Staying Stocked Up

The idea was simple: make something to help keep track of our supplies so we know when we’re running low on the essentials.  After weeks of kicking the idea around and various rough doodles, this project finally took shape.  Two days after the first cut on the laser cutter, it was complete.


Made from multiple layers of acrylic, cardboard, and wood, the “Milwaukee Makerspace Consumables Super Analog Status Board” is a clipboard-sized device with nine sliders installed in enclosed slots.  Sliding the tabs right displays more green to indicate “full” or “lots” and sliding left reveals the red acrylic below to indicate “empty” or “low.”  The user can carry the board around the Space with them as they check on supplies and when done, a large hole centered at the top allows the board to be hung up and displayed on a wall.

The hardware holding the whole thing together can be loosened and the layers disassembled.  The cardboard insert that the text resides on can be swapped out should we decide to change the list of items we want to keep tabs on.  The supplies being tracked currently include:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Hand Soap
  • Welding Gases
  • Welding Wire
  • Propane
  • Soda
  • Duct Tape
  • Painter’s Tape

A digital version may or may not be planned for future release.

Ho Ho Lights

My Husband and I wanted to put up some kind of Christmas decorations in our apartment windows over looking the city. After talking about it for a while, I decided to make lighted letters saying, “HO HO HO” …but since we only have two pairs of windows, it would have to just be, “HO HO”.

In the wee hours on Black Friday, we got the materials: 4 sheets of wood, 4 boxes of 100 count LED lights, and extension cords. After sketching out the design…

…and cutting out the letters…

…it was time to drill the 400 holes and hot glue all the lights in place.

It only took a weekend to make and hang these and I think the end result is well worth it.

MAHRER CHRERSTMAHS

Metal Signage

Milwaukee Makerspace

One of our members, who I’ll refer to as a “Master of Metal” made this fully-functional sign for one of our doors. Never again will someone attempt to enter said door without knowing who (and what) lies on the other side.

And when I say this sign is “fully-functional” I mean it is fully-functional. Enough said.

Laser Cut Safety Lock-Out Tags

Lock-out tags are used by factory workers to clearly identify broken or damaged equipment.  Milwaukee Makerspace is no exception.  A set of stop sign-shaped, 3″ wide, 3/16″ thick, red plastic tags have been created with the words “STOP – NEEDS REPAIR” in bold, white letters.  Tags are hanging over the first aid file cabinet by the light switches in the Workshop.  If you find a machine is out of service, please zip-tie a tag to the machine, preferably over its ON/OFF switch so people can easily spot it and refrain from using a potentially unsafe tool.

Signs of the Makerspace

If you’ve only been a part of Milwaukee Makerspace through the web site, wiki, mailing list, or some other online thingamabob we have, and you’ve never actually been to the space, you’re missing out on something—the signs!

Besides all the purely informational signs, we’ve got some humorous signs, and a few signs that probably fit in both categories.

So here my friends, is a brief look at some of the signs of the Makerspace.

Wipe your feet!
We have this special stuff at the space we call “Makerspace Filth” that, if unchecked, tries to infect everything. This is how we fight this menace.

Somewhat Safe
We have numerous classifications for our projects… From “Somewhat Safe” to… well, maybe I shouldn’t talk about the other end of the scale!

It if looks unsafe... it probably is.
Speaing of safe, here’s a good reminder. I actually nicked this one from the guys at Robots and Dinosaurs.

Test Equipment
This makes sense right? Things you should not use the Test Equipment for include: hammer, boat anchor, blunt object, doorstop, spider flattener.

Stay Out!
Occasionally one of your projects needs some privacy. (Especially if it has an escape hatch built into it.)

Milwaukee Robotics Club
Yes, the Milwaukee Robotics Club meets here. Or at least we used to. (It’s been a while since we’ve had a meeting actually…)

Eye protection must be warn
Protect things like your eyes. And your signs. You might notice that even this sign about protecting your eyes is protected by a piece of plastic. Similar to how you might protect your eyes. #meta

Bathrooms
Yes, we do have bathrooms! (Note: some of that “Makerspace Filth” we talked about may be located in the bathrooms.)

Use the wedge!
By the way… if you use the bathrooms, you might also want to use the wedge, so you don’t get locked out.

CCTV in operation
We also have some cameras around the place keeping an eye on everything. (Note: there are not cameras in the bathrooms.)

Caution - Always Add Acid to Water
A gentle reminder to always add acid to water. I’m going to assume the other way around is probably a bad idea.

Laser Radiation
This one is on the laser cutter. Yes, we have a laser cutter. And yes, you can etch a mirror in the laser cutter without destroying yourself or the laser cutter.

Potential for Toxic Fumes - Keep Clear!
Speaking of the laser cutter, we do vent the fumes, but we figured it was still a good idea to put this one along the path of the vent pipe.

Look directly at implosion
I’m not sure we’ve ever had an implosion at the space, but if we do, we know the proper procedure for such an event.

Load: 3 lbs per sq foot
Hmmm, looks like the maximum load had dropped a bit since the initial construction of the building. Those old floors ain’t what they used to be!

Hack Rack
The Hack Rack sign has been upgraded since last year, and now includes the bit about taking something if you leave something—which is good—otherwise the Hack Rack would take over the entire space at some point.

For Makerspace from Ava
I’m not even sure this one is a sign… I think it’s actually artwork contributed by a member’s daughter. Either way, it’s a great interpreation of our logo.

I hope you enjoyed the look at some of our signs! Let us know if you have any suggestions for future signs at the space!

Builder’s Night Out – October 6th

After weeks of revisions and sitting idle, the “Podium” project was completed last night.  Constructed from a tri-fold photo booth enclosure and a rolling base, the Podium holds a binder full of Guest Release Forms to introduce visitors to our space while also performing a very practical and necessary legal responsibility.

In addition to the variety of projects that were being worked on last night, Shane and Brant rewired Chris H.’s “American Horseshoes” game cabinet and reconnected the speaker.  After a few rounds, we understand why it had been disconnected.  It’s definitely a bar game.  Regardless, it will make a great addition to the Workshop.

Brief Project News Brief

I can’t believe it’s already been two and a half months since we first moved into our space.  Tools and parts are still trickling in, but most all of the big stuff is on site and the next step is organizing it all. Here’s a few projects from Thursday night. 

This past evening Tom Gz. & Tom Gk. gave the Space Invaders Pinball machine some more TLC.  The biggest time sink so far has been troubleshooting the lamp sockets. The sound cuts in and out, but the machine is totally playable.  Occasionally you can hear some of the sound effects come through clear, but the rest is scratchy.

 

I’ve been tinkering with the crate of CCTV gear.  I managed to resurrect a small Bunker Hill security camera which I mounted in the vehicle bay next door.  That way we can watch for people headed back and forth from the restrooms and avoid locking anyone out when we leave at night.  That brings the total number of cameras hung to five with possibly three more to go.  Once they’re all up and wired, Jack D. and I plan to link them all together with a PC and broadcast them to the web in some fashion.  Just imagine, people will be able to browse our website AND our shop in real-time!  It’d be cool to have a page with an explanation of where each camera is pointed too.  We’ll have to think about that one.

Tom Gk. was kind enough to bring his vinyl cutter to the shop last night and create some magnetic signs for the front doors.  They look great, even better than some of our neighbor’s signs, heh heh.  At any rate, the place is really coming together.

Look for the more impressive heavy machinery in an upcoming blog entry.  There’s work being done on the lathe and mill as well as other projects we haven’t begun reporting on yet.  We also have the Power Wheel Build Session this weekend so there’ll be plenty to talk about in the next post!