Convergence Costume Countdown Camp

March 30th, 2013 by swinkdaddy

Ok, way too many “C’s” I know. But I am trying to gauge interest in creating a workshop/class that goes over creating “your” costume for this years Convergence convention in July. I know, I like to work with like minded artists while creating costume designs. Thinking this could be an interesting group to put together and at the end show off our collective maker-foo at this years event.

We could go over topics like:
Sewing (yes sewing is fun and guys can be good at it)
Pattern making
Making molds and copies
Fabricating appliances
Latex mask creation
Leather masks
How to not pass out from heat exhaustion.

I’d like to put this together more like a camp. Where there is a topic and it starts with information, but the rest of the day is spent with as much or as little time “making” as you need. A lot of the time a person just needs direction to get from one place to another.

To give an example: You want to make a Mystique from X-Men costume. How would you make her signature skull belt? Well with silicone/latex molding of course. But were do you get molding supplies, and how does it work. Then how do you make copies? These were question I had and I am guessing there are a lot of people interested in coplay but do not know how to get the idea into reality.

Hey, if you are interested, leave a comment. Its never too early to start making a costume, but its often too late…

Shironuri No 96
Image is of the Maker (going by the name of No 96). photo taken by Tokyo Fashion


Beginning Luthier Workshop – Tonite

May 7th, 2012 by swinkdaddy

Beginning Luthier Workshop – Electric Guitar
Mondays 7pm
May 7th-28th
Class Sign Up

Tonight kicks off the first class of DIY guitar building. Still 2 tickets left.

Bridgeport: Safety and Basics

April 10th, 2012 by swinkdaddy

• The time will be Saturday May 5th from 9am to 2pm.
• This will be a hands on class taught in a quasi-Socratic fashion.
• Safety is the foremost goal, getting familiar with the machine and how it works.
• Everyone will get a chance to drill, face and mill a block of material.
• Practice material will be included.
• Class size is limited to 5 people.
• The price per student will be $50.

Class Registration:

Hack Factory Bridgeport

Beginning Luthier Workshop – Electric Guitar

April 10th, 2012 by swinkdaddy

Ever wanted to learn how to build your own guitar? Well wonder no more! This 4 night class will go through the process of building your own electric guitar. The class is $40 and only for members, but you can purchase a 1 month membership for $55. The reason for this is the class will make heavy use of the woodshop for homework. Be warned, the cost of wood, hardware parts and pickups can cost $300-$400. But if your ready to make that custom guitar you’ve dreamed of, then this will be a good start.

Mondays 7pm
May 7th-28th
Class Sign Up

Big Blue Club

December 4th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Welcome to the first couple members of the Big Blue Club. Or in other words, those that have gone through the Miller TIG orientation and are authorized to use the Miller 330A/BP.


Leatherworking for steampunk projects

November 28th, 2011 by swinkdaddy


Material provided as part of class:

  • Speed stitcher/awl
  • Brown nylon waxed
  • 4oz veg tanned tooling leather

Materials you should bring:

  • Really sharp and strong scissors (get them at a sewing store not hardware store)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Objects to “steampunk” your creations

This informal class will cover the basics of leathercrafting for steampunk projects. The first day we will cover basic leatherworking skills like cutting and sewing.After a quick break we will start working leather and plan a quick project that you can finish that evening. The next Thursday will be a full workshop where you can bring in ideas for personal projects to work on and get help with. We will also cover a few more detailed leather working skills on the second Thursday too. So start collecting brass and copper bits to steampunk your creations!

leather working class

Chili Cookoff – Nov 30th

November 21st, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Got a special chili recipe? One that you have to keep in the safe deposit box, lest your brother steal it and make millions? Well we dont want your recipe, just the awesome chili to taste. Winner gets bragging rights and the coveted 1st Annual Hack Factory Chili Trophy of Awesomeness!

Rules: Its a hackerspace, come on?!? Well wait, it has to be chili at least…
Voting: ballot in a box
Winner: most votes

Date: Nov 30th Open House
Time: Pack in 7pm, Tasting at 8pm

Pedal Dragon Brainstorm Kickoff

November 17th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

When – November 30th Hack Factory Open House, 8pm, classroom
What – Making awesome out of thin air
Why – Why not…

After a couple of months to stew on the pedal dragon concept, we are going to have a formal brainstorm session to really hash out a realistic (yeah right) plan that we can start on. Bring those idea and sketches you make while unable to move after eating too much turkey, or avoiding black Friday.

CNC Engraving with Inkscape

November 11th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Class title: CNC Engraving with Inkscape
Preregister at:
Requirements: A laptop/netbook running Windows/MacOS/Linux with Inkscape
( installed.

In the first portion of the class, we’ll explore the Hershey Text and
Gcodetools extensions for Inkscape, then we’ll create some art to engrave.
If you have existing vector or raster artwork you’d like to engrave, please
bring it to class. Once we’re finished with the designs, we’ll render
Gcode, the step needed to tell our CNC router what to do.

In the second portion of the class, we’ll be using the CNC router (driven by
EMC2 ( to create real-world objects engraved with our
Inkscape art. Blanks of pine (3.5″ by 8″) will be provided for engraving.

$25 for members, $30 for non-members. 15 Students max.

6pm-9pm November 22nd.

More information at

We have a spark…

November 6th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Date: Sunday, Dec 4th
Time: 12pm – 4pm

The big Mill-er TIG is up and running. And talk about power, this thing has juice to spare. That being said, we are having an orientation class to familiarize members with this machine. The class is mandatory for anyone using the machine. We need to be SURE everyone has been given the proper startup and shutdown procedures to keep from damaging the machine. Also for simplicity sake, we want everyone to use the same collet/tungsten electrode kit rated for this welder, so you will be getting your own kit as part of the orientation materials (dont worry we get a good discount on bulk orders so its cheaper than getting it yourself). Also this unit uses quite a bit of argon. We want to make sure we can keep this thing in gas, so we trying to get a shop sized tank. The rest of the orientation cost goes right back into feeding this beast a steady diet of argon.

This will not be an introduction to welding class. You will need to have had a mig or gas welding class before signing up and be a member in good standing of the Hack Factory. You can also test out of the prerequisite classes by finding either Dave or I and showing off your wicked welding skills.

Videoman testing the big TIG

You can also register in person with Karin (class/events coordinator) up til nov 25th (we need a week to order kits)

Barcamp 6 in Milwaukee = WIN

October 2nd, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Got back today from attending Barcamp 6 in Milwaukee. Basically it was a 36 hour (straight through the night) of talks/hacking/demoing/learning. The conference is set up to not be a bunch of big wig speakers, but passionate attendees that share their knowledge to the group. I was kinda of unsure how well this would work, but I have to say now, that I AM A FAN!

First off we sent a microphone around the room of 100+ people with the purpose of getting a name and what that person wanted to teach and what they wanted to learn. So that right there changed what was being presented that day, as someone wanting to learn X, inspire someone else to teach X as we went around the room.

Needless to say we need to send more people to this barcamp. The Milwaukee barcamp is very hackerspace focused, and the ideas presented were fresh and fun. I am planning to go back next year.logo

Vacuum Form Station – Group Build

August 23rd, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Kicking off a group build to make a large vacuum forming station for the Hack Factory. We have a number of group projects coming up that could really use the ability to form lightweight plastic parts (soon to be re-announced pedal dragon build).

If you want to help or have questions, follow the project on the forums.


August 21st, 2011 by swinkdaddy

The annual MSP/STP zombie pub crawl is happening this OCT 8th.
Anyone making an awesome zombie costume for a night of undead merriment?
Well why not, whats wrong with you! You should!

Lets meet Monday Oct 3rd and work on some molds and latex prosthetic to amp up your zombie-ness. We will have an informal costume hacking night. I’ll bring some mold making supplies and some latex to help make the undead – more undead-ish.

Questions and comments here


August 18th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

BarCampMilwaukee6 is happening October 1st-2nd, 2011.

Bucketworks 706 South 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204

We start at 9am on Saturday, and run through 4pm on Sunday. Feel free to come any time, and/or be there the entire time. (There’s a schedule.)

First time at an unconference? Read this.

You! BarCamp is made up of people. The people who show up and make it happen. We’ll be there… will you?

barcamp logo

Clean Up – Part Duex

August 18th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Missed last Saturdays clean up?
Thought it sounded like a good idea, but had a previous obligation?
Well never fear, you no longer have to live with the crushing guilt.

Clean Up Part Duex!
Sweep away that guilt while you help your fellow makers spruce up the place.
We have some public events coming up in the near future, and we want to look our best.

Sat 10-4pm
Please lend a hand for a couple hours.
Sleep well, knowing you made a difference…

Free Hot Metal Pour – Sat 8/6 – Franconia Sculpture Park

August 6th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Community Collaboration Hot Metal Pour
Saturday · August 6th · 10:00am to 8:00pm

Come and be part of art history and the direct casting of metal sculptures. Cast metal artists from around the world converge on FSP for a two-week workshop at the end of July. On August 6th, we invite the public to be part of out cast metal artist workshop and create (or collaborate on) your own small sculptures. A nominal fee is charged to cover expenses. Molds are $25, $40, and $75. For more information: click here or email As our tradition upholds, Savage Aural Hotbed performs at 12:30 , 2:30, and 4:00pm .
There are a limited number of educational grants to cover the expense if you cannot afford the fee.
There will be two community scratch mold workshops on Saturday July 30th 1-4pm and Wednesday August 3rd 4-8pm.

Hot metal pour

Fundraiser Garage Sale Announcement

August 6th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Hey got any stuff that you’d like to put in a garage sale, but dont want to bother with actually having a garage sale?

Well, your in luck! we will take care of that for you.

First Annual TC MAKERS Garage Sale at the Hack Factory

We need to raise some funds for a couple of infrastructure projects that benefit all the members.
Hows this sound?

– shop-wide dust collection
– refurbished bathrooms and member locker space
– air-conditioning more of the shop
– air power for the entire space

Now that we have your attention. we need all that stuff sitting in your garage and basement that you could donate to a fundraiser garage sale for the Hack Factory “Make the Hack Factory Nicer For All” Fund.

Tentative Sale date Sept 17-18st
Tentative Setup and pack in Sept 14th

Note- date changed to allow more collection time and announce at wen meeting.

The plan is to clean out/up the hack factory the previous weekend and identify items we no longer want. Those items will either be thrown out or designated as garage sale items.

Bring your stuff to the hack factory with prices/name attached. The plan is to advertise the garage sale as a geek/maker centric sale.

Any questions or comments, please post to the forum.

Group Project Brainstorm on Forum

August 5th, 2011 by swinkdaddy

Last Wen open house we announced that we would like to start a large prestige build. After going to Detroit Makers Faire and seeing some really awesome stuff. The idea of a large project to get TC Makers on the map was a worthy goal.

So lets start brain storming, nothing is set in stone, but here are a few basic requirements.
– pedal powered (mpls/stp is a biking community after all)
– light weight but large
– able to take down/apart for travel to events
– fire and/or smoke
– some form of illuminated fabric or e-fabric with arduino control.
– sound system with interactive inputs

Some of these seemingly random requirements are in place to make sure everyone in the hack fac can participate in some way.

Let the ideas flow….

Any and all ideas are welcome, just submit a post on the forum in the Group Build – Brainstorm Phase thread. In a couple of weeks, we can go through them together at the wen open house.

Makers faire dragon image 2011 Detroit

Blender 3D Class

March 5th, 2010 by swinkdaddy

Thursday evenings 6:30 -9:00 April 1st – 29th.

Learn to build and animate simple 3 dimensional objects and characters using Blender3D. Blender3D is a free open source 3D program build for numerous platforms. The class will start with making simple objects and finish with making an animated kinetic chain.

A laptop you can bring to class
3 button mouse (yes it is maddening without one)
blender3D (2.49 version not the new beta) –
optional – usb number keypad (help in switching views, but not needed)

$25 for class and ~$5 each class to chip in for pizza/snacks. Payment via check/cash on first day of class. Class will be held in the class room at the Hack Factory.