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Building a community "workshop" for things like metal, wood, glass working pottery etc

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posted on May, 13 2018 @ 06:47 AM
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There seems to be a very large growing movement of people taking up hobbies doing things like metal working, wood working, glass working/blowing, pottery, plastic work, 3D printing and a lot of other very interesting trades/crafts which, sadly, are often not taught in schools any more (high schools that is). I know there are things like hacker/maker spaces but those seem to be geared towards the technology fields of computers, robotics and the like and don't seem to offer the types of things I'm interested in.

What I am picturing is something set up like how a gym is set up where members can come in and use the equipment. They might be able to reserve a workbench or table for a certain amount of hours and or reserve equipment to use. People could have personal tool boxes/chests/cabinets (lockable) that they could keep on site as well as bring in tools they need for certain tasks. There could also be community tools that are either openly useable or they can be signed out for a "session" - the only problem with them being out in the open is the tools walking off either by thieves or by accidently packing them up with their tools. Another problem is that not all people treat tools the same, some treat them better than their own children while others use them for everything but that for which they were intended. This would cause lots of problems for some members what see the misuse of community tools.

When I look at something like this IDK if a proposal like this would be better set up as an invitation only "club" where people who have interest in the community are brought in by a member who then shows them how things are done and they might have some kind of probation period before they can join. Having a shop open to the public where anyone can join, even if they pay for access, opens the doors to people who may have very little training (though they think they are experts from watching Youtube) leading to saftey issues and damage to machinery and tools.

Then you have things in a shop that are consumables such as solvents/clean up materials, gas/propane (for torches, furnaces, forges, etc), O2, N2, argon, acetylene, and the list goes on. If you have someone with a 6 burner forge going full blast for 8 hours, not caring about how much they use (because it's community or b/c they "paid" entrance fee") then that is another issue when dealing with cost. It would be very difficult to charge for each use or for how much is used and it doesn't make sense to have to bring your own each time. I guess something could be figured out where a meter could be put on certain systems that counts cu ft of gas or lbs used.

The benefit to having it be open to the public is that there is the oppertunity for revenue generation for upkeep, rent, tools/equipment and general overhead but there would also have to be someone working and in charge of dealing with the public which means employees or at least members volunteering for shifts. Then there is the issue of insurance for saftey issues which I have no idea where to even begin to look at how much that would be.

I think the ideal setup would be to have this as a private club that offered the space for certain groups or classes where there could be a revenue generation stream where someone who wants to teach classes on black smithing or glass blowing could have their classes there under the supervision of a member(s) while the member does some of their own work. Maybe a space like this could be rented out to home schooling classes or even something like a scout group. IDK - any suggestions on what types of groups might like something like this?

I just have a feeling that the equipment would be better taken care of if the person using it knew all the other members, knew who's tool(s) they were using. There might also be more incentive to bring tools/equipment into the shop, or buy as a group, if you knew the chances of it getting wrecked by Joe blow 2 weeks from now was slim to none, as only members or supervised guests would be using the equipment.

Has anyone ever come across a setup like this? Would something like this be of interest to you and if so, what would you like to see in a shop like this?

Just as a note, when I'm talking about equipment, I'm talking about putting in (used) industrial equipment, large heavy duty stuff from sanders, saws, mills, CNC machins, drill presses, presses, cranes/hoists, welders, etc. Much of this stuff can be found for very good prices at bankruptcy sales, gov auctions, or going out of business sales often at incredibly low prices especially if it is old and has cosmetic damage (though may work perfectly & some older stuff is the best by far!) and with a little driving treasures can be found!

On a side note, I was looking into what it would cost to heat/cool and power a large shop like this and have come up with a solution to cover heating/cooling as well as 40-60Kw+/hr generator using fuel that is available locally free for pickup/disposal, so a large part of a cost is already covered from this aspect.




posted on May, 13 2018 @ 06:59 AM
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Yes I have - in Sydney

Makerspace & Co
ABC news article on Makerspace

There are also a few similar organisations floating about in Australia too - teaching all sorts of people with all sorts of abilities and sometimes for making items for those with disabilities or in need

We also have a community program nation wide (and similar themed programs) called The Men's Shed, which do basically the same, but with donated materials and the goal of this isn't just learning new skills, it's developing men's communication in terms of speaking up about health issues, metal health issues, stresses and hardshops, building bonds, fostering support etc. I adore this program and think they do most marvellous work. I have picked up a few wooden toys for my boy when he was younger, and kid sized table and chairs.

In your area, you have a lot of Amish? Could you maybe reach out to some elders to find out if there's a way to do work together in the traditional sense?

Anyways, good on you for thinking about it!




posted on May, 13 2018 @ 08:34 AM
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I like the idea in theory,, but you might be surprised at the cost of such a place. Not only would the initial start up investment be considerable, insurance covering such a facility would be astronomical, if available at all.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 08:53 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I can see businesses taking advantage and using you to cut costs on training and maintaining equipment. Likely to end up pricing your "community members" out of the deal.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Here is a link to a local center for arts in Reading, PA.
The link takes you to the programs offered.
You can check out ideas about how it was conceived and started on other parts of the site.
Goggleworks website



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 09:31 AM
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I was going to buy a building in a local town, an old hotel. The idea was to make senior housing out of it and have a complete auto shop and wood shop for the seniors to use to do projects, I had all the tools. But there was a major problem, I checked on liability insurance and it was impossible to get for the project.

Bummer, I knew a lot of guys who would have loved to live in a place where they could have a shop to sit in at a table and drink coffee with the other senior guys and just look at all the tools. Of course, both shops would have to have a coffee pot and fridge and sink and bathroom so they could spend the whole day talking about what they used to do. I would have to buy a new tool occasionally so they could oooh and aaah at it.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

You might be able to get around the liability issue by forming a cooperative, with the interested seniors being members. Just an idea.
Check with an attorney.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Sounds awesome.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 10:20 AM
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originally posted by: Mach2
I like the idea in theory,, but you might be surprised at the cost of such a place. Not only would the initial start up investment be considerable, insurance covering such a facility would be astronomical, if available at all.


With the inexpensive home based equipment coming out of China, the cost might not be so bad. I just picked up (had shipped by DHL) a little cnc 3018 router/mill with an xyx bed, the mill head, a 5kw laser and extra tools and bits for under $600 cdn, shipping included, arrived in 10 days. Putting it together today, will make a post on how well or bad it works in a week or so when my bar stock arrives.

Cheers - Dave



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: rickymouse

You might be able to get around the liability issue by forming a cooperative, with the interested seniors being members. Just an idea.
Check with an attorney.


The hotel I was going to buy was sold and developed into a restaurant and brewery now. It was a perfect place, I would have got the bid from the city on it at eighty grand, it would have needed a roofing job, otherwise it was in good shape and was restorable and convertable at the time. I was also in better shape health wise, with the epilepsy I would not even attempt something like that anymore. I could have done the whole remodeling job at the time for around two hundred fifty grand, including the original price. I had the bid ready to turn in and I would have got the bid at that price, it went for seventy five. I could have put in fifteen one bedroom large apartments and the small restaurant and even have storage for each apartment and three other rooms to rent, like motel rooms, for the family of the seniors to rent for a couple days if they came to visit. The hotel already had a nice commercial kitchen and dining area. At the time an apartment like that was going for around seven hundred a month Within ten years we would have got all my money back. We would have lived right on site in a two bedroom apartment and made it a family project.

The guy who bought it was a contractor I know with the same sort of idea, he fell off the roof when they were reroofing it and wound up disabled for five years, everything came to a screeching halt for about five years and the hospital bills took all his money to finish the job. So half the building is not being used, what a waste. He is still alive but sold the building to his sister.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 10:44 AM
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originally posted by: auroraaus
Yes I have - in Sydney

Makerspace & Co
ABC news article on Makerspace

There are also a few similar organisations floating about in Australia too - teaching all sorts of people with all sorts of abilities and sometimes for making items for those with disabilities or in need

We also have a community program nation wide (and similar themed programs) called The Men's Shed, which do basically the same, but with donated materials and the goal of this isn't just learning new skills, it's developing men's communication in terms of speaking up about health issues, metal health issues, stresses and hardshops, building bonds, fostering support etc. I adore this program and think they do most marvellous work. I have picked up a few wooden toys for my boy when he was younger, and kid sized table and chairs.

In your area, you have a lot of Amish? Could you maybe reach out to some elders to find out if there's a way to do work together in the traditional sense?

Anyways, good on you for thinking about it!



Apply for a government grant to fund $$$$$$$$$ your project 100% .Find someome who knows how to write, construct and apply correctly for one.

This could get you TONS of available $$$$ for your idea. Good for the community and a correctly worded grant application, and you'd be set!

There is MILLIONS waiting just for good, beneficial, educational projects as yours.. GO FOR IT!

Great idea, GOOD LUCK!




posted on May, 13 2018 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: bobs_uruncle

That's pretty cheap. I am a CNC programmer (multiaxis lathes, mills, wire edm, etc).

I am interested to here how useful it turns out to be.

Does that include software for programming, or is it strictly G-code?



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 11:49 AM
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The odd thing is that I'm not too concerned about equipment cost which may sound naive especially when I'm considering serious industrial grade/commercial equipment. As long as I don't need to buy everything at once and fill the shop in a months time, I'm confident of being able to find very high quality used equipment at auction for good prices especially if it needs a little TLC and can be refurbish/rebuild/fixed (not major overhauls/rebuilds). I've been on lots of auction sites (not ebay or other commercial/retail sites) and have seen amazing equipment sell for unbelievable prices over the last 10+ years and have almost cried because I didn't have the money or place to put it. This is part of the reason I came up with the idea.

I'm trying to figure out ways to help pay for everything from equipment to office space and am playing with a few ideas. One is to have a room or section of the shop designated specifically for classes of 10-20 people where a group can be taught a project (say a 2-4 hr class between 4pm and 10pm and then classes on the weekend). Also have private supervised sessions where more advanced users, or people who want more personal one-on-one instruction and these can be done in any part of the facility. I'm also thinking that having a retail area where people can sell items they make in the shop might be a good way to bring people into the shop to look at items and possibly sign up for a class.

There are also a few colleges around here and some high schools that don't have any type of shop like this. I'm wondering if it might be possible to partner with them and offer the shop as a facility for the students to do projects, research, etc. Doing this would give exposure to the shop and possibly generate revenue in many different ways.

I could see a nice glass blowing setup where people could have custom items made on site and the craftsman could also display their creations. With the new MMJ laws and possible decriminalization there is a large growing market for these things and I know glassblowers were a huge draw at events in college.

I'm also thinking that something like this might be a good idea with the growing senior population as many of them are going to be downsizing and won't have room for a large tool/equipment collection (could be a good source for equipment as well!). There are TONS of retirement homes/centers around here and there seem to be more/expanding by the year. It may be possible to either advertise with them or even partner with them offering the facility to their residents. I would think that this crowd might be a good market to target and be less likely to damage equipment or be a safety hazard (due to carelessness especially).

I'm trying to figure out if it would be better to keep something like this smaller in size, meaning limiting the number of "crafts" offered to main ones like woodworking, metal working, glass blowing,




If I were to have a large facility I'd want something that had spaces that could be used for multiple things and change from class to class with a change of setup (bringing equipment to the table or have move able work table/carts that have everything needed for the class or work).

Here are some of the hobbies I was thinking may be of interest and could be easily done as a class or even have sections dedicated to their specific craft/hobby. If you can think of anything that might be added to this, please post your idea.

pottery
Chemistry
Electronics
Brewing
Auto shop & small engine
black smithing
metalurgy (casting and such)
Jewelry
Computer networking
3D printing (metal, plastics & ceramics)
Audio/video setup, install, etc (even custom speakers, boxes, mounting)
Masonryk
Leatherwork
cooking + (grilling & BBQ)
Sewing
Soap making
Candle making
gardening (hydro & aeroponics??)
Photography & videography (all types) + printing
Printing/presses
Drawing & painting
RC planes & Drone Club
Knitting, Crocheting, quilting
Animal husbandry teaching/club
beekeeping (club/coop)



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Awesome ideas! Perhaps start small and then add more hobbies as you go along. Just make sure you know the legal aspects of operating such a place and you should be good to go. Much luck to you!



posted on May, 14 2018 @ 12:24 AM
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I think it is an awesome and amazing idea! I wanted to try and start something like a shared studio space warehouse that had many tools like you mentioned, but you have definitely thought it out more. I never got that far, being snared on finding a suitable building and location that was affordable for the group I had interested at the time. There is a Maker space not too far but, not exactly close, that has a lot of those things but it isn't a very big setup, so some individual 'shops' don't have enough space.
Dallas Makerspace
Tool list
It's a wonderful idea. I think if you can make it affordable for your members it could be an amazing success. People NEED spaces like this in order to create, most homes just aren't set up for it. I bet you will have more people wanting to join than space haha! I had a list of 14 of us- art students (various studies- metalsmithing, pottery, painting, sculpture, fibers etc) who needed a place and equipment to create.



posted on May, 14 2018 @ 12:27 PM
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originally posted by: Mach2
a reply to: bobs_uruncle

That's pretty cheap. I am a CNC programmer (multiaxis lathes, mills, wire edm, etc).

I am interested to here how useful it turns out to be.

Does that include software for programming, or is it strictly G-code?


Well, I put it all together, no instruction of course or maybe they are on the supplied software disk. I don't need no stinken manual lol. At about 16"x18"x12" high it is quite a sturdy wee beastie. It came with a wired remote and some spare parts. The spare extra frame member I used on the bottom to give a little extra frame strength. Works perfectly, all axis run smooth and true. It was a little tedious getting it aligned, but that's where one wants to spend most of their time. Nothing worse than a square turning into a trapezoid. The motor runs at about 12,000 rpm and use an ER11 collet. The wired remote is a nice touch as you can test out all the play and travel in the unit before hooking it up via USB to the computer. I must say travel is smooth and there is very little play, the xyz controls are quite good for such a small unit and the unit as a whole is quite sturdy. The pics show it with the router motor mounted, maybe I'll send up pics of the laser later. Definitely worth the money for a small project or prototyping desktop machine. It also came with a set of 10 bits.

Base price was around $160 cdn for just the machine plus $90 cdn shipping via DHL. I ordered additional bits and collettes, and an extra 24v 8 amp power supply (PS was around $20us). With everything, I spent around $600 cdn, but I bought a lot of extra equipment, bits, power supply, work hold downs, laser, etc.

Only problem I see so far is heat sink mounting on the mini driver boards, you might be able to see them in pics. The heat sinks are about 3/8" square and space is limited. You don't want to short out board components with the heat sinks obviously and the double sided tape they supply won't cut it in a vertical environment. So, the best solution would be two part epoxy left for a day while the board is off and horizontal. I may coat the close components with nail polish or some other type insulation just in case.



Li nk to Aliexpress Part
I'm happy with it. Not an industrial quality machine by any stretch of the imagination, but to bang out 1000 pieces or prototypes, yehaw!

Cheers - Dave



posted on May, 14 2018 @ 12:29 PM
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Double Post, ATS behaving funky

Cheers - Dave
edit on 5/14.2018 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2018 @ 09:31 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Oh man! put me in a place where old guy's my age can live and work cars and other similar stuff all the time!!
I would fight my damnedest to keep THAT Dream alive!!



posted on May, 14 2018 @ 09:31 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Oh man! put me in a place where old guy's my age can live and work cars and other similar stuff all the time!!
I would fight my damnedest to keep THAT Dream alive!!



posted on May, 14 2018 @ 09:31 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Oh man! DOUBLE POSTED :up
h yea!!
edit on 14-5-2018 by grubblesnert because: (no reason given)



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