June 2022 Newsletter

Board of Directors

At the members’ meeting on June 1, Brad Hess was re-elected to another three-year term as a director of the Board. Jessee Maloney was elected to serve a three-year term to replace Jim Waldron who completed his three-year term as a director. Thank you, Jim, for serving our organization these past three years.

During the June 29 Board of Directors meeting, Jon White agreed to serve as the chairman of the Board of Directors for this coming year and Bev Murdock will serve as the secretary. Christa Stern will continue as the bookkeeper and John Dubelko was named as the new treasurer. Thank you, Mary Waldron for serving as our treasurer these past few years.

At this same meeting, the directors voted to approve the disposal of surplus tools and equipment. Purcellville and Leesburg facility managers will have first pick then everything else on the list will be offered for sale to members for a period of one week after which the items will be listed on Marketplace and/or Craig’s List. Any items left unsold will be taken to recycling where possible or to the dump if necessary.

This is a great opportunity to add some tools to your home shop. Items offered run the gambit from “exceptionally nice and lightly used” to “restoration projects.” There are table saws, band saws, drill presses, a radial arm saw, a scroll saw, a shaper, a spindle sander, a small planer, a benchtop router table, a good selection of welders including Stick, TIG, MIG, and oxy/ace, a couple of air compressors and a variety of miscellaneous goodies that include glass panels suitable for table tops, a commercial battery charger and too much more to list here.

Watch the GENERAL CHANNEL on Slack for a full listing and description of the items and particulars about how to purchase them. Hint! For a sneak preview you might want to attend Purcellville’s work day this Saturday, July 2 starting at 9:00 AM.

Message From John Dubelko

John Dubelko

This is my final month as president of the organization. Over the last three years in the office, I have seen the organization endure a pandemic, turn the corner on member growth, and a whole lot of things made. I plan on staying involved, so you will see me around. I thank all of you for helping to keep Makersmiths going! Being an all-volunteer organization, nothing happened unless a member steps up and gets it done. The organization’s success could not have happened without you, the membership! If you would like to be considered for president, please let me know by direct messaging me on Slack or contacting me at John.dubelko@makersmiths.org. You can also direct message Jon White, the new chairman of the Board of Directors, or email him at Jonathan.white@makersmiths.org

Featured Makersmiths Member

Mike McMahon

I'm a new woodworker who has been offering commissioned work for cost of materials to build my portfolio. I accepted a job in England in February and had three commissions in the pipeline, two of which were straining the limits of my home workshop. I found Makersmiths and after taking a tour with Jennifer Chu, I signed up in April 2022.

The first of the projects was a chessboard. The client requested only that it be a folding chessboard with no edge detail or ornamentation, with squares 1.5" each side for a total width of 12" per side (6"x12" when folded). I was given total creative control outside of those requirements and decided on curly maple for the light squares and bubinga for the dark with a tung oil finish.

I don’t own a planer or drum sander, and my jointer is only 4” wide so I attempted to use a router jig to flatten it. After it failed, I had a board that could only barely be salvaged with the careful use of traditional equipment. Makersmiths provided access to a drum sander and 6" jointer and enabled me to deliver the board just in time for him to use it while following the 2022 Candidates Tournament.

The other project was a segmented tankard of oak and purpleheart. The way I went about building it caused me to have trouble keeping it on the same center each time I mounted it on the lathe and I was losing unnecessarily large amounts of stock simply bringing it back into round. On top of that, I failed to take the capacity of my tools into consideration and made too large to be mounted on my chuck.

I spent several hours with Bryan Boston figuring out how to salvage it from my newbie mistakes; it got posted to the client the day before my flight to England. The construction is 15 rings of 9 segments, with a solid piece cut to size and glued in for the bottom and a hand-filed handle. I had wanted to use pins to give the handle some extra stability, but the walls of the tankard ended up pretty thin and I couldn't bear the risk of messing it up so close to finished. I shaved very shallow mortises in the wall of the tankard instead to give a good, solid glue joint. Its capacity is almost exactly 24 fl. oz., so it shouldn't need to support more than a pound and a half of liquid and it passed the water test before shipping - no breaks, no leaks. The finish is water-based polyurethane, which I like for drinking vessels because it's very resistant to liquids and it's food safe once cured.

My two months of membership were an incredible investment. A properly equipped workspace is the obvious benefit, but I can’t emphasize enough the help I got from the community here. Sometimes just being able to get a second pair of eyes on a project to help you come at a problem from a different direction is all you need to get moving again. Thanks to Jennifer Chu, Ken Fuentecilla, Bryan Boston, Jessee Maloney, Mike DeWan, Jen Barlev, Scott Newman, and everyone else I met or collaborated with in my short time with the group. By the time this is published, I’ll be boots on the ground in England for my new job in Cambridgeshire, and I’ve already started looking for maker spaces there.

Mike's tankard and chess board projects

Education Initiatives

Diane Painter

On June 22, I hosted an education meeting for members to share ideas and requests related to K12 initiatives at Makersmiths-Purcellville. The meeting was held in person with an option to join via Google Meet. Six Makersmiths adult members and two teens came to the meeting and one member attended virtually.

The meeting began with a discussion of some of the past activities that support K12 initiatives:

  • Youth Market Innovation Challenge in 2017
  • KidWind 2018-2022
  • Arduino Workshops Fall 2021
  • Matthew D. Young’s Independent Science Research & AP Biology at Woodgrove HS (2018-2022)
  • Fun with Gears and Creepy Bots at Lincoln ES (2020-2022)
  • Girls That Code (Embark) Spring 2018
  • LCPS Science & Engineering Fair Judging (2017-?)
  • LCPS Student Maker Showcase (2019-2022)
  • Desks4Distance (supporting Colby Samide’s project in 2020)

Then a discussion of future educational initiatives was held:

  • It is hard to tell from classes, events, and workshops listed on the Makersmiths’ calendar which ones are family/youth-friendly. The Marketing and Scheduling Committees should explore how to make these evident on the calendar. Currently one has to click on each listing and scroll through its description to determine adults-only or family-oriented. Makersmiths member, Ted Markson, stated that Nova Labs has a prefix coding on its offerings that determine adults/family-friendly offerings.
  • Paul Gerhardt is looking for Makersmiths mentors and retired teachers to work with home-school youth at what is currently called the Freedom Center (located north of Leesburg). This is a former church camp location that will offer workforce training opportunities for youth ages 13-18. Please direct message him in Slack if interested in volunteering there.
  • Dave Bock has been holding meetings with Loudoun Valley youth related to cyber security/coding initiatives at the public library. He would like to explore offering this at Makersmiths. Just recently the students were recognized by the Purcellville Town Council for achievements in the Radford University Secure Capture the Flag Contest.
  • Laura Ogelman works at the Middleburg Library and has agreed to work with Ralph Pugh to hold an event this fall at the library that will share the development of the solar smart house project that grade 8 KidWind students created. This solar project won 1st in the Western Regional Challenge and 1st in the Virginia state challenge.
  • I shared with members an invitation from a Google representative to write a grant that would support KidWind and/or workforce initiatives. However, it must be noted, that we have yet to receive the promised grant template from Google that we need to use.

In the works for 2022-2023:

Tinkercad 4-session workshop- Diane Painter and Lukas Burgher will host this CAD Workshop for adults and children ages 10+ on July 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 3-4:30 PM at MS-P. To register, go to https://makersmiths.org/event-4879244

Family-friendly Soap-making workshop given by members Diane Painter and Natalia Burrus at the Middleburg Library at 4 PM on Aug. 9. Questions? Contact the coordinator of this event, Laura.Ogelman@loudoun.gov.

Beginning Electronics and Soldering- Geoff Hoffman (adults and youth in grades 4-12) Dates/Times TBD in September.

Introduction to Arduinos- Ralph Pugh (Stem Lingo kits), Dave Bock (Elegoo kits)These workshops will be geared toward adults and youth grades 6-12. Dates/Times TBD in October

KidWind Information Meeting- Diane Painter for Saturday, November 19 Time/location TBD

Purcellville July 4th Parade Floats

We have several Makersmiths families working on four Makersmiths floats.  Each float will be attached to a 4-foot long by 2-foot wide board that is mounted on a hand truck. The four hand trucks will be pulled by a 1947 Farmwell tractor (on loan from a neighbor of member, Bob Cline). Thank you, Bob, for making those arrangements!

Who are our industrious, creative float makers?

Diane Painter with KidWind families Burrus, Ogelmans & Seiter created a KidWind float that will celebrate the kids' incredible 2022 wins in the western Regional, Virginia State and National KidWind wind turbine and solar  challenges.

Tom Hill is being secretive about the Hill family float. We will need to come to the parade and find out what he is making, but Tom states the float will reflect what one can make using CNCs! Adam Spicer and his 10-year old son are creating a robot float. No images of their float yet, but we do know they are trying to use a variety of Makersmiths "making" tools to build the robot.

Tammi Scannell designed and then cut out a wooden butterfly on a CNC. Diane Painter painted it and also added vinyl cut-outs to make it very colorful. Then she made paper flowers to add to paper flowers that Jennifer Chu and Ken Fuentecella found on display at MS-Leesburg. Jennifer and Ken then mounted the butterfly to the board and hot glued flowers around its base to make it look like the butterfly landed in a summer garden. Impressive!

Tom Hill states that we want to win back the 4th of July parade trophy!  Do you think we have a chance?

Parade Details

The 4th of July Parade will begin at 11:00 am at Blue Ridge Middle School on A Street. The parade route is 2.5 miles long. It will follow A St. to take a right onto S. 20th, then it will turn right onto Main Street and follow Main Street before taking a right onto Maple Ave. It will go down Maple Ave to A Street and then turn right to end at Blue Ridge MS. Will you be there along the route to cheer us on?

Featured Project: Chuck Boxes for the Boy Scouts

Jon White

My son is part of a Boy Scout troop who wanted to upgrade their communal cooking equipment. To that end, they also wanted a good place to store each set of equipment so that each Patrol (sub groups of a Boy Scout Troop) had their camp stove, fuel, utensils, washing pan, and all of the other things they would need on a campout in one place.

If you’re not already familiar with a Chuck Box, it’s a box with dividers where wagon train cooks would keep all of their equipment between meals. Everyone fits nicely in one place that can be closed up when it is moved from place to place and nothing falls out. These can be built with traditional woodworking tools but when you have access to a large format CNC and you need to make four of them, why not spend 70% of the project time designing them, then letting the machine do all of the cutting?

To that end, a lot of time was spent in Fusion360 along with a Chrome browser reading articles and watching videos on how to do things in Fusion I didn’t already know how to do. In the end, a chuck box design was finished using Fusion’s “Parameters” function to create a design where new project and material dimensions can be added, and most of the design will automatically update. Additionally, Fusion was used to create dados and rabbets in the project so that it would all slot together correctly and be held together by wood glue only.

Once finished, that design was laid flat in VCarve and toolpaths created. Yes - toolpaths could also be done directly in Fusion, but with a lot of experience in VCarve already, it wasn’t another skill I wanted to acquire for this project. That and I was already months behind getting them done. Each box was then cut out on the EBF (Big Blue) CNC and took about an hour to cut out of two full sheets of plywood. After cutting the pieces out of the sheet, assembly for each box was able to be done in about 30 minutes or less, all due to the dados and rabbets.

Now the boring part of the project is sanding, staining, and finishing the boxes. That’s not finished yet and I will be enlisting Boy Scouts (at least one - my son) to help. All in all, the boxes came out well and it was a great opportunity to expand Fusion skills with a real, live project when practicing those skills!

See these images of the progression of the Chuck Box project to date!


Did you know...

Makersmiths has a blog on their home page? 

Makersmiths is on Instagram?

Makersmiths has a YouTube page?

You can support Makersmiths using Amazon Smile for your purchases?

Upcoming Classes

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


Leesburg Work Day- 7/9

Laser Cutter Intro -7/5

Red Tool Woodworking- 7/12, 7/19

CosPlay Nights- 7/7, 7/14, 7/28, 7/28

Open Houses every Thursday evening from 6-8 PM. Bring a friend to tour the space!

As always, check the www.makersmiths.org calendar's Classes and Events link to see what might be added!


Purcellville Work Day- 7/2

Exploring TinkerCad (for adults and children ages 10+)- 4-session workshop beginning 7/8

Red Tool Wood Shop Instructor Checkout Session- 7/10  

Powder Coating Checkout Session- 7/10

Red Tool Woodworking Basics - 7/ 14

Adv Red Tool Woodworking - 7/17

Red Tool Metal-working Basics- 7/20

Open Houses every Tuesday evening from 6-8 PM. Bring a friend to tour the space!

Board/Officer Name



Brad Hess

Board Member


Bev Murdock

Board Member/Secretary


Dave Painter

Board Member


Jessee Maloney

Board Member


Jonathan White

Board Member/Chairperson


Scott Newman

Board Member


Mike DeWan

Board Member





John Dubelko



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

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