Over the last month, we have been performing our annual inventory. I am happy, to report we have found it all! Thank you, Jim and Mary Waldron, Michael James, and others who helped in the search. We discovered that we don't have a consistent way to know if something is “co-located”. These are items owned by members that are on-site for member use. To fix this, Jennifer Chu and Mary Waldron have volunteered to put together a consolidated list of owners. If you have something at the space that you are co-locating, please contact them on Slack. Only room stewards can accept co-located equipment.
We also noted some inconsistencies with donated equipment. The board, to my knowledge, has approved only one directed donation for the framing shop. These are donations with conditions attached. An example would be "the space can have my equipment as long as it stays at Leesburg." We do not plan to move, sell, dispose of or otherwise change the current donated equipment but want it to be clear that Makersmiths has the right to do this. We will be reaching out to a few donors to make sure they understand this and make arrangements like co-location if that is a better fit.
Thank you for all the volunteer hours you're giving to the space. Things are looking great! Lets keep it up!
Makersmiths will have a booth to showcase our KidWind solar and wind projects at the upcoming LCPS Student Maker Showcase at the Academies of Loudoun on March 24 from 5:30-7:30 pm. It’s a great opportunity to see what our local youth are making in schools, STEM clubs, and on their own! Stop by the booth to say hello.
I've been a Makersmith member for 4 or so years now and I love making things. My other love is the theater, both onstage and behind the scenes. I did theater in HS and college and started up again about 12 years ago as an adult helping out at Middletown High School here in Frederick County MD. I began volunteering with Other Voices the following year. I also build sets for MHS and for 10 years we did a haunted house on stage - a 1/4 mile maze on the stage with rooms for various characters.
I currently volunteer with Other Voices in Frederick MD where I am the Volunteer Coordinator and the lead carpenter for our upcoming production of Noises Off.
We've been in rehearsals since the beginning of 2022 and I've been part of an amazing team building the massive set. If you've seen Noises Off before, you can appreciate what I'm saying! We put over 200 hours into this build.
To start, I used the tablesaw at MS-P to cut the pieces I needed to make a torsion box which we've been using as a lightweight work table, especially useful with my track saw.
We started with a model of the set...
Which turned into a drawings...
Which then became pieces of the set...
And finally, the set!
I think we did pretty well! (Editor's note: absolutely! I've seen this play elsewhere and this set is fantastic!)
Come see the show! It runs the first 3 weekends in March, the 4th through the 20th. Evening performances are Friday and Saturday with an 8pm curtain. Sunday matinees have a 2pm curtain. All cast, crew and other volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated. Audience is required to be masked at all times while in the building (244B Jefferson Street, Frederick, MD).
Recently, a neighborhood friend asked me if I’d be interested in creating a shadow box highlighting his accomplishments and cherished memories of 24 years of service in the Navy so he could share this important time of his life with his grandchildren.
I used dimensioned ¾” Brazilian Cherry lumber from Woodcraft in Leesburg for this project. The wood was somewhat twisted and bent, so I needed the Jointer and Thickness Planer to bring it to a more useful flat state. I cut the pieces to the approximate width and length using the Table Saw and employed the Miter Saw blade, tilted to 45 degrees, to cut the pieces to the exact lengths for the 45 degree joint. Back to the Table Saw where I cut a rabbet in each of the frame pieces to eventually hold the plywood backboard. A rabbet is a channel or a groove cut on the edge of a surface which then allows another panel, in this case the plywood backing, to fit snuggly against the lip.
Using a Router, I cut a groove in each of the frame pieces to hold the plexiglass and then decorated the outward facing edges of the frame with a roundover router bit. The whole thing was then sanded (Drum Sander) and the frame temporarily band clamped together while I cut the ¼” plywood back panel to size.
Once the frame pieces and back panel were stained and polished, I cut the plexiglass with the table saw and set it into the previously mentioned frame grooves. I glued and clamped the 4 sides of the frame, reinforcing the joints with a 23 pin nailer.
Out of the woodshop and on to other Makersmith tools, I made a custom acrylic plaque on the UV Printer, listing duty locations, awards, and achievements. White letters on a black background, letters embossed with gloss ink, made the plaque stand out nicely. The Naval decorations, photos, and medals were pinned through the felt into the foam board or held in place with photo-safe glue as needed. To allow for future access to the interior of the shadow box, I screwed the back board and felt board insert into the frame rabbet and added a picture hanging wire to the frame. A second acrylic plaque, to be mounted on the outside of the back panel, is a letter of greetings and advice to grandkids and future generations.
Cosplay Nights Are Back!
Ever wanted to own that one prop from that one movie? Have a favorite super hero that's so obscure that finding a Halloween costume for them is impossible? Really want to show up the competition at your office's next costume party? Well, grab your craft knife, silver sharpie, and sewing machine and we'll teach you how to turn fabric and EVA foam into durable, custom-fit, and professional looking props and costumes! And, if you're already working on something, we'll show you how to take your design to the next level with tools like laser-cutters, 3D filament and 3D resin printers, vinyl cutters, and more. Come hang out with us Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9PM at Makersmiths in Leesburg.
Compared to Big Red, the UV printer, and the laser cutter, the mug press is simple to learn and easy to use. Minimal (if any) design experience is necessary.
A laser printer, sublimation paper and a picture, graphic or illustration in a jpg, png or pdf format is all you need. Sublimation paper is not expensive and can easily found online. Sublimation mugs must also be used and can be found at Michaels, Joanne’s or online and are also not very expensive. Sublimation mugs are designed with a glazed ceramic that is ideal for retaining sublimation ink.
The mug press at MS-L has multiple attachments that work with different sized mugs (and shot glasses). Attaching the printed image with heat tape to the mug then inserting into the heated press for approximately 3 min is as difficult as it gets.
When the mug comes out of the press they are very hot and need a few minutes before they can be handled. They also need to be cured in an oven for approximately 5 min. The ink will scratch off if you don’t (notice that happened on one of mine) but otherwise after they cure, they are permanent designs.
If you are interested in giving it a try, contact me via slack and I am happy to meet and walk you through using the mug press. The mug press is a great tool for anyone who wants to make a personalized and inexpensive gift or create a set of original mugs for yourself. It is a simple and a fun project for the entire family.
Makersmiths has garden plot #39 at Ida Lee again this year and, weather permitting, we will start planting on 1 April. Check out #gardening channel on Slack for more info and to get down and dirty with plants!
Makersmiths will be participating in the 32nd Annual Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival. The dates are April 23rd and 24th and we will need members to assist in support of the show. This is an important opportunity to develop Community Awareness of our organization. More details to follow within the next couple of weeks but your assistance will count toward your membership volunteer requirement. Reach out to Chuck Whiteacre on Slack for more information on how you can help.
Are you looking for a way to do your Volunteer Hours at Makersmiths? Well, the Membership Committee is ready to help you out! Our Open House Teams, both Leesburg and Purcellville, could use some back up tour guides. Both locations are currently staffed with volunteers - those folks who gave you those fantastic tours that brought you in, but they do occasionally have other obligations. Your volunteer time would support our efforts to bring in new members. NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! We are happy to show you around the place. Please reach out to Scott Newman on Slack DM, email, or in the #membership-committee channel
Are you subscribed to the Makersmiths' YouTube Channel?
There are new videos this month! Intro to Vector Drawing Parts 1 and 2 will help you get the most out of your time on many of the machines at Makersmiths.
...Makersmiths can be found on Amazon Smile? All those boxes showing up at your door can also contribute a percentage of your purchases to our organization to be used in tool maintenance, supply purchases, and so much more! With every eligible purchase, AmazonSmile donates 0.5% … at NO additional cost to you!
On your phone: Open your Amazon app and click on the three lines on the lower right of your screen. Scroll to the bottom to select Settings, then scroll down to choose AmazonSmile. From here, you can choose Makersmiths Inc (Leesburg) as your charity AND “Turn On AmazonSmile.” If you’ve previously selected us on your desktop, you may not have turned this feature on for when you make those “on the go” purchases from your phone.
On your desktop: open smile.amazon.com. If it is your first time here, you will be prompted to select a charity (hint hint - Makersmiths Inc in Leesburg!). You can also update your charity at any time to reflect where you want the donation to go. Be sure to bookmark smile.amazon.com for ease of access anytime you are letting your fingers do the shopping!
Upcoming Classes in March
As always, you can go to the March Calendar to see what's coming next and to find the links to register for the classes.
Laser Cutter Introduction - MS-L, Mar 1, Mar 3, Mar 15 Advanced Laser Cutting Rotary Tool - MS-L, Mar 4 Red Tool Training for Woodturning Using a Lathe - MS-L, Mar 7, Mar 21 UV Printer Advanced Class - Golf Balls - MS-L, Mar 7 Big Red CnC Operation - MS-L, Mar 9, Mar 19, Mar 26 Woodturning Open Shop - MS-L, Mar 10, Mar 24 Cosplay Night - MS-L, Mar 10, Mar 17, Mar 24, Mar 31 Red Tool Woodworking Basics - MS-P Mar 10
New Members! Don't forget to register for a New Member Orientation, held online on Mar 7 and 21st!
Makersmiths Leesburg: 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175
Makersmiths Purcellville: 785 S. 20th St, Purcellville, VA 20132