October 2020 Newsletter

John BuckleyMaking, Materials, News, Tools

Incubators, Lathe Room and Classes, oh my!

October already! Can you believe it. This means we have several holidays coming up, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, even New Years is not that far way. So, it is time to come up with ideas for gifts and decorations. The MakerBarn frees you up to make almost anything you could imagine. From scary Halloween decorations to funny ugly Christmas sweaters. Break-up the Covid boredom and come make something.

The Executive Committee is continually working to improve our facilities. The Laser Room was vacated when the lasers were moved to the new Lab. Kathy and Raul worked hard to clean the room and repaint the floor. Now the room will be used for the wood lathes. The big Laguna has already been moved and installed, and a new bench to hold the two small lathes is under construction. Take a look inside the room, it’s beautiful!

The 3D printers have been busy. The MakerBarn recently bought a used incubator for keeping 3D filament dry. It has been stocked with 12 colors of PLA for member’s use. If you have a big project, please bring your own filament. Make something colorful.

The electronics lab has been loaned a high-grade spectrum analyzer with tracking generator (this equipment cost about $40K when new). If you are a radio amateur or an electronics enthusiast, you will enjoy learning how to operate this equipment. BTW, I am doing a Zoom demonstration of Eagle, and schematic editor and circuit board program which is now part of Fusion 360. The schematic package demo will be October 1 at 7:00pm and the PCB layout demo will be October 7 at 7:00pm. An email was sent out about this, I hope you received it.

We are also in the progress of turning the upstairs area of the Barn into a computer learning center. It will support 12 students and can be used for computer training and other classes. See Raul if you would like to help with that project.

There is a lot going on, everyone is encouraged to join in with their ideas and help. The MakerBarn may be the second largest makerspace in Houston by size, but you know it’s first in everything else!

George Carlson, President


Rodney Garza – made senior gifts for UTSA Softball, a Texas Flag cutting board using woodworking tools and CNC at the Shop.

Kevin Laird – made a throw holder from reclaimed wood using woodworking tools and including pegs turned on Laguna Lathe at the

Alison Cozad – made signs for newborns. The designs were created in Inkscape and cut out with the laser cutter at the Lab. The wood is baltic birch with butcher block conditioner and painted with toy-safe ECOS paint.

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 http://themakerbarn.org 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 & 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 home for our Laguna Lathe and Grinder!

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

Executive Committee:
Kathy Barbieri – Procurement and acquisitions
Jody Cochran – Secretary
Raul Garcia – Member at Large
Jim Barron – Membership
Matt Folsom – IT
Daniel Cielecy – Treasurer
John Buckley – Newsletter Editor

Area Managers: (Guru or Custodian)
Woodworking – Jim Baron
Lasers – Greg Radliff
3D Printing – Jody Cochran
Metalworking – Bryan Manka
Electronics – Raul Garcia