This article is from the BARN News Archive, and was originally published in December 2019.

After years in the pressure-packed field of IT services, David Hays was ready to slow down. He and his wife Joan Hammond were looking to leave their Sammamish home and downsize into something completely different. But where? Joan, a jewelry maker, kept hearing of an amazing place across the water. So one chilly spring day in 2018 they boarded a ferry and came to BARN for a Sunday tour. “When we got back on the ferry that evening, we knew that Bainbridge Island was going to be our new home,” David said.

Since then they have immersed themselves in BARN. Joan has taught classes in Jewelry. David, a machinist as a young man, found a natural fit in Metal Fabrication. He learned how to run the new CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines in the studio so that he could teach classes in how to use this exciting new equipment. Then he helped with the community service project of upgrading the Battle Point telescope workings. And this week he was formally installed as Studio Lead for Metal Fabrication. “I’m going to do my best to fill the very big shoes of (previous Studio Lead) Peter Moseley,” he laughed.

David has been a regular “fixer” at Fix-It Saturdays, where the Machine Shop opens its doors for the public to bring in their small repair needs. “I love taking care of things, fixing them, maintaining equipment,” he said.

“What happens here is that people come in for help with something, and as you help them you start to learn their stories,” he said. He met people at BARN who had amazing tales to tell. “Jim Henderson came in for help with a radio antenna – and it turns out he was chief engineer for Paul Allen’s submarine. Bjorn Nilsen needed help with the CNC machines, and told me about working on the Hadron Super Collider at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire).”

David is eager to launch new projects at BARN. “I have found the people here to be open, warm, and willing to pitch in,” he said. “After all, BARN is what we make it.”