Hopefully, we can use this as a backdrop for events like the Art Jamboree.
I’ve been toying with the idea of room dividers for a while now. I don’t exactly have use for one, but I think they look neat and it’s basically a blank canvas. Drawing inspiration from my Clockwork Boxes, I decided that a gear motif would best suit the makerspace, thus giving me a new use for the piece: as a backdrop at events we participate in such as Art Jamboree and the various Maker Faires.
There are 3 of us in this photo. Really.
The actual screens were cut out with a large-scale CNC router, while the frame was ripped from 2×4′s, with a dado groove down the center for the screen to slip into. Thanks, Jason H.!!
Assembly went well, although there were a few hiccups. The drill bit wasn’t long enough, so some minor splitting occurred at a couple of spots. The frame was slightly warped and so needed to be clamped and glued before being screwed together.
After allowing the paint to dry overnight, myself, Matt W., and Jason H. assembled this thing just prior to heading to the Art Jamboree at the Hilton in Milwaukee.
As of mid-January, the Milwaukee Makerspace is now a member of the Space Federation. The Space Federation is an organization that brings hackerspaces and makerspaces together to share resources and knowledge, while providing non-profit fiscal sponsorship for member spaces.
With the fiscal sponsorship provided by the Space Federation, we will be able to accept tax-deductible donations of equipment and funds from individuals and corporations. We have already been approached by several companies and individuals about helping out the space and the new setup will help us do more for the community in Milwaukee. More importantly, a non-profit structure has always felt right for the space. We collect dues so we can provide an awesome space for the makers in our community. All of our officers and members volunteer their time to make the Makerspace great and no one profits from the space directly – if you discount inspiration and collaboration, that is. The new structure formalizes one of our guiding principles in a way that will hopefully help us do more for our makers and Milwaukee itself.
The discussion to become a non-profit has been an active one throughout our history. Joining up with the Federation gives us experienced folks to work with and a bit less work on our side. We’re excited by the opportunities for the space and the community the Space Federation provides … and we’re in good company! Many of our favorite spaces around the midwest and the country are already members of the federation and we’re excited to start working a bit more closely with them. It’s also nice to work with more local folks – the Federation is based here in Milwaukee.
We are super close to re-opening again. We can’t wait to see folks start using the new space. Members and Friends of the Space have been hard at work getting our new space ready for business again.
Even though we aren’t open yet, we’d like to share a couple shots of the space in progress. New Friend of the Space, Rodney, took a few excellent shots of the progress being made a few days ago. Thanks for helping out and thanks for the great shots, Rodney! We’ll have some more shots of things cleaned up a bit more shortly.
As much as we like photos, we are really anxious to open up our doors to Milwaukee again. Hopefully we’ll see you around the new space soon!
We haven’t found a home for all this stuff from Chase yet.
This is where our car area and the machine shop will be.
This is where the bulk of the machine shop will be.
Recently, I’ve started playing around a bit with metal-working. Pretty low-tech stuff – heat it and beat it.
My DIY coal forge isn’t much to look at, just a couple pieces of steel pipe with the shop-vac on a dimmer switch, and an old brake disc welded on top, but it’s enough to do some basic blacksmithing.
Last night after work, I fired up the mini-forge and worked on a pair of old iron nails. I heated them, and then applied a blacksmith twist, a bend to make a hook, and even hot-punched (NOT drilled) mounting holes.
Once done, I hit them with a wire wheel to give it that shiny silver-and-black finish I like.
The result is a pair of decorative, yet very functional, iron hooks for hanging decorations, photos, and the like. Maybe I can make a few more to mount next to my wood stove to hold my fire poker and kindling hatchet.
It occurred to me that I haven’t posted about my latest laser-etched wall-hanging yet. This piece was inspired by a trip out to a couple of Milwaukee cemeteries. I’m slowly learning what to look for when preparing photographs for laser etching.
Total time to etch and cut was about 3 hours. Both the front and back pieces were treated with teak oil, lightly sanded, then rubbed with a clean cloth to bring out a little sheen.
This piece is the sister to one I had posted about here. Put side by side, the tree on the right merges with the tree on the other piece to create a unifying effect. There are two other pieces that I’ll be doing for this series which will have the tops of the branches visible to unite all four.
I moved into my first place this year and with that came the harsh reality that landlords do not care too much for you dragging trees through the halls and making a mess of things, go figure. So I decided to get a bit creative and do something a bit more on the unconventional side of things.
Most of this was done using a 60 watt laser. I mostly went this route because I wanted to be sure that the pieces would all be the same size so that when I tried to hang them it would hang level. This plan failed partial due to some vertical stretching that the laser was doing and mostly do to my inability to tie knots in 4 ropes at the same places along their lengths. It took a considerable amount of messing with it to get the thing to sit level. If I were to do it again I would most likely have a center post that is in sections about a foot high each that I hang the rings from by simply doing an ‘X’ of rope through the center.
All in all I think it turned out well. I am already plotting for next year hopefully this will mean I manage to get it done before the weekend before Christmas this time.
I am going to clean up the files and get them up on Thingiverse so look for them there if you are interested.
Note: You may have noticed Peach is at the bottom trying to rescue Mario. My girlfriend insisted the tree must also defy gender stereotypes. So it is not only nerdy but also progressive.
There is quite a lot of packing happening at Ye Olde Milwaukee Makerspace (at Chase), in preparation for the move to our new home on Lenox! In the midst of the chaos, the Milwaukee Makerspace Eight Speaker Super Surround Sound System, although taken down from the ceiling and put on a pallet, is still rocking! The whole pallet really is a portable plug and play audio system: It has one power cord, and one headphone jack to plug your phone (or other audio source) in to. With its eight speakers aimed in nearly every direction, it is sure to delight!
Hey, is that a MakerSpaceInvader pinball machine, a MAME cabinet, an RFID-enabled Kegorator, and a jewelry wax carving CNC machine next to the MMESSSSS? What other odd things does the Makerspace have you ask? Well, stop by and find out!
This is my newest piece, cut and etched on our 60 watt laser cutter. Both images are from pictures that I took out at a couple of graveyards. I inverted the image in the background so that the sky was nice and dark and the trees were bright. Unfortunately, this washed out a lot of the tombstones in front, so I’m going to try re-etching this piece before I offer it up for sale.
The back piece took approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes to etch as a 11.5″ square. Additionally, I found that the margins are a bit off on the cutter. The left margin has shifted around 1/8″-1/4″ to the right, so the piece wasn’t perfectly centered.
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