends would come up and say something like that to you. And from there forward, the stories would be written. And I’ve always thought that’s such a great mantra in it for sure.

 

00:01:38:15 – 00:01:58:21

Greg Porter

Within the maker community, I think that applies so well because I think, number one, the group of us that make up the maker community, as it were, which I you know the is open right at anybody can be one of those people. But we’ve all we’re all stepping to a slightly different rhythm than what you see in most people’s lives.

 

00:01:58:21 – 00:02:12:17

Greg Porter

And I feel the like and maybe the question here is, do you get the same feeling that when you tell people what you do or you start talking about the work that you do, you you get the dog who just heard the weird sound on the on the radio.

 

00:02:12:21 – 00:02:14:24

Speaker 4

Kind of give you a look like what? What, what’s up?

 

00:02:15:13 – 00:02:25:00

Greg Porter

So I don’t know. Tell me a little bit about your experience with sharing the craft. That is what happens in your shop with other people.

 

00:02:26:01 – 00:02:50:01

Andy Birkey

Well, I remember being at a party, you know, cocktail party. I think it was a holiday party. And I was a I’m way out of place in social settings like that. So I was just sitting on a couch and and some guy came over and said, hey, so where do you work? And I feel bad because it was rude, but I said it in my garage.

 

00:02:50:02 – 00:03:14:05

Andy Birkey

And he goes, Oh, okay. And he gets up and he leaves. He’s gone. I’m like, Yeah, that’s, that’s about right. So, yeah, I, I mean, it was such a cool thing to find when you’ve been kind of on the, I don’t know, on the outskirts of, you know, the outlier, right? You’ve been there your whole life and you’re pretty comfortable there.

 

00:03:14:05 – 00:03:36:11

Andy Birkey

It was. It was pretty cool. I think it was back in about 2017 when somebody reached out to me and invited me into the maker maker world. And, you know, I was super hesitant to come in and, you know, share my stuff because it’s kind of no one really does it that I know of. And, you know, everybody just sucked me right in.

 

00:03:36:11 – 00:03:44:22

Andy Birkey

And it was like I, you know, I’d found the rest of the weird kids in the back of art class. And it was it was on from that that point on.

 

00:03:44:22 – 00:04:09:05

Greg Porter

Well, isn’t it amazing? I’ve been in a few settings where there’s been either a bunch of fellow YouTube creators or fellow. I don’t I hate I hate the word content creator because that’s not what it is. You’re sharing your word. You’re not creating content for content sake. You’re you’re creating your work and then you’re sharing it for sharing sake, right?

 

00:04:09:19 – 00:04:29:20

Greg Porter

But when you get in a room full of of people who are who are that way or who have similar background, it’s amazing how quickly I mean, it seems like you’ve been friends for 50 years. The conversation isn’t hard. It’s not. Hey, I’m meeting this person I’ve never met before. It’s like you’re almost know each other through your work.

 

00:04:29:20 – 00:04:39:22

Greg Porter

And it’s interesting. It is very interesting that way that it’s not an exclusive group, but everybody within the group really has a lot of common thread.

 

00:04:39:24 – 00:04:47:23

Andy Birkey

Totally agree. Totally agree. It’s it’s like you’ve you’ve known each other and you just slide right into it and you’re awesome and it.

 

00:04:48:14 – 00:05:11:06

Greg Porter

Yeah. And so I guess I kind of between you and Brian, I have I’m going to say I have a lot of jealousy that you work for yourself and you’ve been self-employed for an amount of time. That’s always been sort of a goal of mine, but I’m stuck in the world of architecture. That’s my life and it has been for a very long time, and there’s almost no way to do that alone.

 

00:05:11:06 – 00:05:17:16

Greg Porter

And I I’m a little green with envy that you guys get to operate in the way that you operate. So it’s really kind of cool to see.

 

00:05:18:00 – 00:05:31:18

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s one of the things that I was shocked that you get up at 4 a.m. B being self-employed, I choose my own own hours and 4 a.m. is not not one of them.

 

00:05:31:18 – 00:05:55:03

Andy Birkey

Now I was in the shop at pre six this morning so I don’t know, that’s just where, where I’m the freshest and you know some people are are wired for night and warnings are my gig. So Fiona and I are typically out before sunrise unless we’re, you know, with a camera on the weekends out out in the country.

 

00:05:55:03 – 00:06:08:02

Andy Birkey

But but yeah, I typically know between six is a is a solid start for me usually not not in later in seven a couple cups of coffee and ready to rock.

 

00:06:08:21 – 00:06:25:19

Brian Benham

So so your morning routine is is taking Fiona out for a morning walk, taking pictures of the sunrise before you get to work and get after it. Then that’s I think that’s we the things that people on Instagram really know you for are your morning sunrise pictures.

 

00:06:25:21 – 00:06:58:07

Andy Birkey

Yeah, that’s it’s a meditation. I’ll be honest. It’s I mean, yeah, I need to exercise my dog, but but the photography and just the effort to get out, you know, we’re we’re wide open sky around here in central Illinois so you know that that concept of knowing your place in the universe to me is just super healthy and there’s nothing does that quick quicker than a wide open sky in a sunrise for me.

 

00:06:58:07 – 00:07:02:09

Andy Birkey

So it’s it’s a healthy, meditative place for me.

 

00:07:02:16 – 00:07:04:09

Brian Benham

Kind of sets the tone for the day.

 

00:07:04:20 – 00:07:28:01

Andy Birkey

Yeah. Yeah. Especially, you know, if, if you’re really deep in some crazy math, gothic stuff, you know, that it’s just a critical thing to, you know, just do a mind wash in the morning and and kind of then you’re refreshed. You can get back after it again. So I can go weird places if if I don’t do that, quite frankly.

 

00:07:28:02 – 00:07:36:00

Brian Benham

Yeah. So your mind is kind of working on the problems that you’re going to, to encounter once you get into the shop subconsciously.

 

00:07:36:06 – 00:07:55:05

Andy Birkey

You know, I’m actually doing the opposite. I’m trying to not think about that at all. Kind of like sleep for me is that if I can get away from the from the problem solving thing that’s always going in our heads, if I can drop out of that for a half an hour that I’m that I’m in better shape.

 

00:07:55:16 – 00:08:18:01

Brian Benham

Ready to go. So speaking of working in your shop, I on your Instagram, I saw that you were doing a repair to a church that had been vandalized. Yeah. So how is that? I’m curious about how that process is because you only have small parts and pieces of the whole thing of what this thing is going to look like.

 

00:08:19:14 – 00:08:26:24

Brian Benham

I think maybe I should ask you if you could describe it, since this is mainly an audio podcast, what it looks like.

 

00:08:27:00 – 00:09:01:19

Andy Birkey

Well, it’s yeah, it’s it’s a half circle kind of a relief panel of just organic acanthus leaves that is above an exterior door actually to two doors. And somebody was trying to get to the copper flashing on the little portico roof and and beat the heck out of this panel. And then the very efficient janitor swept up a lot of the pieces and and disposed of them in anticipation of my arrival.

 

00:09:01:24 – 00:09:55:18

Andy Birkey

So it was like a but but yeah, on that one, I was able to remove, you know, maybe a square foot, maybe two square feet of of the panel, which was important because I can use that mainly for finding the depth of the relief and the texturing. So at least I have that. And then I immediately had the church secretary put out a call email blast to everybody for pictures of ancestors and weddings and anything like that to get reference photos and then and then I got a couple of them that I could piece together with a digital projector in the shop and started moving that around till till I could mess with the aspect

 

00:09:55:18 – 00:10:26:07

Andy Birkey

and everything and and get a good idea. I mean, this one’s pretty easy. Well, all of that. What I just described was easier because it’s organic shapes. So if I’m in the ballpark, I’m going to be good enough for this one. So what I’ll do is I’ll scope that in plastic scene, modeling clay and then make a make a silicone mold out of it and and then cast it and cold cast plastic, which is super durable, easy to work with, easy to mount.

 

00:10:26:09 – 00:10:54:08

Andy Birkey

So in a lot of those, this was like a kind of like a weird plaster material that it was an exterior applications. I was pretty surprised to see what it was, but they had had some kind of a varnish seal on it to get it weatherproof. And but a lot of those plaster applications, I’ll, I’ll go back in with cold cash plastic unless it’s something that, you know, that has to be done back in plaster.

 

00:10:55:04 – 00:11:28:00

Andy Birkey

So yeah, that’s kind of it’s crazy, you know, you develop a reputation regionally and stuff like that happens and and you get this panic call and, and your rollout as quick as you can and try to get there. I also work with some stained glass studios that if there’s a fire damage or vandalism damage or something like that, a lot of times they’ll want me to stabilize and get the panel down horizontally and get it to their benches because they don’t want to do that stuff.

 

00:11:28:00 – 00:11:32:21

Andy Birkey

So and I carry a lot of insurance for other people’s property and I possess.

 

00:11:33:15 – 00:12:00:12

Brian Benham

Yeah, I imagine so. So when you’re doing this, this work on this particular job, you’re able to get a whole bunch of pictures. If you weren’t able to get a whole bunch of pictures, how would you have gone about recreating this this thing so you could get the church back repaired and order? And I guess we didn’t before you asked, I guess we didn’t actually introduce to people that may not have known you exactly what you do, but you you are.

 

00:12:00:12 – 00:12:16:14

Brian Benham

I am. I know when we’ve talked before, you said don’t call me an expert, but I view you as an expert in restoring historical buildings, especially churches and gothic type style architecture. So that’s pretty.

 

00:12:16:14 – 00:12:17:00

Andy Birkey

Accurate.

 

00:12:17:00 – 00:12:32:14

Brian Benham

Yes. So now back to my my question. So what would what would you have done if you didn’t have all those pieces to reference off of? Are those photos to reference off of? And you just had just maybe a just a little piece of kind of to give you a hint of kind of what it looked like probably.

 

00:12:32:14 – 00:13:03:12

Andy Birkey

Then I, I have a pretty good library here in my office of old, a lot of around here, a lot of the decorative elements on churches that are, you know, 100, 125 years old around here. A lot of the decorative elements came out of plaster houses out of Chicago. So I’ve got a couple of catalogs, original catalogs from, you know, the turn of the century in the up to the twenties.

 

00:13:03:12 – 00:13:28:14

Andy Birkey

And that’s where a lot of what I work on. That’s when a lot of those churches were built. So I go directly there and, you know, it’s funny. It’s like Harry Potter, you know, leather bound books and the dust, you know, coming off of them and a Dumbledore sitting there with, you know, jeweler’s loops on and you feel like you should have a long beard.

 

00:13:28:14 – 00:13:56:11

Andy Birkey

You know, we but yeah, that’s, you know, it’s all about reference material and then just having a familiarity with with that age, building and, you know, just, just, I guess this experience. But and then trying to be the opposite of an expert, trying to be the moron, you know, just trying to not miss any hints that the the building is giving you.

 

00:13:57:14 – 00:14:22:11

Andy Birkey

And like in this particular one, there was there was the busted out panel and then there was another one just down the block in the same building that there was a wood panel covering what would have been the same panel. And so the first thing I did was suggest that we pull that off in the hopes that that that the other panel was still behind there.

 

00:14:23:01 – 00:14:42:16

Andy Birkey

It wasn’t, but it was worth the effort to to pull that off. And then they decided to go ahead and have me make both panels. So so they’re slightly different sizes, but I’m I’ll sculpt the bigger size and then and then make it smaller for the other one. So it’s cheating, man. It’s super cheating.

 

00:14:44:04 – 00:14:48:14

Greg Porter

Yeah. Looking up the answers in the back of the textbook. I mean, you know.

 

00:14:48:14 – 00:14:49:14

Speaker 4

Absolutely.

 

00:14:51:06 – 00:15:18:03

Greg Porter

Well, I mean, it’s interesting to me to to I’ve followed your work. I’m going to say probably since you came on the scene there, there are a number of mutual folks that we know. And I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that what you do is part detective work, part maker, part designer. And there’s the question I would have around.

 

00:15:18:03 – 00:15:47:21

Greg Porter

That is twofold. Number one, how did you fall into this niche? Because it is a very small on the architecture side. I have done some religious work, some some buildings of that nature for different I’ll call it. Well, just different religions, you know, there’s the Catholic Church, Methodist and and they all have their own staff person who looks after all of the symbolism and the way things are done.

 

00:15:47:21 – 00:16:06:24

Greg Porter

And to become an expert in that is, is sort of one, one vain, but then to actually be able to build the stuff to meet the requirements of of a church that’s going to be there, not ten or 15 years, but maybe 100 or 150 years is is quite the task. So where where did it begin for you?

 

00:16:06:24 – 00:16:13:01

Greg Porter

You know, which which was first chicken or the egg? And then how did you settle into that niche? So.

 

00:16:13:14 – 00:16:36:06

Andy Birkey

You know, it’s an unscripted there’s no way you can say, okay, kids, this is how you get into this business. Because it’s you know, I was just responding to stuff that I had an opportunity to do. And and quite frankly, it was willing to do stuff that no one else wanted to touch. But yeah, I was very fortunate.

 

00:16:36:06 – 00:17:03:02

Andy Birkey

I was working, doing project management and finished carpentry down in the Virgin Islands for six years. And it was about time to come back to the States. Tired of living on a rock and and met a guy that said, you know, I’m working at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, you know, doing contractor work there. You know, if you want to move back to the States, I could get you on doing something there.

 

00:17:03:02 – 00:17:33:22

Andy Birkey

So yeah, I said, yeah, okay. We’re, we’re having a go at that. And and I found myself working on a government funded job which, you know, in this in restoration, it’s all about your resume, right? So without knowing it, I got one of the one of the best things to have on my resume of a federally funded government owned building that it was a church.

 

00:17:34:05 – 00:17:59:16

Andy Birkey

It was called a chapel under Four Flags. So they had four different religions in one building. Super weird. I was only there for about three months before I bailed out of the of Virginia and, and then that it just started to become something that I had that resume and I flushed it out with some conferences and things like that and got a couple opportunities.

 

00:17:59:16 – 00:18:49:04

Andy Birkey

And next thing you know, you’ve, you have a resumé that actually looks like you know, what you’re doing even though you completely don’t. So, so yeah. And, and then yeah. And then the Catholic Church that was completely gutted, a neo-Gothic space, which was a pretty, very cool room. It had a 60 foot vault in it and had been completely gutted in Vatican two, which it was in the early seventies, a lot of the church, they decided that they were going to modernize those rooms and take out all the neo-Gothic design furniture and altarpieces and then, you know, and then 30 years later, they decided they wanted to put them back in because now new rules

 

00:18:49:04 – 00:18:52:13

Andy Birkey

were that they couldn’t just, you know, check it out again.

 

00:18:52:15 – 00:18:52:23

Speaker 4

Yeah.

 

00:18:53:10 – 00:19:22:06

Greg Porter

Well, it’s it’s interesting that what comes around goes around and even in the the big world of religion, that is the case as well. I mean, there was yeah, the Vatican, too, was a very thick line of demarcation, pre and post and things changed, you know, who knows for the better, for the worse. But but it is interesting to see how that’s all come back now and ask anybody where they want to get married and they want to get married in the old cathedral.

 

00:19:22:06 – 00:19:41:22

Greg Porter

Right. I mean, there’s absolutely there’s there’s some charm and just the detail in those buildings is amazing. And, you know, I think back, Andy, when I look at your work and and I feel like and I know we probably see the tip of the iceberg. We probably don’t see the big picture of what what all it is you do.

 

00:19:41:22 – 00:20:03:08

Greg Porter

But when I walk into some of those buildings and I think how many craftsmen did it take to put this sucker together 100 years ago without modern tools and all of that? I mean, there’s a whole different appreciation for the level of, you know, the number of man hours that were put into making those buildings come to life.

 

00:20:03:08 – 00:20:35:20

Andy Birkey

But when you really have to do a deep dove work on so like an interior, like, like the one I just described, we put again, one of the very first things on site is to put out a call for anything related to the history of the church. In that case, when they were tearing that stuff out in the seventies, they literally had backed up dumpsters and were throwing the altar piece in in the dumpster, and people were climbing in and getting them out right soon as they would throw them in.

 

00:20:36:07 – 00:21:04:08

Andy Birkey

And a lot of those pieces came back. And so then, you know, again, same sort of deal. You you have a place to start and you can start designing around historical pieces. And I always try just kind of from a nostalgia point of view, I try to put almost every piece that I can that comes back and that kind of a call, put it, put it integrated into the the pieces in some way, shape or form.

 

00:21:04:11 – 00:21:25:06

Greg Porter

What would you say if if you broke it down? What how much time do you spend designing versus how much time do you spend investigating and replicating? Because I know there’s a fine line between recreate writing something and designing something that looks like something else.

 

00:21:25:22 – 00:21:54:17

Andy Birkey

Yeah, well, I mean, this is getting kind of deep into the weeds of especially the Catholic stuff because that’s that’s probably 80% of my work is with the Catholic Church. But you know, the liturgy has changed since you can’t build what was there. You can’t do a rest, a full on restoration like you would on a, you know, federally funded project where you are exactly replicating what was there.

 

00:21:55:03 – 00:22:25:24

Andy Birkey

So we’re trying to stay just in the the the sense of that and pay homage to what was there. But 98% of people think it’s the original stuff. If we do our job right. But now they can do like the big thing is back in the day, the priest had his back to the audience. Now we’ve pulled the we’re the table where he does all this stuff, whatever you call it.

 

00:22:26:16 – 00:23:02:01

Andy Birkey

We’ve pulled that away. Now so he can be behind there and face the audience. So just nuance like that that, you know, you just try to. So I guess not in answer to your question, it’s probably these things can take years to develop, but you’re probably doing 20% design work and research in it. And then I’m not a super good designer on paper, so, you know, I kind of just start building something for the most part.

 

00:23:02:01 – 00:23:24:04

Andy Birkey

I mean, I have an idea of what I’m doing and if I need to, you know, have drawings or whatever, I can do that. But for me, I don’t. I very rarely use really tight drawings. Sometimes I get to work with a designer I’ve worked with theater designers in some of these things, and I’ve learned a lot from those from those people.

 

00:23:24:15 – 00:23:43:19

Andy Birkey

But but yeah, I keep a kind of loosey goosey. So the, the, the design and the build kind of go along, develop, you know, in the same vein. So probably 80% in that stage isn’t 20% in the research and development, so to speak. So it’s kind of nontraditional.

 

00:23:44:10 – 00:23:44:19

Greg Porter

Yeah.

 

00:23:46:00 – 00:24:13:06

Brian Benham

So in my work in carpentry, I’ve worked on a lot of old houses and so I have picked up and felt a lot of old boards and stuff that is old, that has worn and shown the test of time and has a story. And when a client asks me to do a distressed piece to make it look old, I never feel like I can ever get it there because I know too much about what the original should look like.

 

00:24:13:06 – 00:24:34:13

Brian Benham

So when I step back, yeah, it looks passable, but when I get up close to it, I’m really disappointed in my work that I was not able to get it 100% accurate. When you’re doing your restorations, do you do you fight that same battle or have you perfected the art of making it look original or blend into something that’s super old?

 

00:24:34:13 – 00:24:58:10

Andy Birkey

CHURCH Well, yeah, I see where you’re going. I have to I have to be able to replicate that patina and wear because a lot of times my work is side by side and including pieces that are 100 years old. So they have, you know, six layers of lead based paint on them, you know, which rounds all the corners.

 

00:24:58:10 – 00:25:24:23

Andy Birkey

There’s there’s wear on the corners. So nothing is, you know, how when you’re when you’re building a new piece of furniture, we love sharp, crisp edges that are, you know, plain surfaces, not sanded, all that that all goes out the window. So it’s it’s all about how do we make this surface match a 100 year old piece that’s got a bunch of paint on it that, you know, we’re putting another layer to get it the correct color.

 

00:25:25:09 – 00:25:51:00

Andy Birkey

And then and and I always say in churches, you know, use the back of your hand and imagine your grandma, the back of her hand, that kind of parchment type skin that that octogenarians out the rub, you know, use that side, touch it there and see how it feels. Right. No sharp edges at all. You know, everything’s just got a very slight round to it.

 

00:25:51:03 – 00:26:14:22

Andy Birkey

And because, again, it’s to me, the highest level that I could hold myself to is if no one else, no one knows that I was there. So, you know, one time I was in back of a piece of furniture that we were working on. And some people came in, tourists, you know, just they’re always and a lot of times we’re working in a live space.

 

00:26:14:22 – 00:26:40:14

Andy Birkey

But I remember these ladies walked in and I remember a lady kind of clutching her heart a little bit, and she said, Oh, it’s just so nice that they didn’t tear this this furniture. And we had just installed it like a week and a half earlier. So to me, it’s kind of goes against your, you know, craft and ego type of thing that you want to be known for your the work that you’ve produced.

 

00:26:41:11 – 00:27:00:03

Andy Birkey

For me, I flipped that on its edge and say it’s, you know, I don’t sign any of my work. I don’t put business cards inside of spaces to be found in 200 years or anything. I just I just need to disappear into the piece and let the piece do what it was designed to do originally.

 

00:27:00:03 – 00:27:25:24

Greg Porter

Interestingly enough, Andy, I think that that’s probably the piece of your personality that I’ve latched on to the most. And it’s I’m trying to think how to describe it for for folks who don’t follow you and don’t know who you are. But it’s it’s an amount of of selflessness that I see. And it’s interesting that you talk about your work in that way, because I see it in other parts of your personality.

 

00:27:26:07 – 00:27:51:24

Greg Porter

And I would say, number one, the way that you approach other people, I would say, who are asking for advice but maybe encouragement. I’ve seen you have these Instagram stories that are just these quick little blurbs of things and it’s always this really great tie in. And and I would say the attitude is, is just fantastic. Your your joy is infectious.

 

00:27:51:24 – 00:28:11:04

Greg Porter

That’s a that’s a good way to say it. But I’ve seen I’ve seen the videos that you’ve done with your sister in the van rides the ice cream shop visits and things like that. And and the one piece that I wrote down and I can’t remember when you posted this series of videos, but I know it’s it’s probably been well over a year.

 

00:28:11:04 – 00:28:17:15

Greg Porter

It might be two years ago, it was the neighbor kid. And I want to say his name was Georgie, if I got that right.

 

00:28:17:22 – 00:28:20:24

Andy Birkey

Yeah. Georgie. Yeah. And I’m coming over this weekend.

 

00:28:21:09 – 00:28:46:09

Greg Porter

Yeah. And, and we’re, we’re, I’m going with this and there’s, there is a question buried in here is the series I saw with Georgie is you were teaching him about entrepreneurial ship in mowing yards and how you know how to charge for them the level of skill and craftsmanship and pride that you need to put in your work and all of that stuff.

 

00:28:46:20 – 00:29:12:17

Greg Porter

And I number one, I think that that tells me volumes about your personality, just seeing how you take the time to mentor people who probably didn’t come up and ask for you to, to, to be that person. But you saw these opportunities to make somebody just one notch better. And my question is, and I don’t know the answer to this, do you work alone or have you worked with other people?

 

00:29:12:17 – 00:29:15:08

Greg Porter

And what is one of those relationships been like?

 

00:29:15:09 – 00:29:35:03

Andy Birkey

Yeah, when I when I moved back to the States to hear my brother in law worked for me for five years. And it was just it was just magical because we had, you know, we just to this day, we get along. He moved on to do some other stuff in the military and stuff, but but that was super cool.

 

00:29:35:11 – 00:30:03:09

Andy Birkey

And then I kind of lost my way the way that I feel like I’m most comfortable being. For about five years, I had expanded. I got in a business partner and gotten six employees, I think it was. And we’re managing apartments and doing restoration work. And, you know, the crews, the guys would come in and start on the new construction side doing carpentry and then they would work themselves over into the.

 

00:30:03:09 – 00:30:28:10

Andy Birkey

And I just the worst thing in the world was the best thing for me. And that was 28, 29 crash. That just flushed a lot lot of people out of the business. And and you know, a lot of people rolled over on me as far as money went. And so I had a good sized shop at I think it was a 3000 square foot shop that I was renting.

 

00:30:28:12 – 00:31:03:20

Andy Birkey

And it was hard, man. But but I, I had to roll over and got rid of that and move back in my shop here and you know, my, my overhead went from, I think it was $12,000 a month before I could write myself a check to down to 400. And when, after about six months of licking my wounds and putting bandages on my ego, I kind of woke up one day as a result of some martial arts training that I had started doing and kind of went, You know what?

 

00:31:04:03 – 00:31:34:13

Andy Birkey

I’m, I’m this is what I’m supposed to be by myself and managing myself. I’m not a good manager of people. So so, you know, you have you have to go through some storm me water sometimes to find the port that you’re the most at home in. Right. And so, yeah, like I say, it took a while to get over the, you know, I guess, I guess I was part of my self-worth was involved in that business.

 

00:31:35:04 – 00:32:05:04

Andy Birkey

But yeah, the best thing that ever happened to me for sure and so yeah, I mean, the other thing that was nice about, you know, whatever it was, 20 1617 was coming into the maker world is that, you know, you have people that are eager to learn. And, you know, I figure if I can push them forward and encourage them to, you know, even if it’s if it’s hobby style, great, if it’s small shop style great.

 

00:32:05:05 – 00:32:13:02

Andy Birkey

Or if it’s even getting into the trades and finding pride and doing good work there, you know, that’s a pretty high calling, I figure.

 

00:32:13:12 – 00:32:50:19

Greg Porter

Well, I think one of the most telling hashtags out there that talk about your influence is the blame burn key hashtag. And I don’t see it nearly as much today as I did a few years ago, but it was it was those inspiring, you know, sunrise photos of Fiona’s eyeball from a half a millimeter away or however you take those, I don’t know how you doing it, but but but those things that just, you know, you see it you see it on your on your phone as you’re getting your day started, it just sets you on fire and makes you want to do something really cool that day.

 

00:32:51:01 – 00:33:01:13

Greg Porter

And I feel like that’s one of the biggest compliments anybody can pay is when they do something inspirational and they sort of, for lack of a better way to say it, they blame it on you. Yeah.

 

00:33:01:19 – 00:33:28:14

Andy Birkey

Yeah, it’s that’s what it’s all about is hopefully giving you the license to to take a minute and see something with fresh eyes. And, you know, and I the cool thing is, is if you put that out there, that vibe out there, you better be careful. You’re not a hypocrite. So it keeps me honest, too, right? Yeah. But yeah, it’s it’s always an honor.

 

00:33:28:14 – 00:33:53:09

Andy Birkey

And, you know, I’m I’m completely humbled when, you know, I’m in my jam in the middle of the morning and somebody in Europe is like, Hey, check this church. I just walked by. I snuck inside and took a couple pictures for you because I figured you’d jam on it. And that’s super. That’s super cool. Somebody is, like, trippin on their vacation, you know, like an American, let’s say, in Europe.

 

00:33:53:09 – 00:34:03:12

Andy Birkey

And they, you know, I’ve gotten them from Thailand and everywhere else where people are like, Hey, man, check this out. I figured you’d dig this. That’s that’s pretty cool. That’s awesome.

 

00:34:03:14 – 00:34:24:01

Brian Benham

So speaking of Europe, Notre Dame or Notre Dame, I don’t know how I’ve heard it pronounced both ways. Don’t know what the proper penance pronunciation is. But when that burned, how, how much did you want to just jump up and get on a plane and go help reassemble such an historic building?

 

00:34:24:03 – 00:34:49:21

Andy Birkey

I sat on my couch and cried, to be honest, when it was happening. Yeah, and it wasn’t. But an hour later. I don’t know. Do you guys know the Red Smith? Gerald, Gerald? Gerald got a hold of me, and he said, I’m putting I’m putting your name in the the French application process. Are you up for it? And I said, yes, definitely.

 

00:34:49:21 – 00:35:15:07

Andy Birkey

I would I would be honored to go, knowing full well that the French were probably going to keep that really locked down and in country. But but yeah I think I’m pretty sure you did, you know, put my name in and references and he asked for a resume and all that stuff and it didn’t happen. But but I would have gone in at the drop of a hat.

 

00:35:15:07 – 00:35:31:10

Andy Birkey

I really would have. So I actually I talked to my wife about it and she was cool with it too. So we would have very, very much like to have gone to Paris for a while, work on Notre Dame. Yeah, I’m in.

 

00:35:31:10 – 00:35:57:20

Brian Benham

So just to step back a little bit, Greg kind of kind of stole my question. So I’m going to rephrase it in a different way. When we were talking about when you talking about 2008 when the housing market crashed and you had to hit the reset button, that is that is something that happened to my business. Well, I wasn’t I was working for somebody else as a project manager, and I hated managing people.

 

00:35:58:04 – 00:36:30:15

Brian Benham

And so when that construction company filed for bankruptcy because the housing market crashed and I had to find a new job, I really did not want to go back into the management field. I did not like managing people. But I found over the years that I miss not necessarily managing people, but teaching people and training people. And as I’ve started my own business and that was kind of my reset button to start my business there, I have started to teach people I’m not really comfortable yet to have somebody in my shop is like an apprentice.

 

00:36:31:11 – 00:36:51:05

Brian Benham

But is that something that you would like to do in the future? Because I feel like you have a ton of knowledge locked away in your brain that not a lot of people have in this world. It would I think it would be a really loss to society for that to go away and not be passed on. Sorry to ask it in such a poignant way.

 

00:36:51:05 – 00:36:52:18

Brian Benham

I had a more elegant way of asking.

 

00:36:53:14 – 00:37:20:11

Andy Birkey

You know, and I don’t know if. No, I don’t. Right now I’m not anti apprentice currently. I am not in search of one put it that way. I mean, my world is pretty cool right now with the level of work and the flow of work. I mean, I’m not I mean, I’m not Jimmy dressed and then I that guys work great.

 

00:37:20:12 – 00:37:53:16

Andy Birkey

I just it’s insane. I mean, I respect the living daylights out of them, but if if if you cats have been out there in upstate New York and and see the pace that he goes, that’s that’s not me. My my world is based on a Buddhist philosophy of a holistic lifestyle. And that is that it’s as important for me to take time for morning walks, meditative type walks.

 

00:37:53:20 – 00:38:19:02

Andy Birkey

And that’s as important as a time draw for me as, as being in the shop. Now, I can tilt off of that balance for a while, but I have to return to that. The nice part about my world right now is if I want to take a flier in the middle of the day and drop the tools and do something else, I can do that.

 

00:38:19:02 – 00:39:02:09

Andy Birkey

So any time you get an apprentice type relationship going, you know, then you have to change change your world to accommodate that. So I would imagine that as I get a couple more years going, I would like to kind of re relive the YouTube thing when I don’t have so much time or money commitments coming out of the shop so that I could see that being probably the more likely avenue of of a way I’d like to pass on some knowledge, but it’s tricky, you know, because mainly, I mean, I don’t have tech techniques really, like woodworkers, like bench workers.

 

00:39:02:18 – 00:39:36:03

Andy Birkey

You know, my, my background is, is job sites, you know, carpentry and in crazy I mean, I cut my teeth in. The Caribbean building, multimillion dollar homes with cross-cultural, multilingual, you know, so no education. A lot of the crew, you know, just these crazy situations where you’re trying to manage, manage people for people, you know, that are that are high dollar folks out of Boston, New York with those expectations.

 

00:39:36:03 – 00:40:08:09

Andy Birkey

And, you know, you’re you’re half import export guy and, you know, customs and, you know, it was just a train wreck. But, you know, that’s that’s kind of my my background that, you know, there is this sort of level of chaos. That’s I mean, I guess I’m kind of mixing up a bunch of stuff, but what I do and I think what my value is is very hard to quantify into like, here’s how you do this one process.

 

00:40:08:09 – 00:40:45:24

Andy Birkey

But it to me, it’s more about the head space and, and the problem solving on the fly and how to adjust the skill set that you have to what’s in front of you. So that’s I mean, that’s why I get called on these sketchy repairs and damages and stuff like that, I think because, you know, I mean, you go on, you know, your reputation precedes, you know, whatever that reputation is with lot of times you go on and pull into a church and there’ll be a bunch of guys standing there, that kind of part and just come of first.

 

00:40:46:06 – 00:41:05:01

Andy Birkey

That’s, that’s how I see them. It’s kind of like, Hi, everybody. So, you know, and then you try to sort things out. And so, I don’t know, I’d like to push that type of headspace, you know what I mean? That, that kind of okay. Because it starts with seeing, you know, that’s where the see more make better thing comes from.

 

00:41:05:08 – 00:41:18:20

Andy Birkey

It starts with seeing everything and seeing more than everybody else and that kind of observational thing and then responding to the observations. It’s complicated.

 

00:41:18:20 – 00:41:19:14

Speaker 4

Yeah, well.

 

00:41:20:16 – 00:41:21:13

Greg Porter

Well, go ahead, Bryan.

 

00:41:21:13 – 00:41:44:10

Brian Benham

Well, I was just going to say, yeah, I think headspace is really important and I think that’s something that’s really hard to teach. Psych and also really hard to learn. And there’s there are days where I’m out in the shop and I am not really in the mood or in the flow. And it’s a frustrating day. And my work shows it like I like I can’t cut to a line to save my life if I’m if I’m having a frustrating day.

 

00:41:44:17 – 00:41:51:14

Brian Benham

So sometimes it’s better just to take the day off. But if you take day off, then you don’t get paid that day. So that’s the.

 

00:41:53:04 – 00:41:53:20

Andy Birkey

Conundrum.

 

00:41:53:24 – 00:41:55:16

Brian Benham

Running your own business. Yeah.

 

00:41:56:10 – 00:42:15:03

Greg Porter

Well, I was going to ask a question that I’ve asked a couple other people and and it’s not meant to be a trick question or anything like that. But but the question is, how old were you when you realized could make anything? What what was that point in your life? Have you had I’m guessing you’ve had that epiphany because because of the work you do.

 

00:42:15:10 – 00:42:29:03

Andy Birkey

There’s the question that you feel like you could make anything if you have that easy or this point when you were a little kid and you made something and you went, Oh, okay, but I don’t know exactly.

 

00:42:29:08 – 00:42:46:00

Greg Porter

It’s a little bit of both. And and it doesn’t mean I guess I definitely had that point in my life and that doesn’t mean I can sit down today and just whip out at anything that that anybody puts in front of me. But I realized that with enough time and enough effort, I can do it. I don’t care what it is.

 

00:42:46:00 – 00:43:06:07

Greg Porter

If you if you want me to make a yacht, I can make one. It’ll take me a while. But I could. I can make one. And and I find that a lot of people like yourself, who, you know, you walk into situations having no idea what you’re about to get into. But you you I guarantee there’s some confidence that you have that.

 

00:43:06:13 – 00:43:11:10

Greg Porter

I don’t care how weird it is. We’ll get there. Yeah. And when did that for you?

 

00:43:11:16 – 00:43:43:16

Andy Birkey

I would say probably the biggest epiphany moment like that was going like crazy on a church job that I was there for two and a half years and and it just kind of it was a it was a total, you know, sliding in to first base with your hair on fire type of finish. You know, we were we delivered the last of the furniture the Saturday night before the rededication service on Sunday morning.

 

00:43:43:16 – 00:44:08:06

Andy Birkey

We were there at 10:00 that night. And by design, because we had we had didn’t want a lot of people to see it ahead of time. So it was like the altar table, the ambo and the presiding chair, the main free furniture suite we installed nine 10:00 at night, but it was in there was, you know, get out the door, go put on a tie.

 

00:44:08:09 – 00:44:41:16

Andy Birkey

And, you know, the bishop showing up and then you march in and do everybody does the thing. And I remember sitting there in the front row, the church typically is way cool about honoring the craftspeople in the rededication service you get typically get a front row seat. It’s very cool. But I remember looking down and looking back up and the main altarpiece we did there was was 29 feet tall.

 

00:44:42:16 – 00:45:11:02

Andy Birkey

And I remember looking up and, you know, gothic architecture is is pointy for a reason. It’s meant to draw your eye heavenward. Right. And I remember, you know, kind of tuning out what was actually going on, but starting at the bottom of that. And my eyes just kind of drifted up and went. And so yeah, I guess we made that and it’s super insane, but we did it.

 

00:45:11:12 – 00:45:25:08

Andy Birkey

And I think that would be that moment for me of just going, Yeah, of course. Then you think that, you know, 28 churches are going to be knocking down your door on Monday and, you know, I didn’t get another call for like 18 months.

 

00:45:25:08 – 00:45:47:13

Greg Porter

So it’s always interesting to me to to hear the answers to that question, because I think there’s some people who know that, but they don’t realize they know that, you know, that that sophomoric kind of thing that you know that you don’t know that that you know. And and then there are other people who have definitely embraced that, that.

 

00:45:47:16 – 00:46:06:06

Greg Porter

Yeah, I don’t I don’t care what you what you drop off at my front door, we’ll be able to we’ll be able to handle. I mean, I heard you talk about, you know, plaster casting or plasticine sculpting. And you obviously have the woodworking and trim and all these other things and silicone molding. And it’s like, where does it stop?

 

00:46:06:06 – 00:46:10:07

Greg Porter

At what point can you no longer do this? Isn’t that. No, I think we probably do it.

 

00:46:10:07 – 00:46:26:09

Brian Benham

Some of the biggest steps in my career of learning have been when someone asked me to do something I had never done before and and I may have been scared to do it, but I was in a position to turn down work at the point. And so I was like, All right, I’ll do it. And then you just have to go figure it out.

 

00:46:26:09 – 00:46:53:07

Andy Birkey

And I think I always think about it like, you know, the woodworkers that God bless, you know, Sam Maloof or whatever that have been in the shop, been bench side for 20, 30 years. They have a they have a skill set that’s like this. They’re they’re at the height of their craft. Right. But it’s a fairly narrow craft, but yet it’s like super highly honed to me.

 

00:46:53:07 – 00:47:23:04

Andy Birkey

I feel like my my pyramid of knowledge is like this. So there’s nothing that I, I don’t believe, honestly, that there’s any skill that I have that is hyper tuned as far as physical, tactile skill sets. Right. But there’s this super broad exposure to skills and a rudimentary knowledge on the outside to, you know, to better knowledge inside.

 

00:47:23:04 – 00:47:51:19

Andy Birkey

But I figure that’s a that’s a really stable pyramid, the way I like to think about it, not too high and super wide. And that’s kind of how I like to think. And it all is underpinned by head space. So same with me, Brian. There are times I walk out of the shop without I’ll just turn and lock the door and we’ll do that another day and I’m going to go, you know, get my sister in law some ice cream or something.

 

00:47:52:00 – 00:48:12:17

Andy Birkey

I don’t know. Again, this is it’s a lifestyle choice for me of, you know, there are times when my wife will all walk in the shop and I’ll look up from the bench and she’ll just turn around and walk right back in the house. She’s like, Yeah, I know that look, not even, you know, but she knows that it’s just part of the part of the process.

 

00:48:12:17 – 00:48:32:03

Brian Benham

Yeah. Sometimes the most frustrating things, the most frustrating times is the times that I won’t give up. I’ll my wife would be like, hey, we need to go, or we have an appointment for whatever. And I’m just like, I want to solve this problem before I leave. And then I sit there and be even more frustrated because I can’t solve the problem.

 

00:48:32:03 – 00:48:41:10

Brian Benham

But then she’ll make me leave because we have this appointment or whatever. And then when I come back the next day, it’s just like, Oh, why didn’t I think of this thing? And then all of a sudden I’m back off running again.

 

00:48:41:10 – 00:49:03:09

Greg Porter

I always find it bizarre that you can you can leave a problem like that and your subconscious continues to work on it, even though you’re you have you have no dog in that fight. And all of a sudden, you know, you come back and it’s like, well, that was how did that answer get in my head? And it’s because you’ve been sitting there processing all that stuff, you know, while you’re asleep or whatever else.

 

00:49:03:09 – 00:49:06:00

Greg Porter

I don’t know what the magic is. I wish I were a neuroscientist.

 

00:49:06:16 – 00:49:08:01

Speaker 4

But, you.

 

00:49:09:13 – 00:49:25:20

Andy Birkey

Know, I’ve bolted straight out of bed, straight out of a dead sleep and just gone straight out to the shop. When something like that happens. Oh, wait, you know, I think I can do it this way. And of course, you got to get your hands on it straight away. I have to get my hands on it straight away before I forget.

 

00:49:25:20 – 00:49:48:14

Greg Porter

That’s that’s one of the things I think I got from my father. My dad, my brother and I are all insomniacs. And and I say that not tongue in cheek, but but it’s a real thing, right? And growing up, my dad would just get out of bed at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. or whatever when he couldn’t sleep and go down to the typewriter and just start going.

 

00:49:48:14 – 00:50:04:07

Greg Porter

And an hour later, when he was feeling a little tired, he’d go back up to bed. And that was that. And and he shared with me one time he said, I used to fight it. I don’t fight it anymore. I just get out of bed. I put down on paper what I need to put down on paper. And then, you know, it clears out of your mind in a way.

 

00:50:04:07 – 00:50:23:09

Greg Porter

You go in and I’ve adopted that. I do the same thing. You know, I have trouble sleeping a lot. And and it’s, you know, being a creative of a designer, I’ve got sketchbooks that kind of lay all over my house and I’ve always got a pencil in my hand. And if there’s some idea, nod at me. It’s like, you better get it down now or it’ll go away.

 

00:50:23:15 – 00:50:39:21

Greg Porter

They’re very fleeting and it’s it’s interesting how it works. I’ve also, you know, on the other side of things, I’ve always got a guitar right next to me too, because those ideas are even more fleeting. If you don’t if you don’t figure out what you’re trying to do. So it’s interesting how that works of.

 

00:50:40:03 – 00:51:10:08

Andy Birkey

Well, for me, this, this whole thing has been a super strange journey because, you know, I was raised in a preacher’s household, a real locked down Protestant, Baptist, hardcore preacher’s household. And so by the time I was 18 and out of high school, I was I was done. I was maxed out on that. And really went crazy for the next ten years or so.

 

00:51:10:08 – 00:51:32:18

Andy Birkey

And and this whole thing sort of started coming back, just I never thought I’d be working in fancy Catholic churches. And but but it’s it’s been kind of, you know, I guess you at some point, you wonder if you’re called to do something you know what I mean? It’s super weird because I really rebelled against that my whole growing up.

 

00:51:33:01 – 00:51:57:00

Andy Birkey

And but then again, you look back on a career that’s almost 40 years long now and you go, well, I guess maybe maybe that’s what I was meant to do, which is super cool. I mean, I’ll tell you one story just in kind of tying this all up, but we were tidying up that big altarpiece and my brother in law with came around the corner.

 

00:51:57:00 – 00:52:18:05

Andy Birkey

We were in the church and he said, Hey, man, you better you better check this out in the front row. Middle of the week, right? But I put my head around the Altarpiece and there was an 80 year old guy, 88 year old guy sitting in the front row crying just by himself and I was like, Oh, jeez, what do we got here?

 

00:52:18:05 – 00:52:40:20

Andy Birkey

You know? So so I went down and sat down next to him and I said, Is any is there anything I can do? Can I go get the priest for you? And this this gives me onion skin or whatever chicken skin to the day. But he turned to me and he said, No, you’ve done quite enough. And they didn’t quite know how to to take it.

 

00:52:41:11 – 00:53:04:05

Andy Birkey

But we had just installed the merry altar, which traditionally, when a couple is getting married, the bride will kneel at that altar, I guess, during the marriage ceremony. And we adjust finished the marry altar, which was, you know, 20 foot tall and ten feet wide, something like that. And he said that was the last time I saw that altar.

 

00:53:04:05 – 00:53:31:11

Andy Birkey

My wife was kneeling at it back in 1937 or something like that. And it wasn’t the one that his wife kneeled at, but to me that was one of those epiphany moments where you just go, Yeah, we can talk about craft and we can talk about art and design, and that’s why I do what I do. But there’s moments like that when you realize that this isn’t screwing around either.

 

00:53:31:11 – 00:53:36:12

Andy Birkey

It’s this affects people’s lives. And that’s super cool. Super cool.

 

00:53:36:12 – 00:53:37:21

Greg Porter

So that’s.

 

00:53:37:21 – 00:53:56:19

Andy Birkey

Awesome. He ended up bringing in pictures of the original altar. He took the original photos down somewhere and got us eight by ten black and white pictures of his wife, you know, at their wedding, which was like, this is super cool. So so yeah, that’s all that’s.

 

00:53:58:04 – 00:54:11:00

Greg Porter

Was is so compelling when you know that your work affects people in a very positive way like that, whether that’s, you know, bringing back these really great memories or just making a space feel feel complete like it used to be.

 

00:54:12:01 – 00:54:27:17

Brian Benham

So my my last question is, is that anybody that has followed you for any length of time knows that you have a couple loves of food. You either love tacos or you love bacon. And if you had to give one of those. Yes, what would it be? Which one?

 

00:54:27:23 – 00:54:35:18

Andy Birkey

That’s not cool, man. You can’t just like you can’t do that. You can’t just, like, ambush me.

 

00:54:35:18 – 00:54:36:03

Speaker 4

No.

 

00:54:37:00 – 00:54:44:18

Brian Benham

I said I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to talk to you and tell you that this was going to be the hardest question of the night. But I understood your pain.

 

00:54:45:06 – 00:54:46:24

Andy Birkey

Okay, so we got to break it down.

 

00:54:47:16 – 00:54:48:02

Brian Benham

Okay.

 

00:54:48:12 – 00:54:54:06

Andy Birkey

Bacon. I consider to be meat candy, right? I mean, it is the candy of of all meats.

 

00:54:54:06 – 00:55:11:05

Brian Benham

I got to I got it. However there, though. Can I interrupt you real quick, though? So sausage, though, what about sausage? If we’re going to break this down, we got to do it right. So sausage, I like way better than bacon. I just think bacon has a better PR guy. What am I insulting you now?

 

00:55:11:08 – 00:55:12:09

Speaker 4

Shots fired.

 

00:55:13:02 – 00:55:15:09

Andy Birkey

I, I think we’re done here.

 

00:55:15:13 – 00:55:19:15

Brian Benham

Oh, no. I’m so sorry.

 

00:55:19:15 – 00:55:55:08

Andy Birkey

Listen, I respect sausage. I really do. But bacon is a visceral, emotional, and it’s an emotional reaction to a piece of meat. Dude, I mean, bacon. Think about it. Bacon. Really? You know what I’m saying? But that being said, I was raised on tacos, man. I my dad was involved with migrant workers and farm and Bertha martinez introduced me to proper tacos when I was probably four years old.

 

00:55:55:08 – 00:56:15:12

Andy Birkey

And that is that’s just mother’s milk, you know, lead from as the Germans would say. It’s it’s just so if I had to I mean I eat tacos two, three times a week. And as I’m aging, I’m trying not to use much bacon.

 

00:56:15:12 – 00:56:18:22

Speaker 4

So it’s a tough question. But I.

 

00:56:18:22 – 00:56:22:07

Andy Birkey

Mean, that’s the worst question I’ve ever been asked on a.

 

00:56:22:07 – 00:56:25:10

Speaker 4

Podcast. Oh, sorry.

 

00:56:25:24 – 00:56:27:21

Greg Porter

It took us to a dark place.

 

00:56:28:12 – 00:56:31:04

Brian Benham

I was trying to I was trying to end it on a.

 

00:56:31:06 – 00:56:32:23

Andy Birkey

Wicked uncomfortable right now.

 

00:56:33:24 – 00:56:51:12

Brian Benham

I was trying to end on a lighthearted note. I didn’t know we were going to get so dark. So but what my takeaway is, is that if you and I ever go out for lunch to save you your health, I should eat the bacon before you have a chance to get to the bacon. And then you have the taco.

 

00:56:51:12 – 00:57:08:08

Andy Birkey

Not to see. You are going to hesitate in front of the sausage, which you hesitates is done. You’re done, you’re done. So this is a moot point, really. So if you want to, we can talk about tourism tacos, which is the sausage. So we could go there. If you.

 

00:57:08:08 – 00:57:09:05

Brian Benham

Want to.

 

00:57:09:06 – 00:57:21:16

Andy Birkey

Say I’m not against sausage, I respect sausage in its place, the world. But sausage knows that bacon is the king of meat, you know, especially of the breakfast meats.

 

00:57:22:11 – 00:57:26:16

Brian Benham

I feel like your knowledge is I. I got myself in trouble here.

 

00:57:27:06 – 00:57:34:20

Andy Birkey

You did? You truly, truly did, my friend. You are swimming in shark infested waters right now. Breath.

 

00:57:34:20 – 00:57:36:07

Speaker 4

All right. Oh, the admonishment.

 

00:57:36:15 – 00:57:44:07

Brian Benham

So. So, are we going to call it a draw? That it’s that that there’s no way it’s ever going to happen. There’s no way you’d ever give one up.

 

00:57:44:09 – 00:57:54:09

Andy Birkey

Yeah. No, no. Huh. That’s. That’s it’s like. Andy, would you give up breathing? No, I won’t.

 

00:57:54:09 – 00:57:55:03

Speaker 4

Oh, well.

 

00:57:56:01 – 00:58:08:22

Greg Porter

I think that’s a fun note to end on. And I would like to say I’ve got here in my notes, if we ever meet in person, Andy, that is the one thing I guarantee we will do is have some table saw tacos together.

 

00:58:09:04 – 00:58:10:11

Andy Birkey

And we absolutely.

 

00:58:10:15 – 00:58:13:09

Greg Porter

We can clink them like champagne on New Year’s Eve.

 

00:58:14:08 – 00:58:14:22

Speaker 4

Yes.

 

00:58:14:22 – 00:58:35:12

Greg Porter

This week as we get ready to devour whatever is between the two halves of the shells. So I hope that I truly do. I hope that happens someday. I’ve I’ve run into you. I’ve had opportunity to to shake the hands of a number of people in the maker community over the years. And it’s always been an incredible joy.

 

00:58:35:12 – 00:58:46:12

Greg Porter

And I hope we have that opportunity someday. If I find myself really in Illinois to be able to do that. But I think we should probably wrap up here. Brian’s that sound all right?

 

00:58:46:12 – 00:58:47:08

Brian Benham

Yeah, let’s do it.

 

00:58:48:01 – 00:58:55:23

Greg Porter

Okay. Well, Andy, once again, I want to thank you for being on our podcast today. It was an absolute pleasure chatting with you.

 

00:58:56:09 – 00:58:57:13

Andy Birkey

And we thank you guys.

 

00:58:58:11 – 00:59:14:01

Greg Porter

Again, anyone who wants to check out Andy’s work, you can check out Andy’s Instagram at Andy, Underscore Burkey. And if you want to check out my social media, I’m at Greg’s garage on YouTube. And I also skyscraper guitars on YouTube.

 

00:59:14:10 – 00:59:33:09

Brian Benham

And if you want to check out my stuff I’m Brian Benham dot com and that has links to all of my YouTube and social media Instagram type things. And if you can’t remember that you’re listening to this podcast, the Makers Quest podcast, WSJ.com will have all the links to Andy’s, Greg’s and my stuff in the show notes. Thank you for listening.

 

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