Storage Policy is Published

After a lot of discussion and refinement of process, we have an official Storage Policy in place and posted prominently on the wiki.

Jakob Brouillette did a ton of work writing up, and making changes to this policy in response to clarifications and suggestions by other members and officers.

It’s on the wiki if you want to read all the details, but I’ll highlight some of the big points here.


We are no longer any accepting items without prior approval. Organizing and disposing of things has taken a lot of energy this last year, and it’s hard to identify much value that has come as a result of things dropped off which weren’t specifically requested, or cleared ahead of time.

So, if you want to donate a thing, check the “Items Wanted” list and see if it’s on there.  If it’s not, you will have to get approval before leaving it at the space.


We now have two hackpiles.  One is a free for all which will have items of low value, but some utility. Anything in that pile is free for the taking for any purpose by any member.  The other is the Premium Hackpile and items there will have price tags on them. Members can buy those items by leaving money in the bucket designated for that pile.


If anyone finds anything left out in a common area that isn’t supposed to be there, they can move it to the Impound area.  Anything still there for more than a month becomes property of the makerspace and will be sold or auctioned off during the first week of each month.

If you find that something of yours wound up in the Impound area, simply take it out and put it in your appropriate storage or take it with you. The area is not locked down in any way. It’s just a place we will put things left out.

Don’t take anything from the Impound if it’s not yours.

If you do move things others may have left out, please be respectful and keep the items together by putting small things in a box before moving to impound.  We want to keep the place clean, but not at the expense of damaging or losing things.

And More…

Read the wiki on the Storage Policy for more details on things like Special Permits and Parking Passes.

Live from the Barnes & Noble Mini-MakerFaire

We started out yesterday afternoon and have had a nearly non-stop flow of store customers coming to our table and talking with us about the products the store is selling as well as some of the projects we’ve brought in from the makerspace.

Mini Makerfaire

The vast majority of the people I talked with there when I asked “Have you heard of a Makerspace before?” had not.

In some cases the Barnes & Noble advertising was how they first heard about it. In other cases, walking by our setup was the first time.

We’ve had a lot of adults stop by and talk with us about the Quadcopter that Steve built and the Shapeoko that Inventables donated to our space.

This is a fundraiser for our space also, and we think we’ve probably raised close to $200 so far from sales from customers who have mentioned us as they checkout!

But the best thing to come from the event is that a lot of new people are learning about our Makerspace and many of them are excited to come by on a Thursday night soon to check it out.

If you haven’t come out yet, please swing by and say hello!

We are live at MakerFaire Milwaukee!

We got the booth setup and have been making friends with people from the many makerspaces that have booths here.


It’s HUGE!

Were in one of the large exhibit halls at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds. There must be over 200 booths here.

There’s a guy standing across from our booth with 3d goggles on and a RC remote in his hands. He’s remote driving a wheelchair with a skeleton sitting in it… The wheelchair is somewhere across the exhibit hall with a camera feed he’s getting a video feed from.

Tons of interesting stuff here. If you can make it down today or tomorrow, I think you will love it.

More to come later.

New Air Filter Done

It took a while, but we’ve finished another easy shop project.

This one was a long time need for better air quality in the wood shop and it seems to be making a big difference!

I made the design after looking at this video:

That simple 4 post design looked elegant and functional. So I went with it and made a few small changes like 4 filters and a top fan.

We need a dado set.

Cutting dados the slow way

Cutting the dados was incredibly time consuming because we don’t have a dado blade yet.  And trying to cut the douglas fir even with a sharp high quality carbide fluted router bit was sloppy and dangerous.  The router actually took the 4×4 and shot it across the room on one of the passes…  I was impressed by the ability of the 1/4″ bit to survive that.

Eventually I ended up doing about 16 passes for each of the 8 dados that ran the length of the posts. You could have seen this image for about 3 hours that night.

Big drills make pocket holes fun.

Kreg jig pocket holes.

I worked with another member and we  put stringers on the top using pocket holes to get a great joint through the side grain into the side grain of the posts.

After that we were able to cut the hole for the fan and quickly assemble it onto some plywood.


Glue and screw.

Framing band clamp holding it tight

This is where I learned why we need bigger clamps.  The band clamp my wife got me for Christmas came in handy, but wasn’t the best tool for this job.

Despite being very careful with measurements and cuts, we ended up with the posts a bit crooked and had a hard time lining up the lid.

And then it was done.

Great airflow with 4 filter walls.

When all was finished, I was happy.

Actually getting a project done is a glorious moment here.  After all, starting a new one is far more fun!

But I’m happy with how this turned out. And it’s already helping us keep our lungs cleaner.


Next steps:

The next phase in the dust handling plan is to move this into a box and pipe it’s intake through a cyclone separator before getting to the filters. I think we can get even most of the fine particles out of the air before clogging these filters if we do that.

A sanding station is in the works too.  With a nice down-draft surface and back wall, it will be possible to sand stuff and have it all go into the table instead of the room.