The Tormach Training Begins

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It has been amazing to see this group purchase come together over the last 6 months.  This mill is a great example of what we can achieve together.  It all started with one member stepping out on a ledge and offering to match funds raised by the space for a CNC mill.  If you see Larry walking around the space make sure to shake his hand and say thanks.  Because he stepped up we all have a new tool to make things with.2 imagesNow that we have a big fancy Tormach CNC mill it’s time to make some makers.  Our very own Larry will be donating his time to give one on one training starting this week.  Your first project will be your name engraved in a block of aluminum created using the conversational mode.  As someone with some milling experience it was a straight forward process and Larry was a great teacher. Don’t be intimidated by the big scary mill, Make something.  I would encourage you to not stop at the milling.  Take your name plate and buff it or powder coat it to make it unique.  Contact Larry via email or at a Tuesday night meeting to schedule a time to get checked out on the mill.

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A special thanks to Tormach for helping us get this mill.  Without their help the money raised by our members would not have got us such an amazing tool.  We look forward to sharing all the things we make with the mill with them and supporting them any way we can.  TORMACH IS THE BEST!  For more info on Tormach and the cool tools they make click here.

I Made Some Furniture

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_I9H7512After several months of working I finally got around to photographing some of the furniture I have been working.  I have been exploring the idea of raw edges and finished edges meeting.  To that end the tables are made out of slabs of ash cut in half and then one side flipped to the other so the raw edges are in the center and not on the side.  This is not a new idea of course.  Googleing the words “river table” will provide lots of examples of this style.  The wood grain of the ash gives the look of a topographical map with the glass serving as the water feature in the map.  I am also working on a floor lamp and entry way table that continue to explore this idea. _I9H7515

The end table features legs turned from ash with a raw edge left on a single leg.  The wood top is a cross section of a maple tree also turned on the lathe to leave the bark on part of the round edge.  I am really happy with how these pieces turned out and would be happy to talk anyone through the process.

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Finally the last piece is the table lamp that many of you have seen around the space.  It was fun to blend walnut and concrete into this project.   This was my first attempt at steam bending and it went well.  A couple plastic bags, a hose, a tea pot, and a electric burner got the job done just fine.
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I made a thing!

This project began much like many of my projects at Milwaukee Makerspace have: an off-the-cuff discussion; in this case, with Lance Lamont about a possible project for Maker Faire Milwaukee. After a few rounds of discussion, we came up with the idea of an electromagnetic crane. I decided I’d attempt to build one similar to this style, and that I’d start off with the magnet. I purchased several small electromagnets from Tom‘s favorite website, Banggood. Thus, the MicroMagnetArray was born:

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And failed miserably. Running at 18v (50% more than its rated voltage!), it was only drawing ~200mA, and could only lift 2-4 of the 7/16ths nuts I’d borrowed for use as ballast.

So my inner maker came boiling to the surface and yelled at me, “why not wind my own!?”… Continue reading

Nerdy Derby Wheels Keep Rolling!

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We’ve been printing wheels… lots of wheel! We tested some at Madison Mini Maker Faire’s Nerdy Derby event last weekend, and we’ve been using Son of Megamax to crank out little plastic wheels.

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Yes, we are printing 37 wheels at a time! And we’re using ABS filament from CoEx in Appleton, Wisconsin. They were kind enough to supply us with some spools of filament to keep SoM busying printing pretty much day and night!

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I know you’re wondering how we keep an eye on all those wheels being printed. Well, when we’re not at the space we just check out the Milwaukee Makerspace Webcam. (As long as it’s pointed in the right direction.)

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Coex 3D Printing Filament
(Thanks again to Coex for the filament donation!)