September 2021 Newsletter

President's Message

John Dubelko

Greetings Members,

Halloween is almost here.  Do you have your costume and house ready? Makersmiths has all machines like 3d printers, sewing machines, and a laser cutter to get you ready.  Check out the many upcoming classes. If you would like to host a Halloween-themed class, please let us know by posting in the #host_a_class Slack channel or fill out the form in the Events and Class Requirements page in the member area of our website.  

We continue to get in more donations. Our latest was from a renowned sculptor and included welding equipment, woodworking hand tools, and a blacksmithing anvil.  We are still going through all the items.  Thank you to all those that helped in transporting them to both spaces. Look for these items to be ready for member use soon.

Lastly, I would like to thank those who updated the organization's bylaws and standing rules.  Jonathon White, Jim Waldron, and Beverly Murdock worked several evenings to clean them up.  They will be posted soon on the wiki. I encourage everyone to read over them. 

Happy Holloween,

John Dubelko


Chairman's Statement

Dave Painter

Saturday Oct. 2nd 9:00 to ?? is the monthly work day at Purcellville

This month we have a couple of extra important things to do.

At 11:00 AM the Mayor and Town Council will be touring the Purcellville facility. It is important that they leave with a positive impression as it is time for us to renew the lease! As well as showcasing the improvements that we have done to the property over the last 4 1/2 years it is important for them to leave with a clear understanding of the benefits that Makersmiths offers the community.

2.  The picture framing shop is nearing completion and there are two projects we need to complete this weekend. First we need to install vinyl siding on the front wall where the big double doors used to be.  We will have the materials on-site but need three or four people to install the siding. Second, there are a few more sheets of drywall to hang and then we need to begin to put drywall compound on the seams and over the screws.  Drywall work isn't difficult and is a skill every home owner should know.  Come on down, help us out, and leave with some new skills!

As always there are lots of other things that need to be done such as, cutting grass, trimming around the buildings, emptying the trash, cleaning the common areas, washing windows, maintaining machines, sorting and organizing, etc., etc., etc.

This is a great opportunity to fulfill your obligation of two volunteer hours each month and it's a great opportunity to meet some of our newer members!

Mark your calendar now, We'll see you Saturday! 

Scheduling Committee News

Diane Painter

John Dubelko is now the interim chairperson for the Scheduling Committee. At this time, Brenda Bartholic and Jennifer Chu are also members of this committee. The committee is looking for new members. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact John Dubelko through Slack or email at

If you are a current instructor who wants to offer a future class, course or workshop that has been offered before, please notify Jennifer Chu in Slack that you want to offer it again.  Be sure to consult the calendar to see if the date and time you desire does not conflict with another planned event. If any member wants to offer a new course, class, workshop or event, please follow these directions: From the, log in as a member. Then click on the three horizontal lines to the right of the screen to get members only content. Then choose Important Information (pops up on the left) and then look left again to click on Events and Classes Requirements. From that page, click on Course, Class or Event Form. When you submit that form, the request goes to John Dubelko and he will build it for you.

Robert Sanabria 

At 90 years of youth, Robert gifted his life tools and passions to Makersmiths.  This amazing artist, father, husband, and grandparent chose to pass on his legacy to our organization.

Why?  Because he wanted his life’s work, his tools, to be kept together, he is sharing the love of making, of art and community. Every person who is a part of MS benefits by his generosity and wisdom.   He has sculpted rock, aluminum, copper and created hundreds of pieces of art.

Today was a HUGE transition for this amazing man.  Everything he collected and built for his trade was gifted to the next generations of makers. Makersmiths has made it possible for skills, knowledge and passion to be shared.  Robert’s legacy will passed on and appreciated for years to come.

- Tami Scannell, #general Sep 18 2021

Sanabria has written about his life in memoirs available in the Loudoun County Public Library - 

A warrior's odyssey : a life transformed

Stewing in the melting pot : the memoir of a real American

Locally, you can see some of Robert Sanabria's work in Franklin Park in front of the Arts Center and in the Sculpture Garden!

Educational Initiatives

Diane Painter

What are Arduinos?

A new school year has begun and we are planning an exciting year of maker possibilities for the youth of our organization. At the end of September, Rob Shirley began teaching the 6-week course entitled, Hacking a Robot Brain for Fun and Productivity course at Makersmiths-Leesburg. Youth meet after school on Friday afternoons.  Dave Bock began teaching the same course on Sunday afternoons at Makersmiths-Purcellville. This course teaches youth in grades 8-12 about:

  • The basics of programming an Arduino
  • How to use the built-in light to 'blink' in Morse code
  • How to use the input pins to respond to inputs like push buttons, light sensors, IR remotes, etc.
  • How to use the output pins to control lights and motors
  • How to use a breadboard to build circuity with the Arduino as the controlling 'brain' and more!

The KidWind Challenges

On November 6 at 2PM, Diane Painter will host a KidWind information meeting at Makersmiths-Purcellville for parents and their youth who are in grades 4-12. For the past four years, Makersmiths members Diane Painter, Jennifer Chu and Ralph Pugh coached several teams that created wind turbine and solar projects for the middle school and high school challenge divisions sponsored by See our Makersmiths challenge winning teams in 2021!

What is Kidwind? It is a hands-on STEM initiative that engages youth in grades 4-12 in maker experiences as they learn about wind and solar energy. Participant teams design and build small-scale wind turbines and solar structures to compete at the state and national levels to measure power output and present their projects to expert judges from universities and energy industries. It is student-driven, maker-oriented, collaborative and fun!

We hope to sponsor teams again this year. Please plan to attend this information meeting to find out more regarding spring 2022’s KidWind-Virginia challenges that will be held at JMU on March 14. Please register here so we can plan for you! We will meet in the main building's Green Room.

Learn About eSports

Makersmiths has an invitation for youth and their parents to tour Shenandoah University’s eSports Arena located in Winchester, Virginia and learn about eSports. eSports is described as the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers. If interested in learning more, please contact so she can arrange a tour.

Makersmiths at the Bluemont Fair!

There were a lot of people that stopped by and talked to us! I was most struck by two things: how many did not even know what a makerspace is (lots of education work to do for us!!) and how many parents of young children said they would like to participate but didn't have the time.  - Bob Watowiec


Many thanks to Sew Margarbo in Ashburn for assisting Jessee Maloney in finding five NEW Janome HD3000’s on sale, and their generous donation of loads of bobbins and help maintaining the machines! Classes will start showing up on the schedule around late October and will be targeted at different interests - D&D dice bags, basic mending skills for beginners, and quilting to name a few

Have you been to MS-Leesburg lately? WOW!

The room is visually divided using dark and light paint as well as accents of gray to indicate the tool areas.

Did you know...

Slack has a #for-sale channel? and #hire-a-maker?

Check out this from #whatcha_make_today

Maker-made by Ian Poole for a customer who will be using it at the Waterford Fair - straw broom knotting jig

Beautifying the neighborhood, one garden plot at a time! Great work on the MS-L backyard

Upcoming Classes

Makersmiths is run by volunteers - you, too, can become an instructor and increase the number of class times we offer!

Blacksmithing and Welding classes with Jim Waldron the third weekend of October and November

Basics Woodworking Red Tool Trainer (MS-P), John Borden, will hold training  sessions the 2nd Thursday of each month through the end of the year.

Advanced Woodworking Red Tool (MS-P) (Jon White or Dave Painter) have upcoming classes Oct 17, Nov 14, and Dec 12 10AM to 12PM.

Dave Painter will provide Red Tool training for the Purcellville metal working shop the second Wednesday of the month for the rest of 2021.

Woodworking Red Tool Training at MS-L  will be offered by Mike DeWan Oct 14 and Nov 18

Jon White will host an introductory EBF class from 8AM to noon on Oct 10

To see more information about upcoming classes or additional details about those mentioned here, please go to Events & Classes on the Makersmiths' home page. There are new classes added frequently.

As always, check out the various Slack channels for current shop talk, ideas, and to admire and aspire!

Want to add a few Martha Stewart-esque touches to your Thanksgiving celebration? Start planning now and maybe you could share your idea with others in a November class!

Makersmiths Leesburg: 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175

Makersmiths Purcellville: 785 S. 20th St, Purcellville, VA 20132