Big. Frikkin’. Laser.

September 13th, 2013 by danbackslide

laserThis is Cathy, our brand new Full Spectrum laser cutter. She has a 90-watt laser tube and a 24″ by 36″ cutting bed.

Jude has spent the last week and a half or so getting Cathy’s new home ready — she will be living in the former shop office, next to the metal shop. Inevitably, what was supposed to be a quick room update turned into a major operation as various interesting architectural “features” were discovered…

I and a few others have spent the last week or so getting the laser set up and running it through its paces. I gotta say, this is a wonderful machine, and I’m really looking forward to getting classes going! We are targeting the first week of October for the start of basic training classes, which will just cover safety and basic operation. Riley will also be working up a more detailed class which will feature Deep Knowledge.

Some answers to questions I’m sure you have:

  • You need to be a member to use the laser cutter. (See, one more reason to be a member!)
  • You will need to take either the basic class, or Riley’s Deep Knowledge class, before using the laser. Yes, even if you’ve used laser cutters in the past.
  • We’ll be charging $5 per hour of runtime. The laser tube will burn out eventually, and a replacement is not exactly cheap, so we need to bank up the cash.

Watch this space for class info! Or keep an eye out for the TCMaker Newsletter in your email. What, you haven’t been getting the newsletter? Look over to the right, there’s a signup form there.

lazing

Help build a musical PVC bench, improve a St. Paul community and learn how to solvent weld

July 6th, 2013 by SLSolarz

Hey, thanks very much for checking out my blog!

Last week I promised to discuss the influence of Chuck Taylor shoes on my chair design.  However, I need to take a short break from my rocker to create a bench for a block-improvement effort in the Dayton’s Bluff Community.

This is the bench that I designed for the block improvement effort at Dayton’s Bluff. To construct it, I must solvent weld 210 pieces of PVC pipe. I need a few volunteers to help cut PVC pipe and solvent weld so that I can finish the bench by July 20, 2013.

This is the bench that I designed for the block improvement effort at Dayton’s Bluff. To construct it, I must solvent weld 210 pieces of PVC pipe. I need a few volunteers to help cut PVC pipe and solvent weld so that I can finish the bench by July 20, 2013.

In this post, I will describe the bench design and invite you to help build it!  Interested?  Shoot me an email at slsolarz@gmail.com!

All participants will learn how to solvent weld PVC.  The skill is used to build many exciting maker projects from potato launchers  to musical instruments like the ones played by the Blue Man Group.  In fact, the bench that we build can be used both for rest and to play a few tunes while waiting for the bus!

Two sets of foam-rubber paddles with wood handles will be attached to the bench using a small gauge steel cable.  The paddles create a musical sound when the player strikes the top end of the pipe (the foam rubber must cover the entire opening) forcing the air out the bottom very quickly.  The length of the pipe determines the pitch of the note.  Shorter pipes produce higher notes and longer pipes produce lower notes.

Two sets of foam-rubber paddles with wood handles will be attached to the bench using a small gauge steel cable. The paddles create a musical sound when the player strikes the top end of the pipe (the foam rubber must cover the entire opening) forcing the air out the bottom very quickly. The length of the pipe determines the pitch of the note. Shorter pipes produce higher notes and longer pipes produce lower notes.

 

To make construction easier, I designed the bench in 6 sections.  Each section is 39 inches long and 19 inches wide.  Five of the sections are identical (just oriented differently) and one section is unique. Once I have all of the sections on site, I will bolt 3 pipes from each section to 3 pipes in an adjacent section.

Pink, orange and green colors identify 3 of the 6 sections that comprise the PVC bench.  The bench will be made in sections for ease of transport and installation.  The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council will remove the bench in the winter to avoid damage from snow plows.

 Pink, orange and green colors identify 3 of the 6 sections that comprise the PVC bench. The bench will be made in sections for ease of transport and installation. The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council will remove the bench in the winter to avoid damage from snow plows.

 

The design uses PVC pipes of 5 different lengths with the longest pipes serving as the legs of the bench.  Standard bench height is 18 inches and each section of the bench has four 18 inch-long pipes.  Placement of these bench legs will be important for balance and stability.

 

This is a view from underneath the bench illustrating how many 18 inch-long PVC pipes there are in each section.  Only the longest (18 inch) PVC pipes touch the ground and, thus, it is only the 18 inch pipes that are displayed in this view.

This is a view from underneath the bench illustrating how many 18 inch-long PVC pipes there are in each section. Only the longest (18 inch) PVC pipes touch the ground and, thus, it is only the 18 inch pipes that are displayed in this view.

Please contact me at slsolarz@gmail.com to help build a bench for a better block in the Dayton’s Bluff community!

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.

Raspberry Pi Powered Cat Feeder

March 28th, 2013 by videoman

This project is owned and operated by David Bryan and is not part of TCMaker. This work is licensed by David Bryan under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The documentation and updates have been moved to here: http://drstrangelove.net/2013/12/raspberry-pi-power-cat-feeder-updates/

-David

Project storage cleanup

January 9th, 2013 by videoman

Hey folks!  Q4 Clean up is this Saturday January 12th – 10am-3pm

We have moved our Q4 clean up from December to January as we know that many folks have stuff going on over the coming holiday season.  This time around we are going to focus on member storage.  What does that mean?  All items in member/project storage will be removed from the shelves (and the back bathroom/storage).  If you have a project that you don’t want us to move, talk with an area or shop manager.  We are flexible, but do need to get these cleaned out.  The goal is to have space available for active projects.  Any item that is not a work in progress or supporting a class function should be taken home.  We are trying this first, as we have a lot of stuff that has not been worked on in 6+ months to over a year gathering dust on our project storage shelves.  If this continues to be an issue, we will start charging for the use of project storage.  We also will be reviewing items bigger then a bread box/small appliance that are not part of an active project or is unavailable for communal use.  This review will happen after we  have completed the Q4 project storage clean up.

Going forward, we will request that all items in project storage are placed inside a 12-13 gallon “attached lid container” (Max of 24″ D x 16″ W x 12.5″ H).  We are going to standardize Read the rest of this entry »

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