Maker Faire Project Workshop Feb 5, 2013 @ West Seattle Tool Library

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Maker Faire is an event created by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset”.

Last year the West Seattle Makers and Fixers, along with over 2,800 people, participated in the workshops, interactive exhibits, and presentations at Seattle’s first-ever Mini Maker Faire on June 2nd and 3rd at the Seattle Center. This year the Makers and Fixers have added many new tools to our workspace, including a Shopbot (CNC router), and hope to build on our experience from last year to make our booth even more exciting and inspiring. At this Meetup we’ll present a slideshow of last year’s event, recap what was successful, and discuss areas of improvement. Then we’ll discuss our new goals, resources, individual interests and ideas. We’ll then form subgroups, create a task list, and start executing projects.

http://www.meetup.com/WSToolLibrary/events/102797092/

 

How to Start a Fixers’ Collective

After getting mentioned in articles by Wired Magazine and Fox News we started receiving a few inquiries on how to go about starting a fixers’ collective. Starting the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective was relatively easy to do by partnering with the West Seattle Tool Library. The Tool Library already had most of the resources for starting the fixers’ collective; a work area with decent lighting and heating, internet access for looking up repair solutions (ifixit.com), an abundance of tools and repair books, and the most important resource of all; a small but dedicated group of volunteers, fixers and tinkerers.  The last piece of the puzzle was to organize regularly scheduled meet-up times, supply a few snacks and refreshments, and see who shows up. Since opening in mid-2011, the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective have repaired a wide range of items from an antique dental drill, a few kitchen mixers to various electronic devices as well as maintaining and repairing the tools in the Tool Library itself.

Here is more info in getting a tool library started that was created by one of our members.

Bay Area Maker Faire 2012

The first ever Seattle’s Mini Maker Faire is only a few days away and we’ll have our very own booth showcasing the Fixers and Makers of West Seattle.  I decided to make a trip down to California and check out one of the flagship Maker Faire for the first time to see what it’s like. I was told that it would be like Burning Man for geeks and kids with a dizzying array of DIY projects and science demonstrations. I wasn’t disappointed and the crowds were insane. I dragged my older brother to the event and he was so impressed that he plans on making the trek up from California to give us a hand on our booth. Stay tuned for more updates.

Bicycle Repair at the West Seattle Tool Library

West Seattle Spokespeople have been sponsoring free, minor bike repair to anyone and everyone at the Fixers’ Meeting on the first Thursday of every month. Some of the best volunteer mechanics in our area are there to fix flats, lube chains, repair brakes and do other minor bicycle repairs.

My co-worker gave me an old broken hybrid bike to work on. I decided to use the gift certificate that I won from a Tox-Ick event to purchase some parts at Alki Bike and Board to fix the bike. I purchased new front and rear brakes, cassette and a middle chain ring.

I also picked up a new seat, seat clamp, wheel nut, bolts and hand grips for a unusable and unwanted women’s mountain bike. With the new parts and expert help I was able to get both bikes back in service again. The women’s mountain bike is currently for sale at the Tool Library and all proceeds go to the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective.

Our next bicycle repair workshop at the tool library is May 3, 2012 from 6pm – 9pm. If you can’t make it to the workshop you can still check out some bike tools at the tool library and work on your own or just wait until the following month’s bike workshop.

Wind-Powered Generator Project

Seattle Center 2062

The Wind Powered Generator Project is the first in a series of maker projects that we’re planning on completing and displaying at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire this summer. We’re using salvaged metal parts, an old stop sign and a donated treadmill to build the project. The plan is to use a heavy duty tent frame to support the structure and make it portable for temporary and emergency setup in a variety of locations. I’m anxious to see how much power if any it will create or if it will just wind up being a tall kinetic sculpture. If you’re also interested in participating in the project or just curious, come join us by signing up on our Meetup site and check for details when we’ll meet.

parts for the windmill

 

Harvesting parts from a treadmill

We’re Two-for-Two Fixing KitchenAid Mixers!

We got our second KitchenAid mixer to repair at a recent fixers meeting. (Here’s Christina’s write-up on the first mixer) Like the first mixer we were able to troubleshoot and repair the problem. The problem this time was the bolts holding the motor became loose and caused the gears to get out of alignment. The solution was to realign the gears and retighten the bolts and the mixer was back in order and ready for the next batch of yummy desserts and baked goods.

KitchenAid Mixers get great reviews and I now know they are not too difficult to repair yourself. If I ever buy a mixer, I’m getting a KitchenAid!

Introduction to Indoor Winter Gardening

The very informative workshop was recently taught by Christina Hahs at the West Seattle Tool Library. Christina demonstrated how quickly and easy it is to grow sprouts and the huge variety there is to choose from. She also covered getting starter plants ready for the spring, soil treatments, dealing with pests, watering techniques and many other useful and important tips.

If you missed the workshop, than stay tuned to the West Seattle Tool Library events page or join the Meetup group for other exciting workshops.