The messy garage outside of the North Phoenix home of Lance Greathouse is filled with creatures and fire-breathing monsters galore. Not the supernatural kind, mind you, but rather those he's built from made from scrap metal and steel.
The dental laser technician, gearhead, and self-described "mad scientist" spends his off hours constructing these contraptions inside his workshop, as well as a variety of wicked-looking mobile flamethrowers and custom wheelchairs.
Greathouse built the 40-by-50-foot garage in the backyard of his sprawling ranch-style house a little over 4 years ago. Space is occupied by most of his creations -- three-wheeled flame-spewing tricycle "Lord Humongous," the mechanized "Robobust" skeleton, and the nightmarish skull-covered walking machine called "Sandman."
"I come out here when I'm not working and try to think of the wildest stuff I can create," he says. "Robobust started out when a local bar owner asked me to make something cool for his place. He rejected it, but I kept building it into something gnarly."
A pair of work benches on one end of theare littered with drills, golf cart batteries, loose wires and other tools and scrap
"A clean workshop is the sign of a sick mind," Greathouse jokes.
Meanwhile, the walls are covered with pictures from his days as an offroader and outdoorsman, as well as pictures and memorabilia from Burning Man. Greathouse takes his creations to the annual event, as well as various Maker Faires around the country, including the original festival in Northern California.
Greathouse is planning on filling up three trailers full of his contraptions to show off at Phoenix's inaugural Maker Faire this weekend and hope to impress those in attendance.
"It's super big in California, but I don't think too many people know about it here," he says. "Hopefully a ton of people will come and see what all us mad scientists have to offer."
Phoenix Maker Faire takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday at Roosevelt and Third streets. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for kids 6 and older. Click here for info.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.