Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Get your mancave “mantiques” from Mylo Macario at SD Tuff Stuff

We all need a refuge

Mylo’s shingle
Mylo’s shingle

“Mantiques,” says the sign. “SD Tuff Stuff. The Mancave Store.”

This I’ve got to see. We’re on a less-visited stretch of W. Main in El Cajon.

Place

SD Tuff Stuff Store

555 West Main Street, El Cajon

Guy’s in the next room, working on a weld. So I look around. Room’s filled with every kind of guy thing, from doorstopper chunks of railroad track to anvils to old record players to antique telescopes to curved cement trowels which you could turn into cool mancave lampshades, to old milk cans, to long-nozzled oil squirters, to an 1886 school bell, to toy earth movers, to an ancient model truck, “Marcrest Livestock Lines.”

Sponsored
Sponsored
Mylo: “This is my man cave, my refuge. I do she-caves too.”

“This place has saved my life,” says Mylo Macario, when we get talking. He’s turning 52. He says it has taken him all this time to find his true calling.

Well, actually, he knew he was good at making things way back, like in welding class at high school. But the day he really knew he was good at making things was in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006. “I was a Navy Seabee, attached to the army, to build everything from battle ladders to fighting positions on roofs.”

Then one day, Macario had to figure a way to stop the enemy firing RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) from their pinch point just down the road. “We put up serpentine concrete barriers which slowed down their [vehicular] attacks. But they’d just walk out and shoot an RPG over the top and try to destroy our strong point. The Army said, ‘What can we do?’ And I came up with the idea of using chainlink fence, stretched across the road between two ‘goal posts.’”

Popular Mantiques include toy trucks and earth movers from long ago

He constructed several. And, under threat of enemy fire and in extreme heat, he and his men scrambled out into enemy territory with them. They set the heavy nets up. Macario collapsed from heat stroke. But they stopped the RPGs.

Years, and a lot of PTSD treatment later, Mylo Macario has drawn on those Seabee skills again to create a life he loves. “I was so tired of working for The Man. Big organizations. I just came in here to buy a wheelbarrow. The guy said ‘anything else?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I want a shop.’ And come to find out he was actually looking to lease out this space. So I went for it. Left my job. Took a chance.”

That was earlier this year. Macario has since created this refuge for men, antiquers, and steampunks. One of his most popular items is the blacksmith’s forge blower. “The whole Forged In Fire TV show has created a blacksmith craze,” he says. “So, I sell hammers, different tools, horseshoes, anvils. With larger anvils, people make knives, axes. This anvil would cost you $750.”

An 1886 school bell

But actually, he spends most of his time creating custom metal fabrication solutions for customers. “Just like Ramadi, in a way,” he says. “I’ve worked on Model A’s, four of them. A brew hood, for the brewery next door. I’ve built metal lattice work, vine hoops, I have rewelded doors onto trailers, I’ve even shown other people how to weld. I’m happy.”

But honestly, what’s with the mancave cult? In this day?

“We all need a refuge. I sure do. This is mine. And it’s not sexist. I also do she-caves.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Holo Holo Festival showcases music of the Pacific Islands

Featured local artists include Eli-Mac and Lea Love
Mylo’s shingle
Mylo’s shingle

“Mantiques,” says the sign. “SD Tuff Stuff. The Mancave Store.”

This I’ve got to see. We’re on a less-visited stretch of W. Main in El Cajon.

Place

SD Tuff Stuff Store

555 West Main Street, El Cajon

Guy’s in the next room, working on a weld. So I look around. Room’s filled with every kind of guy thing, from doorstopper chunks of railroad track to anvils to old record players to antique telescopes to curved cement trowels which you could turn into cool mancave lampshades, to old milk cans, to long-nozzled oil squirters, to an 1886 school bell, to toy earth movers, to an ancient model truck, “Marcrest Livestock Lines.”

Sponsored
Sponsored
Mylo: “This is my man cave, my refuge. I do she-caves too.”

“This place has saved my life,” says Mylo Macario, when we get talking. He’s turning 52. He says it has taken him all this time to find his true calling.

Well, actually, he knew he was good at making things way back, like in welding class at high school. But the day he really knew he was good at making things was in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006. “I was a Navy Seabee, attached to the army, to build everything from battle ladders to fighting positions on roofs.”

Then one day, Macario had to figure a way to stop the enemy firing RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) from their pinch point just down the road. “We put up serpentine concrete barriers which slowed down their [vehicular] attacks. But they’d just walk out and shoot an RPG over the top and try to destroy our strong point. The Army said, ‘What can we do?’ And I came up with the idea of using chainlink fence, stretched across the road between two ‘goal posts.’”

Popular Mantiques include toy trucks and earth movers from long ago

He constructed several. And, under threat of enemy fire and in extreme heat, he and his men scrambled out into enemy territory with them. They set the heavy nets up. Macario collapsed from heat stroke. But they stopped the RPGs.

Years, and a lot of PTSD treatment later, Mylo Macario has drawn on those Seabee skills again to create a life he loves. “I was so tired of working for The Man. Big organizations. I just came in here to buy a wheelbarrow. The guy said ‘anything else?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I want a shop.’ And come to find out he was actually looking to lease out this space. So I went for it. Left my job. Took a chance.”

That was earlier this year. Macario has since created this refuge for men, antiquers, and steampunks. One of his most popular items is the blacksmith’s forge blower. “The whole Forged In Fire TV show has created a blacksmith craze,” he says. “So, I sell hammers, different tools, horseshoes, anvils. With larger anvils, people make knives, axes. This anvil would cost you $750.”

An 1886 school bell

But actually, he spends most of his time creating custom metal fabrication solutions for customers. “Just like Ramadi, in a way,” he says. “I’ve worked on Model A’s, four of them. A brew hood, for the brewery next door. I’ve built metal lattice work, vine hoops, I have rewelded doors onto trailers, I’ve even shown other people how to weld. I’m happy.”

But honestly, what’s with the mancave cult? In this day?

“We all need a refuge. I sure do. This is mine. And it’s not sexist. I also do she-caves.”

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Swimmer who braved French river bails during Imperial Beach stunt

In-Seine, But Not Crazy
Next Article

La Jolla's SummerFest 2024 starts July 26

The list of artists is stunning
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.