Learn how to fix things from your friends at the Appleton Makerspace!

Performing a bit of repair on my lawnmower, I was able to replace a broken wheel. But when I was uncertain about how to safely / easily sharpen the very dull blade I headed over to YouTube to see some examples of how one might perform such a feat.  I found a few clips that showed how to safely remove the spark plug wire, block the blade with a piece of scrap wood so that the blade does not rotate while you loosen the nut, etc.

Further, I found videos showing how to use a Dremel tool to re-hone the blade edge or if the blade was very dull, an angle grinder. I thought to myself, “I’ve used those tools (safely) before at the makerspace, I’ll head over there and give it a try.” When I got there, I donned safety gear and set about grinding a better edge.

As luck would have it, Laurel showed up and asked what I was working on. Laurel has sharpened many lawnmower blades and offered to show me how he does it! Laurel carefully demonstrated how a bench grinder is a more appropriate tool for the work I was trying to do. After a few passes per side on the bench grinder and a balance test using a small nail to observe the balance, I had a newly useful blade and more importantly, I learned how to repair it!

Thanks again, Laurel — This is why makerspaces are so cool!

American Hakko Products Donate Soldering Station

The Hakko FX-951 was donated to the Appleton Makerspace by American Hakko Products, Inc.
The Hakko FX-951 was donated to the Appleton Makerspace by American Hakko Products, Inc.

The electronics bench is one of the most used functional areas in our makerspace. That’s why I started to panic when our soldering station stopped working. After a failed attempt to repair the station it was clear that we need a replacement, quickly.

After a little bit of research, I noticed that we could easily get an inexpensive off-brand soldering station from a number of online stores. But trying to keep true to the makerspace spirit, I wanted to make sure we had the best equipment we could get.

We reached out to American Hakko Products, Inc. and they offered to donate a FX-951 soldering station and a T18 thermometer. This new addition show our commitment to provide the best tools to our members so they can continue making awesome things!

So thank you American Hakko Products for this incredible donation!