Member Storage Reminder

February 29th, 2012 by mcsteve

Hack Factory Member Storage

With our quarterly cleanup coming up soon, I’d like to remind everyone about the purpose of the member storage shelves. These shelves are intended for storage of projects in progress, and the materials and tools being used for those projects. I would like to invite everybody to take some time to organize their storage area prior to the quarterly cleanup. When organizing your storage, there are a few requirements to keep in mind:

  • Allotted space: Everyone should make an effort to occupy no more than one half of a storage shelf with their projects and materials. There is no problem with using a whole shelf, as long as the material you are storing is actively being worked on. Check with the Shop Manager or an Area Manager if you have special requirements.
  • Labeling: The owner of every item stored on these shelves should be readily identifiable, with contact information. This requirement can be met by placing parking permits on each item, or applying a strip of tape or similar label to the shelf. This is especially important with quarterly cleanup approaching. If we don’t know who something belongs to, we don’t know whether or not it’s abandoned.
  • Tidyness: As much as possible, material on the shelves should be stored in a relatively neat fashion, and items should not overhang the front of the shelves. We want the space to look organized and functional when guests are touring the space.
  • Inactive projects: Anything you have stored at the space which you haven’t worked with in a long time should be taken home or disposed of.

The overall goal here is to give members a chance to organize and evaluate their storage prior to quarterly cleanup, so that items are organized in the way their owner wants, as opposed to being organized at the whims of the cleanup participants.

As always, speak with the Shop Manager or an Area Manager if you have any questions.


Annual meeting, Members pot luck and Shop Clean up! March 31st!

February 24th, 2012 by videoman

March 31st we are having our Annual meeting.  What does this mean?  Three seats on our Board of Directors are up for election.  Our Board of Directors are the members we elect to oversee and steer the direction of the organization.   They they hire or elect staff and officers to serve in particular day to day management positions such as President, Wood Shop Manager, and many others.  They also approve major policy changes such as the dues schedule.

Currently most of the Board of Directors also serve as Officers, however this is not a requirement.  A seat on the Board of Directors is a three year commitment.  Officers and staff serve at the direction of the Board of Directors and are responsible for carrying out day to day operations.

If you would like to be submit your name for election to our Board of Directors, please send your name to our secretary (Bob Poate) via email, Secretary[ @ ] or in person at the Hack Factory.  We will leave the candidacy application open until March 7th, 2012 Midnight CST.

We will also be taking input for the Agenda of the Annual Meeting on March 13th at the Monthly Board Meeting.  Once we have compiled our candidates and agenda at the March 13th board meeting, a formal announcement for the Annual Meeting will be sent out by March 16th 2012.

The same day that we are having our Annual Meeting we will be having the Quarterly Shop Clean-Up just in time  for Minne Faire and an informal general member meeting.

The overall agenda for March 31st is as follows:

  • Shop clean up – 10 am to 3pm
  • Members meeting / potluck – 4pm – 5pm (or sooner if people want)
  • Annual meeting – 5pm – 6pm

The members meetings will be a place for all members to come together and discuss all things Hack Factory related, and a place for members to meet the candidates on the ballot.

Something very important to note: in order to participate in voting, you must have payed your dues for March on or before March 1st.  Per our bylaws, only members in good standing are qualified to vote.  So that means if you submit your member dues after March 1st you will be ineligible to vote on March 31st.  If that is the case, we would still welcome you to come to the potluck and clean up, but you will not be able to vote.

**edited for policy accuracy, pardon the earlier error**

Open Hacke Night 2/22/12

February 23rd, 2012 by themountainfold

Pictures from the 2/22/12 Open Hack Night @ Twin Cities Maker’s Hack Factory.

and a video of Riley’s Latest creation:

Applications Away!

February 20th, 2012 by metis

Well, it’s taken a while but videoman, orion and myself spend a couple of hours tonight correcting typos and printing.   We’ve finally knocked out the full 501(c)3 application, and gotten it shipped off.  Many thanks to all of the folks who have contributed to it, especially Tony and Becca.  We’ll be getting most of it up on the wiki shortly for the general maker community to use for reference.

All in it’s over 75 pages of forms, documents, narrative and bits and pieces and it’s taken a lot of triple checking but we’re happy with what we’ve sent off.  We’re hoping for an answer within a few months, but it’s always a bit of a gamble as to how long it’ll take the IRS to approve or come back with questions.

In other important news, the Annual Members Meeting has gotten scooted to the end of March this year to coincide with the Quarterly Clean-Up, and you must have paid your dues for March on time (before March 1st)  in order to vote.  An announcement and then big formal announcement will be coming out soon.




Hackerspace Passports!

January 17th, 2012 by videoman

Ever gone to another state?  Most of us have, and when we do, we will make sure to visit another hacker space.  Now you can track where you’ve been with a Hackerspace Passport!

Send me a note if you want one, $2 each and I’ve ordered 15 in total.

Art Shanties On Medicine Lake, Plymouth, Minnesota

January 13th, 2012 by Paul Sobczak

The monsters under the bed shanty That has been coming together at the Hack Factory is in the process of putting it’s self together, check out the progress at their blog.

Open January 14 – February 5, 2012
10am – 5pm weekends (plus MLK Day, Jan 16th)
On Medicine Lake, Plymouth, Minnesota

Some things to remember:
Wear boots and long johns!
It can often be slushy and wet on the ice, and the Shanties are a little bit of a walk from shore so please wear appropriate footwear! You will be much more comfortable.
Also remember that any wind at all has nothing to slow it down on a frozen expanse of ice so it is often colder on Medicine Lake than it is in other parts of town. Dress warmer than you think you might have to, layering is best!

Art Shanty Projects is a four-week exhibition that is part sculpture park, part artist residency and part social experiment, inspired by traditional ice fishing houses that dot the state’s lakes in winter. It is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which the relatively unregulated public space of the frozen lake can be used as a new and challenging artistic environment to expand notions of what art can be.

Photo by Felix Strates

Boing Boing Gweek Podcast 34

January 11th, 2012 by videoman

The Hack Factory was recently mentioned in Boing Boing’s Gweek podcast.

PyStar Presents “Code Night @ Hack Factory”

January 9th, 2012 by videoman

This upcoming Monday Jan 16th PyStar is going to have a code hacking night at the Hack Factory.  Register to join! (free event)

“PyStar and the Python MN User Group (PyMNtos) present an evening of coding at the Hack Factory! All programming languages and experience levels are welcome!

* Improve your favorite open source project!

* Start learning a new language or tool you’ve been meaning to learn.

* Work on your own projects or work through tutorials (with help).

* Help someone learn or work through their coder’s-block

Bring your questions, insights, excitement and hack on code (and maybe on the HF ice shanty!) in good, relaxing company. If you are new(ish) to programming and/or Python or JavaScript specifically, there will be folks specifically there to provide some guidance to learners.

This event strives to create a safer space for learning and growing coding skills. Please be respectful of the diverse background and experiences of attendees. We especially welcome PyStar attendees and female self-identified folks to join us.”

FoshayBuchet 2.0

January 1st, 2012 by Orkraider

FoshayBuchet 2.0
Last year, I made a Trebuchet shaped like the Foshay Tower as part of our series of Twin Cities themed siege engines. When I built it, I didn’t really know much about trebuchets, woodworking, or making physical objects in general. After having made a few more trebuchets, and some other objects of various kinds, I decided it was time to rebuild the FoshayBuchet. It’s not complete, as all the decoration on the Foshay Tower shaped throwing arm has yet to be done, but the mechanical bits are all in order.

I first rebuilt the shroud for the throwing arm, making it more a more accurate representation of the Foshay Tower, as far as ratio and proportion. The old shroud can be seen hanging from the ceiling.
The original used 2 5 gallon buckets for counterweight. I replaced those with a wooden counterweight bucket which should hold quite a bit of mass.
I added a wooden carriage with wooden wheels to the base, so that the engine can be rolled into place, rather than dragged. The carriage also improves the efficiency of the engine, by allowing it to move back and forth a bit while shooting. This allows the counterweight to fall closer to vertical, resulting in a more efficient “Hurl”.
I brought the FoshayBuchet outside briefly for some test shots. With about 150 pounds of counterweight, and what was supposed to be a 1.5 pound sand filled fabric ball, I got a new distance record for this engine of 37 yards.
I’m hoping this distance will grow as I continue to improve the machine, add counterweight, and fine tune all the details.
I’m hoping to be hurling outside the Hack Factory on Saturdays if there’s light and it’s not too nasty.

Updates for member dues!

December 21st, 2011 by videoman

Are you a member?  Do you use a PayPal subscription to pay your dues?  Please update your subscription for the new year by visiting our Membership page, and subscribe for another year!  We have added a $75/month membership for those can afford it, and also added a followers monthly donation for $5/month.

A Last Supper

Makers making...

That’s it!  Hope everyone has a great holiday and year end!  Without you and the community this space and community would not exist.  A big thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen!

Live @ The Hack Factory: Luke Armstrong

December 9th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak



SATURDAY 12.10.11

7:00 – 8:30


After college Luke Maguire Armstrong joyfully committed financial suicide by taking out a last minute student loan so he could hitchhike from Chile to Alaska. Fodder from these shenanigans, which include narrowly escaping muggers in Peru and visiting a FARC run cocaine factory in Colombia, are part of the inspiration inspirations for his award winning fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

For the last four years he has been hiding from the Student Loan Debt Monsters in Guatemala where he directs the humanitarian development organization Nuestros Ahijados. Through schools, clinics, a homeless shelter, a malnourished infant center, and other sustainable programs, this project works to “break the bitter chains of
poverty.” These efforts have been featured in The Huffington Post and ABC News 20/20 amongst others.

December 2011 is Luke’s multi-city Rabble Rousing Tour to recite poetry from his book iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About, sing songs (some about potatoes and chicken patties), promote social justice and spread awareness about issues ranging from human trafficking, infant malnutrition, illiteracy and the troubling lack of education opportunities for parrots and dogs.

Rabble Rousing Tour 2011 Flyer 

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.

Give to the Max Day 2011

November 15th, 2011 by metis

As many of you know, Twin Cities Maker is fiscally sponsored by the wonderful folks at Springboard for the Arts.  Because of this partnership, physical and capital donations to us can be tax deductible. On the right side of the blog, there’s always a link to our fundraiser page through Give MN , a group that facilitates charitable giving here in Minnesota.

Every year, Give MN sponsors a “Give to the Max” fund-raising drive for charities across Minnesota.  Today, Wednesday the 16th, our usual processing fees are waived for all donations received through Give MN. As an extra bonus, each hour all day long,  one random donor to GiveMN will get a bonus $1000 added to the first donation they made that hour. So even a small donation can have a chance to help out a lot, and every donation we get increases our odds of getting the bonus cash.    Even the most modest donation made by clicking the logo above is quite appreciated.

If you’re pondering giving financially to Twin Cities Maker before the end of the year, today is the day that we will get the most benefit from your generosity. We can always take non-cash and cash donations, but Give to the Max happens once a year. If you’ve got a maker who’s particularly hard to buy a holiday gift for, a donation in their name might be just what they were hoping for.

Membership dues cover our basic operational costs, and previous generous donations have gotten us some major improvements to our space. Help us keep our gears spinning! Your generosity will help to buy tools and equipment, improve the space, and offer even greater services to the maker community in the Twin Cities.

As always, feel free to email “development”  at our domain if you’ve got any questions about donations.

Online fundraising for Twin Cities Maker

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

11/9/11 Open Hack Night Photos

November 10th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Pictures from the weekly open hack nights at Twin Cities Maker’s Hack Factory.

Welcome to the new members that joined up last night, not sure on the count but I know we had at least one! We updated our number goal for the upcoming month to 90, hopefully we will get there!

Handmade Music 10

November 10th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

We will be building an easy to build LoFi Fuzz distortion effect using kits provided by

This transistor based circuit will instantly add gritty tones, sustain, and oscillations to your guitar, microphone, or any other electronic instrument with a 1/4 inch output.

Price of the workshop is only $10 and that will include the cost of the kit. Soldering experience is not required. Bring your own tools if you like. Duration 2hrs.

Talking Computron and The Ring Toss Twins performance after the workshop.

Saturday, November 19 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Hack Factory
3119 east 26th street
Minneapolis, MN

facebook event

 More information as it comes in.

Intro to Arduino

November 10th, 2011 by Paul Sobczak

Our intro to arduino class is going on, this session is full. Be sure to keep an eye on the calendar for up-coming classes. Here are some pictures and a video from the first session.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »