# Are you a member of a maker space in your city?

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I already have a sheet metal brake and have been wanting to buy a shear but they are so darn expensive
and I would likely not use it all that often it would be hard to justify spending the money.

So I considered joining the local maker space. The cool part about it is access to all kinds of equipment that I might never buy for myself. They also hold classes on various subjects. One of which is welding which I really want to learn to do do.

But once again the problem is cost. $50 a month plus it is on the other side of the city for me. And it is in the city so there is traffic and a cost for parking. I doubt I would be going that often because of the trip to get there plus the hassle for parking. Plus I would much rather be out on my bicycle when the weather is nice than to be sitting in a lab working on a project. I probably at the site all that often. So$50 a month + parking is a bit hard to justify.

So anyone else a member of their local maker space? Is the cost worth it?

Last edited:

Joined Jul 18, 2013
21,246
For the amount I need I just get a local Tin Snappers shop to do it for me.
Max.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
For the amount I need I just get a local Tin Snappers shop to do it for me.
Max.

Well that really isn't an answer to my question. I wanted to know who participates in their local builders club.

As for having the local sheet metal shop do the cuts, mine charges something like $5-$6 a cut. Now there are a lot of cuts in a $300 shear but there is something about handing them$5-$6 a cut that irks me along with dealing with their manger who is just kind of slimy. #### Papabravo Joined Feb 24, 2006 14,250 In Ann Arbor, they called it a "Maker Space". I went to their "Open House", listened to the pitch, and ultimately declined to take them up on their offer of renting the machine(s) by the hour, or becoming a member for a yearly fee. The one time rate was about$35.00/hr. Membership was $925.00/year with basically free access to the machines. Thread Starter #### spinnaker Joined Oct 29, 2009 7,835 In Ann Arbor, they called it a "Maker Space". I went to their "Open House", listened to the pitch, and ultimately declined to take them up on their offer of renting the machine(s) by the hour, or becoming a member for a yearly fee. The one time rate was about$35.00/hr. Membership was $925.00/year with basically free access to the machines. Maker space. The phrase I was looking for. Yikes$35 an hour? It could take an hour just for setup. Sounds like they want to force you into the yearly fee.

Ours us cheap by comparison for yearly fee. $600 a year paid$50 monthly. I don't know if you can turn membership on and off. I might join if it was just for the winter months.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
14,250
Classes at the community college might also be an option. In addition to learning how to use machine tools, they were pretty "laissez faire" about working on projects on our own time. I think the into class was 130.00 for county residents. #### Sensacell Joined Jun 19, 2012 2,587 Maker Space = good idea, but fails the "Reality Test" Tools and equipment of this nature are delicate and expensive, it just takes one inexperienced person to dull an expensive blade, or break something expensive. You cannot charge the newbies for this loss of value, the tool quickly becomes unusable. A trained person needs to supervise and assist newbies with getting up to speed on the machines. A person with skill and ability to use all these different tools and machines is typically a volunteer, as a maker space can never afford to pay a person of this caliber to be there during operating hours. Machinery typically requires critical spare parts and specialized tools to execute an operation correctly, These parts and tools are quickly lost or damaged, rendering the machine all but useless. For example, a milling machine typically requires that the head is 'dialed in' to proper alignment, the process of doing this is time consuming and requires skill and delicate dial indicators. If one assumes the machine is dialed in and it's out of whack, the results can be garbage. The other scenario is where you have the "Digital Fabrication" style Maker Space, where the only equipment available is the 3D printer, Laser Cutter and CNC Router. These spaces suffer all the same problems, if not worse, due to the delicate nature of the machinery involved. These spaces are not really useful for making much as the need for simple supporting tools is often overlooked, because these are not perceived as being "sexy". Much better to have a drill press, bench grinder and a band saw, but these tools don't register as being important anymore. I have seem many Maker Spaces start and slowly fail as the original founders burn-out from long hours of unsatisfying toil, while going broke replacing lost or damaged tooling, long before their normal service life. Who knows how to sharpen a drill bit by hand? #### Papabravo Joined Feb 24, 2006 14,250 Maker Space = good idea, but fails the "Reality Test" Tools and equipment of this nature are delicate and expensive, it just takes one inexperienced person to dull an expensive blade, or break something expensive. You cannot charge the newbies for this loss of value, the tool quickly becomes unusable. A trained person needs to supervise and assist newbies with getting up to speed on the machines. A person with skill and ability to use all these different tools and machines is typically a volunteer, as a maker space can never afford to pay a person of this caliber to be there during operating hours. Machinery typically requires critical spare parts and specialized tools to execute an operation correctly, These parts and tools are quickly lost or damaged, rendering the machine all but useless. For example, a milling machine typically requires that the head is 'dialed in' to proper alignment, the process of doing this is time consuming and requires skill and delicate dial indicators. If one assumes the machine is dialed in and it's out of whack, the results can be garbage. The other scenario is where you have the "Digital Fabrication" style Maker Space, where the only equipment available is the 3D printer, Laser Cutter and CNC Router. These spaces suffer all the same problems, if not worse, due to the delicate nature of the machinery involved. These spaces are not really useful for making much as the need for simple supporting tools is often overlooked, because these are not perceived as being "sexy". Much better to have a drill press, bench grinder and a band saw, but these tools don't register as being important anymore. I have seem many Maker Spaces start and slowly fail as the original founders burn-out from long hours of unsatisfying toil, while going broke replacing lost or damaged tooling, long before their normal service life. Who knows how to sharpen a drill bit by hand? I do. I can also grind a lathe tool by hand on a bench grinder. Since most production tools are now carbide, there probably aren't many left who can do this either. #### KeepItSimpleStupid Joined Mar 4, 2014 4,155 Who knows how to sharpen a drill bit by hand? I can. I also ground something like a 3/8" regular bit so it cut polycarbinate without drawing the drill in. made kind of a brad point bit. Leveling a mill. No. But seeing the after results of someone run a big mill into a chrome hardened bedway wasn't good. The seasoned machinist left the wrench on the quill and turned it on. When i set up a machine for a "student" to drill about 100 1/4 diameter holes into a piece of Molybdenum, the resident "shop babysitter" got upset. He was very quickly overruled. Besides, I was probably the first person to set the quill to do automatic drilling. I don't think the babysitter would have used a ball end mill either, #### shortbus Joined Sep 30, 2009 7,853 You could do what I do for long straight cuts in sheet metal. I have an expensive Bosch one of these, but the Harbor Freight one looks just exactly like it. For lighter gauge metal. If HF was selling them back when I got the Bosch I would have got the HF. https://www.harborfreight.com/18-gauge-35-amp-heavy-duty-metal-shears-61737.html For heavier stuff I bought one of these. https://www.harborfreight.com/14-gauge-4-amp-heavy-duty-metal-shears-68199.html For straight cuts I clamp a dry wall square next to the cut to use as a guide. And just keep the shears against the edge of the square blade. #### Wendy Joined Mar 24, 2008 22,155 Not at the moment due to my current circumstances. But I will be again. I plan on being one of the teachers for basic electronics. I was very spoiled to their 3D printers.I will never buy another electromics enclosure again.. My answer is yes it is worth it. I enjoyed hanging around other creative people, a lot. It helps bring out my creativity also. #### KL7AJ Joined Nov 4, 2008 2,225 I already have a sheet metal brake and have been wanting to buy a shear but they are so darn expensive and I would likely not use it all that often it would be hard to justify spending the money. So I considered joining the local maker space. The cool part about it is access to all kinds of equipment that I might never buy for myself. They also hold classes on various subjects. One of which is welding which I really want to learn to do do. But once again the problem is cost.50 a month plus it is on the other side of the city for me. And it is in the city so there is traffic and a cost for parking. I doubt I would be going that often because of the trip to get there plus the hassle for parking. Plus I would much rather be out on my bicycle when the weather is nice than to be sitting in a lab working on a project. I probably at the site all that often. So $50 a month + parking is a bit hard to justify. So anyone else a member of their local maker space? Is the cost worth it? Yipper skipper. There's a nice machine shop at the UAF aero sciences hangar. It's free to anyone to use, with a little bit of safety training and such. Thread Starter #### spinnaker Joined Oct 29, 2009 7,835 Not at the moment due to my current circumstances. But I will be again. I plan on being one of the teachers for basic electronics. I was very spoiled to their 3D printers.I will never buy another electromics enclosure again.. My answer is yes it is worth it. I enjoyed hanging around other creative people, a lot. It helps bring out my creativity also. What is the cost? #### AlbertHall Joined Jun 4, 2014 10,243 No. My nearest is two hours away by car and over 3 hours by car. #### Wendy Joined Mar 24, 2008 22,155 Normally it is$50/month, They have a starving artist rate for people on a fixed income or who are unemployed of $35/month.Mine is 25 miles away,a 40 minute drive. Google Dallas Maker Space if you are interested. Thread Starter #### spinnaker Joined Oct 29, 2009 7,835 Normally it is$50/month, They have a starving artist rate for people on a fixed income or who are unemployed of $35/month.Mine is 25 miles away,a 40 minute drive. Google Dallas Maker Space if you are interested. I am but it would be a 1,200 mile drive for me. #### seanspotatobusiness Joined Sep 17, 2016 203 I'm a member of Edinburgh Hacklab where the usual membership fee is £25 per month or £15 for students or unemployed. It's two or three miles away or 20 minutes by bike and I like it a lot. They keep a tight rein on delicate or dangerous equipment and there are many volunteers who know what they're doing who keep things operating well. #### RichardO Joined May 4, 2013 2,271 Plus I would much rather be out on my bicycle when the weather is nice than to be sitting in a lab working on a project. I probably at the site all that often. So$50 a month + parking is a bit hard to justify.
So, find a maker space that is within riding distance.

When I was a member of a local maker space this is exactly what I did since it was only a few miles away. Fortunately I was not doing any large projects. All of my materials fit in a backpack.

#### RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,271
Tools and equipment of this nature are delicate and expensive, it just takes one inexperienced person to dull an expensive blade, or break something expensive. You cannot charge the newbies for this loss of value, the tool quickly becomes unusable.

A trained person needs to supervise and assist newbies with getting up to speed on the machines. A person with skill and ability to use all these different tools and machines is typically a volunteer, as a maker space can never afford to pay a person of this caliber to be there during operating hours.

Machinery typically requires critical spare parts and specialized tools to execute an operation correctly, These parts and tools are quickly lost or damaged, rendering the machine all but useless.

For example, a milling machine typically requires that the head is 'dialed in' to proper alignment, the process of doing this is time consuming and requires skill and delicate dial indicators. If one assumes the machine is dialed in and it's out of whack, the results can be garbage.

The other scenario is where you have the "Digital Fabrication" style Maker Space, where the only equipment available is the 3D printer, Laser Cutter and CNC Router. These spaces suffer all the same problems, if not worse, due to the delicate nature of the machinery involved. These spaces are not really useful for making much as the need for simple supporting tools is often overlooked, because these are not perceived as being "sexy". Much better to have a drill press, bench grinder and a band saw, but these tools don't register as being important anymore.

I have seem many Maker Spaces start and slowly fail as the original founders burn-out from long hours of unsatisfying toil, while going broke replacing lost or damaged tooling, long before their normal service life.
This _exactly_ describes what happened at the maker space I was a member of.

edit: Added the comment I forgot.