I recently landed on Absolute-Wood’s website while searching for wood PV stands…and was blown away! I’ve seen quite a few box mods that I classify as works of art, but this is a first for me. If you have an eye for the very best, you’ll want to explore the offerings from Rick.
Welcome to Modding Mavericks, where I introduce you to the people behind the vaping scenes.
With the recent launch of Absolute-Wood, Rick hand crafts PV mod and accessory stands out of exotic woods, contrasted with eye catching striping. His wood creations possess the perfect balance of aesthetics, functionality, and durability.
I now introduce you to Rick Hageman, master craftsman of some of the most gorgeous and functional wood stands for PV mods, E-Cigs, & accessories, I have seen!
TUC: How long have you been vaping?
Rick: Started June 15, 2009 – almost 4-1/2 years.
TUC: What was your very first e-cigarette?
Rick: A standard 510 kit; 1 atty, 2 stick batteries, a charger.
TUC: Who or what do you believe has had the most influence on you in the vaping community?
Rick: Hearing and learning about the FDA behavior got me angry, which got me involved writing to my state officials, etc… I’m a self appointed good will ambassador and information kiosk for use of the e-cig. I love to educate others about them. I believe public knowledge is our best bet at success.
I think the PV is the best invention for tobacco avoidance and seems to enjoy a high success rate at converting people from traditional tobacco. I think it holds huge promise as a means to reduce tobacco related health issues.
TUC: What would you say is your all time favorite movie, and why?
Rick: That’s tough, I like Young guns a lot – but my favorite memories are watching The Matrix with my son when he was little – his favorite movie. I thought the concept was clever in that it suggested our reality could be the matrix, and we would never know it… great idea.
TUC: What are some of your favorite foods?
Rick: Simple – Pizza & Beer; Burgers & Brats on the grill, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate.
TUC: What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Rick: I have a dirt bike; a Sea Doo & trailer we weekend camp in; I’m into Astro and Macro Photography; I still skate once in a while and still have a handful of guitars, amps, drum machines, etc… that I still sit down and play with a couple times a week.
TUC: Which ONE word do you feel best describes you?
TUC: Which ONE word do you think your friends would use to best describe you?
Rick: OCD! (jokingly)
TUC: What flavor e-liquid are you vaping right now?
Rick: MadVapes Rampage.
TUC: What e-cigarette, or mod are you vaping right now?
Rick: My old Silver Bullet @ 6v with a Davide Tank (Kanger Pro copy).
TUC: If you could live anywhere in the World, where would it be, and why?
Rick: The most beautiful place I’ve visited is Cancun, Mexico. We have a time share down there. If I could get a hurricane proof house, I’d spend my days relaxing in the sun, scuba diving and snorkeling, and hanging in a hammock drinking a drink with a little umbrella in it for the rest of my days… I’d have to have a woodshop though!
TUC: What was the driving force behind the launch of your business?
Rick: Seeing a personal need for PV organization, and that there wasn’t much coverage for that need in the market.
TUC: What do you feel was your largest challenge when first starting your business?
Rick: Starting on less than a shoestring. I had no capitol – I had to create it with my first sales. I used the tools I had and the wood I could find in the garage. Sales turned into more wood, and eventually more tools and such.
TUC: What advice would you give someone who is thinking of going into business for themselves, in the e-cig industry?
Rick: It’s early, and a great time as the market will probably explode soon. I’ve noticed that the public is recognizing what they are now. If the FDA, big tobacco or the Pharma industry doesn’t get in our way, it will be a great opportunity.
TUC: What one thing would you like people to know about you?
Rick: I quit smoking by accident! I love to tell the story about how the PV was just going to be an occasional cheap alternative to the real thing in order to cut down on costs. In three days, I just decided I liked vaping better. That was the end of tobacco for me after 35 years as a smoker.
More about Rick of Absolute-Wood
I’m a 54 year old kid that was born & raised in SoCal. I grew up in Orange County, south of L.A. It was somewhat rural back then as our house I grew up in had an acre of land and we had a barn with a few horses, chickens, a big garden, etc…
In my teens, the horses had went away and been replaced with dirt bikes, playing guitar in a band, roller skating, and of course, girls… I was unusual as I was your typical ’70s long hair teenager that older folks would mumble under their breath about, but was a straight A student in spite of all the partying.
The officials at school didn’t like the persona along with the grade point average, and asked me to leave early… I had enough credits at the end of my junior year that I could take a single class my senior year and leave at midterm. I did, and came back and graduated with everyone else in June.
My Dad was a talented handyman and a great woodworker. By then, I already knew my way around a woodshop because of him. But I had been bitten by the photography bug when I was a Junior in High School and decided that I would go to our local community college as a Graphic Arts/Photography major. I began working as a photographer before graduation, and continued to do so for the next five years or so. As much fun as it was, it just wouldn’t pay the bills the way I wanted my career to.
Always having had an interest in woodworking, I decided to take things a step further, and learn how to make furniture. I self taught and experimented for about a year; building and selling small furniture pieces at local swap meets. Before long, I was being told I should look for an apprenticeship as a furniture maker. To make a long story short, I found a custom furniture shop, started as an apprentice, and worked in the furniture and cabinet making industry for the next eight years.
Married and thinking about kids (I’ve got three, all 18+ now), I said to myself that I wouldn’t be able to throw 100 pound boards around the rest of my life and should find something else to do. I had always liked doing side work, and I discovered that I liked designing and drawing what it was I was going to build nearly as much as building it. Maybe even more. I had taken some drafting classes in High School so I could draw what I needed. I could be a Drafter…
That led to my present career. First, I needed to go back to school for Design and Engineering. My best option at the time was ITT Tech and their Drafting and Design program. Eighteen months later, I graduated at the top of my class, and began working in my field 6 months before I graduated.
For the last twenty years, I have worked as a Drafter and Designer in a few different industries. The most notable accomplishment would be that I designed the “Mobile Command Center” seen in Jurassic Park II. I was a Designer at Fleetwood motorhomes when we got the job, and I was chosen as the designer.
The past several years I’ve worked as a Senior Mechanical Designer in the field of cryogenic gas separation. I design machines that produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen, argon, etc… We chill the atmosphere down to about -330 f at which point the air turns into a liquid. Because different gasses at cryogenic temperatures turn from a liquid to a gas at different temperatures, we can distill the different gasses by controlling the temperatures. It’s really interesting work, and I can’t hardly believe I get to go to work everyday and draw cool stuff in 3D on a high end graphics workstation.
I live with my lovely wife, Michelle; and two of our three kids – the two that are in college at the moment. Yes, I have two kids in college! The third is owned by the military for the next several years I think… He’s in the Navy, and seems to really love it. Miss him though.
My almost 21 year old daughter is attending our local community college and hopes to work with special needs children in the future. She’s very warm and caring, and will do well in a profession along these lines.
My youngest son, 18 years old, has just started at Cal Poly Pomona as a Mechanical Engineering Major. A chip off the ‘ol block.
He graduated with a GPA above 4.0 and was taking all AP classes in High School. He actually arrived at college with a little more than a years worth of credits already out of the way.
Vaping led to the formation of the company. I personally saw the need for organization with all the PV gear, and my instincts led me to my workshop. I came back in with my first holder, just for batteries. There was no stopping me from there. I made more. I had too many so I sold a few on ECF. They went fast. I applied to be a vendor, was accepted, and sold holders there for a little over a year before launching my website just a few months ago.
The rest, as they say, is history. I saw a need, and Absolute-Wood was born. I saw it as a way to become more involved with the vaping community, fill a need, and something I can continue after I’m done working for someone else!
I’m a one man show for now, and am navigating as I go. I’m not sure where this will go, but I’m open to wandering along with it.
Now it’s time to wind down a little, and start looking forward to retirement – and that means more time for woodworking. Yay.
For now, I haven’t gotten around to setting up a Facebook or Twitter account for the business, but it’s on “the list”.
Find Rick on the internet~~~
ECF User Name: renderwerks