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

MADE AT MAKERBARN!

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
Shop.

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

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

MADE AT MAKERBARN!

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
makerspaces.

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 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 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

August 2020 Newsletter

John BuckleyMaking, News, Tools

Introducing … “The Lab”!

For the last few months, it feels like we have been living out the script in a B grade movie. However, I do have some really good news to report.

The MakerBarn has opened an annex. It’s called “The Lab”, and it is wonderful! The Lab is located only 1.3 miles from the front door of the Barn. The address is 28030 FM2978 Suite 101. This is about 11⁄2 mile North of Carraway Ln. This is the biggest thing The MakerBarn has done since opening the Barn in 2016.

The Lab has our two new lasers and all the equipment that was located upstairs in the Barn. Sewing, Electronics, 3D printing, t-shirt making, and more. The Lab occupies 2100 sqft of office space. Clean, and probably the best part, 24/7 access! There is no additional cost for 24/7 access, but you must go through an orientation to go over the rules and operating procedures. When certified, the last 6 digits of your MACS card will be used as your personal code key for entry. Face masks are required. If you have not yet seen the The Lab, come by from 6:00 – 9:00 Wednesday evening, or 9:00 – 12:00 on Saturday morning. Kathy or I can give you an orientation and enable your access.

One note: Please do not park in front of our next door neighbor, a Farmers Insurance Agent. There are several spaces in front of The Lab and over 20 parking spaces on the other side of the parking lot.

George Carlson, President

Maker Barn: Shop – 9522 Carraway Ln
MakerBarn: Lab – 28030 FM2978 Suite 101
















MADE AT MAKERBARN!

Bryan Manka made a pair of fly fishing reels. He used 6160 Aluminum, 316L Stainless Steel, and Delrin on the Metal Lathe, Metal Mill and Dividing Head in The MakerBarn Shop.





Charlie Lindahl made pan shelving. He had some shelving that was too tall for his cooktop. He used the MakerBarn Rolling Metal Saw to cut off about 4 inches from the top to make it all evenly spaced.







Ricky Kleinsmith made two small poplar benches that will be used to hold flower pots by the windows.






Kathy Barbieri used the MakerBarn sewing machine to make family masks with a college theme.








John Buckley used MakerBarn Shop CNC to cut out two “ichthys” – a traditional Christian symbol and lit them with LED bulbs.













Overhead shot of the new Lab space

REMEMBER – Four new COVID Guidelines for the MakerBarn:

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 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.

NEW 100 WATT LASERS ARE HERE!

Yes, it’s been a long wait, but MakerBarn’s two new lasers have arrived from China and were recently installed. Please note, these are 100 watt lasers with a 24” x 38” working area – significantly more powerful than 40 watt lasers in common use today. The two machines are identical and have red dot pointers as well as auto-focus. The controllers are the newest Rudia RDC6445 units and work well with LightBurn software.

There are several new features of the new lasers that take a bit of getting used to, so be sure to watch the videos and spend some time with Greg Radliff on Thursday after 2PM at The Lab.


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

July 2020 Newsletter

Clay McGovernEvents, Making, News, Tools

Message from the president

Unfortunately, the 4th anniversary party at “The Grounds” had to be cancelled due to the spike in Covid-19 infections in Montgomery County. Eventually all this will become just a bad memory, but for now it is quite real.

Also, you may have heard that Ed Fraini took a nasty fall at home. Bad enough it put him in the hospital for a few days. Ed is the Manager of the Barn Managers and has been doing a great job. Currently, John Buckley has taken on some of Ed’s tasks. We all hope Ed recovers quickly; we miss him at the barn.

Even though we are still operating the Barn on a reduced schedule, good things have been happening.

For example;

  • Raul did a great job changing the lighting in the shop from fluorescent to LED. It is much brighter in the shop. Thanks, Raul!
  • We have spent $9,000 on two new laser engravers – read inside about how to use them.
  • One of our members graciously donated two professional grade welding machines.
  • Jim Barron bought a 1/8” Flat Kerf blade to be used on the Dado saw with appropriate safeguards!

    So, a lot going on. We can have the Barn open during more hours during the summer months. The challenge is finding Barn Managers to open it up. If you are interested in helping with Barn Manager duties, contact Jim Barron, he is helping Ed while he recovers.
    Don’t let Covid get you down. Don’t be lazy, get up and make something!

    Thanks,
    George Carlson, Acting President

Four new COVID Guidelines for the MakerBarn:

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 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.

NEW 100 WATT LASERS ARE HERE!

Yes, it’s been a long wait, but MakerBarn’s two new lasers have arrived from China and were recently installed. Please note, these are 100 watt lasers with a 24” x 38” working area – significantly more powerful than 40 watt lasers in common use today. The two machines are identical and have red dot pointers as well as auto-focus. The controllers are the newest Rudia RDC6445 units and work well with LightBurn software.

There are several new features of the new lasers that take a bit of getting used to so be sure to watch the videos and spend some time with Greg Radliff on Thursday evenings at the Barn.

Here are a couple links to YouTube videos that show their operation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heL-GVxE64I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_614tC91W8I

TWO NEW WELDING MACHINES AT THE BARN

Recently, one of our members graciously donated two professional grade welding machines.

One is a Millermatic 251 MIG machine. This machine is setup to use 0.030” wire and can weld steel up to 1⁄2” thick. It also has a spool-gun for welding aluminum. The spool-gun is stored in the large welding cabinet.

You may download a manual from this link:
https://www.red-d-rc.com/pdf/Millermatic%20251%20Operators%20Manual.pdf

The other machine is a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50 plasma cutter. This cutter can cut up to 1⁄2” steel, so it is a very powerful plasma cutter.

Be sure to read the manual before operating. You can download a copy of the manual using this link:
https://www.manualslib.com/download/728903/Thermal-Dynamics-Cutmas-
ter-50.html
, Check the “I’m not a robot” and click “Get Manual”

1/8” Flat Kerf blade

With thanks to Jim Barron, we have a new 1/8” Flat Kerf blade to be used on the Dado saw. This blade is to be used as a dado blade, that is, no through cuts. Please resist the temptation of using this blade for through cuts on the dado saw!! It is not safe to do so because the dado saw does not have a splitter (which can not be used for dado cuts) or the safety system of the SawStop. Be sure to use the proper table insert when using this blade.

You will find the blade and insert hanging on the wall next to the dado saw.

WHAT OUR MAKERS ARE MAKING

Elizabeth Jones made these beautiful Corn Hole Boards for her friends (wouldn’t you like to be her friend?!) She filled the routed out parts with epoxy resin. She uses mica powder and mixes it in after she combines the resin and the hardener.

John Buckley made a Christmas ornament box using the new laser. The wood compartments were laid out in VCarve software and cut out of 1/8 birch plywood. Each ornament was traced and converted to a vector image in LightBurn software. Then the foam packing of the new laser machines was repurposed to cushion each ornament!

Upcoming Events and Classes:

Ok, so we haven’t been able to gather in groups at the barn lately, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan some great classes for you. Here are a few that we have planned, and we will hold them as soon as we can get a safe start date:

Building a Frequency Counter. In this class we will solder a simple device for the digital measurement of frequency. This will be a great accessory for the Function Generators we built a few months ago. The cost of the kit is $5. It is an easy kit and good to learn soldering skills.

Designing a Circuit Board Demonstration. Of course, learning to design a circuit, layout a printed circuit board, and cut out the circuit board on the small CNC router cannot be taught in a single night, we can do a demonstration of the process. We will use Eagle (part of Fusion360) to draw the schematic and design the circuit board. Then we will use CamBam to read the Gerber circuit board file and generate the G-Code for the router. Then we will use the Mini-Chop CNC Router to produce the circuit board. If there is sufficient interest, we can have a series of classes in the future teaching each step in the process. This is a free demonstration.

For the artistically inclined, the Retro-Photo Class. In this class we will hand out a Holga 120 film camera and a roll of black and white film to ten participants. The Holga is a cheap plastic camera that shoots medium format film. The photographers will shoot the roll of film during the following week. We will then process the film at the barn and scan the negatives. The beauty of the Holga is not its sophistication, but its simplicity. It has a single plastic lens that causes some distortion and vignetting. This makes it much like using a cheap box camera from the 1950’s. The $20 fee will cover film and processing.

Brightlife

Here is a message from our friends at BrightLife – a YMCA sponsored organization that helps people with special needs. We look forward to providing them again with wood blanks for their art projects.

Such exciting new things going on at the Barn even in the midst of a pandemic! It has been an interesting time for Bright Lifers. I have tried so hard to keep them engaged during this time with online lessons and Zoom calls 3 times a week. They have done remarkably well with adapting to being at home. However, they are ALL so ready to be back together again. We were scheduled to tentatively reopen July 6 but with the spike in cases I am pretty certain we will not. I will be talking with our Exec. today to discuss. Our initial plan was to reopen on a staggered schedule with small groups but not sure that is even feasible given the current environment.

Keep us in your prayers and we will do the same for you! Can’t wait to get back and get to work on some new projects/partnerships with MakerBarn! Thanks so much for all you do!

Lisa Thompson, YMCA Bright Life Program Coordinator

And Another New Addition

Thanks to George Carlson, we have a new crosscut sled for use with the SawStop table saw!

This one has a sliding stop block for repetitive cuts.

It is a precision device so treat it with care. Either leave it on the saw, or hang it on the wall when not in use.

If you would like to make special add-ons that use the T-Slot, the center of the slot is 2.25” above the bed.



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

June 2020 Newsletter

Clay McGovernNews

Message from the President

George Carlson

Things are certainly improving.

We now have The MakerBarn open on a limited basis and members can get back to work on their projects. Soon we will be able to relax the access so we can get back to having classes and train new members on the machines.

Speaking of machines, the Executive Committee has approved the purchase of two new laser engravers. These units will replace the lasers we currently have. The new machines are 100 watt lasers with 24” x 36” capacity. They use the same controllers as our current machines, so any files you have generated on the old machine will run on the new machines. Only power and speed may change due to the more powerful laser.

If you have any ideas for demonstrations or classes post your ideas on Slack. If you would like to teach a class or do a demonstration, we would love to hear about it.

This June marks our fourth anniversary. I wish we could throw a big celebration, like in years past, but this year has been different. It’s been tough, so I want to thank all of you who have stood with us through this
Covid-19 mess.

Thanks,
George Carlson, Acting President

We hope to see you back at the barn soon during our soft open month of June and when you arrive you will notice some changes.


New Guidelines:
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.
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.
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 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.
Kill it!: Germs that is. Cleaning up after yourself just took on a whole new meaning. We are asking you to bring supplies to disinfect before and after in your workspace. We will try to have some hand cleaner and wipes available, but it would be best if members could bring their own. Wipe down safety glasses, door knobs, on/off switches and control knobs, keyboards, and most importantly, DO NOT USE WIPES ON METAL EQUIPMENT as this can damage the tool surface. Just wash your hands with soap…often.

Have you checked out MakerBarn’s new library?

Our Library

You’ll find dozens of woodworker and craft magazines (the plans never get old) and lots of ideas for new projects in our library corner upstairs. Many thanks to members who have donated and those who built this new space.

Upcoming Events and Classes:

Hopefully, we will soon be able to have get-togethers at the barn to have hands on classes and other events. Here are a few that we have planned, as soon as we can get a safe start date:

Building a Frequency Counter: In this class we will solder a simple device for the digital measurement of frequency. This will be a great accessory for the Function Generators we built a few months ago. The cost of the kit is $5. It is an easy kit and good to learn soldering skills.

Designing a Circuit Board Demonstration: Of course, learning to design a circuit, layout a printed circuit board, and cut out the circuit board on the small CNC router cannot be taught in a single night, we can do a demonstration of the process. We will use Eagle (part of Fusion360) to draw the schematic and design the circuit board. Then we will use CamBam to read the Gerber circuit board file and generate the G-Code for the router. Then we will use the Mini-Chop CNC Router to produce the circuit board. If there is sufficient interest, we can have a series of classes in the future teaching each step in the process. This is a free demonstration.

For the artistically inclined, the Retro-Photo Class. In this class we will hand out a Holga 120 film camera and a roll of black and white film to ten participants. The Holga is a cheap plastic camera that shoots medium format film. The photographers will shoot the roll of film during the following week. We will then process the film at the barn and scan the B&W negatives. The beauty of the Holga is not its sophistication, but its simplicity. It has a single plastic lens that causes some distortion and vignetting. This makes it much like using a cheap box camera from the 1950’s. The $20 fee will cover film and processing.

We are also looking for an individual familiar with the computer language Python to teach an introductory class. Python can be run on almost any computing device and is relatively easy to learn.

New North Bay Dust Collection System Installed!

Utilizing equipment donated to us by Tenaris Corporation and some generous members, plus some 3D printed items made in the MakerBarn and taking “advantage” of the recent pandemic driven shutdown of the MakerBarn, a new dust collection system has been installed in the North Bay. The system collects sawdust and wood chips generated from the re-saw, chop saw, dado saw, wood lathe and the CNC – as well as an independent vacuum ‘shoe’ near the CNC and a floor pickup near the wood lathe.


Hopefully this system will result in a significant reduction in the amount of dust and debris that collects around these pieces of equipment – resulting in a much cleaner environment for us to work!

This system includes sliding gates located near each piece of equipment allowing the system to be isolated from equipment not in use, thereby maximizing dust collection efficiency. The materials are fed into a common container located outside the barn on the north side (near the storage container).

The system is operated via a mechanical timer mounted on the column immediately adjacent to the CNC. Members utilizing the equipment incorporated in this system should open the sliding gate near the equipment being used and then activate the timer by rotating the dial to the desired amount of time needed to operate (up to 60 minutes). Once you finish your work, be sure to close the sliding gate.

Because the vacuum is located outside the barn, when operating the system it is very quiet inside the barn. It is hoped the timer
will minimize the potential for the system to be left running for an indeterminate period of time when it is not needed.

The vacuum providing suction for the system is very powerful and we believe it is fully capable of handling the load generated from all of these components – even if they were being operated simultaneously. However, should it be deemed necessary, the system is designed such that without a great deal of cost or effort, we can install a second vacuum and split the system into two independent systems.

Feedback and comments are, as always, welcome. Please direct your comments to the barn manager on duty or via MakerBarn Slack General Channel.

Here’s to a cleaner MakerBarn!! Enjoy!

(Ed. Note; A big thanks to MB Manager Jim Barron who spent many lonely hours at the barn making this happen while we were “away”!)

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

May 2020 Newsletter

Clay McGovernNews

Message from the president…

George Carlson

April was a tough month. Not being able to open The MakerBarn has been a disappointment. Of course, this is nothing compared to what many of our families are experiencing. Not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from is far more serious. Currently, as of Saturday April 25th, the number of active Covid-19 cases is increasing daily in Montgomery County. This means more people are being diagnosed than recovering. So, we are still on the upward side of the curve.

On Thursday, April 30th, the Executive Committee met on Zoom to analyze the situation and plan for the reopening of The MakerBarn. We want to make sure the environment is safe, and that our Barn Managers do not feel compelled to show up for duty. Hopefully, we can post an update later in the newsletter.

On the brighter side, some of our members have been helping at home with the production of masks and face shields. More about that later. The closing has also given many of us the opportunity to spend some time catching up and learning new skills on the Internet. I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the MakerBarn as soon as we can get things going again.

George Carlson, acting President

* Please see additional note latest news on this subject below*

Helping the Medical Community

3D Printers in action

Among several MakerBarn members doing what they can to help provide PPE (personal protection equipment), two of our own have led the charge in mask making. Matt Folsom has had our 3D printers running 24/7 for days on end in an effort to supply tight-fitting filtered masks to the medical community our irreplaceable, front-line Super Stars! Member Jody Cochran has helped to make hundreds of masks and delivered them to those in need throughout this ordeal, as well.

It’s great to see fellow makers making an impact. Great job guys and to all of you makers out there contributing your resources in this fight to save lives.

See more information on MakerBarn activity in this area below.

Amazon Smile!

The MakerBarn is now a registered 501c3 organization and officially on the
Amazon Smile donation list!

You can donate to the MakerBarn by making an Amazon purchase through
https://smile.amazon.com and look for “The MakerBarn”.

Any purchases made through this site result in Amazon giving back a small percentage of your purchase to The MakerBarn and THAT makes us Smile!

Thanks for your support!

Virtual Classes

We’ve all had to adjust the way we function as we shelter in place and keep social interactions to a minimum. Thanks to technology we can still work, catch up with loved ones, and learn new things!

The MakerBarn recently offered virtual classes on Adobe’s Lightroom software. It’s a great tool for organizing and editing photos. Member, Mark Barbieri, hosted two successful tutorials, one for the “Library” module, and one for the “Develop” module.

If you missed the live tutorial, you can see both videos on The MakerBarn YouTube channel.

More on MakerBarn response to Pandemic – from Matt Folsom

Makers all around the world have stepped up to help out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Italy, 3-D printers were geared up to make ventilator parts when supplies dried up. Some makers went so far as to build simple ventilators, there are a surprising number of viable designs online. Thankfully here in Texas, we were able to flatten out the curve and not reach the critical point where doctors are faced with deciding who gets the last ventilator.

Locally there have been several coordinated efforts to provide PPE to people on the front line of the battle against the Corona virus. 3D printers and sewing machines have been called to action, printing face shield frames and respirator masks, and sewing machines are cranking out cloth masks as fast as the stores can restock fabric. If you see someone wearing a mask made from fabric reminiscent of grandma’s curtains, don’t judge. Elastic has become a commodity, I recently bought 200 yards and was offered ten times what I paid for it by another maker.

My wife Catherine’s craft business exploded with orders for masks, current estimate is around 600 masks ordered, and about 200 made so far. Every waking hour is at least partially spent in support of this flood of orders, and like any manufacturing process we had to take steps to keep up. I made wood templates to use with the rotary cutter and mat, since the paper ones didn’t last long. Assembly was divided into stages so that like tasks are grouped for efficiency. We have borrowed additional sewing machines and have an army of friends scouring stores for fabric.

I don’t know exactly when it turned from a hobby to a business, but it has become challenging to keep up. Sourcing materials, manufacturing, packaging, sales, marketing, delivery and accounting are all being handled by one person. I sometimes question it is all worth it for her. I am happy to help, I love to make stuff, but is it too much? Between all the stresses of running a small business, when she comes up with another “super cute” design, the smiles generated say it all. You can enjoy what you make, and make a little money too. Finding the balance can be tricky, but in the end well worth it.

Late news: MakerBarn to open for limited access starting weekend of May 9-10

Good news is, we are planning to open the barn. Bad news is that it will not be right away. Part of the problem is defining where we fall in the current Texas Covid-19 order and guidelines. The other complication is staffing the barn with Barn Managers.

Here is the plan for the near future: We plan to open the barn for limited access starting with the weekend of May 9th and 10th. Kathy is going to put together a system where work areas can be reserved on-line. Only one person may be in a work area at any time. Reserved slots will be one hour each. This will allow as many members as possible to use the barn. We will be announcing more information on how to sign up for a slot mid next week.
Thanks,
George Carlson, acting President

A Thank You from Freedom House

Clay McGovernMaking, News

A video Thank You from Freedom House to the MakerBarn for the work our members did on the project to build beds for their residents.

MakerMade Market and Repair Cafe

Clay McGovernEvents, Making, News

Join us for the upcoming MakerMade Market and Repair Cafe. It will be held on the MakerBarn property, Saturday, October 12th from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

It’s a chance for makers to sell their products – right before the holiday season, too! Do you make something special like wood or metal products, leather goods, toys, cake toppers, food items, knitting or embroidery articles, 3D printed objects, wearable technology, or something else entirely? A vendor space is $25 per table. You bring your table/chairs/and shade structure. The event is FREE to the public!

What is a Repair Cafe? “It is a meeting in which people repair household electrical and mechanical devices, computers, bicycles, clothing, etc. They are organised by and for local residents. Repair Cafés are held at a fixed location where tools are available and where they can fix their broken goods with the help of volunteers. Its objectives are to reduce waste, to maintain repair skills and to strengthen social bonds.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repair_caf%C3%A9

Interested in being a vendor or helping out with the Repair Cafe? Let us know at info@themakerbarn.org

MajerMade Market and Repair Cafe

Notes from Jody Cochran’s 3D Printing Class

Clay McGovernEvents, Making, News, Tools

Notes from the class in PDF format

Links

Source for downloading models: https://www.thingiverse.com/

Site for designing parts in the browser: https://tinkercad.com

Channel for learning Fusion 360: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheKHaug

Software we use for slicing at the barn: https://www.simplify3d.com/

Free utility for slicing: https://ultimaker.com/en/blog/52819-new-beta-of-ultimaker-cura-40-now-available