Man gets help to finish high-tech wedding ring after TechShop closure

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Tom Hemenway received some help to create his custom wedding ring. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Tom Hemenway received some help to create his custom wedding ring. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hemenway was supposed to finish his high-tech ring at the Tech Shop yesterday, but couldn’t because the machines to make the custom parts were shut off. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hemenway was supposed to finish his high-tech ring at the Tech Shop yesterday, but couldn’t because the machines to make the custom parts were shut off. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Former TechShop instructors Steve Ricks and Jack Chin helped him out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Former TechShop instructors Steve Ricks and Jack Chin helped him out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hemenway with his fiancé Andrea. (Source: Tom Hemenway) Hemenway with his fiancé Andrea. (Source: Tom Hemenway)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Valley man can breathe a sigh of relief tonight after some former Tech Shop members came to the rescue.

Tom Hemenway is one of several hundred former TechShop members down on their luck after the company filed for bankruptcy and closed for business yesterday.

[READ MORE: TechShop suddenly shuts down in Chandler]

He was worried he’d have to show up to his wedding Saturday with his backup wedding band but doesn’t, thanks to former TechShop instructors Steve Ricks and Jack Chin.

Hemenway was supposed to finish his high-tech ring at the Tech Shop yesterday, but couldn’t because the machines to make the custom parts were shut off.

Chin had the machine at his Gilbert Chip Factory, CNC shop that Hemenway needed to finish the job, so he donated his time, space and talent to help.

Ricks helped with the scramble and programmed the machine for the custom one-of-a-kind piece that’s set to hold a hidden technology.

“I heard what happened, how he needed help,” said Chin. “TechShop closed, he had nowhere to go so I offered my shop and tools and skills and there you go!”

Chin said it was a way to give back since he learned so much from others who volunteered their time to teach him when he was at TechShop.

“We made the deadline, that’s what I’m excited about, to know I was part of it,” said Ricks.

Today, Arizona's Family was there for the moment when Chin and Ricks gave Hemenway the almost finished product. All that’s left to do is insert his soon-to-be stepson’s birthstone.

“Got lucky, found the right people!” said Hemenway. “(It feels) amazing, comforting. Like the stress on my chest has been lifted.”

He added, “I owe them a debt that’s hard to repay. How do you thank someone for saving something you’re so emotionally involved in?”

However, without hesitation, Hemenway said he plans to give back to other former TechShop members who need help too.

“I can’t wait to give back,” said Hemenway. “When we get back from our honeymoon, all the machines I have, I’m going to loan them back to people who don’t have them available now.”

It's that kind of helpful attitude and "making spirit" that seems to be shared among other former members.

Dave Kern, a web developer and member of the now-defunct TechShop in downtown Chandler has taken initiative to connect other former members with a Facebook Group called TechShop Thereafter to help each other the way Ricks and Chin helped Hemenway.

Kern said, for now, former members are meeting at Gangplank Chandler to come up with a plan to attract a new owner to keep the Tech Shop's concept going.

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