“Never angle grind in frustration,” says Craig Bartlett, a regular at Made In Workshop who had a scorching experience in the makerspace.

Craig has been using Made In Workshop to design and build an industrial mulching machine so that he can turn garden waste into compost – and in half the time. Both the hammer blades and the conveyor belt are powered by a 15-horse power petrol engine – watch this video to see it in action (it’s strangely satisfying).

But Craig’s mulching machine was taking a lot longer than he thought it would to complete and he was growing frustrated – he just wanted to finish the damn thing.

Craig clenched his teeth and grabbed the nearest angle grinder; giant chunks of metal screamed against its blade while sweat dripped from his scowl – and sparks flew.

Consumed by his angle-grinding frenzy, Craig didn’t realise that he was standing too close to said flying sparks – and things soon got a little… heated.

“I could smell smoke and, when I looked down, there was a patch of flame on my shirt!” says Craig.

“Luckily I caught it in time.”

Craig admits that he didn’t have to stop, drop and roll, but it was his favourite top.

“I was understandably a bit gutted,” he adds, looking sombre.   

“I can’t say that I want to be remembered as the guy who set himself on fire after all the other cool things I’ve done at Made in Workshop, but I think it is a good reminder to be more mindful of things that can happen in an environment like this. When working with these machines, you need to be focused and, of course, you should wear practical workshop clothing.”

He pauses, and grins.

“Admittedly, I haven’t completely learnt my lesson as I have arrived at the workshop a couple of times in slops and Henry was none too pleased with me!”

By day, Craig is in marketing, and by night (or at least when he can find the time) he is an organic waste recycler.

For now, Craig’s mulching (and angry angle grinding) remain a hobby, but he hopes to turn organic- and plastic recycling into a full-time thing.

“I’m so tired of the rat race,” he says. “I want to be a part of something that has a positive impact on the world.”

If you want to find out more about Made In Workshop, contact them on 087 701 4156, or take a look around at 65 Maria Street, Fontainebleau (and don’t wear slops).