Leather Belt Workshop with Tandy Leather – March 7, 7-8:30pm

Explore leathercraft in a fun and functional way! We will be creating a belt from scratch, utilizing several basic tools that have a wide array of uses in leathercraft. We will cover several fundamental techniques that are easy to follow, and once learned, can be applied in many different situations while working with leather.

Workshop is limited to 10 participants, please preregister on our class calendar.

(Maker Works member price is $30, non-member price is $35 for this workshop.)

 

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Woodcarving & Tool Sharpening Demo by Mike Kapetan (2/24 1pm-3pm)

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Master woodcarver and sculptor Mike Kapetan will demonstrate the properties of wood as they relate to carving. He will demonstrate techniques for sharpening carving tools to razor-edge keenness, and he will demonstrate basic techniques of carving wood. Mike Kapetan is a … Continue reading

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Motawi Tile Frame Workshop

Frame a Motawi Tile, February 3rd

 

Register now to build your own custom frame for your choice of a Motawi tile using the woodshop at Maker Works. All of their 4×4 tiles (except Pine Landscape Mountain and Valley) will be available.

In this experience, you will:

– Select between Oak or Cherry wood
– Assemble the frame
– Use the ShopBot CNC router to add hardwood dovetailed keys in the back
– Sand, and apply a walnut oil finish
– Optional laser engraving of a Celtic, Art Deco, Prairie, or Shaker Motif.

Maker Works staff will guide you each step of the way. It will take 20-30 minutes. Time slots are available from 10AM to 2PM on 2/3/2017.

$122 includes frame, your choice of tile, laser engraving, and walnut oil finish.

Note: If you already have a 4″x4″ Motawi tile you’d like to use, please bring it with you to class and use the coupon code “haveatile” when you register, which will give you a discount of $40.

Register Now!

 

See all the beautiful Motawi 4×4 tile styles.

4x4 Fish - Turquoise Cobalt4x4 Lotus - Red

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TechShop Closed – Helping TechShop Members

12/3/2017

Update!

Potentially great news for our friends from TechShop Allen Park.  On 12/3/2017, TechShop announced that all the assets of TechShop have been acquired by a new owner, and “the new entity, TechShop 2.0, LLC, plans to re-open as many stores as possible, as soon as possible.”  We hope Allen Park is among the stores re-opened, and that this happens as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, see below for some of the makerspace options in southeast Michigan.


11/17/2017

Feels like we’ve lost a friend…

We all at Maker Works were saddened to hear about TechShop closing.  More people know about makerspaces and the opportunities they make possible because of TechShop.  They moved us closer to they day when the question isn’t “what is a makerspace” but is instead “why don’t we have a makerspace in our community”.  They were a remarkable resource to the people of Allen Park and the larger metro area.

We hope the members of the Allen Park TechShop can find a new makerspace home at one of the many makerspaces in southeast Michigan.  These include:

We can’t make the drive from Allen Park shorter, and we can’t postpone the holiday season, but if we’re in your driving range, we’d like to give former TechShop members and staff a $25 discount off any one class.  (That would make our laser class free, for example.)  And for the remainder of November, TechShop members can receive the family discount on a 30-day membership, just $45.

To our members, please welcome new folks from TechShop and help them feel at home here. With the holidays coming up, this is certainly a difficult time for them to have lost such a great resource.

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Craft Show 12/02/17

Maker Works will host its first-ever craft show on Saturday December 2, 2017 from 11am-4pm to assist our makers in showing and selling what they’ve been creating!

We welcome items that have been made here at Maker Works, as well as items you or your company have made elsewhere (except food items).

Please register here if you’d like to participate as a vendor.

Looking forward to a fun time seeing what everyone’s been making!

Vendor List (as of 11/14/2017):

Aye Plus Novelty – earrings, necklaces, emblems crafts

Becky Grover Designs – small art quilts and other fabric gift items

Blue Dot Maps – wood maps

Cutie Patootie Studios – greeting cards, bookmarks, magnets

Elderwood Academy – unique tabletop gaming gear crafted from natural materials

E.Lo Ceramic Art – handmade porcelain mugs, cups, bowls and vases.

Elophina LLC – leather purses, key fobs

Erik Olsen – drinking glasses, stickers

Saving Throw Pillows – pillows shaped like D20s,  some art quilt wall hangings

Becky Grover Designs

Cutie Patootie Studios

Cutie Patootie Studios

Elderwood Academy

Elderwood Academy

Elophina LLC

E.Lo Ceramic Art

E.Lo Ceramic Art

E.Lo Ceramic Art

Saving Throw Pillows

Saving Throw Pillows

Eric Olsen

Eric Olsen

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June 2017 Maker Group Meetings

The following meetings will be held at Maker Works in June and are open to all who are interested, no membership required.

Specific meeting topics may be updated here: Ann Arbor Maker Works on Meetup.com

6/7 at 7pm South East Michigan CNC (SEMICNC)
For folks who want to get started with CNC as well as veterans to share information.
(Always the 1st Wednesday of the month 7pm-9pm)
SEMICNC Yahoo group

6/8 at 7pm Southeast Michigan Woodworkers
Presentations on various woodworking topics, as well as hands-on project builds and teaching sessions.
(Always the second Thursday of the month at 7pm)
SEMI WW

6/13 at 7pm GO Tech
Self-proclaimed “geek show-and-tell.” Makers present their creations!
(Always the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 7 pm – 9 pm)
Go Tech on Facebook
Go Tech Yahoo group

6/14 at 6:30pm TOOOL The Open Organization Of Lockpickers
A group advancing the general public knowledge about locks and lockpicking.
(Always the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm)
A2 Locksport

6/16 from 4pm-6pm Maker Works Fix-It Friday – Come in to help fix, learn to fix, or have your items fixed by MW staff and volunteer fixers.
(Always the 3rd Friday of the month from 4pm-6pm)

6/21 at 6pm Michigan Robot Kids Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts 5-13, but any age is welcome.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday from 6pm-7pm, followed by the MI Robot Club)
MI Robot Kids Club
MI Robot Kids Club on Facebook

6/21 at 7pm Michigan Robot Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts of all skill levels.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday of the month 7 pm – 9 pm)
MI Robot Club

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Upcoming Special Dates & Holidays – Are We Open?

Thursday November 23, 2017:  Thanksgiving Day – Shop Closed

Friday November 24, 2017:  Black Friday – Shop Open 9am-6pm

Saturday December 2, 2017:  Shop Open 10am-4pm, also Maker Works Craft Show 11am-4pm

Sunday December 24, 2017:  Christmas Eve – Shop Open 10am-4pm

Monday December 25, 2017:  Christmas Day – Shop Closed

Sunday December 31, 2017 : New Year’s Eve – Shop Open 10am-4pm

Monday January 1, 2018 : New Year’s Day – Shop Closed

 

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May 2017 Maker Group Meetings

The following meetings will be held at Maker Works in May and are open to all who are interested, no membership required.

Specific meeting topics may be updated here: Ann Arbor Maker Works on Meetup.com

5/3 at 7pm South East Michigan CNC (SEMICNC)
For folks who want to get started with CNC as well as veterans to share information.
(Always the 1st Wednesday of the month 7pm-9pm)
SEMICNC Yahoo group

5/9 at 7pm GO Tech
Self-proclaimed “geek show-and-tell.” Makers present their creations!
(Always the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 7 pm – 9 pm)
Go Tech on Facebook
Go Tech Yahoo group

5/10 at 6:30pm TOOOL The Open Organization Of Lockpickers
A group advancing the general public knowledge about locks and lockpicking.
(Always the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm)
A2 Locksport

5/11 at 7pm Southeast Michigan Woodworkers
Presentations on various woodworking topics, as well as hands-on project builds and teaching sessions.
(Always the second Thursday of the month at 7pm)
SEMI WW

5/17 at 6pm Michigan Robot Kids Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts 5-13, but any age is welcome.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday from 6pm-7pm, followed by the MI Robot Club)
MI Robot Kids Club
MI Robot Kids Club on Facebook

5/17 at 7pm Michigan Robot Club
A group for robotics enthusiasts of all skill levels.
(Always the 3rd Wednesday of the month 7 pm – 9 pm)
MI Robot Club

5/19 from 4pm-6pm Maker Works Fix-It Friday – Come in to help fix, learn to fix, or have your items fixed by MW staff and volunteer fixers.
(Always the 3rd Friday of the month from 4pm-6pm)

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Summer Camp 2017

 


Kinetic Camp
 Ages 8-12 Jun 19 – 23  9:00am – 12:00pm

Comic/Manga Camp Ages 10-14 Jun 26 – 30 9:00am – 4:00pm (aftercare available from 4pm to 5pm)

Metal Sculpture Camp Ages 13-16 Jul 10 – 14 & Aug 14 – 18 9:00am – 4:00pm (aftercare available from 4pm to 5pm)

Upcycled Fashion Camp Ages 10-16 Aug 21-25 9:00am – 4:00pm (aftercare available from 4pm to 5pm) Continue reading

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Why a Makerspace Operations Bootcamp?

Before we opened the doors to our makerspace (Maker Works), my business partner Tom Root and I talked about how we could help other people create a makerspace in their community.  (We probably don’t have to convince you why we think they’re important for every community to have.)  And as anyone who runs a makerspace knows, we ended up spending a huge amount of time (and still do) on phone calls and tours with these folks.  We do think those tours are useful, and if you want to drop by, we’re happy to spend some time talking shop.  But as time went by, Tom and I talked more about presenting the systems we use with enough detail and within an organizing framework so that someone could hit the ground running, rather than having to re-invent the makerspace wheel over and over again.

Basically, we wanted to create the kind of course that we wished we could have taken before we opened our space.  So in 2014 we had our first Makerspace Operations Bootcamp, and have held a few each year since.  These are five often very full days and a bit overwhelming at times, for instructors and attendees both!

A big question is why two yahoos from Ann Arbor think they know anything about makerspace operations.  A factual, but uninspiring answer is that, well, we’ve been operating one for almost 6 years.  (By the way, we don’t claim special insight into starting a makerspace–we’ve only done that once.)  But the deeper answer has to do with the systems we use and how they align with the values of our makerspace and the larger Maker movement.

Briefly–trying to condense five days of content here–it’s our experience that if you start from some core Maker values, you end up wanting systems that

  • Promote safety
  • Value openness
  • Strive for continuous improvement
  • Welcome and support members with a wide range of experiences and knowledge
  • Provide access to and preservation of nice equipment
  • Organize of tools for quick retrieval
  • Provide great customer service
  • Encourage self-service, increase skills
  • Support the local community
  • Promote the larger makerspace and maker movements
  • Reduce impact on environment
  • Support and encourage member creativity
  • Promote an optimistic view of the future
  • Empower people to be more than just consumers
  • Reduce waste
  • and so on

And it turns out that there are systems drawn from Lean manufacturing and other practices that do just that, including:

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • 5S
  • Open Book Management
  • How to Instruct
  • Servant Leadership
  • Recipes for creating culture
  • Recipes for giving great customer service
  • 43 folders
  • Visual management systems
  • and so on

In the bootcamp, we begin by discussing the relationship between the organization’s mission, vision, guiding principles, systems, culture, experience, and bottom lines, and the need for consistency between them.  This framework organizes much of the content of the week.  With this in mind, we then delve into each of these elements and explore specific systems like SOPs, using an actual makerspace to see how they work in real life.

In the end, though, none of the systems, none of the tools, none of the organizing makes any sense without the context of a mission, a vision, guiding principles, and bottom lines.  Open book management takes effort.  Servant leadership takes effort.  Great customer service takes time.  We hope by the end of the week that we’ve made the case that these systems can all fit together and produce a sustainable makerspace consistent with its mission.

How did we end up with these systems?  Tom actually used these in running a local business with over $10M annual revenue and over 400 employees during the busy holiday season–employees who often come in without any experience and have to become almost immediately productive.  The many parallels suggested that a makerspace run using the same types of systems could help members become productive and keep them safe without requiring the constant attention of staff.  The values of the business were also something we wanted to follow–for example, having more than just profit as a bottom line.  (Our bottom lines are people, planet, and profit.)  We take a tour of this business, since it is another opportunity to see the concepts in action.

In the end, we want to have more makerspaces in the world.  We think these tools increase those odds, and encourage anyone who operates or is thinking of operating a makerspace to take a look at them.

Can’t make it to one of our bootcamps?

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