Mask Making

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Last Saturday Kathryn Hughett ran a class on faux leather mask making that attracted ~12 people.  It was a lot of fun. Kathy provided some templates and her know how. We especially liked learning how to work craft foam to make it look like leather – that will be great for costumes, etc. And we learned some new painting skills.
Michael A. Manske

Flying Halloween Skull – Update!

Last year, I put together a skull to fly around my yard (some Halloween folks will recognize this system as an “Axworthy Flying Ghost“). The system was comprised of two Adafruit Neopixel rings for eyes, attached to a styrofoam skull, which had been hollowed out. Inside it, was an Arduino Uno, Adafruit AudioFX board, a 314mhz receiver, a 3-watt Class-D amplifier, a custom-made interface board which tied all the previously-listed components together, and a LIPO battery.  The idea was that I could remotely trigger the skull to play one of four sound effects. However, all those parts sure weighed a lot, which when combined with the span between my pulleys, really made the skull sag down low.

This year, I decided to KISS.  I ripped out all the guts, except for the Neopixel eyes. I decided that this year, I’m not going to have sound in the skull. Instead of the Uno, I went with an Adafruit Trinket, and used a UBEC (Universal Battery Eliminator Circuit) to drop the LIPO voltage from 7.4V -> 5V that the Trinket and Neopixels run at. Shown below is how everything is connected together, prices, and sources if you’d like to make your own! And here’s a video of what the eyes look like (sorry about the VVS!!)!


Bluth Family Stair Car – PPPRS

For the Power Racing Series event at Maker Faire Detroit we decided to rebuild Duck, which was rebuilt from Noah Way, into something new. We decided on the Bluth Family Stair Car because we love Arrested Development and because Jim added it to the list of cars that get extra Moxie points.


The photo above served as our reference image when we were building the body for the car. We didn’t really make any modifications to the frame of the car, and it remained largely what it was when it raced a Make Faire Kansas City in June.


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Shelfs and Brackets


This project encompasses the two areas that I know the most here in our makerspace.  The Aluminium brackets were made in our metal shop while the Walnut and Ash shelfs where built in the Wood shop.  This project was my first attempt at making dove tail joints.  First the ash and walnut were plained to thickness and glued together.  Then I cut the glued up boards to length.  The longest step in the process was setting up the dove tail joint.  After watching hours of youtube videos between test cuts with the router and dovetail jig I managed to get a passable joint.


Once the shelfs were made it was on to the metal shop to machine the brackets.  The aluminum block was first put in our lathe to make round.  Then each piece was cut up into the half moon pieces and milled on the Bridgeport.


Maker Overkill

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What is the most useless thing to make on our big fancy expensive Tormach CNC machine?  How about something that most people get for free.  Something that you can find in most garbage cans on garbage day.  An item you might use every day and never think about it.  A CLOTHES HANGER.  This is quite possibly the most over engineered device for hanging a shirt or pair of pants ever made.  The hangers are cut from a 1/4 inch piece of aluminum on our Tormach CNC with a 1/4 inch end mill.  From there they are wet sanded and polished then cleaned in preparation for anodizing.  The second arm of the hanger is shaped from Black Walnut and finished in Danish Oil.  This is version 1 of the hanger and version 2 is in the works.