Colin uses a chisel to create a joint for the bookshelf.

Joining the Family

Our reading nook in MAKESHOP has been a bit overcrowded for a while now. Owning too many books is a good problem to have—the trick is making room to store them all. Last month, we decided to begin building a new bookshelf. This quickly turned into a passion project for many of us. Working on it has made me think a lot about the way in which memory and collaboration add to a project. I’ve now been working in MAKESHOP
Read More

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
Three Club Makers pose with the tutus they made.

Club Make

This year, YouthALIVE!, our after school program for middle school students, got a new name: Club Make. Students who participate in Club Make come to the MAKESHOP after school three days a week to work on projects with the help of mentors. During the first week of Club Make, the Club Makers wanted to make tutus—so we made it happen! We already had lots of fabric that worked well for tutus. One kind of fabric is calle
Read More


Dovetails are a traditional way to attach two pieces of wood without the need for fasteners like nails or screws. Below, John Bullar of the UK presents a short video where he cuts dovetail joints using hand tools. As a professional custom furniture builder, his skill makes the process look very easy. The tools, however, are simple and easily available. A chisel, mallet, and saw are all that are required. A great tric
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

Field Trip: Braddock Library

The Braddock Library is an amazing place.  The building is beautiful, the staff is extremely friendly and the patrons are awesome.  I was lucky enough to visit the library twice this summer and teach two workshops: one woodworking and one electronics.  The woodworking workshop had about twenty kids participate and all of them created something original.  One girl simply spent a half and hour sawing a huge board in ha
Read More