November 2020 Newsletter

John BuckleyEvents, Making, Materials, News, Tools

Let Us Show You How! Makerspaces have become one of the primary places to learn crafts, trades, and technology. Many makerspaces sponsor classes held on a regular basis for learning and as a revenue source. The Covid virus has now made this difficult. At The MakerBarn we have held classes and demonstrations, usually for free. Currently we have had to limit this to sessions on Zoom. Zoom sessions work well, especially well with teaching or demonstrating computer skills. If anyone is interested in having a Zoom session on a topic, let us know. If you would like to host a Zoom session on a maker topic, there are members that can show you how to do it. “Show how to” is one of our greatest strengths at a makerspace. Mentoring others and sharing information and skills is why makerspaces have grown in popularity. At the present moment, it is hard … Read More

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 … Read More

Sand Casting at The MakerBarn

Clay McGovernMakerBarn Video, Making, Materials, News, Tools

The MakerBarn recently added the capability to cast non-ferrous metals. One of the simpler ways to cast metal is to use sand to make the mold. At the Barn we have Petrobond, a special sand mix for casting. This training video shows the making of a branding iron with “The MakerBarn” on it. First a pattern was cut from Corian using the CNC router. This pattern was used to make the sand mold. Scrap aluminum is then melted and poured into the mold.

There’s good stuff in old junk

George CarlsonBuild Log, Making, Materials

Overhead projectors are not used in schools anymore.  So you can usually get them for just a few bucks at the online school auctions. If the projector works, it can be a good way to enlarge objects and trace them on pieces of plywood.  But they’re even more fun to disassemble and scavenge parts for future projects.  My grandson and I took two projectors apart this afternoon (we have more). One of the best finds is the fresnel lens located just below the glass platen.  These lenses are about 12″ square and have a focal length of just a few inches.  Just what you need for solar energy projects.  Be careful, it’s easy to start fires with these. Other parts such as power cords, power switches, limit switches, super bright lamp holders, fans, metal pieces, and optics can be found.  The projection head almost always contains a high quality first-surface mirror. … Read More