Maker Space

Friday, August 4th, 2017 05:16 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
[personal profile] bairnsidhe
 So my local Maker Space had to move (noise and smell complaints from neighbors, lack of parking, it needed to happen) and their new space is AMAZING.

For starters, the parking space is huge.  The space is on something like 3 acres of land, I think.  There's an open parking area and one that's got a lockable fence, so those of us who need to leave large projects in the lot overnight don't need to worry about random theft anymore, so score!

The building itself has a large, well-vented garage and two forges, one charcoal and one gas (I'm planning a project to build a smaller, separate forge for greensmithing to avoid pennying the bigger forges).  Then inside a little ways is a fabrication room with loads of space for messy projects and a giant laser cutter for big projects.

Up the stairs is a set of clean, well lit rooms for indoor projects, including a designated sewing lab, a kids-space, and an electronics room.  There's also a big central room with tables and stools for communal knowledge-shares and group work.  I cannot stress how amazing it is to have a big CLEAN space for crafting in a maker space.  We're not always going to be doing things with grease and Spackle and fire and metal.  I mean, we will often, but sometimes we'll be doing things that need some delicacy and it's good to have a place with no half-tacky stains of dubious origin to work around.

Then, in the basement is the store.  It's a treasure trove of all those things you'll need a few of eventually, but who wants to run to the hardware shop to buy a box of nails you'll only use two of?  It's big, well-lit, and when we went there, had kids with pet rats hanging out and I got to hold them.  Rats are adorable and I love them.

Maker spaces are amazing and important and if you can support one near you, I recommend it.

Date: 2017-08-04 11:56 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
I'm planning a project to build a smaller, separate forge for greensmithing to avoid pennying the bigger forges


Date: 2017-08-05 11:05 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Ah. A rather more harmless prank occurred in junior high metal shop class.

We'd been using magnesium ribbon in chemistry class and a few folks (whistles innocently) pocketed some.

One of the things being done in metal shop was practicing welds. This guy was practicing a butt weld between two chunks of steel scrap. and someone placed a piece of magnesium ribbon farther along.

When the oxyacetylene hit the magnesium ribbon, it lit. That was expected. What was *not* expected was that the flame hitting the magnesium oxide left behind would glow damn near as bright as an arc welder (which we didn't have in the shop).

Startled the welder and caught the teacher's attention.

Date: 2017-08-06 03:51 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
I DID! (expect it, that is.)

As an electrician's apprentice, one of the cool little toys I got to play work with was a Thermite field welding set. This consists of a mold, aluminium ferrules, and little pre-mixed plastic cans of ferric oxide, aluminium powder, and a bit of magnesium powder in the bottom, with some sort of stuff in it to make it slightly cake-y. Oh, and a flint pistol.

Snip your wires, put the ferrules on them, insert into the mold. Set over grounding rod. Dump the top contents in the mold, then squeese the bottom of the can to release the magnesium powder onto the starting surface of the mold. Close the mold.

Take your flint pistol, point it at the starting surface, LOOK AWAY, and squeeze the trigger until you hear - and see on nearby surfaces, like your pants leg - the magnesium light. This lights the ferric oxide in short order, melting the aluminium. Since the ground rod also makes a good heat sink, the aluminium re-freezes in short order, welding the wires to the rod... the heat also facilitates the growth of a layer of aluminium oxide on the surface of the weld, corrosion-proofing it.

But believe you me, you do NOT want to be looking at that magnesium when it goes off, even through Grade 4 sunglasses (which I had). Not damaging, with the sunglasses, but still PAINFUL.

A buddy and I actually *made* a forge once... galvanized steel bucket, gas flue, pop rivets, sand, and for tools a drill, a rivet setter, and some tin snips... snip a hole in the side of the bucket, pop rivet the gas flue into place, drill holes in the inside half of the gas flue for air, fill with sand half way up the flue level for ballast, make charcoal fire, insert yard blower on low, presto! forced-air forge.

Then some jerk stole our anvil. Had to have been a noob; all the locals knew messing about in my buddy's yard wouldn't get you shot, but *sliced*... one didn't go poking about in that man's knife drawer in the dark.

Date: 2017-08-06 04:41 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Trust me a "gas" flame on magnesium oxide is actually *brighter* (though in different wavelengths) than the burning magnesium is!

You know those big searchlights they use for grand openings and the like? The light source is a small (less than six inches, I'd guess) cone of limestone being bathed in a gas flame.

Same principle as a mantle for a gas lamp, but a *lot* brighter.

I had a chance to see one up close at the Portland opening of Star Trek: the Motion Picture. I had a couple of polaroid lenses from broken sunglasses in my pocket, and with them set at 90° to each other it was still *way* too bright, but tolerable for a short period.

Date: 2017-08-06 02:52 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Yowza. Limestone? Oh. Won't melt. And cheap. :)

Date: 2017-08-06 04:59 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Look up the origin of the term "limelight". :-)

Those oxides get *very* incandescent" in a flame.

Date: 2017-08-05 04:05 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline

Okay I will look up a local makerspace. :)

Also I should go borrow some things from the local tool library before I decide to buy them...

Date: 2017-08-06 03:52 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
I'm 99.44% there's at least one good maker space down your way... good luck!

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