September 2020 Newsletter

John BuckleyNews, Tools

The Latest…

The Covid thing is still a problem, I think everyone knows that, so we won’t waste time on it.

As many of you know, there was an outage of Internet at The Shop for 10 days during the month of August. Thanks go to Raul Garcia for implemeting a temporary solution that enabled the use of CNC and other activity during that time. Just so you know, Extrodinary Education (EE) our partner and leaseholder is exploring a change in the way they use and connect to the Internet. We are working with them to ensure there is no interuption in Internet connctivity at The Shop of the EE school in future.

We have about 80 members signed up for access to The Lab. All members are welcome. The Lab is where we have laser engravers, 3D printers, t-shirt making, sewing, vinyl cutting, and many other arts and crafts activities. It also has 24/7 access which has worked out well. If you have not been there yet, it is located at 28030 FM2978, Suite 101. Put a note out on Slack and someone can meet you there. By the way, the Internet at The Lab works fine.

With the addition of The Lab, we now have about 6100 total square feet of space between both of our locations. Even with all the weird stuff going on over the last few months, members have been coming out to the Shop and to Lab to work on projects of all kinds.

We are still not precisely certain about what to do with the upstairs space at The Shop. We have been considering a computer learning center and general teaching area. If you have any ideas, we would love to hear them.

Don’t be afraid to come out to The Shop (new name for the Barn) or The Lab. As long as we follow the safety guidelines, we should be OK. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are just over the horizon, so start thinking about decorations and gifts you could be making. There is almost no end to what you can do at The MakerBarn, just put your mind to it!

George Carlson, President


George Carlson – made a vase and bowl. They
were turned at the Shop on the Laguna lathe.
The species is unknown. The patterns and colors are do to with spalting. The log had been laying around for quite some time. Live edge turning is interesting, and the splating and cracks add to the interest.

Gary Walz – made these Adirondack chairs as housewarming gift for his two daughter’s new homes. He used woodworking equipment at the Shop.

Ken Carl – designed a logo for his mother’s business and engraved it in leather for use on her key chain. He used LightBurn software and the lasers at the Lab.

John Buckley – converted HO model railroad track to include a rack gear inside the tracks. The rack fits a pinion gear inside a model railroad engine to create a model “cog” railway. He used VCarve Pro software and the CNC machine at the Shop.

When a Gift is Not a Gift…

Sometimes we have things at home that we are not using anymore, but it seems like someone at The MakerBarn could make use of it.

Please find that someone before bringing it to the Barn.

It is a real problem when things are brought in and dropped off. First, we do not know if it is something a member is using for a project, a donation, or just left-over scrap. We have limited facilities for storage and disposal. We are no longer allowed to burn scraps, and some things can be difficult
or expensive to dispose of. Electronics, paint, and appliances can be expensive to dispose of. A gift of an old TV can turn into a gift that keeps on taking.

So please, before donating anything, check with an Executive Committee member to see if it is OK. The Barn Manager can assist you in contacting an Executive Committee member.

BrightLife Christmas Begins Now!

Yes, it’s only September but our friends at BrightLife are planning for Christmas decorations now (come to think of it, so should we?!)

BrightLife is fulfillment of our MakerBarn mission to help the communty at large by helping this wonderful group of special needs men and women who hold a holiday art sale every quarter.

Because they are unable to cut wood themselves, we cut out wood ‘blanks’ in the size and shapes they need to do their craft projects.

Please join us in making these shapes on the CNC or other woodworking equipment at the Shop. Most of the shapes are best done on CNC and here is a great offer; if you would like to learn CNC we will teach you the basics of the VCarve software and do your first supervised project making wood blanks for the people of BrightLife! That’s right, you’ll get a great start (or refresher) in CNC & help out others at the same time.

Interested? Contact John Buckley

Where to store those files… THE LAB CLOUD DRIVE

MakerBarn member’s computer files should not be stored on the computers used inThe Lab. This avoids messy file systems that are hard to maintain and avoids loss of member’s data if equipment is upgraded.

Instead, keep your personal files on the new network drive called “The_Lab_Cloud”. This is a big 1TerraByte drive that is backed up using RAID mirroring technology.

To view the file contents of The_Lab_Cloud, open File Explorer and select Network. In most cases Windows will discover The_Lab_Cloud and show it in the list of network devices. If it does not, then type \\The_Lab_Cloud in the address bar and the root directory of The_Lab_Cloud should appear.

The folder you will use for your files is in the Members_Space folder. More about that later. There are some other folders of interest.

The Publications folders contains thousands of books, periodicals, and projects for makers, all kinds of makers. Be sure to check it out.

The Public folder contains various things about The MakerBarn and other

For more information please see the email to all members introducing the Lab Cloud drive.

REMEMBER – Five COVID Guidelines for the MakerBarn:

Test again BEFORE you return: If you or someone living with you should test positive for the virus, please inform us and do not plan to return to The Lab or The Shop until you have a negative test result.

Masks: Everyone must wear a mask before entering the Barn and for the duration of your time at the Barn. Please bring your own.

Two’s a crowd: We want to practice social distancing while also allowing for making. So let’s keep it to one member using each area at a time, i.e. one member in the laser room, one member in the sanding room, one member using the sewing, one doing wood working, etc.

Use Sign-up Genius: Please do not come to the barn without reserving time to use equipment. It’s easy now to go the website at and click on the new Sign-Up Genius icon. There you may reserve equipment in one hour blocks. You can always call 832-663-6390 and the manager on duty will confirm your time as shown on SignUp. We are all going to need to be respectful and considerate of one another during this time.

Members with guests: Guests and children are asked to stay at home until we have reliable information that shows the Covid-19 danger is considerably reduced. We are not there yet. Safety and health of our members is top priority.

A new 3D printer for The Lab

One of the ProSpec 3D printers is being replaced with a new Creality Ender 3 V2 printer. The Ender 3 V2 is a modern generation of printer with a 64 bit processor, quiet steppers, and a special glass bed. The build size is 200mm x200mm x 250mm high, about the same as the Prusa. This machine has been further upgraded with a dual gear extruder, and stronger bed springs.

The purpose of this printer is to be the beginner’s printer. Please never make any adjustments to this machine. The bed adjustments will be set, so please do not attempt to adjust them. The machine is very solid, and there should never be a need to adjust the bed unless the machine is damaged. The machine should make good prints for a very long time, and help make the beginner’s life much easier.

We are writing an operating manual for the printer. It will cover all the steps from STL file through making the print. One of the most important things to have when you are learning about 3D printers is success. Hopefully, with such a straightforward printing process, beginners can experience successful prints, instead of frustration and grief.

Welcome Back Ed!

Many of you know Ed Frainie – one of our Barn Managers and currently in the role of ‘manager of the managers’. Ed suffered a pretty serious fall at home a few months ago and spent the summer healing. We’re glad to see you back Ed!

MakerBarn Directors:
George Carlson, Director and President
Jeanie James, Director
Greg Radliff, Director

Executive Committee:
Kathy Barbieri
Jody Cochran
Raul Garcia
Jim Barron
Matt Folsom
Daniel Cielecy
John Buckley – Newsletter Editor