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Scrap Wood Mallet

I have always liked the idea of making my own tools. While the complexities of an electric drill are far beyond me, a simple wooden mallet is well within reach. By making your own, you can customize it to fit your needs and aesthetic. A wooden mallet is great for tapping chisels and easing joints together. Unlike a metal hammer, it isn’t hard enough to dent chisels or mar a wooden project. Additionally, it is l
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Making a Collaborative Quilt

Over the last couple weeks, MAKESHOP began a quilting project. Everyone was invited to create a 5×5 inch square to add to our collaborative quilt. It has been a fun opportunity to learn all kinds of sewing techniques: from learning to thread a needle to operating a sewing machine. The response has been amazing; it looks like it’s going to be a big quilt! There are so many different ways to embellish each square
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Physics in Motion

A couple of weeks ago we let our visitors explore ramps on a very large scale. We cleared out a large space in MAKESHOP and let adults and kids explore with cardboard tubes, tape and ping pong balls. Photos don’t really do this activity justice. Below are several videos highlighting some of the more interesting creations during our ramp experiment. This was a ramp that I assembled with the help of several kids.
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Making a Magnet Wall

What can you do with a thousand flat refrigerator magnets?  That was the question I had when we received a donation of old magnets.  They were part of an advertising campaign from 2005 for a local theme park.  Sometimes it simply the shear number of a certain material that helps us develop an activity in MAKESHOP. I thought it would be cool to make patterns or pixel drawings using the magnets on one of our metal pegb
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Allen’s Car

Here is a great example of how a visitor can really come prepared to MAKESHOP. Allen visits the Museum a lot and although there are lots of things to play with at the Museum he sometimes brings his own toys as well. During this particular visit his toys completely inspired him to create something in MAKSHOP. He wanted to make a car for his pirate toys to ride around in. We spent a really long time building a car out
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A Practical Laser Cutter Project

I had the opportunity to use our laser cutter to create something practical for a change. We usually use our laser cutter to experiment with visitors and demonstrate the use of a laser to cut or etch different materials. I was asked to create this project for Tula Organic Salon and Spa. They wanted to laser cut a stencil so that they could paint a bathroom sign for their shop. I suggested that we could use the laser
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