WOMEN HOST DIY CAMPING GEAR @ THE HACK FACTORY

June 21st, 2013 by Nemesis

Hey, Everyone! Camping season is upon us (well, when it isn’t busy raining). Many of us love camping, but we do not love spending $$$ on gear.  There are a lot of easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself options for camping and backpacking gear.

This month at the Hack Factory, Women Host (a group of super-awesome TC Maker ladies) is having a DIY camping gear skill share.  Everyone is welcome to attend (though we do ask that you register on Eventbrite). We’d love to have you bring your ideas, knowledge, questions, and camping related projects to share! There will also be discussion, demonstration, and construction of alcohol-burning stoves (the DIY camper’s best friend).

Feel free to bring your own brew.AGG_stove_burning

Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7107244961/efbevent
A note about Women Host at the Hack Factory: This event takes place the last Tuesday of every month. It is a night that is open to everyone in our community, regardless of sex or gender, but we especially love for the women in our community to demonstrate, share and connect. We believe everyone should have access to our resources and open exchange of information. Future events will continue to be posted here or on the Women Host at The Hack Factory Facebook page – please like us! This event is free of charge and open to the public, thanks to the support of Twin Cities Maker and the Hack Factory.
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Origami chair redesign: a fiberglass exterior

June 16th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog!  Last week I promised to write about creating the exterior of my chair.  Below, I describe my thought process around editing the seat shape, choosing a color and an exterior finish.  I also discuss the mistakes I made and how I corrected them.

Between layers of fiberglass and resin I sanded from 80-150-220 grit—a mistake.  Because resin will drip, I was limited to applying it only to surfaces that were level.  I then had to reposition the chair and again apply resin only to the level surfaces.  All of the sanding and limits to resin application meant that it took several weeks just to apply one layer of resin to the entire chair.

Between layers of fiberglass and resin I sanded from 80-150-220 grit—a mistake. Because resin will drip, I was limited to applying it only to surfaces that were level. I then had to reposition the chair and again apply resin only to the level surfaces. All of the sanding and limits to resin application meant that it took several weeks just to apply one layer of resin to the entire chair.

First, I needed to ensure that the ergonomic seat I had just carved from spray foam and covered in body filler would be comfortable for any adult.  Minne-faire was approaching, so I decided to display my unfinished chair in order to collect some data about the comfort level of the seat and whether or not I needed to edit the shape.  My carving mistake was quickly revealed:  every woman who tried the seat loved it and every man found the back half of the center ridge too high!  Oops!  Luckily, that was an easy fix.

Second, I considered the color.  I could not decide between bright orange and white so when I invited visitors to try out the seat, I also asked them to vote for a color.  Their choice was clear:  classic bright red!

Throughout the dried, but not yet sanded, layers of resin (the shiny areas in this photo) appeared dozens of small mars and dents—with every single layer.  This was one clue that resin alone was going to be insufficient coverage.

Throughout the dried, but not yet sanded, layers of resin (the shiny areas in this photo) appeared dozens of small mars and dents—with every single layer. This was one clue that resin alone was going to be insufficient coverage.

Third, for a sleek, contemporary look I decided to give the chair a fiberglass finish.  Most of the chair received one layer of fiberglass and 4-5 layers of resin.  The seat and back were coated with 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and 5 layers of resin.  Between each layer I sanded the resin from 80-150-220 grit which turned out to be a mistake.  Each non-final layer of resin should only be sanded to 80 grit so that the next layer will easily adhere.

The extra sanding did help by yielding a perfectly smooth surface before applying the next layer of resin.  However, despite the smooth application surface, each new layer of resin consistently produced substantial mars & dents.  I seemed unable to pour a smooth layer of resin which made me wonder if I was ever going to be happy with the finish.

The white circles in this photo surround dark spots on the seat and back.  Those are not shadows but, rather, the dark green body filler that I used when I ran out of pink body filler.  It is showing through 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and resin.  This was my second clue that fiberglass and resin were going to be insufficient coverage.

The white circles in this photo surround dark spots on the seat and back. Those are not shadows but, rather, the dark green body filler that I used when I ran out of pink body filler. It is showing through 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and resin. This was my second clue that fiberglass and resin were going to be insufficient coverage.

I thought that using fiberglass resin would negate the need to paint the chair because the resin can be tinted with universal pigments (the kind that your local paint store uses).  The hardware store where I bought the resin threw in the pigment for free and I combined them in a plastic bucket.  The resin color looked perfect in the bucket!  But once on the chair I realized that resin is super translucent because it contains no opaque base.  Therefore, the 2 different colors of body filler I used on the seat were very visible, even through 3 layers of fiberglass cloth and resin!

If I ever do this again, I will make sure that the color of my chair before laminating is consistent throughout. With an even-colored base, the tinted resin and fiberglass cloth would have been adequate coverage.  Still, to get a smooth surface I would have to spray the resin rather than pour or brush it on.

The difficulty in achieving a smooth surface combined with the translucency of the resin made me realize that I must paint the chair.  After pricing High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) paint spray guns ($180), primer spray guns ($50), paint ($100), and the rest of the equipment I would need to do the job myself, I decided to save some money and have my chair painted at an auto body shop ($250).  But this will be my final step and there is a lot more to do before I get there.

Next time, I will discuss the influence of Converse All Star sneakers on my design.

June 26th, 7pm – Annual Members Meeting!

June 15th, 2013 by videoman

Hey folks! Just wanted to give an update to the community about our annual meeting on June 26th!  FYI- the picture below is hundreds of people watching Riley Harrison launch balloons at Northern Spark!  What a great turnout!

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Acting President (David Bryan) here giving you an update!  We are having our annual member meeting on June 26th 2013!  If you are paid up on your dues, you are eligible to vote!  If you want to come in a see how this runs, this meeting is open to anyone, but topics for the meeting can only be brought forward and voted on by current members.

This year there are two board positions that are up for election.  The way our board and governance works, is that the members elect the board members, and the board elects the officers (Pres, VP, Etc).  This year our current president and secretary board seats are up for election.

Bob Poate, who is acting sectary, his board seat is up for election.  Unfortunately, he will not be running for a board seat this year, but he has been an asset for the organization and the board.  You don’t realize how important this position is, as often times it’s taken for granted and can be overlooked.  This is how we communicate with our members about goings on in our board meetings.  I personally want to thank Bob for all the hours of meetings, and times that he has spent helping us by gathering and publishing our meeting minutes and notes!  A big Thank You to Bob!

David Bryan’s board seat is up for election, and he will be re-running for a board seat.  Whether or not the board re-elects him as president is another story, however I would urge you to let a board member know your opinion, and vote in the election how you see fit.

Scott Hill will be posting a compete listing of candidates, and a Bio/Descriptions/Qualifications shortly to the TC Maker Wiki.

Hack Factory at Northern Spark 2013, June 8th 8:58 PM

June 5th, 2013 by videoman

The Hack Factory is going to be at Northern Spark this year!  We have some amazing Artists creating some super cool projects!  We also ran a fund raiser for the Hack Factory on Indiegogo to support these projects.  That ended last week, but you can still put in an order for T-Shirts or LED throwies here.  Make sure to watch WCCO Friday morning @5:10&6:10am, as they Interviewed us at the Hack Factory talking about our Northern Spark projects.

HF-NS-trebuchet-final-tshirtNorthern Spark is an over night art festival from dusk to dawn on June 8th 2013.  It’s free and open to the public, and is a completely walkable festival this year in the Lowertown part of Downtown Saint Paul.

Riley Harrison is bringing his Foshaybuchet project, and will be hurling illuminated projectiles down range, at large wall of steel!  We did a test launch of these this week, and they look like glowing fireworks!

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David Bryan, Cali Mastny, and Aaron Prust are doing Steel, Exquisite Corpse of.  This will be a steel sculpture created by three artist over the course of the night, where each artist does not know what the section before or after looks like until the entire sculpture is brought together towards the wee morning hours.  Below is a sample we created to test out the process.

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David Bryan is also bringing Strange Attractor to the festival, a wall of glowing lights that will mimic the phase synchronization of fireflies in nature.

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