Things I've learned maker spaces and factories

Hobbyists, kids, education. Sorry. Nope. Let me explain.
We learned from our survey that we just can't get nearly enough money from the hobbyist-craftsman. Ironically, that is what this is all about.
Kids: Artisan Asylum has a no kids policy. Sorry. Nobody under the age of 18 (or 14?) allowed in the maker space. I know I'm bursting a lot of people's bubbles on this one.
Education: are we not in direct competition with the high school shop classes and COCC Redmond? The state, federal government, and private industries are already contributing to those. We would be redundant.
My advice? A factory floor for small businesses to share machinery. Just imagine several entities each paying about $1,500 per month for use of the space with the hobbyists mixed in among it all.
At the heart of the matter is collaboration of skills and ideas. Yes, the hobbyist is important and essential but the breadwinner(rent payer) he is not. Plenty of room for him but not his kids. The only way to get an exponential gain in idea and skill sharing speed is with many machines and people under one roof. More on that "under one roof" concept to follow:

Woodworking: while metalworking (welding included) is considered light industrial, woodworking (at least in the State of Massachusetts) is considered medium industrial - and for good reason. The dust is explosive. If we had a wood shop I would recommend it be in a separate building entirely. Every square foot of Artisan Asylum is covered in fine dust from the woodworking. Tech Shop SF was very clean. I don't know how they manage it. A wood shop needs to be at the very least walled and hermetically sealed from the rest of the space and kept under negative pressure via constant ventilation. Yes, CNC joinery is new and in my opinion one of the few innovations which will increase productivity.

Ideally I would recommend a "California Campus" with a separate building for wood shop another for composites/paint and yet another for powder coating. Epoxy hardener is one of the most noxious and dangerous chemicals in common use today. Kevlar dust is known to cause lung cancer. The jury is not yet in on the health effects of carbon fiber dust but it is known to itch terribly and foul machinery due to its abrasive nature. I would be happy to design a shop where the stuff can be handled safely. However, what do I recommend? Make it out of linear high density polyethylene plastic instead. Think kayaks - not the racing type. Plastic whitewater and touring kayaks: Safe and easy and economical to make. I have gone so far as to boycott carbon fiber bike parts in favor of chromoly steel and aluminum. I gave up a career in composites because I didn't want to die from an asthma/allergy attack. Why do you think Boeing fabricates that stuff in China? A: health risks to the workers.

Alternately, we could focus on metal shop, do woodworking in someone's garage, resist the temptation of composites, and outsource powder coating.

That is all for now. I will attempt to post some pictures here.
Google+ album 160 pics! here

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Things I've learned maker spaces and factories May 30, 2013 10:07 PM Charlie D.
A Place For Our Space May 14, 2013 8:48 PM Michael A.
Central Oregon Innovation Mill May 13, 2013 1:37 PM Robert K.
Executive Summary Brainstorm Notes May 2, 2013 9:02 PM Robert K.
About Central Oregon Makers May 2, 2013 2:28 PM Robert K.

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