Adapted Tools

In MAKESHOP we believe in offering “real stuff” to everybody in our maker space, regardless of age, but not every space does this. Part of the problem is that some tools aren’t meant for the hands of a six year old, and using an adult-sized tool can be difficult and dangerous. Luckily, using some of these same real tools, we can make modifications to improve grip, and ultimately, safety. A rasp like
Read More

Things in the Laser Cutter

I love our laser cutter. It’s a machine that uses a power beam of energy to burn through things. How cool is that?! The only thing I love more than the laser cutter (sorry, loom, you’ve been temporarily replaced) is putting odd things into the laser cutter. Cookies Nilla Wafers work really nicely, because the burned design shows up well against the light-colored cookie. Wood (Painted) Wood isn’t a v
Read More

Too Many Shoes?

I’ve always said that solving problems is one of the most important parts of being a maker. It is a lot of fun to solve a problem by making something. That is essentially how an inventor thinks. If you are tired of sitting on the ground then why not build a chair? If you your chair isn’t comfortable then you can always sew a cushion. My problem was too many shoes in my closet at home. I could have easily
Read More

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
Read More

Field Trip: Shaler Elementary

Nick (one of our Maker Corps Members) and I got to spend a couple of hours at Shaler Elementary solving a lot of woodworking problems alongside amazing and diligent students.  The kids got the chance to experience all of the tools we had brought, along with safe techniques to use them properly.  After a lengthy orientation with the tools and processes, the kids were given the freedom to create whatever their hearts d
Read More

Field Trip: Robinson Township Library

Derek and I had the privilege of using the Robinson Township Library’s extremely large activity space to teach woodworking.  We taught visitors how to use hammers, hand drills, saws, sand paper and screwdrivers. We planned to have the families experience and learn about the tools.  Some of the families asked if they could create something (a sculpture or a structure) using the tools and wood.  We would never st
Read More